A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Au revoir - Death of the Casino

Update-Masslive has an article about Ware going after Fred. I am no lawyer, but I would love to see Fred engage a contingency fee attorney with the instincts of a shark. The destruction of his theater smacked of eminent domain without taking title. I hope he has a cause of action. The town probably did consult a lawyer beforehand so I'm just engaging in wishful thinking.

Actually, though Fred might be morally justified in going after the town, he would not be punishing those who destroyed the Casino, but the average Ware resident. None of the town officers stands at risk for any action they took in office." Again, these are the words of a non-attorney.

The Casino has been torn down for a while now


. The Town of Ware has a hole in it. I am not talking about the vacant lot. I’m talking about its soul.

Okay, maybe towns don’t have souls. Maybe the community that some people think exists is merely an agglomeration of individuals. Still, it is sad to think that there is no real social glue.

I do not want to assess blame. People work to their level and sometimes something happens and sometimes it doesn’t. That said, there are some reflections that will be noted below.

First up is Fred McLennan. Fred is the favorite whipping boy. Yes, he did not deliver, but he was the only one to step up to the plate. He flew on no budget so what little he accomplished was something. The arguments the town had against him were valid enough, but no one tried to engage him on terms other than adversarial.

At the demolition, I heard some fellow sneer, “I hear he didn’t even pay the dollar.” Yeah, a lot of people repeated that. It was usually said with an air of triumph.
“I’m so smart compared to that idiot, Fred.” Brilliant. Anyone who slagged Fred needs to tell us what they did for the theater. Health advisory, do not hold your breath.

Next is Mary T. I had only one conversation with her. I would say everything she said was correct. Fred did drop many balls. In the weasel words of Winston Churchill, everything Mary said was “true, but not exhaustive.”

Mary T is a bureaucrat. One would guess there is nothing in her job description about having “vision.” She does not have to think of the families who in the future might have had the joy of taking in a movie together. Legally, she can’t be faulted. You got what you paid for, Ware. If only there had been a little enterprise, some creativity (I hate that word). There probably was no one out there to replace Fred, but no one looked.

I want to compliment Pauline and Julie and anyone who might have helped them. You love your town far more than it deserves. I want to also tip the hat to everyone who joined the facebook page. You all had lives elsewhere, so even being on facebook was an act of heart.

Generations ago, there was a civic minded class in these old mill towns that could get things done. Now that class gets up in the morning and goes to work in Springfield or Amherst and is much less engaged where they sleep. Ah progress.


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