Kelly and I were dumbstruck when we heard that Robin Williams died.
And we are not alone. Our fellow Bostonians have spontaneously created a memorial to him in the Public Garden, on and around the bench where he sat during one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie Good Will Hunting.
It is a great scene. No wonder Williams got an Oscar for this role.
But that isn’t my favorite scene. My favorite one, the one where he earned his honorary Bostonian status in my eyes, is this scene where he talks about the Red Sox and the 1975 World Series. Seeing this man (Carlton Fisk) on the TV jumping up and down and waving his arms this way is one of my earliest memories that I can still recall. I was five. They must have played it a lot on the news for a five-year old in Alabama to watch it and remember it.
I see this the same way I see lifelong Mets fan Jimmy Fallon in his role in Fever Pitch. He did it so well he made me really believe it. That’s what good acting can do. And so seeing Williams in some of these recognizable spots in Boston and Cambridge makes me feel a bit more connected to the movie, and thus to him. And I think a lot of other people feel the same way, because there is now a petition for a statue of Williams in his role as Bostonian Sean Maguire, sitting on that bench. So maybe in some way a lot of people want to sit next to him on that bench, as I myself have imagined once or twice while sitting on that same bench. It comforted me in some small way. And I think it is a fantastic way for Boston to remember him. I hope all of you do too, and will sign the petition or otherwise contribute to making it a reality.
So long, Mr. Williams. We miss you already.