Thomas Oatway | A Glimpse of Boston’s Humanity

In the Dec. 28 opinion section of The Signal, we readers finally caught a glimpse of humanity in the writings of John Boston (“A Man Named Red, an Alfa Mechanic, and Pie”). This holiday season version of Mr. Boston is a big improvement over dark satire.

We learned about Red, a character and homeless soul who wandered the streets of the Santa Clarita Valley in the ’60s. Red was an illiterate former stunt man and sometimes double for John Wayne who enrolled in adult school to learn to read, but later died of lymph cancer. John Boston captured the spirit of a good man who helped stranded motorists and loved his dog Puppy.

Those of us who have purchased an impractical car, in John Boston’s case a 1961 Alfa race car, can relate. My ’68 Vette is still parked in my garage, and has not been driven since 1986. My wife calls it a shelf. And they used to call me “practical Tom.” 

But the heart of Mr. Boston really showed it is capable of warmth and caring when he described the difficulty of a single father saying goodbye to his young daughter “Pie” on a Christmas morning when he had to return his beloved daughter to her grandmother. 

Thank you, John Boston, for reminding us of the true spirit of Christmas.

Thomas Oatway Valencia

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