On the 15th April last year, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, on Patriots' Day, two bombs exploded on Boylston Street in an horrific attack on a city in which the perpetrators had made their home and which had welcomed them as it has welcomed generations of immigrants for centuries.
Boston has a very special place in my heart - and not just because of the Red Sox, around which the city gathered in the days after the bombing last year.
It has one (arguably, three) of the world's leading art galleries. It has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the States. It has bred writers as good and as diverse as Henry James and Robert B Parker, TS Eliot and Sylvia Plath. It has more colleges and universities than most countries. And it has some of the warmest and most welcoming people I have ever met.
Boston is like that. Sit at any bar and the chances are, the person next to you will be interesting, fun and loquacious. Not surprising, really, in a town which was built by successive waves of Irish and Italian immigrants.
It is the sociability and gregariousness of these two nations which, blended with Afro and Hispanic joie de vivre, has taken over a city founded by Puritans.
I found myself, one afternoon, sitting in a bar on Boylston and Arlington, happily arguing a Marxist line against an Italian Catholic proponent of Weber - you know, the stuff about the rise of capitalism being the result of the Protestant work ethic.
How we moved on to this topic from our initial disagreement about the merits of different Pinot Noirs and Sox short stops I am not clear. But that's Boston.
Conversation in Boston is like the weather in Boston: it changes by the minute. One minute, it is cold and hard and bitter; the next, it is warm and wet and witty.
And that's why I love that dirty water; why I love the people who live on the Charles, the Muddy and the Mystic rivers; in Beacon Hill and Kenmore, North End, Southie and Charlestown.
Boston is my kind of town. And on this first anniversary of the bombings, I send my love to the the city and its people, to Boston and the Bostonians.
Boston, B strong!
Today from the everysmith vault: I've been listening a great deal to Geoff Mauldaur and the Texas Sheiks, a CD gifted to me by the excellent Rick Hough from Boston; and also to some recent shows from Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, who have just announced a couple of dates in London this summer, at about the time Cassidy's first-born is due. Serendipity?