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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Saying hello

We’re all in this together, and acknowledging one another is a custom we must not lose.

WHEN I WAS A BOY, my father would take my brother and me for a swim in the lake in the town where I now live. Then it was a farming community of about 3,500. Today it is a commuting community of about 10,500. From my boyhood spot in the back seat of the two-toned 1957 Chevy, I noticed how my father would wave to other drivers we passed as we made our way to the lake. Most would respond with a simple wave. Others would raise the four fingers curved around the top of the steering wheel as their acknowledgment; some would raise a finger to the brim of their baseball hat.

When we’d turn the corner at the top of the long hill that led to the lake, we would pass a farmhouse where an elderly couple would be sitting on the porch. Make sure you wave, my father would say. And we did, and they would always wave back.

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