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January 31, 2014     Post-Gazette
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January 31, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 31 , 20i4 Page 7 Mrs. Murphy New England continues to  .11. be in a deep fi: ;t freeze and so isn't the sunny state of Florida where tem- peratures are reported to be in the forties! Enough for glo- bal warming and the A1 Gore scare! Not much happening in this part of the woods where most people will remain in their igloos till the thaw ... Chip Tuttle of Suffolk Downs and the Mayor of Revere Dan Rizzo are trying their best to keep Revere residents informed on how a casino can benefit Revere. According to elected officials, "It's important that Mohegan Sun get a thumbs up by voters." If Mohegan/ Suffolk is not granted a li- cense, it's unlikely they will continue horse racing. One option is a more traditional mixed use development with housing, retail and office space. Another is airport- related, light industrial. Maybe a mix of both. At this time officials of Suffolk Downs feel confident of the strength of Mohegan Sun's application and are hopeful that a casino resort will be the path they take. A pam- phlet mailed out to Revere residents by the Mayor of Revere states the advan- tages the city will get by vot- ing YES. However, it doesn't address how a casino will stabilize property taxes or even make property taxes go down. (Maybe someone missed something in the negotiations) Revere home- owners have just experi- enced a substantial tax in- crease in their property tax. If residents have to put up with added traffic, then prop- erty taxes should be going down, don't you think! And let's talk car insurance that is sure to go up. I don't want to discourage anyone against voting YES for the casino because the advantages out- weigh the disadvantages, but I think the tax issue should be discussed ... The Obama Administration is re- ally sticking it to the work- ing class. Federal Taxes have increased and the IRS is scrutinizing returns like they've never done before with their latest technology. And guess what, the govern- ment subsidized recipients ... As I See It remain incognito! What a nice life for the gimmes! Only in America! ... It's hard to understand why some branches of the same bank provide good service while other do not. Recently in the branch in question there was a long line of customers waiting. Tellers behind the windows were performing other tasks, while cus- tomers continued to anx- iously wait. What happened to customer service? Bank customers are in awe when bank tellers are allowed to put up a "Next Teller Sign" and walk away despite the long lines of people! Is this the bank you do business with???? ... The Callahan Tunnel closing is causing mega traffic in the Ted Will- iams Tunnel, Route 16 and the Tobin Bridge. Taxi's com- ing from the airport and motorists are finding the commute a difficult one and hope that the construction will be complete by mid March ... The papers report Colorado can't grow enough recreational marijuana for the people's needs. We're becoming a nation of dope heads, while the politicians who encouraged the bill are laughing all the way to the bank ... Another issue! Heard Joe DeGangi, real estate developer and builder of the Atlantic Condo Complex on Revere Beach Boulevard, is planning to build another housing complex at the cor- ner of Ocean Avenue and Revere Street that is sure to add more congestion to the already congested traffic. It takes motorists approxi- mately 10-20 minutes to get through Revere Street all year round. Imagine what traffic will be like with another housing complex ... Al Caldarelli of Community Development Corp (C.D.C.) is rehabbing an old school building that has been closed for many years in Winthrop Highlands, near the ocean for senior citi- zen housing. I'm sure it will be attractive, and pleas- ing when finished ... East Boston's NOAH is building a mixed use housing com- plex on Decatur Street with low and middle income housing. Just what East Boston NEEDS! ... Till next time! CASH In Your Gold . (Cartoon by Khalil Bendib, S i m p I e TIMES by Girard A. Plante One of my favorite TV shows is the popular "Ameri- can Pickers" that appears on Wednesday and Saturday evenings on The History Channel. Both hosts -- Mike, tall and slim with a typical 1970's hair style, and Frank, affable and easily ex- cited by cars -- have been collecting treasured junk together the past 20 years. Frank and Jim hold court in a garage in Iowa. They criss-cross America seeking garages filled with fascinat- ing finds, barns bursting with "rusty gold" as their TV pitch goes, and the regular trek to cellars choked with antiques. A frequent find at mostly rural properties and once- thriving farms as well as the few mom-and-pop gas