OK, so I lied.
I always used to tell people that I was from Boston.
I told that big fib in Washington, DC.
In Providence, Rhode Island.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In Montpelier, Vermont.
And in London (the one with the King).
Lord, if you are up there, thank you.
For getting my ass out of the news business!
(Well, I’m certainly not a religious person.
(I’m not even religious enough to be an atheist.
But, hey, prayer can’t hurt, right?)
But calling myself a Bostonian was never really true.
I was from Melrose.
And the difference between the suburb and the city?
It is the difference (as Mr Twain would say) between the lightning bug.
And the lightning.
But now I have lived in Boston for three whole years.
This week begins my fourth in this charming spot.
Marlborough Street in the Back Bay.
Not much has changed.
Here is the place when I moved in.
Note the five boxes.
That’s all the stuff I brought back.
From 20 years in London.
And here is the place now.
As you can clearly see, I am a pitiful excuse for a capitalist.
More like a commie pinko when it comes to consumption.
Just ask my friends!
So what have I done in the past three years?
I have been a volunteer reading tutor in Roxbury’s Ellis School, one of the neediest elementary schools in Massachusetts.
I have taught chess to students aged five to 75.
Mainly in Boston’s libraries.
I came up with a course called Banned In Boston (as in books) for older students (retirees just like me).
Through an outfit called Beacon Hill Seminars.
This was my charming seminar room, right on Beacon Hill.
I will teach another course (on the Great Odes) in the spring.
And will take a course on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
I have helped Vietnamese immigrants get their US citizenship.
And became a member of the Boston Athenaeum.
Where I have conducted many tours as a docent.
You can usually find me on Sunday afternoons at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
Trying to get the curves right.
Here is their Capitoline Venus.
And their Indian fertility goddess.
I was even the foreman of a jury at Suffolk Superior Court!
We awarded $6.5 large to some poor guy who was injured through the negligence (read “stupidity”) of a big corporation.
The only things I haven’t done yet?
Get thrown in jail.
And run for office.
(Actually, I would prefer solitary. At least in the joint I would be able to think straight.)
So I suppose I have made up for all those years of prevarication.
And can finally tell the truth.
Which is, simply this:
I am a Boston Boy.