Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dorchester Five-O

Cue the twangy guitars. Though it was nothing like tropical weather today (low to mid 50s), proof is offered once again that if Boston were made up of fifty states, Dorchester would be Hawaii.

I was returning a book to the Field's Corner library branch. I prefer it over Upham's Corner though Upham's Corner has a more impressive building and includes a swimming pool. Anyone can reach Field's Corner by the Red Line. The Upham's Corner library can be reached by commuter rail and then a walk of a few blocks. Don't get me wrong, the walk up Dudley Street and Columbia is much more picturesque than the one through the Field's Corner Shopping Center parking lot, it's just a tad longer and, as I say, the weather today didn't invite strolling.

So anyway, I was in the parking lot where the Farmer's Market is on Saturday mornings and there was a police car parked there with the window rolled down. I've always assumed police officers listen to commercial radio while they also listen to their dispatch radios. It probably makes the time pass more pleasantly and, if the patrolmen spend their days chasing criminals, it is probably good for morale to let officers listen to something more soothing than a constant string of crime reports. Music soothes a lawman's breast, and I could hear music coming out of this patrol car's passenger window.

I want to be clear that the volume wasn't overly loud. No noise ordinances were broken. The bass didn't rattle all the panels attached to the Crown Victoria's frame. Quite the opposite, I happened to be passing closely and what I eavesdropped wasn't hip hop nor was it classic rock. The latter seemed more likely when I glimpsed the officer involved. It was a lilting and relaxing, island melody.

Here's what Don Ho had to say (pre-recorded) in the parking lot of the Field's Corner Shopping Center across from the local branch of the Boston Public Library and kitty corner from the old Radio Shack:

"Tiny bubbles.. in the wine... make me feel happy... make me feel fine."

Needless to say the officer in question didn't resemble Jack Lord in the least except in his steely-jawed determination to enforce law and order. We nodded to each other and after I returned my book I went over to the Blarney Stone for a glass of afternoon proseco (for the bubbles). After all, though I didn't see one person wearing a lei today, I did get more than one taste of 'aloha' culture in Dorchester, Mass. Not just from the Don Ho music coming from the police car. The librarian greeted me at the circulation desk by saying, "Aloha."

Whether you are a Dorchester kamaaina (oldtimer) or malihini (newcomer), may you find here that special connection with Dorchester and the rest of Boston that was the essence of what Don Ho held for the islands of Hawaii. It's not all about crime in Dorchester. It's more about easy living, getting along, and enjoying life to its fullest with no regrets.


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