By Curator, Richard Johnson
Where does one start with memories of this sacred building now in its last hours as home to the single most important public resource/protector in New England?
From a personal standpoint me and my Sports Museum colleagues owe everything to the Boston Globe as our first ever donation was a $2500. check from John I. and Davis Taylor back in the late seventies. This made it possible for us to rent a single room with a telephone in 1980 on Franklin Street that allowed us to forge ahead towards our future homes in Allston, Cambridge and now at TD Garden. I remember our co-founder Vic Caliri informing me that , at the time of the check signing, one of the Taylor cousins wore a tweed jacket that had a least one bare elbow. He may have been embellishing things when he recalled a moth flying out of the leather satchel containing their check book. Though my partial Yankee heart informs me he was spot on.
One of the great privileges of my career was being mentored by former Globe sports editor Jerry Nason. Jerry, whose given name was Paul, was as old school as they came as he’d started as a copy boy out of Newton High (just one HS back in the 20’s) and worked his way to the art department and to sports. It was here he made his bones with a story that uncovered the clever ruse of a group of north shore kids who fielded a fictitious high school football team in the late twenties named “Salem Trade.”
As was the apprenticeship for many of his era the newspaper was both his college and graduate school.
And for most of the next five decades Jerry edited three separate sports sections (daily, evening and Sunday) wrote a Saturday notes column and covered his treasured beats of Ivy League football, the Boston Marathon and track and field as well as the Summer and Winter Olympics.
I knew him as a retired raconteur in Winchester who’d hold court, cigarette in hand, in his screen porch. His knowledge stretched back to the tales he’d heard of John L. Sullivan, Harvard’s Ma Newall, the original Red Stockings, Tarzan Brown, Sam Langford, the Olympians of 1896, Eleonora Sears, Hazel Wightman and countless others.
His greatest pride was in those he’d hired for his staff including the likes of Harold Kaese, Herb Ralby, Bob Holbrook, Fran Rosa, Ray Fitzgerald, Leigh Montville, and the duo of Peter Gammons and Bob Ryan who started work on the same June day in 1968. And there are so many more and the editors that followed Jerry including Dave Smith, Ernie Roberts, Vince Doria, Don Skwar, and Joe Sullivan have maintained the highest of standards for a sports page many consider the best in America.
Thanks Jerry for your good humor, wisdom and encouragement. You recognized a kindred spirit and were most kind and I’ll be forever grateful.
Thank you George Collins for the largesse of The Globe Foundation back in the days we were citizens without portfolio.
Thank you Jack Thomas for your enthusiastic support of The Sports Museum as well as your friendship.
Thank you Scott Halstead for helping us launch the Legendary Lunch series as well as many other special programs,
Thank you Kevin Paul Dupont, Jackie MacMullen, Peter Gammons, Bob Ryan, Bob Hohler, Ron Borges, Will McDonough, Nick Cafardo, Ben Volin, Fluto Shinazawa, Larry Ames, Marvin Pave, Doug Most, Peter May, Chad Finn, Peter Abraham, Gary Washburn, Alex Speier, Scott Thurston, Mike Vega, Barbara Matson, Mark Cofman, Christopher Gasper, Craig Larson, Matt Pepin, Stan Grossfeld, Lesley Visser, and Dan Shaughnessy among many many others for the personal and professional courtesies extended over several decades.
And a special thanks and tip of the cap to Joe Sullivan who arranged for the museum to receive the donation of the Globe sports library. Packed and sorted in 140 bankers boxes by yours truly it was moved this afternoon by ace Globe “Hawk” Karl and has been removed to the confines of the museum archive within Iron Mountain’s storage vaults.
I’ll miss the smell of ink and the daily miracle manifest in a newspaper emerging from the former tap of typewriters and current clatter of computer keyboards that within mere hours flies off rumbling presses and onto those distinctive green delivery trucks bursting from a compound of just 16 acres.
Collectively and individually we turn the page.
(Photo caption: The Globe’s ace “Hawk” Karl loads the Globe sports library onto the cart that will take it to the loading dock for Iron Mountain and the museum archive.)