Friday, April 26, 2013

Rebirth of Boston - Peter Pan and the Red Sox Lead the Way

Enough has been written to fill dozens of volumes. We've heard and read every angle of every story to come out of the recent tragedy in Boston, an event that will take its place in the annals of U.S. history. TV. Radio. Online. Newspapers. Magazines. They've reported on every minute detail.

I don't think there's a need for yet another blogger (i.e. Me) to lament, rant, rehash and pick apart what happened on that fateful day at the Marathon and its aftermath. We all know. We have formed our opinions. We have speculated on what will come out of all this.

So instead I'll tell you about my week. Three events I've attended in Boston in the past week. And what I've observed.

I went to a ballgame. Actually it was a networking event with the Boston Red Sox held at Fenway Park. The game was a bonus. I got to meet one of the owners. I thanked him for the classy, respectful way the team handled the tragedy and honored the first responders and victims during the first home game held after the Marathon. He shook my hand and thanked me for coming out to the ball park and supporting the team. Everyone, from the parking lot attendant to the security guard who guided me to the nearest Dunkin Donuts counter to the program vendor were on their best behavior.  Not sure if you've ever been to a ballgame in Boston, but let me tell you not everyone is sunshine and rainbows. It was quite refreshing to get such a different sense permeating throughout the ballpark. You could see that everyone was happy to be able to get back to that old American past time. To enjoy time out with friends and family. To realize how lucky we are. To be alive. To feel normalcy again.

Two days later I met my brother and his wife at the Perkins School for the Blind. It's in Watertown. Yes. The town made infamous by the biggest manhunt in U.S. history. My brother is fortunate enough to assist a young man who uses services provided by Perkins. (My brother has also run the Boston Marathon on the Perkins team a few times.) For those who aren't familiar with the school, it's the one made famous by a certain historical figure named Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. I've always been fascinated by these two smart courageous women. So my brother kindly arranged to set up a visit to the school for us. What a wonderful tour! I learned so much and came away with a new sense of respect for those who are hearing and/or vision impaired. How strong they are. And very inspired by what the staff at Perkins are doing every day to educate and improve the lives of the students at the school.

The third event came about courtesy of a very special girlfriend. She invited me to join her, her husband and a close friend of hers for an evening at the theater. The Wang Theatre to be exact. She had tickets for Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby. Are you kidding me? THE Cathy Rigby? Didn't have to ask me twice. YES! Told her I'd meet her in Boston but decided to head there a bit early. It was a spectacular spring day. Sun was shining. Air was warm. I parked my car and walked to the Boston Common. And there I found Boston. People enjoying the beautiful day. Kicking a soccer ball. Throwing Frisbees. Dogs with their owners meandering along the winding pathways. Groups of friends sitting on the grass, smiling and laughing. Vendors selling hot dogs. Only 2 blocks from the Marathon finish line. Only days after the horrific events. The City was returning. Coming back to life. Resurrecting itself from an evil that had tried to diminish its light.

Later on that evening at the show, I looked around at the young children in the audience - they smiled and laughed at the antics of Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook. They cheered when Peter Pan cried "Boston Strong" after the audience assisted in resurrecting Tinkerbell. In a way it mirrored Boston's response to the tragedy. Everyone pulling together. To resurrect the city.

And to prove my point - judging from the crazy drivers on the highway who sped by me and cut me off on the way home after the show, I knew Boston was back. Ah, Boston - there you are! Happy to see you again!

April 15. A horrible day that will never be forgotten. But I think in time the day will be remembered less for the heinous actions of two vile young men but more for the resilience of the admirable citizens of New England. The quick response to attend to its own. The sense to keep things in perspective and know what's really important. Our people. Our families. Our neighbors.

And oh yes...the Red ball!


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