|Carpenters Doug Rondeau, left, and Wayne Gilbert|
enjoy lunch with Wade Boggs.
|Boggs hangs out|
in the garage.
Cardboard Wade came into our lives about a year before his last season with the Red Sox. Jim and I had taken Ben to a Red Sox game and couldn't resist his pleas to take the third baseman home with him.
I came home from work on Jan. 4, 1993 and found 7-year-old Ben crying behind his bedroom door. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but I knew it was bad, and I was kind of worried. I finally got it out of him: Boggs had signed with the arch rival Yankees. Although he would later sign on to the motto "There is no crying in baseball," who could blame him? This was a big deal.
Still, Wade stayed on in Ben's room. I knew he was there, but sometimes when I walked by at night I jumped.
Then the cutout's head began to droop, like he was perpetually sleeping, and finally somebody tossed him into Ben's big walk-in closet, which became the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff.
Last week I started a big cleanup in Ben's room, and he followed this weekend with five hours of sorting, tossing and keeping. He decided, alas, to throw cardboard Wade out.
I had a little trouble with this, partly out of sentimentality and partly because it's hard to throw out something that looks so lifelike. It reminded me of the years that the kids and I lovingly made life-size scarecrows and sat the smiling fellows on our porch bench. It took forever for us to put them out with the trash; we waited until they were so waterlogged that they were just too pathetic to keep.
I have pretty good luck putting things down by the curb; we're on a busy road, and usually people take whatever I've put out there. I taped up Wade's head and laid him against a tree, but there were no takers, so I dragged him back to the garage.
The carpenters were there working on our garage, and they shared their lunch break with Wade by propping him against my car.
I was just about to throw cardboard Wade into the carpenters' dump truck when I got a call from our neighbor saying he had seen the cutout down by the road and wondering if I still had it. Apparently he knows someone who loves these things and would appreciate having his photo taken with our Wade.
I told the neighbor that Wade was all his. The carpenters said they would put him in the garage to keep him dry.
When I looked around the other day, I found him hanging from the rafters.
So my neighbor will come to take him down, and cardboard Wade will "live" another day.
I just hope he keeps his head up.