User Submission: A Man And His Dog

I was walking my two dogs along the Charles River in Cambridge a couple of months ago and came across a homeless man fast asleep with his dog curled up beside him. The dog lay there, tucked into his master’s hip, watchful, loyal and quiet. 

Also beside the man was a bottle of water in a bucket, presumably to keep it cool during the night and his shopping cart of possessions. Something struck me about the scene. Here was a chap trying to do what he could to keep his friend with him and not abandon him to a shelter, both loyal to each other. As I walked my two spoiled dogs home I decided I couldn’t bare that homeless man’s dog going hungry. After dropping off my dogs at the house I walked to my local Whole Foods, picked up a loaf of bread, some peanut butter, a bag of apples and a bag of dog food. I walked back to where they were, the man was still asleep, the dog still beside him. I placed the bag of groceries beside his shopping cart, his dog lay quiet, still watching and sniffed the air.

I like to think that the man woke up hungry, wondering how he and his dog were going to eat that day. I hope he didn’t have a nut allergy. 

(Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack/Flickr)

Five strangers across the country are linked by uncanny timing and a close encounter with the tragic marathon bombings of last April. The new documentary, “5 Runners,” tells their story.

Hard to listen, hard to read, but it’s good to see the closer we get to Boston. I’m so inspired to be able to go back, so grateful. At the same time, it’s the first time being there since April 15, 2013.  I don’t know how that will feel. I just know I have to do it.

– Demi Clark


“Biscuits is probably the most important turtle,” Merigo says. “They’re all endangered, they’re all important, but only one in one thousand turtles makes it from the egg stage to the size turtle that Biscuits is now.”

— Connie Merigo, New England Aquarium

WBUR’s The Animalist is featuring Biscuits in the story of her transport to warmer water!

A Distressed Woman, A Cab Driver, And A Friendship Forged

Jean Joselin has been a cab driver in Cambridge, MA for over 30 years. One day a woman got into his car clearly distressed. When Jean asked the woman what was wrong, the woman told him everything - she’d been dumped by her boyfriend and didn’t know where to go. What happened next led to friendship, loyal clientele, and a beautiful story.


You know, one girl – she get in my cab and she can’t even tell me where she’s going. And she finally tell me her boyfriend left her. So I say, okay, stop crying! You so valuable. You should make man come to you, you shouldn’t cry for man. She said okay this is the same thing my father would tell me. So from now I’m going to get all my friends to call you. She passed my telephone around and before I know it I get a bunch, a bunch of students who keep calling me and sometimes they say, “I was really dying to meet you, because so and so tell me you are a good advisor, you are like a good family man.”

You know whenever reporters come to people who know a perpetrator of a crime and they say, do you know this kid, i will say to you and to anyone who ask me cus its the Gods honest truth he had a heart of gold. he was a sweetheart, he was gracious, he was caring, he was compassionate

Larry Aaronson is a retired social studies teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. He is stunned by the news that Tsarnaev is a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

38 Years Later, The Kindness of a Stranger Still Resonates


In March I met with Rebecca J. who told me about a trip she took to a department store 38 years ago. There she found a book she begged her mother to buy. This is the story of how she came to own that book, which she still keeps in her home nearly four decades later.


We went to Boston maybe every couple of years and we went shopping in downtown crossing, and I found this poetry book and I wanted to show her that I was very interested in this book, but I was too afraid to ask for something. So I followed my mother around reading, reading and she was finally like “Would you put that book back!” So she made me put the book back. And I don’t remember anything else, until walking out the door – it was a blur – some guy in a suit and like a big overcoat. You know, to me a suit and an overcoat were kind of fancy because my dad was a boiler worker – there were no ties or anything. And he threw something in my hand and he just went out the door. And it was a bag and it was a poetry book – I always tear up at this, I don’t know why – and he bought it for me. You know, it’s kind of a small thing, a 99-cent book but it stuck with me forever, and that inspired me to do small things. You’re in terrible situations all the time. You know, I’ve stood by my car with my hood up broken down on 95, and cars whiz by you and it’s really horrible Now, stopping for somebody seems like the natural thing for me to do. You know, there’s that today you tomorrow me kind of thing, but it’s more than just that. It’s – I don’t know – I guess…I guess, I’m trying to be that guy, you know, from 38 years ago. 

A very nice article by Amelia Mason for Boston’s NPR station, 90.9 WBUR.


“I think when you grow up and you happen to be queer there’s gonna come a moment in your life where you have to sit back and reflect on your identity, what it means to you, and how you wanna carry yourself through a world that may or may not treat you with enormous amounts of hostility,” Paternoster remarked recently over the phone.


Here’s Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam with his guitar playing an unplugged version “Caught in the Briars” at the Public Library in Boston.

And here’s the full interview.

A Candy Factory And Lasting Memory

Christine P. had just taken her son, Michael, to the pediatrician to get his shots. Understandably, Michael left the doctor’s office quite upset. So to cheer him up, his mother decided to take him to the NECCO Candy Factory in Revere, Mass. But when they arrived, it started raining. Buckets. And to make matters worse, the store was closed. It seemed that an effort to cheer up her son had been foiled by nature and circumstance; that is, until a stranger stepped in.


About a year ago my son just had a bunch of shots and he was feeling pretty lousy. So I decided to cheer him up by bringing him to the Necco factory in Revere, MA. Well, we pulled up to the empty parking lot and right then the sky opened up and it was pouring rain, and we decided to run towards the factory store. I was so focused on getting out of the rain that I didn’t realize the store had closed. So here I was - I had my son who was really upset, the store was dark. And that’s when this well dressed man exited the building just from a few doors down from where we were standing, and he came up to us and said hello. And I said hello back. And at that point in time he informed me that the president of Necco had watched us, and he pointed reverently to the sky above him and said that the president was sorry, that the store was closed, and that he was instructed to provide us with any candy we were interested in. He left us, and we just stood there not really sure what to expect, and a few minutes later he came back with two bags filled with Necco candy. My son was beaming and I was completely blown away, and here it is a year later, whenever I see a Necco product, I always smile. 

Primary Elections 2014

It’s primary day in several states across the United States. Here’s the best way to follow them:

New York: local WNYC reporters Twitter list, Election Map 2014  (Tumblr: wnyc)

Massachusetts: local WBUR and WGBH reporters Twitter list, WBUR live blog, BPR Primary Preview (Tumblr: wbur, wgbhnews)

Delaware: local WHYY reporters Twitter list, Top 5 Primaries to watch in Delaware, WDDE’s election coverage, WDDE on Twitter (Tumblr: newsworks

Rhode Island: local RIPR reporters Twitter list, full coverage

New Hampshire: local NHPR reporters Twitter list, Full Coverage


For Your Listening Pleasure: New Technology Rescues Poets from Old Vinyl

 The Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University just might be the closest thing we have to a poetry heaven on earth.

Yes, there is the extensive collection of 20th and 21st century English-language poetry books and "an encyclopedic array of poetry journals and literary magazines" but the crown jewel of the collection is their collection of sound recordings, “one of the largest poetry-specific sound archives in the world”.

 And, as you can imagine, many of the older vinyl recordings are simply to beat-up to listen to.

That is, until now.

The folks at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, take us behind the scenes and introduce us to IRENE a new technology that is rescuing badly damaged recordings and allowing us to hear these buried treasures while also allowing scholars and researchers to get to work and compare theses recordings to their printed counterparts.

IRENE was created by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and is currently being offered to museums, archives and private collectors. Just how special is this preservation technology?

“IRENE can do something that no other technology can do, which is to put Humpty Dumpty back together again,” says NEDCC director Bill Veillette.