Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bless Mr. Bighead

A small item in today's papers notes that former Massachusetts Governor Edward J. King is in intensive care after brain surgery for internal bleeding. I confess that his politics in general did not suit me, but I am sorry to read that. He was always nice to my baby.

He was a professional football player for three years and showed it. He could have modeled for a big-and-tall store. He was always sturdy and powerful when we saw him, which turned out to be often.

When my baby, who is now 27, was in a Snugli or on my shoulders, we saw and chatted with Ed King frequently. He was governor from 1979 through 1983, when we moved to Boston and into my first-born's pre-school days. It was on those trips through the state house we saw him.

As broad as Ed's shoulders are, his head is more striking. There were two bigheaded guys in my life at that time. DEC's Ken Olsen was one; I saw him as a writer for computer magazines. He was always confrontational and damned right. And he had a gigantic skull, out of proportion to others around him. The same and different was Ed King. He too had a massive head, but he was always smiling and forever interested in people around him.

When I first saw each of them, one word came immediately to mind, Bucephalus. Alexander the Great's horse was likewise known for his most impressive feature. In Greek, the name means ox-headed.

So picture the dad with an impish lad on his shoulders, pumping legs wrapped around the neck like a jockey urging a gallop. We walked up the Hill on our Hancock Street into and through the state house, on the way to the Paulist Center on the other side, where the daycare/pre-school was in the basement.

Homeland Security Sigh: Surely even for abutting families such sensible and then normal trips would not be possible. Governors would not roam the ground floor, guards would not let people just walk through, and caution would trump civility.

When Ed was governor he did his evil with legislators -- trying to bring back the death penalty and cutting social services. To us, he was a charmer and gentleman.

When baby Aaron was on me or tucked into my bent arm, Ed would invariably approach and speak with us, no not us, Aaron. He was the big shot and certainly didn't have to do that, but he always did. He too was sensible about it -- no baby talk, rather he used adult words with him as we did and Aaron was quite comfortable with our governor. Eye to eye, tiny head to big head, they were chatting buddies.

So, we wish Ed well in remembrance of those many brief encounters. Of course, we can't be sure he'll heal -- after all, we're all terminal patients here. However, we do have good thoughts for a good human being.

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Anonymous said...

Were you aware that Mike Barnicle, (96.9 FM Talk) occasionally features a discussion about "big head" radio?

massmarrier said...

I wasn't. Though,you may remember some spin tunes by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. We can be pretty sure neither Ed King nor Ken Olsen is involved with either.