After attending my granddaughter’s school play, “High School Musical” at South Middle School in Braintree the other day, one of the young students mother’s came up to me and said, “Mr. Mayor, how did you like the show? Weren’t the kids great? They really practiced a long time and worked hard.” That prompted me to walk over to the front of the stage to tell the producer, one of the teachers and a couple of the students how much we all enjoyed the performance. Observing the look of pride on the faces of the children’s parents faces made my day. Ok, I know it wasn’t exactly a Broadway production of My Fair Lady so I won’t get carried away. But for many of Americans who were riveted to their TV’s watching the FBI Director JAMES Comey Congressional hearing and and the endless unenlightening media responses, the children’s show was certainly a refreshing break from all the acrimony and bitter political rhetoric we had to endure the past few days coming out of Washington. But when I got outside the school seeing all the smiling and happy faces of the children and proud parents, I couldn’t help thinking about all the good that is taking place in our country that we never hear about. Average parents working hard to bring up their children and help give them a healthy and bright future. I looked around and saw a few other old timers taking photo’s with their grandchildren and I thought that they probably were thinking the same thing I was. But just than, a retired Boston Public School teacher who I used to play baseball against in high school came up to me and said, “Hi Ray, great show huh? I heard you on WRKO radio with Bill Kelly this morning. Listening to you telling us about your Codman Square Neighborhood meeting recently was fascinating. I grew up in Dorchester, so I knew exactly what you were talking about. You and Kelly are great. Most of the problems we had back than were about families not having much money. Today, the concerns are mostly about drugs and violence. What you had to say, really hit home with me. The solution to the problem in America today is in bringing families together. Just like you tried to do back then.”
I wish that more people could hear your stories about how courageous and determined people came together in Dorchester and other neighborhoods, in a period of racial, economic and social challenge. But unfortunately the media is out of touch and left wing Hollywood elites today are far more interested in phony political scandals than hearing facts about the many wonderful hard working young students and families we see all the time in our own neighborhoods.
But my weekend was not yet over, after coaching Special Needs children in the Teamsters Local 25 Challenge Baseball League in Braintree, we attend the 50 th anniversary Mass and retirement of my school friend Fr. Paul Rouse at Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston. Waiting in line in Church to say “good luck” to Fr Rouse, one of his former parishioners from St. Raphael’s in Arlington said to me, “Are you concerned about all the stories about this Trump and Comey thing?” I looked at him for others to hear and said, “I’m not concerned about Trump or Comey at all. I’m not even concerned about the Russians. I’m more concerned about the media, who are creating more division in America today. I just left a group of great Special Needs kids. I wish the media would give them and their parents a little attention and dedicated volunteers, including the college students from Mass Maritime Academy, a little credit for their dedication. The press should focus on the real problems in America today, that’s what I really care about. Not the nonsense that the out of touch media is trying to sell us today. Unfortunately, the real stories in America are not getting covered today by the press.
Ray Flynn is the former Mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.