My dad was born in South Boston. His heart was always in New England. Some of my fondest memories with my father are of cross-country skiing. Train tracks, frozen rivers, open fields – these were the places he’d seek out anytime there was freshly fallen snow. Jack loved free activities, especially ones that yielded some return – in this case, the ability to create your own warmth on even the coldest days of the year. Not only was it low cost, but it was low impact and, although it didn’t feel that way when the ice would thunder under our skis as it settled on those frozen rivers, low risk as well.
The Cantab was home base for Jack in New England. He might have discovered the open mike down the street but the Cantab is where he came to own it. He said it was the best audience in the country – and that audience sure loved him. Jack was a celebrity there. When he’d read, the only sound beyond his voice was the rumbling of the red line underneath. Even the bartenders seemed to stop to listen to him.