Not Easy Things

Today I turned on NPR and heard Tom Ashbrook talking to Dennis Lehane and Ray Maliozzi (otherwise know as one of the “Car Guys”) about Boston, their hometown. This was funny (not HaHa funny, but you know…) because I’d been thinking a lot about Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day since Monday, when a friend who had been manning a water stand along the marathon route posted a Facebook update that alerted me to the unfolding situation in Boston.

The Given Day is about one of the most turbulent times in Boston’s history, the early 20th century. The Boston police strike of 1919 resulted in several nights of looting and rioting. And, of course, we’ve all learned about things like the Boston Massacre and the of course the battle of Lexington and Concord, which Patriots’ Day commemorates.

As I listened to Lehane this morning I learned about an editorial he’d written in the New York Times. “Messing with the Wrong City” put into words something I’ve always thought about not just Bostonians, but New Englanders in general: “Bostonians don’t love easy things, they love hard things — blizzards, the bleachers in Fenway Park, a good brawl over a contested parking space.”

We don’t love easy things.

If we did, we’d move somewhere with better weather. We would root for a baseball team that didn’t break our hearts year after year.

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