sta- tions on state roads are early 1900's to late '60's garage signs such as Studebaker, Coca-Cola, Pennzoil, Seven Up, Flying A, and dozens more familiar to every Baby Boomer. The signs range in various sizes, shapes and colors. Some set rusting against old out-buildings while many more are stowed inside barns in pristine condition. There's glass globes that set atop gas pumps circa 1920's through their heyday of the late 1940's that are especially desirable and valu- able to Mike and Frank, who have no trouble finding col- lectors dishing out hundreds and even thousands of dol- lars to own such Americana. The so-called junk the Pickers eagerly seek to buy and then sell (for a mea- ger profit) are vestiges of a bygone era awash with pride in craftsmanship, pleasing consumers, and a myriad more ways to ensure the best is foremost in daily dealing with loyal customers and folks traveling to distant destinations. My dad's older brother worked on vehicles since his teen years in the early 1930's. His innate gift of siz- ing up a problem and replac- ing worn-out parts to return a car or truck to running optimally was never lost by the customers who stopped in his gas station seeking help or knowledge to fix a flat tire or simply check the oil under the hood. I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 -I I He rarely charged the actual amount of his labor. You see, he never equated 'making money' with the desire for people in need of a safe, reliable running vehicle. Living in rural Up- state New York, the family car or delivery truck was the primary source of getting to work, shopping at the local grocery market or pharmacy, going to church and carting children to school, family doctor, and the annual sum- mer road trip. My uncle George owned a Flying A, which became Mobil in 1970. The Royal Palm soda machine, which is a Pickers' dream dis- covery, stood five-feet tall outside the door of the office of the gas station with its two large plate-glass win- dows. And the sodas were a refreshing treat on hot, humid summer days well- known to Waterville, New York. But that decades-long homespun time began break- ing down as Mobil Oil execu- tives grew greedy after the so-called "energy crisis" hit America in 1972. After be- ing a masterful mechanic for over 40 years, working hard and treating customers like his family, uncle George's business began a downward spiral that not even his savvy business acumen or the village bank could save. Mobil Oil fat-cats ascended on dozens of Mobil gas sta- tions throughout the North- east demanding higher rents. They saw still more hefty profits in the new craze -- convenience shops selling gas with bread and milk and butter and beer -- sweeping across America from California. What we Baby Boomers remember as gas stations that included the typical two-bay garage with incred- ibly able mechanics stand- ing under a busted muffler or bent under a car's hood replacing burnt-out plugs, attendants who washed your car's front window, a look at the oil levels, and check of the tire's air without charg- ing a fee, quickly became the 'new and improved' gasoline fill-up. Instead, it proved more like a slap-in-the-face to the new daily doings that ended a grand way of life. Peoples' livelihoods were stripped away like a 1963 Lincoln with suicide doors undergo- ing a masterful restoration by brilliant mechanics and body shop artists. Uncle George being the candid country good-guy with a quick Irish wit told six Mobil Oil lawyers, who flew up from Houston to up- state New York in the cold January 1978 demanding $11,000 more per year to operatae his gas station, where to go. Days later the fat-cats closed his station. Forty-seven years of toil and never missing a day's work ceased. Suddenly, uncle George got relegated to the scrap yard like so many fa- miliar Flying A signs. Well, the old familiar red and white signs depicting the Pegasus atop a sturdy light pole overlooking the old tried-and-true gas stations have risen like the phoenix from the ashes. The Ameri- can Pickers -- Frank and Mike -- have resurrected the symbols that dotted the gems that three generations saw all over the nation far longer than even the six lawyers were alive to shut- ter another good guy's gas station. The white-hot show trans- ports millions of viewers to a golden age when honesty meant more than money. That's a huge part of the lives of the children and grand- children of uncles every- where that not even the bil- lionaire robber barons ruling today's oil riches can take away. RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 P,ivot [:unction oom$ oP any Occosion B Donato Frattaroli [ [ donato @ I Bax I " " [ 345 Broadway, Revere I asof teii 781-286-CASH  thePost-Gazettthlareelear,ptos. [ [ -- EXTRA SPENDING MONEY--  tt| L i"I [ I iII l1 l(O] Llllllb1[Ollll gOhLil I LUCIA