Today will be devoid of much original content – let’s face it, it’s Halloween and we’re all making tasteless last-minute costumes.
But Tom Menino died of cancer yesterday, so I’d like to instead just take a day to memorialize the man who ran Boston for twenty years. I barely remember a time before Menino, honestly.
Menino was the kind of guy who was married to the same woman for nearly 50 years and stayed in the neighborhood he grew up in, Hyde Park, in a regular house. Menino tried his best to look out for the people who didn’t have a voice. He told Chick-Fil-A to back the fuck out of Boston for their anti-gay discriminatory policies. He banned indoor smoking against the wishes of so many bar owners who claimed their sales would be hurt, and in the end the bar staff, who didn’t have the power to say a thing, are far less likely to get cancer from secondhand smoke. The man checked himself out of the hospital to deal with the Marathon Bombings at a time when the city needed him most.
I can’t do a writeup of Menino’s life any justice, honestly. Instead, I’ll just link you all to this wonderful piece by WBUR, which includes a the following Menino quip about his nickname:
“Oh, it’s a wonderful name,” he said. “Just think about it. I’m ‘Mumbles’ but I’ve been mayor for 20 years. No one else has been ‘Mumbles’ and mayor for 20 years.”
We’re all a bit poorer having lost him.