Eulogy for the Caswell

Lowell Sun

TEWKSBURY — A strip of molding is peeling off the wood-paneled walls of Room 251 at the Motel Caswell, and there’s a small hole in the wall that won’t be repaired.

The bed has been made for the last time, but those in neighboring rooms are stripped, with red and green paisley comforters lying in heaps on the pavement just beyond the door.

Outside, owner Russ Caswell and his son Jay are clearing out nearby rooms, removing televisions, but leaving most of the furniture for the wrecking ball.

The Motel Caswell, which has been owned by the Caswell family for nearly 60 years, hosted its last guests Sunday night.

It’s set to be demolished next month to make way for an entertainment complex, marking the end of an era on this stretch of Route 38.
“It’s a big change. I guess you’d call it a lot of mixed feelings,” Caswell said.

The motel was the site of a seizure attempt by the federal government under drug-forfeiture laws, which Caswell fought and won in 2013. But before it became known for a number of closed-door drug deals and prostitution stings, the Motel Caswell was a family business, the place where a teenage Caswell started his working life.

Good Morning,

I’m here today….(pulling it together…dusty in here.)…excuse me (clearing throat)…I’m here today to celebrate the life of the Motel Caswell. To many, the Caswell was an old, “past it’s time” motel in a location that nobody in their right mind would ever stop or even let their car idle, let alone spend the night. To the town of Tewksbury, the property was an embarrassing blight on their “magnificent mile” of nail salons, and roast beef joints…preventing big ticket industry like bowling alley’s, and batting cages from turning the place into Dubai. But to those of us gathered here today, the Caswell was our friend. A loyal friend. A friend that was always there for us when you were at your lowest. When you needed a cozy, judgement free bed to sleep off the eleven lunchtime Jade East Mai Tai’s before doing your afternoon school bus route, the Caswell was there. When you needed a meth lab in a pinch, the Caswell was there. When your wife’s restraining order was about to expire, and you had nothing romantic planned…heart shaped tubs…all you can handle. The Caswell was there. A man on a plane once said to me, “If you’ve been to 2 Hilton’s, you’ve been to them all.” Well sir, nobody will ever say that about the Caswell. Wallet friendly rates, maid service, drive-thru hookers…real keys. The Caswell was there.

(Dusty again…clearing throat.)

The Caswell was there.

Can I Be Frank?: Chinese Food & Me: A Match Jade in Heaven

mai taijade

Bottom line: Chinese Fooood is awesome.  Just ask Austin Kuchar…

The variety. The spice. The convenience. All of these things and more are what make dining Chinese-style simply awesome. Traditionally, when we think about Chinese we think “take out”, but dining in at your favorite Americanized-Western version of the Orient makes the whole cookie that much more fortunate.

As I frequented one of my favorite spots of all time – the world famous Jade East – this past week I got to thinking about all of the great little details of what make Chinese chow down so great in my book.

10. Remember to tip your waitresses!

Yes, many of the larger Chinese restaurants work double duty as comedy clubs for local up-and-coming laugh makers. I mean, after all, who among us does not want a boat load of belly laughs after inhaling the all you can eat buffet? It makes perfect sense. Ingest 2-3 pounds of heavily fried, generously spiced, and sodium-fueled deliciousness (couple with several ‘what the hell is in this thing?’ cocktails) and prepare your innards to burst with some good old fashioned knock-knock jokes.

9. Where Are We?

Oh, did I forget to mention, Chinese Restaurants almost never, ever have windows. How pioneer is that move? We’re talking Daniel (-San) Boone type pioneer spirit. If you ever walk in to Chinese restaurant with a lot of natural sunlight, run for your life. It is clearly a trap. Otherwise, soak in the darkness. Like a bizarro-Rodney Dangerfield, “Rage against the dying of the light.”

8. We’ll have the Pu Pu

As long as I am being gross, let’s get all 6-year-old while I am at it. Where on earth, except for a Chinese restaurant, would we ever read an entry on a menu that had the phrase ‘Pu Pu’ right in its title would even consider eating it? Answer: nowhere. Guess what, they are perfect. All the favorites in one great order. Call it the Raging Crap Platter or Dookie for Two. Don’t care. It’s a never miss.

7. Yes, may I have beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, rice, pasta and the kitchen sink please?

Nowhere else can you economically order just about every acceptable form of animal on earth and have it delivered right to your plate. Not only affordable, they have discovered the formula to having them all blend in to one ridiculously tasty combination. Maybe that’s the third Mai Tai talking?

6. MSG

No not Madison Square Garden. I do not have the foggiest idea what “MSG” is or even what the letters stand for; but if it has anything to do with the tastiness of my #16 special then I don’t want to interfere. MSG is always a point of note when Chinese food is discussed, but for some reason no one really asks or wants to know; especially me. Even if I were to learn that MSG actually stood for “Massively Severe Gonorrhea” or “Minced Squirrel Guts” I would politely nod my head and affirm my interest in the meal. In fact, you can double up on mine.

5. Tastes Great, Less Filling

Like the classic Miller Lite slogan Chinese food ‘tastes great and is less filling”. No matter how much food you pile on that plate, the number of trips you make back to the buffet, you can never get completely full when consuming this Asian magic. It’s a physical impossibility. Why? Don’t know. Don’t care. No clue. Ask Confucius.

4. “Excuse me, Suffering Bastard over here”

The alcoholic drink options at Chinese restaurants are nothing short of epic. Outside of some sadistic college fraternity party where else can you order drinks called ‘Zombies’, ‘Headhunters’ and ‘Suffering Bastards’. Where else can you order a cocktail by the BOWL? Not just any bowl, a SCORPION BOWL. And guess what, you and your friends can share them or feel free to be a total and complete degenerate and suck down that lethal juiciness all by your lonesome. Rule #1 at the Chinese joint is there is no judging at the Chinese joint.

