I had the good fortunes of traveling to Boston twice in 2013. Once for business, the other for pleasure. Ironically, on both trips, I had the chance to meet two Massachusetts governors.
In the photo above, my wife, Wendi, and I are with former Gov. Michael Dukakis. Wendi and I were visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Boston near Northeastern University in December 2013. We were traveling all over town and were hungry. We were heading for a burrito joint near the university, but opted to pop into University House of Pizza.
When we sat down, I looked to the group of three in the table across from us (the restaurant is small, but very good), and I thought I recognized the governor. I told my wife, “I am going to talk to the man over there before we leave.” She wanted to know why. “You’ll find out.”
When I went to pick up our order at the counter, one of the men at the table was settling the bill. I knew I had to act, and act fast. Seizing the opportunity, I stood up, walked to the table and said, “Excuse me, are you Gov. Dukakis?”
He said he was.
When Dukakis ran for president, I liked him. After all, we were both from Massachusetts. I grew up in Revere, Mass. We talked about the presidential campaign, and he apologized, saying if he had done better there would have been “no Bush 1,” and without a George H.W. Bush presidency, there would be “no Bush 2.”
Dukakis was gracious and engaging, asking about where we were living and what we were doing. He told us for the past 22 years, he has been a professor at Northeastern University.
It was a pleasure running into Dukakis and spending some time with him. Incidentally, one of the guys at his table looked like former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. He said he was not.
I was also in Boston earlier in the year. I was honored to receive a fellowship from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to attend the Association of Health Care Journalists convention.
On that trip, Gov. Deval Patrick welcomed us to town. After he spoke, I left the room where he was speaking to follow him. I was with a reporter from California, and she was assigned by the AHCJ to cover it for the organization’s blog. When I looked to my right, she was gone.
Thinking the reporter was going to chase down the governor and ask some additional questions, I wanted to get a photo of her interviewing Patrick. When I caught up with Gov. Patrick and his entourage, he was surrounded by local media wanting to press him about potential improprieties by a state worker.
After his run-in with the local TV crews, I was able to introduce myself.
With my job at The Daily Record, I get to meet a lot of elected officials, which is nice for a political junkie.