Saturday, November 08, 2008

Taking the girl out of Dorchester

We listened to the Chancellor of UMASS Dartmouth speak last night, Dr. Jean F. MacCormack, a product of Dorchester's hurly-burly, always-simmering democracy. She is referred to informally as the Dean of the UMASS Chancellors because she is the longest serving uinversity head in the state university system. She wore her Dorchester roots proudly last night. Why wouldn't she? How couldn't she?

She said strangers know she grew up in the Dot. A stanger told her, "You're down-to-earth, you're fiesty, and you don't give up." If those attributes don't summarize Dorchester, none do. I haven't lived in Dorchester a long while, but I've absorbed those values by osmosis and they have become woven around my bones and in my guts.

With both feet planted assuradely on the pavement, with fire in my belly, and with determination, I strut out my front door to meet each new day head-on, eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand, man-against-world. Let the best man win. Show me a Dorchesterite who doesn't do the same. I'll prove you a fraud if you have a bad word to say about Dorchester. This part of Boston has a sterling reputation. Dorchester may get its share of bad press but libel doesn't stick to an honest community. Tarnish is easily polished off an excellent design.

Dorchester isn't the heart of Boston. The city's vibrant spirit spreads to all its furthest corners. The brains may be on Beacon Hill, but Boston's intuitive intelligence resides in the Dot. This isn't to say that Dorchesterites are dummies. Far from it. They deal with practice more than theory. Dorchester is the spinal column that props up the rest. It reacts intuitively, sympathetic and para-sympathetic, with a wisdom based on experience and hard knocks that don't cause unconciousness but sharpen the senses.

The people of Dorchester keep Boston humming and ticking and moving with precision and purpose. They propel this world-class city closer to a brighter tomorrow. The future, like the dawn, is bright and glorious in Dorchester. The sun rises over Dorchester Bay's horizon. It bathes the land and the roof tops with expectations of excellence. More often than not, those expectations overflow with savory grandeur. When working men and working women awaken, new days begin again over and over and over and over and over. Children go to school.

The three deckers that line Dorchester's streets are treasure bins containing the best gold any city would want to horde. It isn't a coin spent on frivolities. It is an investment sacked away to make sure the right people will be available to perform the right job when the time comes. Dorchester is robust. It percolates. Dorchester is the best part of Boston.

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