Everybody here rattles off the names of the lost factories like a mantra: Otis textiles, Cascades Diamond, Jarvis & Jarvis, Tambrands. This blue-collar town gave itself to over to manufacturing long ago, embracing the plants that wore away its rural character. But the big plants left, taking thousands of good jobs with them. The air here is thick with loss and waiting. If the recession was a gift for casino moguls and their friends on Beacon Hill, Palmer is their Shangri-La.
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