I opened up the package from Boston University. The letter started with Congratulations. Mom took a quick peek over my shoulder and said firmly, “That’s where you’re going to college.” I tried protesting. Not an easy task with Marlene Roth. “What about all of the other places I got into?” “Doesn’t matter,” she replied tersely, “Your sister’s at BU. You’re going to BU. It’ll be easier for me and dad to have you both at the same college.”
And this is how I came to spend four of the most fabulous, exciting, and adventurous years of my early adulthood in Boston, Massachusetts. Adventures which included Faneuil Hall afternoon getaways, meandering through the Boston Common in all four seasons, cheering the Head of the Charles Regatta, visits to the famous aquarium and fine arts museum. But it’s Patriots‘ Day Boston Marathons that holds a special place in my heart.
One of my professors freshmen year admonished those of us ignorant about Patriots’ Day. Until I went to BU, I had never heard of this holiday. “Patriots what?” a bunch of us asked during class. He spent the rest of the time talking about the history of Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon, which he was a participant. Patriots’ Day of my freshmen year, I stood with my classmates on the streets of Boston cheering on our very own professor. It was an exhilarating experience.
Each year the Marathon was a welcome spring event. Boston is cold, seriously “wicked” cold. Windy too. Freshmen year (1981) at BU, the first snowflake fell in October. The last snowfall was early April the following semester. I cursed Mom every day I dodged the copious mountains of snow and ice patches along Commonwealth Avenue as I made my way to classes.
It’s been an embarrassing number of years since I’ve been to Boston. Nevertheless, when it comes to American cities, Boston still remains my favorite cup of tea. I miss my two favorite sites, (excluding the bars T’s Pub and Who’s on First), Fenway Park and the infamous Citgo sign that illuminates Kenmore Square to this day.
Like everyone, I was horrified to hear about the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. My heart skipped many a beats watching and listening to the news. I was worried for my family and friends living there today. That evening, I dug out my photo album from college. It didn’t take long before I found my pictures from the April 1985 marathon. Friends and I were fortunate to live near Cleveland Circle in Brookline, right along the marathon route. For Boston, it was a nice spring day, sunny, no jacket required. T’was a great day to be a Patriot.
Sifting through these memories brought me the comfort I desperately needed after a very emotional day.
Visit HERE to learn about Boston’s Citgo sign.