Clinton Landed Here???

For a while now, I’ve been puzzled by a monument at the soccer field where my son practices. I (soccer mom that I am!) often pull into the parking spot right in front of this rock with a plate commemorating an auspicious occasion. Recently, however, I began to think more deeply about this monument….

So what exactly is being commemorated? Bill Clinton “Landed” here in 2000. LANDED? Ah, my husband tells me that President Clinton was attending a fundraiser at the Tsongas Arena in our town that day in 2000, and his helicopter landed on our soccer field. He was whisked away by car to the fundraiser, returned to his helicopter a couple of hours later, and flew away.

WOW. This really is such an important occasion that we absolutely MUST tell the world about it on a bronze plaque attached to a big boulder in our parking lot.

Reminds me a little of other famous people who visited Lowell, MA in very brief but highly touted visits. One such occurred in 1842 when the famous novelist, Charles Dickens, arrived in Lowell by train and toured the local mills (factories and insane asylums were mighty tourist attractions back then — seriously!) Dickens stayed in town only a few hours, but at least he actually came to Lowell to see it! Clinton came to, what…, grab some cash and fly away?

Dickens was kind to the city, too, in his travel book about his trip to America, devoting a whole chapter to the worker paradise he thought he saw in the mill city. His book is called American Notes and is an interesting read.

Meanwhile, our grand monument to Clinton’s historic touchdown, as it were, on the playing field of history…. Well, you can see this famous site next time you’re in the Northeast.

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9 Responses

  1. I’ll have to drive up there, just to see that historic site LOL

    It is interesting how we commemorate where famous people have been. “Abraham Lincoln sneezed near this tree on October 14, 1855”.

    Slightly unrelated, I’ve lost a bit of respect for old Bill Clinton as a result of this whole Democratic primary and it makes me sad.

  2. Yeh, I lost respect for Bill Clinton after he gutted welfare and went back on his promises to gays in the military. Sad because I remember how happy I was the first time that he won. Such promise.

    I’d really like to believe a politician can take that office and retain integrity. I’m banking on Obama being the most likely one of those running for Pres to be able to stay honest. His handling of the gas tax free summer idea showed me he actually has some backbone and will tell the truth.

  3. Thanks for this piece of info…I never knew of Dicken’s American visit … like Tchaikovsky, he visited New York once. As for appearances by politicians, especially to small towns and obscure locations, I often see them as photo ops…part of the ‘game’, comes with the job…am I being too critical?

  4. I think you’re on the mark, actually, about politicians and their relentless pursuit of p.r. What’s interesting to me in the case I mention is how non-photo-opp-able this event was. I mean, when the helicopter of the pres lands, they clear the area. He was hardly on the ground for more than a couple of minutes. Why is it the LANDING that is commemorated on this monument? Strange.

  5. Looks like despite the new load of mulch the city is letting weeds grow up on the site. How soon we all forget such an important event.

    Maybe the monument is just cover. Maybe they buried a mobstah there. Nobody would dare to disturb such hallowed ground, right?

  6. Hi, cave!

    Yeh, the site is such an odd juxtaposition of grandeur and, well, neglect — it’s an oddity. I like your gangster idea. Knowing Lowell, perhaps this is the explanation that makes the most sense. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Do you live in a really small town? LOL.

  8. Would you call 100,000 small? 🙂

  9. waybill says : I absolutely agree with this !

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