Knowing my love for the Dot, someone posed this question to me today. I didn't have to scratch my head to come up with a witty reply. I spoke from my gut and from my heart. I looked my inquisitor straight in the eye and I said, "You know, buddy, where I'm from people don't ask foolish questions like this, but if you need an answer, I'll tell you."
We were standing on Mission Hill across the street from Mission Church, between Tiny's Flowers and Mike's Donuts. I pointed to the east and I said, "You see that sun rising over yonder? That's Dorchester, my friend, a place where all good things begin. You can lay your head down to sleep in the Dot and when you do, you know you'll wake up to a better day. The future is bright in Dorchester. From Lower Mills to Andrew Square, from Harbor Point to Mattapan and everywhere in between good, honest folk wake up every morning in Dorchester to get to work making thier part of Boston the best part of all."
My companion snuffled a bit into his sleeve. I continued, "You live in Needham so you don't know what it's like to be down on your luck but up to snuff. You don't know what it's like to have the whole danged world against you but you still gather up enough pluck to show up every live-long, ding-dong day to make your mark and make it stick. Boston runs on Dorchester. Its made up of good people with good intentions."
I continued some more: "The road to Hell may be paved with good intentions but the road to Dorchester is paved with hard work, good will and sweat equity. You drive to work every day and pay $30.00 to park so that you can get home to your precious Needham as quickly and as alone as you can. I take the T to get here. Me and thousands of other Dorchesterites. We're a part of Boston. We like each others' company. We like to rub elbows as much as we like to bend elbows and bend each others' ears. We don't use Boston to get a paycheck. We live here. That's what Dorchester is about, pal. It is about living in a city and making it work."
My companion snuffled into his sleeve again. Whether he had a cold or was misty-eyed from my rhetoric, I don't know. He said he needed a cup of coffee. I agreed. I went into Mike's Donuts. He walked to Brigham Circle to Dunkin Donuts.