Reflection by Mary E. Latela April 18, 2016
Did you watch the Boston Marathon? I had to watch, and it was sweet! Of course, I had some worry about history repeating itself and another tragic event occurring in real time. I was watching the Marathon on the first woman had passed the finish line when explosive chaos broke loose, and people were changed forever.
Today, it was perfect! I love Boston! It’s such a great city, and I lived there some years ago, when I was single, taking graduate courses part-time.
The following situation will not raise eyebrows, but I’m ready to confess that it happened more than once. Driving around on a crisp Saturday afternoon, I headed through Watertown on my way back to Waltham, both suburbs, where I shared an apartment with another teacher. The only obstacle was the rotary.
There‘s something about a rotary that scares me…. As long as you pay attention, you can get through without getting lost or trapped. I was feeling confident, and I swept around the circle, but couldn’t find the turnoff to Watertown, which was less than a mile from where we lived. I went ain circles more than once, staying pretty calm…until I started thinking about Charlie.
The Kingston Trio had a great hit, “Charlie on the MTA” (Metropolitan Transit Authority) in which a man named Charlie boarded the streetcar for work, but couldn’t get off because he didn’t have the nickel to pay for the ride. His wife would come everyday and toss him a sandwich through the open window, but he was stuck. The cheerful refrain went something like this, “Oh, he may never return, oh, he’ll never return, and his fate is still unlearned. He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston; he’s the man who never returned.”
I still love that song. I am not afraid of the rotary. We even went to a Kingston Trio concert and relived that wonderful period. I wish I could say that I was ready then to take up skydiving, but no, I rejoiced in the small victory. When the anxiety and uncontrolled laughter mixed together, I relaxed, followed the correct off ramp, and arrived home safe and sound.