On the Trail with Ty: 9/17/18

1.This is the week my beloved Red Sox will clinch the Eastern Division vs. the Yankees. How fitting that my first experience today in Ward 5A (off South Main St.) was about baseball? As we were inserting a pair of signs at the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette St., a man walked by and told me he enjoyed my book about the 1918 Red Sox. His then 15 year old daughter had given my book to him almost 20 years ago. I signed the book for Steve last year at the Attleboro Community Theatre.
We ended up talking about some of the players of that long ago deadball era. This wasn’t Attleboro politics but it resulted in my putting a sign in Steve’s yard. Great way to start the day.
2. Jose and I met in front of his barn on Pine Street and had a conversation about the Attleboro dump. Jose pays his taxes, which takes care of his weekly trash. Jose feels the dump should remain free. He loves Attleboro. Originally from Portugal, Jose wants his grandchildren to be fluent in both English and his native language. Jose thinks our schools should be teaching several foreign languages at a younger age, instead of simply offering Spanish in High School.
3. Sara on Dunham Street introduced me to Brent, her nine year old son. Brent can hear the teachers better than in the open class he had in fourth grade. He loves doing math. Sarah (Mom) and Brent are delighted he finally has a classroom with real walls.
4. While biking up Park Street towards Sturdy Hospital, I had the good fortune to meet Brenda, who suddenly appeared at her front door. She has a strong feeling for the homeless of our city. Brenda hopes we eventually have a family homeless shelter so struggling families can have a sense of security and warmth. Brenda actually grew up in a shelter on the North Shore of Mass. She wonders if Attleboro residents realize we do have a homeless population. As I left, she mused, “I will suffer for our homeless till the day I die.”
5. While heading back to my car, I stopped my bike in front of a quiet house on Parker Street. I heard a voice from the leafy front steps. It was a middle aged woman bemoaning the fate of her 62 year old sister, who was in the house suffering from Alzheimer’s.  I suggested she speak to one of our social workers at the Larson Senior Center. She sighed again. Her sister wasn’t well and didn’t seem to be trying to help herself. She thanked me for stopping and listening. Wish I could have done more.
6. My last visit was to a past supporter on School Street. This senior lady wants the council and our mayor to get along better. She wants city leaders to be civil and respectful of each other. She wants leadership that does something positive. I was a little surprised when she looked me in the eye, and told me to put up my sign in her yard. Then she asked me to contact Jim Hawkins and put one of his signs up, too. I would be honored to serve her. She’s a tough cookie and a really good soul.
All in all, it was a good day in the heart of Attleboro. Ward 5A is our smallest precinct but a vibrant one.
                                       Keep your chin up.
                                                               Ty
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On the Trail with Ty: 9/15/18 & 9/16/18

The highlight this weekend was two fold.
Saturday morning we held signs from 10 am – 12 pm at the entrance to Stop and Shop & Pleasant Street. There was a lot of traffic, a lot of waves from neighbors, a lot of thumbs up, and at least a dozen cars honked for us! My team is doing a great job promoting the campaign and getting my name recognized.
The last 30 minutes the volunteers and I played a game. Would men or women wave or honk more? The rules? One point for a wave, two points for a honk. Believe it or not, men beat the woman with 36 points to 33 points! The men were more likely to honk for 2 points.
Next Saturday morning we are holding signs at County Square. We could use your help! If you want to volunteers some Saturday mornings, call Jan Waterman at 508-455-1918. Holding signs and waving can be fun and really helps the campaign.
I biked to Ward 5A, just south of the center, on Saturday afternoon. I covered Maple, Mulberry, and Carpenter Streets. I met lots of nice people. I found Manuel in back of his home, watering his garden. Manuel is 72 years old. He spends a lot of time tending to his vegetable garden. I told Manuel I wanted to help seniors get a property tax break, he signed my nomination papers and introduced me to his girlfriend who also signed. He also took five palm cards to show to five of his seven adult children who also live in Attleboro. He had already shown me so much kindness but concluded by asking for two of my signs to tie onto his fence. What a nice man! Manuel is the salt of the earth.

Where the color blue prevailed. From the campaign trail, Monday 8/13/18

Wow!!! Volunteers John & David and I have put up 107 signs since Saturday, with more to go. We covered Ward 1 in South Attleboro, Ward 2 and 6 on both sides of Capron Park, down West Street, South Ave., County St., South Main St, Thurber, and sections of Oak Hill Ave. We have lots of work to do in other sections of our city but time still permits.

Our sign holders were delighted to receive a magnetic bumper sticker and a button. We found ourselves frequently sharing a yard with Jim Hawkins signs, where the color blue prevailed. We passed Tara Major (Jim Hawkins administrative asst.) putting up a big Hawkins sign on Rome Blvd. Dan and Monica on Rome Blvd. waved at us and asked for a matching sign on the other side of their lawn.

We were having so much fun, no one cared that it was raining most of the day.

Happiness prevailed throughout our visits. Children smiled, dogs even stopped barking once they realized we were welcomed at their homes. This is not my triumph. But rather, I am noticing that people are celebrating a new spirit in the city.

My supporters want better education, smaller classes, outreach to seniors, protection of our environment from possible pipelines and asphalt plants, more transparency within the city council, and cooperation between the city council and our mayor, Paul Heroux.

My supporters want to see Highland Country Club turned into a beautiful park for the entire city and open spaces protected for our enjoyment.

