January 28th, 2016

(no subject)

My parents were newspaper people. My father had, in my young childhood, been the managing editor of a medium sized city paper. To read, they took in three papers a day. I remember them passing them back and forth over the eggs and toast, then reading at lunch what they missed on on the first pass. And talking until it all made sense...Politics and the motivations of people was to my family what sports are to some others. Pick an event apart, who are the players? Why did they do that? What should they do next? What do you think they will actually do? Even kids could play at that, and if I played with them, I was allowed to speak at the table.

They did not know or care much about sports or celebs, but local politics-- and national-- that I absorbed from them. Motivations, always useful to think about.

So: Buddy Cianci. He never made the national scene like Gerry Studds, or Michael Dukakis. (Or the Kennedy family,) but he was a local guy. (Rhode Island is local enough to Cape Cod.) He was very old school Rhode Island, He was not polished, he was practical as a shovel. But his voters loved him. And he loved Providence.

I had it in my head that he was actually elected from prison-- not true. That was James Michael Curley, felon and bamf. Curley was before my time of course. He was the origin of 'early and often.' (Refers to voting, get your brain out of the gutter.)

Cianci was a link with my past. And the hearing of his name today, when I have come away so far, was like catching your hand on a familiar nail, a strange little pain, because you forgot to remember.

And he is gone. How strange.