Blow by Bruce Porter Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Blow by Bruce Porter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bruce Porter
thinking to myself, ‘All right, here comes the bullshit.’ I walked into her classroom and she introduced herself—a round cherub face, a little overweight, wide in the hips, a flowered dress. ‘Oh, you’re Marie’s brother! She was such a wonderful student. Such a wonderful person. And I’ve looked over your grades in junior high, and I think you can do a lot better. You’re a football player, and Mr. Fisher is my good friend. We can work together and I’m going to help you. I’m going to devote all my free time to you,’ and blah blah blah. I listened through it all, and when she was all finished, I just said to her, ‘No you won’t, Miss Toomey,’ and ‘Thank you anyway, Miss Toomey,’ and ‘Good-bye, Miss Toomey,’ and I walked out.”
    Marie kept up with Miss Toomey after graduation and down through the years, sending word every Christmas about what her children were doing, detailing the milestones in Otis’s career at Eli Lilly. “She wrote me that Otis made a big breakthrough in robotics that’s going to benefit his company tremendously. And the children, you could easily see Marie in the children. A son graduated from West Point, another son is an attorney, and Karen, I think, is at Purdue Engineering School. You could see there was good stock there. The genes were good.” Of George, Miss Toomey heard nothing after graduation, not a word for nearly twenty years, until she was talking one day with her handyman, Paul Deschamps, whose son was a member of the Eastham Police Department. “It was in 1980, I think. Paul was working at the house one day, and, ‘Oh, by the way,’ he said, ‘there’s been a very big thing happened in Eastham with drugs. There’s this fellow, actually, the fellow came from Weymouth. Did you ever hear of a George Jung?’”
    Luckily for George, the path toward becoming a big man at Weymouth High was paved most readily not by getting good grades but by playing football. During the team’s nine-week schedule, players served as the focus of attention, not only in the classrooms and corridors of the school, but also among the townspeople at large. Shortly after twelve noon on an autumn Saturday, by the time the players had suited up in their maroon-and-gold uniforms and were leaving the locker room for the half-mile walk to Legion Field, the streets of Weymouth would be lined several deep with people ready to cheer and clap and wave their banners as the heroes marched by, their cleats clattering on the pavement like a company of horse guards. Seats were reserved and almost always sold out. You couldn’t get a parking space within a mile of the field. The pulse of the town mounted feverishly as the day approached for the pinnacle event, which occurred at 10:00 A.M . on Thanksgiving Day as Weymouth went up against its arch foe, Brockton, in a contest that would draw a hysterical crowd of more than ten thousand people. “Football back then, it’s hard to convey the feeling, but it was just everything in Weymouth,” says Buzzy Knight, an alumnus who later became the school’s principal. “On Saturdays, for a home game, in good weather, this town simply came to a standstill.”
    Weymouth’s fervid interest in football stemmed partly from the fact that in the way of local pride it had nothing much else to greatly distinguish it. Despite its location on the water and a history that stretched back to the Pilgrims, Weymouth emerged in the mid-twentieth century as a drab blue-collar town, made up of a mishmash of development-style houses, low-end shopping centers, and little of the charming colonial residue found elsewhere in New England. Like nearby Brockton, it relied for employment on deadening jobs in the shoe factories or work in the shipyard in Quincy, both of them industries that deteriorated after World War II and in recent years have become

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