My supporters want Attleboro to grow into a city that cherishes and protects our human rights and where families can feel safe and secure. They want a city that takes care of struggling citizens, offering food and housing to those in need. Our citizens enjoy music in Capron Park, a wonderful zoo, and walking on trails in protected forests.

We love Attleboro and want to celebrate living here. More signs to put up tomorrow.

This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro.

Today we put up signs for the first time this campaign season.

We went to 39 homes in Ward 1A in South Attleboro and Ward 6A near Capron Park and Thacher Street.  John and David prepared all the signs, handed out magnetic bumper stickers and buttons, and accompanied me around the city.

I was struck by the happiness I saw on face after face. Most of the homeowners were delighted to see me. It was awesome, as though I was Santa Claus bringing them a sleigh full of presents. Many of the folks were glad to accept our buttons and magnetic bumper stickers, and show me where they wanted us to put up their signs. One lady on South Main Street even helped us put up my sign on her front yard fence. She was having fun.

This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro. Seniors need to be helped, valued and served. Children need the best possible education. Our library needs the resources to help all those who enter its premises.

This is a people’s campaign. This campaign is for good government that is transparent, just, and responsive. This is a campaign for a city council that echoes and expresses the voice and will of our people, young and old, wealthy and poor alike.

The byproducts of knocking on doors…

Today I met Susan on Ruggles Street. She knew my daughter 20 years ago when we lived in Foxboro. Her son, Aaron, was a friend of Kate. We exchanged an update of our adult children and had a great time.

This is one of the byproducts of knocking on doors. I run into people I haven’t seen for a long time and enjoy memories.

Along the same vein, on Wednesday I knocked on Claudia’s door on Melody Lane. We used to perform together with Norton Singers back in the 90’s. Claudia was the accompanist before my wife, Jan, took over the position. Claudia was interested in how Jan was doing. I reported she still accompanies Norton Singers spring shows (Scarlet Pimpernel in 2018) and performs in the orchestra while I am on stage every June. It was great catching up with each other.

We all weave through our lives and intersect with terrific people as we go. Going on the trail this summer is fun. I never know who is going to open a door. We talk a little local politics and then catch up on our families.

Along the campaign trail… 8/1/18

August 1st

1. This morning I met Lois and Ed on County Street (Near Fourth Street). Wonderful folks in their 80’s. They couldn’t have been nicer. Both of them are lifelong Attleboro residents. Ed worked full-time till he was 83 as a manager of a tool shop. He was fascinated by my bike and cautioned me several times to be careful when on the roads. In a span of 5 or 6 minutes Ed and I bonded and he watched me ride away till I was totally out of sight… He could have been my kind uncle.
2.  Then I met Maria on Dennis Street. She moved to Attleboro from Hyde Park two years ago. Maria has 5 children, 11 to 24, and is very happy with the friendly folks in Attleboro. Our school system is a big plus after raising her children in Boston schools. She insisted on putting up one of my signs this fall.
3. Next I stopped to say hi to Dan M. walking along County Street after relaxing in Capron Park. I biked up to him on the sidewalk. He was delighted to meet me. We only talked briefly but I could tell he is a happy man.
4. At the end of the afternoon I knocked on Diane B.’s door…. she peered through the glass and asked if I recognized her. We had met 25 years earlier when we both performed in “Christmas Carol” with the Attleboro Community Theatre! I played Schooge and Diane was Mrs. Cratchit. We recalled being in “Christman Carol” together  and she offered complete support of my candidacy.
5. Last but not least… around 6:15 pm I knocked on Rhonda’s door on Jackson St. Rhonda loved my idea to create a Senior Center job for someone to visit homebound seniors, mostly in their 80’s or 90’s.
I meet a lot of wonderful people on my campaign trail!
Regards,
ty

A funny thing happened while parking illegally…

Last Thursday, while knocking on doors in Ward 6A I drove my car to a small side road off South Main St. I parked across from the only house I could see. The car was nestled alongside a forest. There were no parking signs. I took off my bicycle and locked the car.
I knocked on South Main St. doors and a bunch of side streets for the next three hours until I finally had to take a break at Seabra, I had met dozens of people and sensed the campaign was going pretty well. As I was leaving the Men’s Room my cell phone rang. It was the Attleboro Police. “Please remove your car and find another parking spot. A neighbor has complained about where you parked.”
I thanked the officer, told him I was hopping on my bike and would be at my car in five minutes.
A few minutes later, while I was putting the bike upon the back of the car, a tiny woman came out of the only house I could see on the street. She walked straight towards me. I figured she was going to scold me.
Rhonda was really nice! She was thrilled that I was running for city councilor and am the Attleboro YMCA Social Worker. She invited me to park in her own driveway the next time I was in the area. Rhonda offered to call the police back and tell them I had been very prompt and was moving the car.
Just then a big garbage truck turned into the dead end road.  I hustled my car up the driveway and waited for the city crew to do their duty and they quickly left the street. I had parked on this street on garbage day!
Then Rhonda offered to take one of my campaign signs. I looked at her and said, “But you hardly know me.” Before I could say a single word about my campaign she blurted out, “I WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU, TY.”
I almost hugged Rhonda and said, “but, you don’t know why I’m running for office yet?” Rhonda really didn’t care. She just liked me. I don’t know why.
The next time I’m on her empty street she wants me to park at the top of her driveway.
You have got to love Rhonda and the spirit inhabited by so many of the neighbors in Attleboro! Campaigning can be such a joy!