It Ain’t Over -We’re Sick And Tired And We’re Not Gonna Take It Any More

Many of you read my outrage when finding out about The Man At The Wheel being bumped off the Massachusetts Quarter in favor of a park in Lowell.  The outpouring of disgust in this decision has been overwhelming.  People have been asking what we can do, who we can call, what letters we can write.

Well Ray Lamont, Editor of The Gloucester Daily Times contacted me yesterday and asked what I had planned if anything and if we should try to make a difference.  So we’re teaming up and looking for all the help we can get in getting this petition out to folks.  Ray put together this letter addressed to Senator Kerry and Congressman Tierney-

I will be printing them out as a petition and bringing them to our local coffee shops and retailers.  I will also have a link to it in pdf form which you will be able to click and print and send in yourself.

Enough is enough.  We don’t get our fair share of school funding, they build huge research facilities in Woods Hole on the South Shore, they castrate our fishermen and consolidate our fishing industry through regulations, they force our harbor to remain in a DPA “for the good of the Commonwealth” while we get no benefits from it, and when it’s finally time to for us to get a little positive recognition- voted on by over 4 to 1 by the people and on a voting system put forth from the state itself, we get bumped in favor of a building in Lowell.  A building that could be placed anywhere.  The Man at the Wheel is uniquely Gloucester, Uniquely Massachusetts.

We’re sick and tired and we’re not gonna take it anymore.


Here’s the form, copy and paste it and send it in.  By Monday we will have it around town at the coffee shops and I’ll post a list of other places for you to sign.

U.S. Senator John Kerry
U.S. Representative John Tierney
September 2009

Dear Sen. Kerry and Congressman Tierney,

I, the undersigned, respectfully request that you petition Congress to ask that the U,S, Mint revisit its decision to select the Lowell National Historical Park over the Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial Man At The Wheel statute as the featured image on the back of the next edition of the Massachusetts quarter.

While we recognize that, due to miscommunication, there is now a belated question as to the Man At The Wheel’s eligibility for this honor, it’s important to note that the Man At The Wheel, an iconic symbol of the role of fishermen in the heritage of Gloucester and in Massachusetts, drew the support of more than 109,000 voters in the online poll commissioned and promoted by the office of Gov. Deval Patrick to make this choice based on the will of Massachusetts’ citizens,

For the U.S. Mint to unilaterally override that decision stands as a slap in the face to the people of Gloucester, to the governor’s office that coordinated the polling, and especially to all of the Massachusetts residents who took the time to make their feelings known regarding the Man at the Wheel and all that it represents.

We thank you in advance for your consideration.

Name                                       Address



    Provides an online webform for communicating to the office of Representative John Tierney.

    To contact Senator John Kerry.

    Rock on!


  • Why not create a new local currency? The BerkShares in W MA and other examples in cities and towns across the country have made it work. Folks buy more goods locally and local businesses grow.


  • What about us who reside out of town. Can we still petition? It does matter to us too, no matter where we we happen to have to be right now. At heart we are still Gloucester and we will always be.


  • animal house was an awesome movie


  • Good letter. And they work. So print it and send it in. Or copy, paste and email it.


  • Joey, I copied the petition and I’m going to copy as many as I need. I’m going to try to get mostly Lowell signatures. I know I’ll get some from bordering cities but I want more Lowell signatures then anything else (on my end anyway). Any signature obviously will help. I’m just hoping that seeing a lot of Lowell signatures will really make it click in.


  • You know, I’ve been watching your blog after being completely surprised to see Lowell end up on the quarter instead of Gloucester, to see what you guys think. I agree, the Fisherman’s monument is a better choice than LNHP. However, your complete ignorance and disgust for Lowell is insulting to those of us whose families came to this city – the fourth largest in the state and still a sizable center of immigration and culture – to toil in the mills, and remained throughout all the economic hardships and setbacks we have faced. If you really think that there is something more “uniquely Massachusetts” about some blue-collar fishing town over the very specific geographical and economic conditions that landed Lowell precisely where it is, I suggest you crack open a history book – Lowell has a fascinating story. I like visiting Cape Ann, I have a lot of respect for the people of Gloucester and their long and proud history, and I sympathize that this happened, but your attitude and tone really suck, sorry.

    Also, on a poll that was worded “Vote as often as you want” if you think that 100,000 out of 250,000 votes were fairly cast for Gloucester, or 25,000 for Lowell, over far more statewide and nationally known landmarks like the USS Constitution (a distant 3rd or 4th), you’d be incorrect I’m sure.

    This poll was poorly conducted, researched, publicized, and implemented, and I think it’s an embarrassment to the state. In my opinion, the Cape Cod National Seashore should’ve won.


