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Archive for January 2008

Anthony Morella 1964-2008

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In my neighborhood of Boston, there are a few locals, and a gazillion tourists. It’s one of the prices one pays for living in such a great place (politics aside).

When I first moved here, one of the people I met was a guy a couple of years older than me named Anthony. He was different – unique, in fact. Though an adult in middle-age, Anthony was a perpetual child – roughly eight or nine years old. Fascinated by fire-trucks, gold, police cars, slapstick humor, and all the things one associates with little boys. He lived alone — his parents both being dead — but he was high-functioning enough for someone of his condition that he was able to do so. He was always clean, always dressed, and never helpless. True, many, myself included, helped in small ways. His hair was attended to by a local barber, his meals mostly provided, his laundry done. I quickly came to view him as a yardstick: how people treated Anthony told you something about their character.

He could be trying. There were days when he persisted in ‘meowing’ and then wondering where the cat was. There were times when he would talk about nothing. And there were times he would get angry or scared, and those were hard for he didn’t know how to deal with those two emotions. But even when he might be angry with you, it was plain he didn’t really mean it, and surely you could overlook it, however difficult that might be with the stresses of life and what. I loved to watch him do crossword puzzles. He would carefully take the puzzle, and then the answers. He would place them side-by-side, and then with a blue ball-point pen, methodically ink in all the answers in perfect block letters. I often joked I would like to be as good as Anthony at crosswords one day. Sometimes I would come upon him standing near my car, as if making sure no one would go near it.

So it was a real shock when he died.

He had been at the skating rink, and walking it seemed in the direction of home, or perhaps the fire station, In the end, it appears he had a stroke or heart attack, and was found and taken to the hospital. There he died. I was almost relieved when I heard that for at first I feared he had been attacked, and I dreaded to think of him dying alone.

At his funeral, I was stunned to see so many people I knew, but hadn’t connected with Anthony. He had touched untold numbers of lives. Surely he has gone to be with the angels, of which he was one, albeit a touch coarse, here.

Update The Boston Globe has a fine tribute.

Written by martinipundit

January 28, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Boston, General

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