It was 40 years ago today that I drove into Boston in a white, right-hand drive post office van, as Richard Nixon was flying out of Washington D.C. in a green Chinook Marine helicopter. At age 26 I was fleeing my home state and old life, while at age 61 Mr. Nixon was returning to his.
It had taken me two days to drive the 1178 miles from my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to my adopted town of Boston, and as I pulled up in front of 61 Empire Street in the Alston neighborhood the previous year’s Allman Brothers hit Ramblin’ Man poured from the stereo like an announcement of a campaign rally.
It was my new roommate, Patrick, bounding down the stoop with a joint fired up.
“Welcome to Boston,” he said extending the sweet-scented memory cleanser to me from behind a wide grin. (more…)