Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sunday night update: worship, baseball, and the death of an icon

A great week. Last Saturday was Gay Pride here in the heart of the South End, then Sunday it was off to my old neighborhood of Charlestown, where I lived for 3 years right out of college, for the Bunker Hill Parade. We had a most excellent time, as I was riding my "ElectKevin" Harley-Davidson and we had the BIG TEAM VEHICLE set up with a loudspeaker and candy and ice water for the 3 hour tour. The motorcycle was a big hit with the folks, and the jazz band directly in front of us was keen fun, sometimes joining in with the music we were playing (james brown, U2, beatles, funk). Who doesn't love a parade? [thanks to all who marched with me, alexa, willie, bob, clara, jeff, suzy, jim, phoebe I really appreciate the effort]

We haven't heard back from Michael Flaherty's office about the meeting he offered. His aide, Mr. Kinneally hasn't called me yet (as he promised) letting me know if the "councilors only" meeting with the BRA is on for next week. I'll let you know....(not holding my breath)

In the really fun news, the baseball team I coach, the South End Giants won our single elimination games both yesterday and today by scores of 15-9 and 13-2 over the White Sox and Mets respectively. We're off to the semifinals and a best of 3 series against the regular season champs the Mariners. I am really proud of how the team has come together and been good teammates and sportsmen. I love coaching these 8 to 10 year olds because I can see an equitable future when I am around them. I have upper middle class kids down to kids whose families can't afford a baseball mitt. They are white, black, hispanic, catholic, jewish, baptist, etc. and they don't know the difference. They just love to see each other, play together, joke around, sing songs. The world has a lot to learn from these kids, and I do too. A couple kids were even thoughtful enough to wish me a happy fathers day, thanks.

Friday night was a fundraiser for Maura Hennigan at Midway Cafe. A lot of fun, great band, great people. They were gracious enough to let me speak for a couple minutes. I relayed the story of how I've been trying to hire some summer interns through the high schools, but apparently you can't just post an add looking for students to work. You have to go through some public/private non-profit group that (this is not a joke) is somehow run or organized by the BRA!!!!!
Do these guys control everything or what? I still can't believe it. I'll do some more research next week, but what happened to the days when you just posted ad add at the high school to hire students. Do we need a whole other agency staffed with people to regulate the flow of high school jobs? Sounds like it maybe a waste of money. We'll see.
Anyway, Maura and her team have been a great help to this political neophyte. Telling me where to go, who to talk to, when the parades are etc. Thanks very much. I hope that this campaign for Mayor may have some spirited debate about ideas to make this city better.
Maura's father is a true gentleman, funny guy, and full of words of wisdom. If you get a chance to spend a few minutes with him, it will be well worth your time.

Today I visited the Ebeneezer Baptist Church on West Springfield Street. When I was collecting signatures, a man named Mr. James who is a Deacon invited me to services. From 10:45 until 1:30 I enjoyed every minute of the music, the sermon, the people and the atmosphere. Although I was the only white, and poorly dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, the people couldn't have been more kind. Coming up to say hello, thanking me for coming and inviting me back. I was particularly impressed by the choir and the young ushers. Two of the boys saw that I had my baseball scorebook, and asked me if I was a coach. When they found out that I was they asked me for my phone number so that they could join the league as well. I love how colorblind our youth are, their sense of wonder, goodness and optimism.
I said to one of the members of the choir who came up and gave me a kiss, that they sang beautifully and I imagined them singing at the Fourth of July festivities at the Hatch Shell. She remarked that maybe they didn't like that kind of music down there. I responded that I am sure if they heard them, they would like their singing.
One of my dreams is to have a truly multicultural crowd at great Boston events such as the Fourth of July concerts that are nationally televised. I'd like the crowd to more representative of the City of Boston. Get music that will appeal to a greater cross-section of society. How about a Bill with Boston native Dick Dale, the Ebeneezer Baptist Choir, the Boston Pops, the Wolftones, Los Fabulos Caddillacs, and Pavarotti. That would let Freedom Ring!!

Finally, it with a heavy heart that I report I'm going out to drink, dance and get crazy. The Plough and Stars in Cambridge is closing tonight. The best bar as far as I'm concerned for the last 20 years in the Boston area has its last night tonight. The best band, Bad Art will be closing it down. I've sung and danced with them many a time, and its too bad that we are losing an icon for probably another soulless, neo-hip joint.

What other bar has a band that sings a song about the bar at the end of every set, with "your picture on the wall"

God save the Plough and Stars!!!!

Thank you Reverend Dove for your sermon today about Father's Day, needing a few good men, that Decision Time is here, and we need to not be fooled by wolves in sheep's clothing.


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