Sometimes I run into sadness. From the Campaign trail, 8/15/18

Today John and I drove for several hours through Ward 4. We met some great folks who put up signs for me last winter when I was a state representative candidate. Everyone was delighted to see us again and quickly offered to put up my city council sign. John and I particularly enjoyed talking with the retired owners of Houle’s Taxi, a beloved part of Attleboro’s transportation history.

Campaigning brings me into touch, however briefly, with people’s lives. Sometimes I run into sadness. My final visit was with a senior couple who spoke with me at length inside their house last winter. They were wonderful and friendly. They worried about the escalating taxes on a fixed income and the looming difficulties of maintaining a nice home.

When I went to their door, I met the lady of the house. She was grieving and told me her husband had died two weeks ago. My heart dropped. I groped for the right words, expressed my sympathies and asked if there was anything I could do for her. She said, “Can you bring my husband back to me?”

Campaigning can be tedious, joyful, and sad all within a few short minutes. Thank you, Attleboro for letting me be a part of your life. Let’s help support each other in all of life’s moments.


On the trail: Sunday, August 5th

I met a lot of happy people today on Fairway Drive and Bernt St. Most of them are delighted to live in Attleboro. I found 100% agreement with building the new high school and purchasing the Highland Country Club. No one shut the door in my face, which makes it a good day. One lady challenged me to find state funds to pay for an outreach worker with the Council on Aging/Senior Center to visit our older senior population. Maybe we CAN find state funding. But everyone agrees visiting elderly seniors who live alone is a very important priority.

It’s tough seeing your friends and family begin to leave our world. Seniors absolutely love having visitors so they can talk about the old days in Attleboro. We’ve met several World War II vets pushing or past 95 years old. What a pleasure it was to meet those gentlemen. We really ought to provide some visits to these folks.

I had a heavy discussion with a couple on Berndt Drive. I discovered that two people with difficult health issues in their golden years of semi-retirement have to pay enormous health insurance costs. The 73 year-old husband has medicare but still pays a fortune per month in medications to deal with cancer, and his wife has at least $1000 per month costs with the Mass Health Connector, plus additional costs around co-pays, medications, etc. Both of them worked in good jobs all their lives, own a nice home in Attleboro, yet struggle just to make ends meet. This occurs at the very time they were deciding to retire. All I could do was listen, sympathize, and wish them my best. I really feel for them.

Going on the trail is a privilege and a pleasure. I meet so many really fine people.


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!

Reaching out to home bound seniors

I was knocking and biking for six hours of campaigning in Ward One today (So. Attleboro). My message is ringing true. We need to reach out more to home bound seniors.
Today I met a 90 year old man. Albert lost his wife last year, just got out of the hospital with a heart issue, is racked with loneliness since nobody has visited him since he got back home. “I am lonely”, he stammered. “The Visiting Nurses haven’t seen me.” Albert didn’t know what to do. I suggested he call his primary care doctor and request a referral so the VNA can see him. He had no idea that he needed to talk with his primary. The social worker at the hospital had not set up home visits. He was lost. All his friends are gone.
Albert is sick with loneliness, anxiety, and confusion. He has no one to love him.
Attleboro needs to budget and hire an outreach worker for the Senior Center. I plan to work on this project should I be elected in November. The budget is tight and but I intend to do everything in my power to find the money to approve an outreach worker to support Attleboro’s homebound seniors.
Today, I also met Edie, an 84 year old South Attleboro woman who lives alone in her apartment. She was delighted to open the door when I knocked. “Come on in”, she said. “Ty, can you help me get a job? No one wants me to work anymore. I can’t survive just on social security. My car has broken down and I can’t drive anymore. I don’t have the money for another car but I’ll keep on looking.”
I suggested she call the Senior Center and ask how to purchase Dial-a-ride tickets. “Better yet, you could go up to the Senior Center and have lunch five days a week. You could play cards, bingo, join a sewing group, lots of fun activities. It beats sitting here by yourself listening to the TV all day long.”
By the time I left her apartment, Edie was smiling and said “Thank you, Ty. I’m going to make that call.”
But Edie needs a follow up call lest she sink back into her depressed state of mind. She needs an outreach worker who will bring her to the Senior Center for lunch, introduce her to a few seniors, and show her how to buy the Dial–Ride Tickets, and set her on the path of the living.
Edie has a beautiful smile…. all she needs is a helping hand.
Albert and Edie live on streets all over Attleboro. Let’s introduce them to the Larson Senior Center. Let’s reach out to them.
After all ….. someday each of us could be in the same predicament as Albert and Edie….
From a day on Ty’s Campaign Trail… July 12, 2018.

On the Campaign Trail, 2/28/18

Today we held signs at the Attleboro train station. Several hundred passengers boarded six trains between 6 to 8 am, while I chatted with commuters. Three of our volunteers held signs and wished everyone ‘Good Morning”. It was a beautiful day and a good time for all.
But today’s high point was my visit to the Senior Housing program on North Ave. I met with fifteen seniors sharing donuts and coffee.  I sang a few Disney songs and played the guitar, with my favorite song “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Then we talked about the issues. The seniors were concerned about Medicare, Mass Health, Safety in Schools, and especially Mental Healthcare in Massachusetts.
The seniors felt that mental health issues were the key to random violence in schools  I strongly urged that the Mass. legislature strengthen our mental health budget. This will be a top priority for me in the state house along with school safety. I am against teachers carrying guns in schools. If need be, the state ought to consider helping towns and cities afford police patrolling entrance points into public schools. The decisions on using police should be made by each city and town, with subsequent financial help from the state.
It was a great discussion yesterday with our Attleboro seniors!