My Yellow Brick Road

I would be heartbroken if yesterday’s bombing had happened in Boise or Birmingham.  But to have it happen in Boston is like breaking my heart and then stomping on it.

I grew up believing that I was incredibly lucky to be born an American and especially to be born a Bostonian.

If you were a bookish child in the 50’s and 60’s, especially a girl, Boston was a welcoming place to be.  Give us your near-sighted, your uncoordinated, your always-picked-last-for-sports…

I grew up not just in Boston, but in Dorchester, where Martin Richard was from.  It didn’t matter that I was poor because I knew that when I grew up, I would never again live in an apartment like my parents’.

When I passed through the doors of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, where I spent many Saturdays between 7th and 12th grades, I wasn’t just  on my way to whatever research I was doing that day, I was on my way to my future life.   Boylston Street was my yellow brick road.

At the library, I did the research and analysis and writing that didn’t just get me into Wellesley and then Yale when it went co-ed, but also made it easy to excel once I got there.  I was a student at Girls’ Latin School, but I became a scholar at that library,  learning to use and value original sources, learning to think critically and draw my own conclusions.

To see death and blood and severed limbs right outside my library, this home to all the wisdom men and women have achieved, this sanctuary where the poorest of the city can enjoy the same resources as the richest, is unbearable to me.  My brain and body ache.

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7 comments on “My Yellow Brick Road

  1. quinersdiner says:

    So tragic. Thanks for your beautiful reflection.

  2. Roni Jordan says:

    Having lived that early life with you, dear Embattled Farmer, I am devastated in the very same way. Growing up in Dorchester, taking the T to the BPL in Copley Square to put in call slips for obscure books needed for those arcane term reports, and years later after graduating from Simmons, working in Copley Square in the shadow of the Marathon finish line. My home town has been violated in a way that I could never have imagined, by an evil that has become nearly impossble to predict or contain. This Boston Massacre will not go unavenged.

  3. Patti Kuche says:

    I am so sorry . . . You might be in California but home is where your big, breaking heart beats.

  4. momshieb says:

    I’m so sorry, my friend. It was such a surreal and terrifying day. Sending you hugs and healing. Remember, there were a thousand acts of kindness yesterday right outside your library, too.

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