As readers know, I was very fortunate to have worked in the State House from 1976-82, while attending law school from 78-82 (Suffolk Law School's 4 year evening program).
From 1976-80, I worked in the office of Jack Aylmer, State Senator from the Cape and Islands, mostly drafting legislation. "Jack" as he was known to his constituents was a politically moderate Republican who did great things for his district and was a pleasure to work for. When "Jack" became "Admiral" Aylmer and took over Mass Maritime in 1980, I still had two years left in law school. Fortunately, I didn't go without a job for 5 minutes. In those days, word traveled fast in the State House halls. Andy Warren, a legislative staffer for Senator Joe Timilty from Boston had become General Counsel for the MBTA. Joe needed an experienced legislative aide to work legislation for the Committee he chaired in the Senate on Housing and Urban Development. After a 3 minute interview with Joe and Tom Menino, I moved from Jack's office to Joe's office. Two fascinating years followed and I worked on many challenging projects including bonding issues for affordable housing and Boston's condominium conversion legislation. Joe was a bit more "intense" than Jack, but also a pleasure to work for.
Now; what prompts this blog today? In today's Boston Globe, Yvonne Abraham's column is about two wonderful ladies I had the pleasure to work with; Peggy Gannon and Martha Pierce. As I recall, my desk was next to Tom's and Peggy's and Martha's and Maryanne Burnes were across the room. Martha and Peggy did for Joe much of what they would later do for Tom in City Hall for the next 20 years. It was a friendly and dedicated staff and much was accomplished. From pictures I've seen on Facebook, Martha looks like she hasn't aged a day, and according to Abraham's column, Peggy is still as private a person as she was then.
Well; as often happens, people move and their careers take different directions. I started a trial practice in Canton in 1982, before returning to Boston in 1987. I'm not sure why I fell out of touch with the old gang, but did. I do recall one day when Tom and I sat next to each other getting our shoes shined. Somehow Tom knew that I was working on Joe Kennedy's finance committee (when Joe was running for Governor), and it was clear, at least at that time, that Tom had a problem with Joe, although I can't recall why. In any event, I have always marveled at the spectacular career this man has had that sat next to me for 2 years a long time ago. Congrats Mr. Mayor!
But; what I really wanted to do was say hello again to Martha and Peggy and congratulate THEM on their careers of dedication and accomplishment. The column today made me smile and laugh; particularly when Peggy left the room after Tom started to talk about her. I wish them all the best as their lives move on to the next challenge.