A half-hour before the Red Sox’ World Series Rolling Rally began, I received an email at work from the Red Sox inviting me to ride one of the 20 duck boats that would drive through the city. (Are you kidding me???) 30 minutes later, I was aboard the white duck boat carrying Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, their families, and the medical staff. (Getting there on time was no simple matter… but that’s a story for another day…)
What an honor! To be included among the Red Sox family riding through the city amidst a sea of overjoyed, proud Sox fanatics was an experience of a lifetime. And I didn’t just stand there and wave. Knowing I’d probably never be there again, and feeling a responsibility to enjoy the experience not just for myself but for the rest of the Nation who didn’t receive an invitation to ride, I really got into it: pointing, pumping fists, whooping it up for two straight hours. A lifetime of Sox passion poured out of me and I felt an intense kinship with the crowd – that’s the only way I can explain it. The next day, my voice was gone and my whole body was sore. Like I said, I’d really whooped it up for two hours….
I looked into countless faces as we cruised through Boston, and each one was filled with tremendous joy and excitement. Thousands and thousands (it seemed like millions to me, actually) of people skipped work or school and braved enormous, dense crowds to experience this glorious conclusion to a banner Red Sox season. And while I could try to wax poetic about it all, I think these photos of Red Sox Nation, taken by me from the duck boat, speak for themselves about the incredible experience I had and that all those satisfied Sox fans had, as well.
Thanks to my former fifth grade student, Morgan Pierson (who’s now graduated from college), for taking that photo of me on the duck boat as I passed him on Boylston Street (top of page). I quote from his email to me: “To be honest, Mr. C., I don’t think ANYONE on ANY of those Duck Boats showed as much sincere jubilation as you did.” Couldn’t help it. I was just mirroring the emotions of my fellow fans in front of me, and they were going absolutely berzerk…. after all, we did win the WORLD SERIES, BABY!