Sunday, June 15, 2008

Boston A Great Place To View History

Written from Boston, Mass.

One dividend certainly of having gone East to college is that you keep coming back to class reunions during the pleasant summertime in New England. Here in the "cradle" of the American Revolution" for four days of celebrating my Dartmouth class's 70th birthdays this year, we've been lucky with the weather, until this morning, when it was drizzling.

A heatwave dissipated the day before we arrived, and the 108 members of the class who showed up here have had a splendid time -- a clambake, a gala dinner at Symphony Hall, the Boston Pops and breakfast and a panel discussion on presidential elections at Fanueil Hall, where the heroes of the revolutio0n once spoke. This time, it's me and Bob Hager, formerly of NBC News, on the podium.

Under the Boston 'Go' Card, we could travel as far as Lexington and Concord, where the first clashes of the Revolutionary War took place, as well as to see Boston's many monuments and museums, the Boston Green, the old North Church, USS Constitution, Bunker Hill, Harvard University, take boat tours in Boston Harbor and the Charles River, and even as far as Provincetown on Cape Cod, Plymouth Rock, Salem and Gloucester.

We stayed at a festive hotel, the Mariott Long Wharf on the harbor, with trolley tours and boat tours just out the front door. Our heavy drinking days are over -- this time, to hold down collective costs, it was a no-host bar throughout the weekend.

And a branch of one of my favorite restaurants -- Legal Sea Foods, was also right out the door. Its raw Little Neck, Cherrystone and fried clams are not to be missed. Even its key lime pie seemed authentic.

From Logan Airport, you can reach the hotel and this entire historic sector by water taxi for $10 one way or $17 a roundtrip.

We had our clambake, featuring steamers, huge lobsters and corn on the cob, blueberry and apple pie, at an Outward Bound facility on Thompson Island, a 15-minute boat ride.

This entire event cost each person about $1,100, including the hotel, and was arranged by two classmates, Dick Foley and Eugene Kohn. We also held a class meeting, and even a moment of remembrance for six classmates and two wives who have died since we last met, in Hanover, N.H., last October. (Dartmouth was not a Co-Ed school when we went there, although it has been since 1972).

Prices for travel have gone up. In the panel on presidential campaigns, I recalled that in six months of covering Sen. Eugene McCarthy in 1968, in 35 states, the most I ever spent for a night's hotel was at the St. Regis in New York City, $34 a night. That got a big laugh.

Actually, I think Boston, like Washington, San Francisco, New York and New Orleans, are the places to come in visiting American cities. Certainly not Sam Zell's Chicago.

Just dashing off for another event.


Getting back to Los Angeles late Sunday, and well after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in the 5th game of the NBA championships, sending the series back to Boston, I notice that the L.A. Times Web site doesn't clearly have the game on Page 1. This contrasts with the Boston Globe leading its paper today with the Celtics.

This is more Hiller Horseshit. He promised a better Web site, and he hasn't delivered one. Oner problem is, they don't work hard, or very late. In the meantime, it was clear, talking to my classmates, the L.A. Times under Sam Zell, David Hiller and Co. is a laughing stock.



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