Lynn, Lynn, City of…Grampy
My Grampy wrote that title on a note he sent me just after I moved to the West Coast.
“Lynn, Lynn, the City of Sin.” That’s how 80% of strangers respond when they ask me where I’m from.
I’ve always been proud to be a fourth-generation Lynner, but the city has definitely seen better days. In high school we ran the mile on the Lynn Common, across the street from our school–past drunks passed out on benches, around liquor bottles and sometimes syringes on the ground. One team from a nearby town whispered something about knives in our shinguards when they came to play our traveling soccer team. For much of my lifetime, the stereotype of Lynn has been one of violence, crime, poverty.
I love going home, but it has always been for the people, not the place itself. On my most recent trip back, I discovered that Lynn is changing for the better. Not included in these pics are two of my favorite high school teachers, who took me to the Blue Ox for wine and cheesecake. It was the kind of restaurant I love, and never thought I would see one in downtown. MJ and Sue told me about a reviving arts community, renovations of downtown buildings, and other signs of hope for the economy and community.
The main reason for the trip was the new incarnation of Grampy: my dad, who was inducted into the Lynn Classical High School Hall of Fame for his 19 years of service as Athletic Director. He is a true leader and brought excellence to the entire athletic program. It was great to be present for his honor and to see many family members (especially my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew) and former teachers and coaches.
It also reminded me that I graduated from high school 17 years ago. Am I that old? Really?