Thursday, September 11, 2014


AFD Central Station 9:00 AM 

So another anniversary has come and gone.  Well, gone if you mark the duration of the attack:  Stunning in its savagery, unimaginable in the extent of damage inflicted in under two hours. 

The 13th anniversary remembrance at AFD Central Station brings it all back, a ritualistic reinforcement of grief.  The Chaplain's prayer, the ringing of the bell, police and fire personnel standing at attention and of course the heartrending bagpipes playing Amazing Grace.

AFD Central flag at half staff

My time in town center with one of the commemorative flags this year was perhaps the most unique out of the past 13 years.  A homeless individual, one of Amherst's usual suspects, came over and was being a nuisance.

He started by pulling out a lighter and acting as though he was going to set my flag on fire, and followed up with nasty, loud "expletive deleted" that would have made President Nixon blush.

All of which is protected by the First Amendment (okay, maybe not burning my flag, but burning his own).

Thus it reaffirmed for me the unique power of that glorious rectangular cloth of red, white and blue.  The freedom it so nobly represents, even though that freedom can be, at times, inconvenient.

After receiving four separate complaints from downtown businesses APD had a chat with my homeless friend


Anonymous said...

Just saw a homeless guy up town who seems to be absolutely bonkers. He's screaming all kinds of things. If it's the same guy I don't think he was actually protesting your actions. He's nuts!

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, APD has received four calls from four different downtown businesses about him causing a disturbance.

keithw said...

Crazy people walk the streets.

Larry Kelley said...

And we do have our share.

Anonymous said...

APD Received 4 calls and as far as I can tell they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about him. Why bother calling the police if they aren't going to do anything. I know I won't waste my time again. There were little kids around listening to his really awful expletive filed tirade. They should have arrested him for disturbing the peace.

Anonymous said...

It's very sad that you all couldn't keep the comments on this post civil and respectful of its purpose, to honor the grieving personally and nationally.
Even you, Larry, had to turn it into a rant about someone (which you could easily have done in another post).
Did it ever occur to any of you that there likely were people who perished at the towers with whom you would have completely disagreed about their political or life choices or issues.
Shame on all of you who chose to use this post to denigrate ANYONE.
(It also always amazes me how many of you could do everyones else's job better).

Walter Graff said...

"Shame on all of you who chose to use this post to denigrate ANYONE."

And THIS is why Amherst is a magnet for crazy's.

They don't know shit from shoe polish said...

Jesus Christ

no friggan wonder Ponziville's

apes hate Israel so much.


back home:

What a fking shthole.

-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Pathetic.

Walter Graff said...

"After receiving four separate complaints from downtown businesses APD had a chat with my homeless friend"

I believe you meant "friend". Other than him have some clear untreated psychiatric illness, he is about as educated and intelligent as anyone 'living-off-the-education-system' in Amherst. Seems his demons took him down the wrong path in life. If there was a template for the type of homeless person that best fits Amherst culture, he gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Walter, did you mean that Amherst is a magnet for "crazy's", or that this blog's comments section is a magnet for "crazy's"?

There may be some confusion on that.

(I am hoping that we haven't become a magnet for people who don't know how to use apostrophes.)

Walter Graff said...

No that would be the town of Amherst. Amherst is a magnet for crazies as Larry's reporting demonstrates every week.

There shouldn't have been an apostrophe in my response at all as you pointed out, undoubtedly you used an English aristocrat's accent in your response so I read that portion of your post like the King of England might. Unfortunately for us mere humans, Mavericks has a weird spelling corrector that replaces words on its own and as the example shows, in a mostly incorrect fashion. I can't figure out how to stop it from doing that even though I turned off auto-correct. It's been quite frustrating since the upgrade. But I do thank you for your undying love of the English language and your new-found sense of self worth. Sitting up pretty high and mighty I'd imagine right about now.

I do love when someone attempts to belittle you because they can spot a spelling or grammatical error. Sort of like the character Stewie from Family Guy, full of themselves and think correcting people puts them on some sort of higher plain. Usually they are the type of people who can't find the expiration date on a carton of milk but they feel so self-absorbed when they can find an error and wish they had a friend to call to share in the joy.

I'd imagine it must really make one feel important. Sort of all one can do when they have little else of any importance to say. Of course they are so smart that have to hide behind anonymity. Larry refers to them as ANONS. Where I come from we simply call them assholes, or to say it another way asshole's commentary. But then again what would this blog be without the nameless pishers who add little value to life and mostly sit home alone at night vacantly staring at their bookshelf.

Anonymous said...

You know, 6:34 p.m., you could have avoided chastising Larry. He did not rant about the homeless man, in fact, he mildly reported what went on. I was there.

This guy ratcheted up his language after I told him he was not being funny when he held a lighter to Larry's flag. He not only used the F word several times, but when he got no reaction from me (a female), he used the c word.

Of course he's mentally ill. Does that mean I have to have his illness inflicted on me? Granted, if Larry and the other bystander hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have spoken up to this guy for fear of my own physical safety, but why is it o.k. for him to scream invective and not o.k. for me (or Larry) to describe his antisocial behavior?

This fellow is at the level of a toddler who keeps pushing the envelope to get a reaction. When he got none except for a mild rebuke, his behavior escalated to the screaming mess that other people reported as disruptive.

By the way, I most often disagree with Larry about political issues. However, we both agree that we love this country, we respect what the flag represents, and we feel flying the flag on 9/11 is a small token of our respect for those who died and those who rushed to others'aid on 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Walter, I always thought the plural was spelled "crazies." Thanks for setting me straight.

Anonymous said...

Reflecting on then and now -- 2001 & 2014, were there as many crazy people wandering the streets of Amherst back then?

It seems to me that there are more now.

keithw said...

@Walter Graff 1:04

Target Destroyed.

Anonymous said...

The big change is that Amherst has one of only two "wet" homeless shelters in Mass. This is a big mistake as it acts as a magnet for a population that comes from outside Amherst that gets word that you can be drunk and get housed and fed at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Walter it's higher "plane" not higher "plain".

Also the possessive form of the plural "assholes" is "assholes'" not asshole's".

Anonymous said...

I love a guy who dumps on Amherst on a regular basis, but cannot take the trouble to care about his writing.

I guess we would call that: selective condescension. Walter, look around at the glass house that surrounds you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:07am hit the nail on the head.
If you build it, they will come.

Anonymous said...

In law it's called an "attractive nuisance." If you put a swimming pool in your backyard kids will try to sneak in.

We don't have to be coldhearted to the homeless, but neither do we have to indulge their addictions. It's reasonable to demand they be alcohol free to get services. What we have ended up with is some of the most aggressive and disruptive homeless because of the "wet" shelter policy.

Anonymous said...

So much for this thread being about 9-11, respectfully...

Anonymous said...

Don't give these people money. Only food!. If you give them money you are supporting there addictions.

Also if you are yelling at a crazy person, it's hard to tell who is crazy!:)

keithw said...

Anon 9:50
I'm pretty sure Walter was referring to high plain, as in High Plains Drifter, not high plane as in JetBlue or shop class.

As an adjective, plain means simple, uncomplicated, common, or obvious. The noun plain refers to a flat, usually treeless stretch of land.

As a noun, plane can refer to an airplane, a tool for smoothing wood, or a level surface.

Here's the link:

You're fired. Now turn in your red marker.

Anonymous said...

No, dufus, he meant "higher plane". Read it in context, flunky.

I think you and Walter both weren't paying attention in English class.