When the city, which was Mayor Jasiel Correia at the time, first came up with the “Make It Here” logo and slogan, I was too negative. Yup. I was a negative, nay-saying Nelly who negatively nay-sayed.
I remember watching the second-rate video. I remember driving past Government Center and seeing the logo displayed in lights on the front of the building.
“What in the HELL are we supposed to do with that?” I asked myself and my readers as I drooled the poison of negativity all over an effort designed to make Fall River as world class a city as Lowell.
Oh, sure, the logo was derivative, and the slogan was meaningless, but I should have believed. After all, if SnoOwl was a real company, then this had to be a real public relations effort. In those days, any questions asked about the mayor’s business were answered with, “He’s thinking outside the box.” Many, many people had fallen in love with the fresh-faced young candidate during his runs for office, and they gushed over his youth as if it were an achievement. Most of those people hate him now, and they sincerely hope you won’t remember how they drooled over him during his campaigns.
Fall River’s reputation as a city of cynics is self-awarded, and largely undeserved. Far from being hard-hearted, we fall in love with candidates, high school basketball teams and, over and over again, the idea that, someday, the city will be an international tourist destination.
And why not? If you’re working for just a scootch over the minimum wage up at the Amazon warehouse, you gotta believe in something, and it might as well be something nice.
The logo was always a flop, though. The only people who wore the logo lapel pin were shameless political kiss-ups, city employees who wanted to keep the job, and business people who live in the suburbs. The rest of us continued to wear Harley Davidson gear.
Or so I thought.
Turns out the logo has a real use, just like the flashlight in the back of your hall closet. You don’t use the flashlight much, but when the power goes out, you go looking for it.
Ditto the logo.
Sure, no one paid attention to the logo during the glory days of its original release, but as soon as it could be used against the recall movement, the administration dug it out and used it as a weapon.
The recall, which offendeth the innocent-until-proven guilty Jasiel Correia, had a tongue in cheek logo that looked a lot like the otherwise useless, “Make It Here,” logo, and this had to be stopped for the good of all humanity.
So, Attorney Joe Macy, who as the city of Fall River’s corporation counsel, is at least nominally in the employ of the people of the city, ginned up a “lawyer letter,” telling the recall folks to find another logo because the logo they were using was a threat to The Constitution, the copyright laws, the Declaration of Independence, and the continued employment of Attorney Macy and Mayor Jasiel Correia.
This is important. Correia shows no sign of being able to get any job as good as his mayor gig. He gets canned from that job, he’ll be selling shoes at the mall within a week. You ever try to pay a bunch of high-priced lawyers on a shoe salesman’s salary? My advice is don’t.
The recall folks changed their logo, averting a constitutional crisis. They went back to collecting signatures.
Fall River never lets me down. Because our people earn some of the lowest wages in the state, we’re used to making do. We’ll keep that old Toyota running through another hard winter. We’ll get a second job. We’ll buy clothing at the second hand store. We’ll shelter our statue of the Virgin Mary inside an old bathtub. Oh sure, nay-saying slobs like me thought the logo was useless, but we underestimated Fall River, a place where even a forgettable slogan and a couple of squiggles on a banner can be turned into one more way an on-the-ropes mayor can try to keep his job.