On being a Gateway City, The Worcester City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27, and all-American mutts

By Rosalie Tirella

The Worcester City Council is meeting to discuss the housing study and the proposed affordable housing cap in the City of Worcester … and so much more. Let’s hope they get to the business at hand THIS meeting. Housing discussion should begin a bit after 7 p.m.  Click on link below for more information and to see the agenda. But before you get to the link …

Remember, we, Worcester!, along with cities like Springfield, Lowell and Lawrence are called Gateway Cities – not because we are slums, but because we are the Gateway to the American Dream!

This is something we should be proud of! Think Statue of Liberty. Think Irving Berlin and Frank Capra. Think New York City sky scraper-builders. Think Tin Pan Alley. Think Henry Roth and CALL IT SLEEP. Think the beginning of the American film studios. Think jazz. Think of everything new and cool. Think of all the Italian, Swedish, Polish, Eastern European and now Central/South American immigrants who come to our cities to our Gate Way cities to work in our factories/start small biz to begin new lives in America. And some of these workers will be … brilliant! They will, because they are in America, have the chance to self-actualize. One out of a million will be the next Billy Wilder. Or maybe his or her kid will be the next Louis Armstrong.

You cannot begin a new life in Nahant or Weston or Princeton! You come to places like Worcester to begin your American journey because you don’t speak English very well, you may not have a lot of money, you need the lower-skilled (and unfortunately lower paying) jobs to get started/gain a foothold, and the city’s support services, churches and NETWORK of friends/family from your homeleand make Gateway Cities little Statue of Liberties.

Worcester should not be ashamed of being a Gateway City! Immigrants are the life blood of America! My grandparents – and probably yours – are the people who made New York City, Boston, Worcester fantastic! They brought new spirit, new ideas, new muscle power, new brain power to the gateway Cities! They mixed and married other folks from other countries to create … truth be told, the American mutt.

Yup! I am one – most likely you are one, too. You are an American – the best! Let  me explain: If you want to strengthen something, I hate to use pooches as an example, but I will, you OUTBREED. You go outside – way outside the gene pool – to find the cutest, smartest, strongest, whatever you want in your pooch and mate the dogs. Down in Appalachia, where my dog Jett comes from, the people there want good hunting, squirrel hunting dogs. They don’t get into breeds like North Eastern folks because they know if you breed too much, you inbreed and you get problems like Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds, nasal cancer in Nova Scotia Retrievers, etc. Nope the folks in Kentucky want good squireel hunting dogs. They call them Mountain Feists.

Jett is  half Mountain Feist.

But Mountain Feist is not a breed. It is any dog that is great at running, jumping, digging, displaying tenacity, high spirits – perfect for catching/treeing squirrels. So they get maybe a jack Russel type and mix it with another smallish feisty terrier mutt, maybe pointer too. There is no  paper work, no AKC recognition – just very healthy, great dogs. The other half of  Jett is Husky. Truth be told, he acts more Mountain Feist than Husky. He has a ton of energy, very healthy and wants to annihilate all squirrels. And his temperment is great.

The folks in Kentucky go outside the gene pool to create … mutts.

My dog is an all American mutt. So am I – and most likely you! We Americans get more mutty, mixed each decade – and this is great. At some point, America is gonna look like a very cool latte. And we will be brilliant!

So let’s not shut the door, Worcester. Let’s not cap affordable housing. Let’s not be un-American and close ourselves off to the new people and their new ideas, music, food, hair, color, faces, bodies, religions, etc.

I do  not care if they have no money. They have themselves – the best gift of all!


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