April 15th is a day those of us in Boston will remember. I was finishing my last stop of the day when I got a text message from my daughter about the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I had started the day early as I always do on that day because if I don’t, the roads will be closed. I live in Ashland, Mass., which is 20 miles west of Boston, and a lot of the roads that I normally take to my stops get closed for the marathon.
When my daughter texted me, I clicked on the news on my mobile phone and learned about the tragic bombing. It was my last stop of the day, so I just headed home.
When I got home, I put on the TV and watched the news. People were killed and injured. I felt sad for the victims and hoped that my own friends and acquaintances were not among them.
On Tuesday, I went to work and soon learned that two of my customers had run in the race. Fortunately, both had finished the race before the bombing occurred and they escaped injury.
For the next couple of days, police were everywhere. I drove my truck to my usual stops throughout greater Boston. The bombings were all people were talking about. No one had ever had anything like this happen before.
Customer knew the suspect
When the images of the suspects were flashed across the TV screens, one of my customers told me he recognized one of the two men. And when the suspects’ identities were announced, my customer said he was correct that the face he recognized was in fact a guy he knew in high school. He was pretty shocked because he had no idea this guy would be involved in something like this.
The bombings and the whereabouts of the suspects were on everybody’s mind Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
A lot of people wondered how this horrible event could have been prevented. But in such an open space as where the bombing occurred, I don’t know what you can do to prevent it.
Friday was the day that the surviving suspect was caught. I got in my truck as usual that morning and headed to Newton, a western suburb of Boston. In retrospect, I realize that I was lucky that it wasn’t the day that I normally go to Watertown, where the surviving suspect was caught. I normally go to Watertown on Monday.
I noticed the streets were deserted. There weren’t any buses or taxis on the streets. I knew something was going on, but I didn’t know what. I had heard nothing on the news when I left my house in the morning.
When I got to my first stop, I noticed there was no one inside. Then someone opened the door and told me there was a police lockdown in effect for the day and that I should go home. I went to a couple more stops and realized that no one was open for business, so I went home.
I kept the TV on at home and watched the drama unfold. On Thursday, the suspects had killed a security guard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and hijacked a car. On Friday, the police killed one of the suspects and captured the other one in Watertown.
Fortunately for me, Friday is my least busy day. I schedule it that way. So losing the sales on Friday did not affect me as much as it would have on another day.
In my 30 years working as a Mac Tools distributor, I have never witnessed an event like this.
On the following Monday, everything was back to normal. There were still a lot of police cars on the streets, but businesses were open and people were back to their regular routines.
By the media coverage of the bombings, it’s obvious the whole country shares in our loss. But for those of us in Boston, the loss is more personal.
Glen Fosberg is a Mac Tools distributor based in Ashland, Mass. who covers the greater Boston area. He has been a mobile distributor for Mac Tools for more than 30 years.