I have mixed feelings about Patriots’ (a/k/a Patriot’s or Patriots) Day. Those who live in Massachusetts, Maine and, of all things, Wisconsin, know that it commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War (Paul Revere made his wild midnight ride April 18/19). But for New Englanders, Patriots’ Day really means the running of the Boston marathon. The marathon starts Monday morning in bucolic Hopkinton and the runners follow Routes 135 and 16 through the ‘burbs of Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and into Boston proper. When my kids were little, we visited a friend in Wellesley and held cups of water and orange slices out to passing runners…what a rush!
I was lucky enough to get a job as a legal assistant with a Wellesley attorney in 1988, where I helped him leave a firm and start a solo practice specializing in mergers and acquisitions for a venture capitalist. He also owned a flurry of closely-held companies in Idaho and Montana…companies that owned placer gold mining ground and trees…lots of trees. I spent a happy 10 years in a relaxed and nurturing environment doing something I was really good at. And, best of all, our office was right on Route 16 at the Newton end of Wellesley. There was absolutely no way I could get to work on Patriots’ Day unless I got there early and left late. It was like a stolen three-day weekend, always cherished.
Then came Patriots’ Day 1998. In the very early morning, I got a call from Mrs. Wellesley Attorney, telling me that Mr. Wellesley Attorney had suffered a massive heart attack and had died. He was 59. And the world tilted. I spent the next months closing the practice, then moved on, doing a bit of job hopping. I am happily working with another friend, another solo practitioner (real estate specialty this time) for years now. And a little snapshot of Mr. Wellesley Attorney taken in Sanibel days before he died sits on my window sill. And I am back on Route 16 in Wellesley. So, once again, a stolen long weekend.
And a beautiful weekend it is…