A former governor is picking up your trash

With Mike Dukakis around, you can be sure this newspaper won’t end up as litter.
With Mike Dukakis around, you can be sure this newspaper won’t end up as litter. –David L Ryan / The Boston Globe

There’s a lovably weird story of a woman picking up trash with former Gov. Michael Dukakis near downtown Boston in the letters to The Boston Globe this morning.

He threw his collection in the trash bin when we got to the top of the stairs, then turned to me and asked, “How many ex-governors do you think go around picking up trash at train stations?’’

I laughed, and said, “Not many.’’ Then his comment sunk in. I asked if he had, um, actually served as governor of Massachusetts.

“Yes, for 12 years!’’

And that is how I met Michael Dukakis.

It’s just one of the many, many sightings of the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee cleaning up the streets. When the 81-year-old is not taking the subway from his home in Brookline, he’s made a habit of getting down and dirty.

A 2003 story in the Globe centered on his obsession with litter:

“I mean, look at this crap!’’ he growls, finally snaring the offensive refuse. “It’s appalling, disgraceful. There’s just no excuse for it.’’ …

There are many issues the former governor gets passionate about – teaching, high-speed rail – but this morning, it’s all about litter.

“It’s enough to drive you out of your mind,’’ he says. “You see it all over the place and you have to ask: Why isn’t anyone dealing with this?’’

Just another day in the life of the Duke.

Gallery: 20 quirky landmarks across New England.

(h/t Emma Green)


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