    • I’d like you to point out where I said anything negative about Lowell or had any disgust toward it? The problem I have is with the disregard of 109,000 votes which were disregarded for a uniquely Massachusetts icon, the Man At The Wheel over a mill building in Lowell that got far less votes. I have a great deal of respect for hard working blue collar people from Lowell as you don’t get much more blue collar than what we do for a living here in Gloucester.

      The question I have is why even have a vote if you would disregard the results?

      No one from Gloucester lobbied to be put into this vote, it was won fair and square.


      • Like Gloucester, we have a bit of a persecution complex going on up here. I was being unfair to you in particular – bundling up your implications (Lowell, really? Whose even heard of LNHP and how can a nondescript building represent this state?) with the far nastier comments on blogs linking to here and even on The standard “Lowell is a decaying and gang-ridden hellhole full of welfare recipients” sort of thing. Well…in some ways yes, but it’s a very proud and unique city that is a big part of the Massachusetts story. And – it’s a real community. People care about it – people stay for generations.

        Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Lowell each year. And it’s not for some nondescript building, the saying is “the park is the city and the city is the park,” which is largely true. I can actually picture a very nice quarter with yes, a building, the Boott Mill clocktower, a trolley, and a canal in front of it. Then again, textile manufacturing, while truely uniquely New England for many decades (150 years ago…), is not as strongly associated by anybody with New England over the fishing industry or the sea in general. Like I said – I wish Gloucester did win over Lowell.

        But only in rocky New England did we have the fast-flowing rivers, the educated investors, the hard-working people, and the willing markets that made Lowell possible. Readily available coal changed all that – New Bedford went from an important whaling port to a major textile center because it had a harbor capable of accepting coal barges. Lowell had the railroad, and before that, a series of canals, one of which dates to the 1790s. But, when it was built, Lowell was as tied to the river as Gloucester is to the sea. The only difference is your historic industry didn’t completely get shipped off first to down south, closer to raw materials and cheaper labor, and then to some third-world sweat shop.

        We had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for a while, we lost half of our downtown to ‘renewal’, and we get crapped on by Bostonians and suburbanites on a regular basis, who I feel essentially have abandoned us, so we can be a little overly sensitive.

        And yes, Gloucester won fare and square, but my comment is a poll that allows you to vote multiple times a minute is inherently non-democratic. I bet if you looked at unique voters (which obviously wasn’t the rules) neither Gloucester nor Lowell won.


  • Personally as a Lowell native and current resident as well as a former Gloucester resident I’d like to thank you guys for keeping it civil (Honestly Corey, I think we’ve taken much bigger cheap shots from our own city council).
    I’m sorry that you got your hopes unfairly raised with the placement of an unqualified entrant on the ballot, but that doesn’t change the fact that the statue doesn’t qualify.
    If it makes things any better, I tend to doubt that the design will be a generic building. More likely it will be the inside of a working history museum or of one of our canals.


    • What’re you talking about? The people who rule Lowell by the grace of God would never say anything nasty about us ;-). I apologized to Joey for unfairly making him the incarnate of the really nasty stuff that I’ve been reading around the internet.

      Like I said though, yes Gloucester was not supposed to be on there and the poll was undemocratically conducted anyhow. The whole thing was a joke, and if the Feds couldn’t bend the rules for Gloucester, they should’ve done something more intelligent like…picking something that makes sense. I love Lowell to death and I’m obviously a huge proponent of getting people to be aware of what we have to offer and to come visit our city, but Lowell is the wrong choice for this quarter (even though I voted for it of course), and if we’re pissing everyone else off in the process because they feel the real winner got screwed, then its not going to help us at all.


  • Very very sorry Corey. You live here and love it? Well I live here and don’t love it. I stay because I can’t find rent anywhere else for the price I’m paying here ( only because I know the landlord) Don’t want to live in a studio apartment like I use to. Gang ridden. There was a drive-by shooting when I was on vacation. In my neighborhood I’m the minority. I told my landlord that we had gang activity going on next to the house. He said he knew and that the police were crusin the area more often. One night I was at my kitchen sink doing dishes and could here them talking outside and thought to myself, “One of these nights I’ll be doing dishes and a bullet will come through my window and get me in the head. One and a half weeks later, when I went back to work, I was told about the shooting. When the guy told me that, I told him what I had been thinking about the bullet. I knew it would happen. A while back I also took on major drug dealers in my neighborhood. I started up a crime watch. I expected a bullet in the back but luckily never got one. It took us one and a half years to get them out of the area. We had break-ins, hookers, no not the pretty ones. These look like you would of caught something if you went near them. I’m actually sorry I moved back for the reasonable rent. All I’ve had is nothing but trouble in Lowell. And by the way I voted once for Gloucester. And only once. So if you’re happy here, good for you. Sorry if anything is misspelled but wright now I’m a little pissed. Tomorrow I hit the pavement for signatures.


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