Contrary to Rumor, I’m Alive and Well

The report of my death was an exaggeration.

Mark Twain said it first, and I’m repeating it.

Contrary to rumors you’ve probably heard, I am not dead or dying.

Mark Twain’s rumored death followed the demise of his cousin who had a similar name.

I’d like to think that the local rumors started when I ended up in Westfield’s Noble Hospital last October with some nerve damage in my back and diverticulitis. Nothing fatal. But that was eight months ago and still the rumors persist.

In fact, another Representative asked my aide if I had "the same thing that killed her mother." My aide, quite amused, pointed out that my mother died at 93, basically of old age.

Trust me, I’m alive. I’ve been at work every day. I was sworn in to office and worked 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of budget week. I’ve answered every constituent query, attended every hearing I was assigned to, worked hard for all four of my committees.

I haven’t missed a roll call, except for a day in May when I had to be in Westfield to accept a million dollar grant. I can’t be in two places at once. I’ve tried to bi-locate, even tri-locate, but, hard as I try, I just can’t do it.

I’ve met with the Governor, or Governors. Cellucci and Swift. And attended the ceremonies of Governor Cellucci’s resignation, and Jane Swift’s swearing in. I even have the photos to prove it. (Click on the Photo Gallery.)

In fact, I have photos of me with librarians, housing authority members, immigrants, school kids, and a few others too.

I ordered and paid for the new, gigantic flag over the green, attended veterans’ events and Council on Aging events, celebrated the retirement of Skip and Mary Ann Danforth when I was auctioneer for the Red Cross’s annual fundraiser and the 25th anniversary of Michael Gruel’s ordination.

Held office hours, worked a table at the Council on Aging Health Fair, met with countless lobbyists, supporters, constituents, and State House visitors ranging from immigrants to women in business. School nurses, senior olympians, teachers, and beer distributors among them.

I attended all the legislative breakfasts and luncheons and dinners that I could work into my schedule. Chiropractors, bankers, doctors, human service workers, YMCAs, JCLs, HCC and STCC, SALU and more…all of them, including the Sheriff’s and the Chamber’s!

Held press conferences and sent press releases. Got my financial forms in, on time, to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Attended meetings of the mental health caucus, rural caucus, women’s caucus, Republican caucus and House caucus. Met with representatives of the PVTA and the Gun Owners Action League. Massachusetts Aeronautical Commission, too.

Taped Channel 57’s "The State We’re In," and got pre-empted by breaking news about the FBI and Timothy McVeigh when CNBC asked me to be a guest with Mike Barnacle to talk about the Governor’s pregnancy. Also taped a segment for CNN with students from Westfield High School.

Attended an American Legislators Exchange Council weekend conference in Boston on truth in technical testimony. And board meetings for the Umass Women in Politics Program.

Even got a green ticket of approval from the Coalition for Legislative Reform, a "pat on the back for upholding accountability in a representative democracy."

I took a weekend to visit my son and daughter-in-law in North Carolina to celebrate his birthday and her new MBA. And a week’s vacation with Curt. Celebrated my 35th wedding anniversary, too.

Did you see me march in Westfield’s Memorial Day Parade? Hear me speak in Montgomery the same day?

I even had a tooth pulled. And a muffler replaced. Which I wouldn’t bother with if I was dying.

I have no idea how I can prove that I am alive, and well, and serving the people of the Fourth Hampden District.

Yes, indeed, reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

All materials copyright 1997 - 2014