The first Sunday in June is a favorite of mine, as Dorchester Ave turns into Main Street USA. Except instead of Mickey, Minnie and a sad yet diverse cast of underpaid Disneyland actors, local businesses, schools and societies spend four hours walking three miles in the annual Dorchester Day Parade. Yet, despite (or perhaps in spite of) my sarcasm, it’s actually a ton of fun! It’s like the St. Patty’s Day parade in Southie, but because it’s practically summer, the need to drown out the sad mud filled dreariness of mid-March with Fireballs and Jameson, is replaced with the excitement of jacketless weather and an endless swarm of bubbles!
But let’s back it up! About a year ago, I was heading to work on the Red Line when I noticed the gentleman sitting next to me sketching on a notepad. I noticed, because he happened to be making signs for the Mather School’s float in the upcoming Dorchester Day Parade. The Mather School, located in historic Dorchester, is the oldest free public elementary school in the country. Last year, they happened to be celebrating its 375th birthday. Around what would have been its 755th Birthday, I, along with my twin sister, was a student there.
Needless to say, I was instantly charmed by his drawings, which led us to striking up a conversation. The gentleman, whose name I would soon learned is Stu, is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. And not just randomly on the T. Ever! A parent of a Mather Student, Stu and I discussed the need for volunteer photographers for the parade. While I did not soot last year's DOT Day parade, Stu was kind enough to invite me along this year. It was such a blast to be with the students, teachers and parents that day! Check out Stu's float art as well!