Well the Boston trip had unexpected, unwanted tragedy and drama added by some sick individual or group. Terror will never break the American people so I want to take a moment and do what terrorist don't want us to do. I want to talk about the great city of Boston and the great people of Boston.
Boston the week of the marathon is like an Olympic village. I must have talked to people from over 40 countries, all of them so excited just to be in the city of Boston for the the marathon. For many they have worked years just to qualify. Many worked years to save the money to come in from various countries on the African continent. I spoke to others from Japan, the Netherlands, Australia... But to tell you the truth the people from right there in Boston were just about as foreign to us..Well that is stretching it a little but not much!
On this trip was me and Carl, my nephew Teel, and cousin Sandy out of Mississippi , my mom who planned the whole deal , and the reason we all went my brother Jason who ran the race.
Sandy is not really a hick like the rest of us but she was born and raised in Oklahoma so you get the idea of our make up. Me and Jason grew up in a part of Texas that still had party lines when were were young. My graduating class was eight his around 20. My mom grew up in Thackerville Oklahoma, a town of a few hundred people until the Indians built the worlds 4th largest casino in a pasture by I 35. I am not kidding about that. Carl my boy lives in Jones Oklahoma when he is not staying with me, and Jones has two gas stations and one red light.Sandy grew up in Ponca City and I do not know much about it except it is in Oklahoma and is not Oklahoma City or Tulsa so most like she would be considered a small town girl by most. Why all this background? Well our version of the Beverly Hillbillies just hit Boston!
We found the people of Boston to be great! It started with the cab driver who answered around 4,000 questions from us in the 10 minute cab drive from the airport to our hotel. His accent was worse than mine so when I asked he said he was from Boston. Then I asked no before that? Oh Jamaica! But he considers himself from Boston know. I like that. The line in the hotel was very long. When it was our turn,before the girl could get us checked in and tell us all her spill I asked a question a long time coming : How far are we from Cheers? I know this girl must have had a long day and she probably had that question thrown to her a million times but she acted as excited as I was...." Oh we are close " she said and not only gave us directions but pulled out a map and showed us how she would go. I was expecting " the cab driver will know". But this girl loved her town. We were starting to also.
After putting our things away we all decided to walk to Cheers. As we were walking around like typical tourist looking at tall buildings and pointing at sights strange to us, a young police woman on a very large horse shines a big ole smile at me-in my boots, wranglers, and black Stetson- and says "You are not from Boston!" ..It was pretty funny. I kind of wanted to get frisked but was with the whole family...
We did eat at Cheers. We bought stuff, and we took pictures, but I did not drink a beer but I am taking Cheers off of my Bucket list. I was there and I was not disappointed. Good enough. On the way back a construction worker gave me a " Hi Tex!" All the kids laughed. Back at the Hotel some kid about 3 years old shrieked so loud I jumped then asked very loud "Are you a real cowboy?" I started to put on my best John Travolta impression on and reply " That depends on what you think a real cowboy is" but I figured an Urban Cowboy reference would go over a three year old head....
We split up the big ole group sometimes. Once me and my brother went walking down the streets of Boston. I thought to my self This is a long way from Plumb Creek. We took cheesy pictures of each other in front of Fenway Park.
I had a roomate in the army that grew up around 50 miles from Boston. He has worked their most of his adult life. Vincent Pedone spent all day Sunday giving us a great tour of Boston with insights of a local. I got to meet his two boys he he met my family. We did all the history stuff that I love then he took us to a 250 year old tavern for lunch, and it was out of the world great! Hope I can repay him some day down here.
So Sunday morning we all go to church. Jason googles a church and we take a cab. Remember where we are from. Like a scene out of a movie we walk into a full to the back, all black church...Just saying it was different. Man the singing was out of this world. Same songs not same delivery. Think of a song sang by Pat Boone. A good singer. Now listen to that same song by Ray Charles.. You get the point..If not listen to America the Beautiful by Ray Charles...Man that was great.
I was wearing normal stuff for me. Wranglers, boots, and a pearl snap shirt. These people were dressed up! I sneezed once and three different people gave Kleenex. I asked my mom for a pen but a woman behind us shot one out first. Some man rushed over to loan my mom his bible.We were very welcomed. They gave us a ride back to the hotel in a van. I met a young girl: Senior at Harvard. Two young but very shy guys...Students at MIT that the van picked up every Sunday. Less than an hour after the bombs went off Monday the church texted my brother to see if we were all right and if we needed anything...
I have been to NFL, NBA. and MLB games. I have been to hockey games and pro rodeo as well as Nascar. Marathons stand up to any sport on earth as far as energy and excitement, and make no mistake...there is no place like Boston..Complete stranger scream encouragement to complete strangers for hours.. I mean real screams real energy!!! I can not express what it was like to watch my brother compete in a world class event against the best runners on earth.. Well over 20,000 people ran and he came in 322. And he is 40 years old. Check one off of his bucket list..a big one
Last thing. Six people , six schedules, airlines hotels ...My mom made it happen without a flaw. She has never been afraid to take charge. Why should she, she is good at it.
I know its a sad time. I hurt for the 8 year old and the other victims. To dwell on that is to let the terrorist win