In Between the Big Stories: Crazy Things Happen When You’re Cruising Around Chapter One

Civil War Monument toppled in vandalism. Monument was erected in 1908 and restored in 2002.

A couple of weeks ago on my way into Boston to begin my shift I received a call from a source telling me somewhere in the City there was cemetery vandalism. The source knew the names of two streets but he was not sure of which cemetery.

He gave me the names of Birch & Fairview Streets in Police District Five and since I used to live nearby just outside of Roslindale Square I thought it was going to be easy to find.  Problem was I could not find any police looking around and the only cemetery I knew of was in the Peter’s Hill section of the Arnold Arboretum. It as an old cemetery not used anymore but I drove where I should not have and checked it out.  There was nothing there and BPD Info Services had not gotten any paperwork on it so I moved on to other assignments.

Here is where things get funny in what I do. I was sent to the Readville section of Boston to cover a story about the unauthorized use of a City fire hydrant to fill a pool with water.  I was with reporter Rhondella Richardson and we were not having much luck in advancing the story.   As we were leaving the area I noticed a cemetery and the sign on it read “Fairview Cemetery.” BINGO, this must be the place I was looking for several hours earlier. We drove through the cemetery till I saw one of the maintenance men and I asked if there had been any vandalism. He pointed me up a hill and said you cannot miss it.

He was correct, there was a monument originally erected in 1908 to commemorate the local heroes of the Civil War.  It was a beautiful piece of bronze, which the vandals had knocked off its pedestal. The story itself is common nowadays but either way it was a terrible abuse of an historical monument.

Then last week I was visiting the Market Basket in Chelsea, MA., a local supermarket and as I was leaving (with an unneeded desert) there was this young boy probably around three, going out the electronic doors almost getting into the parking lot traffic. I looked around, yelled out who belongs to this kid and got no response.

I really did not know what to do. I was afraid to go up and grab the kid thinking some parent would see me near him and you know what happens next.  From about 15 feet I called the kid and told him to follow me.  He obviously knew to stay away from strangers and I knew to stay away from him. I sort of coaxed him into the front of the store signaling for a front end attendant from the store to come over.

A very nice young man took the kid by the hand to take him to the courtesy desk. On the way there a worker looked around and was able to spot what appeared to be his grandmother who had realized after at least 5 minutes she was missing her grandson. All ended up okay as she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to her.  I think he got the message.

Then Friday, same week I went to Malden, MA on a call about multiple bee stings. I was thinking if multiple people were stung it could be a story. I got there about 20 minutes later.  The Cataldo Ambulance was parked and I saw the two medical people from the ambulance walking around the forested park and I thought they were still looking for victims.

Then I noticed a young boy probably ten or so sitting on the grass near the ambulance, holding a dog and crying his eyes out. I thought he was just hurting from the stings. There was an adult watching over him and I asked him if he was alright and all he could say is his other dog was lost, begging us to please find his dog, between awful sobs. It brought tears to my eyes as I know what it is like to be missing a pet.

He described the dog to me, a medium sized brown and white dog sort of like the one he was holding onto but different color and a little bigger.  I started driving around and when I got to the complete opposite side of the park I saw three people holding on to a brown and white dog. I was so excited, got out of the car and asked if they just found it.

The nicest woman told me she found the scared and bee stung dog, called the local PD and got no help. I told her the little boy who lost it was up the other end and I raced back to get him.  They were so happy and I brought one of the brothers back with me to get the dog. In the meantime the boys’ mother showed up, very upset and when she realized all was well she just walked around thanking everyone who helped.

It was a nice ending to a story that could have ended very different.  Crazy things when you are cruising around.







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