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New England Civility

In an earlier post I described an uncivil moment in Massachusetts. Here’s a cheerier story from the same state. I’m with my wife strolling around Harvard Square in Cambridge. It’s about eleven at night and we see a crowd gathered. It looks like they’re watching some kind of street performer. But they’re standing and sitting in front of a store window and the store is closed. The store, Cardullo’s, has a TV in the window, the sound piped onto the street. The crowd of 30 or so folks is watching the Red Sox play the Yankees.

What a bizarre moment of community. Thirty strangers united in a love of the Sox. Despite taking a lead in the top of the 12th (I think) on a Manny Ramirez home run, they manage to lose the game in the bottom of the inning after two are out and no one is on. It’s a perfect Red Sox loss, one I mercifully manage to miss the end of. But the high point occurred a few innings earlier when Derek Jeter, the Yankees shortstop, made a nice play on a ball in shallow left, taking it on a dead run and then cartwheeling into the stands. It’s a spectacular play that kills a Red Sox rally that might have changed everything. The thirty strangers standing around the TV in Harvard Square applaud. They applaud! Never seen anything like it. I’ve seen people scream at the TV set. But to applaud Derek Jeter, a Yankee? On TV? A lovely moment of civility.


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