3. Do I have something on Mai Tai?

If we are gonna talk Chinese cocktails, I cannot forget my very favorite; the beautiful, delicious, sense-deadening, worry-relieving, habit-forming Mai Tai. An ingenious concoction combining…combining…truthfully, the greatest Mai Tai recipes are secret. Taboo you might say. Who am I to question ancient law? Maybe I’ll try that other great Chinese potion…what’s it called? Oh yeah, SAME TING!

2. That’s a wrap

Regardless of how much or how little you order when dining at a Chinese restaurant, there will always be leftovers for you to take home. Always. It’s like the Law of Gravity. Death, taxes, Chinese leftovers. You heard it here. To boot, unlike most leftover meals, Chinese seems to be like a fine wine…better with age (READ: 48 hour rule in effect). The marriage of Chinese leftovers and the microwave would lead you to believe they were meant to be together. Maybe that’s the Mai Tai hangover talking?

1. Have a great day!

Where else do you leave the dinner table with the promise of something good in your future? A little positive reinforcement? Some lucky numbers to count on? Of course I speak of the always present fortune cookie that concludes all Chinese dining experiences.

“Pain is inevitable…Suffering (bastard) is optional.”


More Hookers busted in Tewksbury. This shouldn’t happen.


Lowell Sun

TEWKSBURY — An undercover prostitution operation conducted Monday resulted in the arrests of three out-of-state women at two town hotels, according to police.  Megan Sullivan-Albee of Bangor, Maine and Megan Horsfield of Manchester, NH, both 24, were arrested at the Hoilday Inn on Highwood Drive and charged with sexual conduct for a fee.

Horsfield, who police said had two outstanding warrants, was also charged with possession of heroin and possession of crack cocaine.  Twenty-year-old Violet Harris of Hartford, Conn. was arrested at the Fairfield Inn on Andover Street for sexual conduct for a fee.  Tewksbury police occasionally conduct prostitution stings at some of the town’s hotels, in response to solicitation on websites like Craigslist.

Serves you right.  If you’re down with sexual conduct for a fee and you’re down with sexual conduct for a fee in Tewksbury, you needn’t be anywhere but the Caswell.  The Police don’t do sexual conduct for fee stings at the Caswell because sexual conduct for a fee is expected at the Caswell.  It’s the only reasonable excuse for being there besides establishing yourself a satellite meth lab…which is why the police would much rather you be conducting yourself sexually for a fee.  It’s like Bunny Colvin’s “Hamsterdam” only instead of a legal crack zone, you’ve got yourself a sexual conduct for a fee, free zone (I imagine crack probably flies as well).  You don’t even need the internet to transact sexual conduct for a fee at the Caswell so save those Free AOL CD’s for a rainy day.

Discalaimer:  This heartfelt advertisement was not paid for by Motel Caswell.

So I guess we just confirmed that Tewksbury may in fact be, God’s on-deck circle.


Lowell Sun

LOWELL — With friends like this, who needs enemies?
That’s what a 20-year-old Tewksbury man should be asking himself after his attorney claims Patrick C. Taylor’s friends must have slipped him something, causing him to strip naked, display lewd behavior and repeatedly hitting himself in the head outside a Pinedale Avenue home early Sunday morning.
When Billerica police arrived at the address at 1:40 a.m. they found Taylor naked, his face and body covered in blood and dirt. He allegedly told officers he was God and threatened them with his wrath as he began to walk into the road.

I can’t decide what is more disappointing? God, resorting to the lame “I must have been drugged by friends” excuse, or the fact that he’s been living in Tewksbury this whole time and hasn’t restored Funland yet. (Where else can you hop in a whiffle ball batting cage and mash?) All kidding aside, his “to-do” list in Tewksbury should leave little time for naked rampages in Billerica. Besides, the “do you know who I am” line was never going to work in town that I believe is still predominantly pagan. Billericans don’t have time for worshiping higher beings that don’t yield an abundance of wild game, faster dirtbikes, or bigger snow plows.

PS. I always suspected that God was a white guy, but I guess this confirms it.

Tewksbury…Apopka…it’s all the same.

Orlando Local 6

A 6-foot gator slithered up to the Apopka store’s entryway Sunday morning and stayed there, causing the automatic doors to open and close. Employees locked the door to keep the gator out while Apopka police officers tried to lure the animal away. As customers gathered around to view the alligator and take pictures, the beast took off for the woods. Officers scoured the swampy area neighboring the building, but lost sight of the alligator. The gator has not been seen since it crawled into the woods. No one was injured in the incident.

I suppose the humor in this story is Wal-Mart discriminately turning away an alligator…especially in Florida of all places. This Gator meets the standard of your typical Wal-mart patron in every way. He’s obviously unemployed, and rough around the edges from an appearance perspective. He doesn’t have a valid driver’s license and about 90% of the goods sold in store are inappropriate with regard to its current living situation. Locking the door most likely meant one less sale of a paintball gun or an inappropriately big TV. No big deal. You could layoff a cashier and a greeter and recoup that loss in slightly less than four years.
That said, my Wal-Mart experience begins and ends with a few visits to Tewksbury’s commercial Mecca. I’m pretty sure a six foot alligator roaming the aisles would barely register in your overall Wal-Mart shopping experience. It may actually enhance it depending on how many unsupervised children are on the loose.