The phone rang. The caller ID flashed, showing one of Boston’s two major newspapers. I figured it was the sales department. I handed the phone to Marilyn. I heard Marilyn respond “yes” several times and was puzzled. We didn’t need and couldn’t afford expensive home delivery of newspapers. Then Marilyn said “He’s right here. Why don’t you speak to him?” She had a broad smile on her face. I was even more puzzled.
Long story short. The caller was a reporter working on a series about Boston schools and the history of court-ordered school desegregation. She was looking for people who had covered the story in 1974.
Apparently my name came up in her research. I confirmed I had indeed covered the story and shared a few anecdotes about the first day of what some called “forced busing.” I also shared some stories about my coverage of Boston schools over the following 25 plus years before I retired. To give some context, I mentioned that I’d also covered the civil rights movement for ABC Network before coming to Boston.
The reporter seemed impressed. We agreed to meet again for a more detailed interview. I hung up the phone and smiled. I looked at the Duke who was sitting next to me. He was grinning and obviously understood. I could read his mind. He’s not just any old fart who feeds and plays with me. He’s a legend.
I looked at Marilyn with satisfaction. I wondered what she had said to the reporter when she took the call.
Marilyn smiled and recounted the conversation. “She asked if you were alive. Then she asked if you actually remembered what you used to do. I bit my tongue and didn’t say ‘That’s a matter of opinion.’ ”
I looked back at the Duke. He was still grinning. How fleeting is fame.