Brian McGrory

Overflowing compassion

The notes began arriving, one after another, last Wednesday morning before most rational people have even gotten out of bed. Each had the same question and theme: How can we help?

There was a column in this space that day about a proud, dignified woman named Shirley Simmons who raised a good son in the middle of Roxbury back in the 1970s when the wrong choices beckoned around every turn. The boy, Darryl Williams, was a solid student, a graceful athlete, an expert artist, and an accomplished musician, all of which came to an end on a football field in Charlestown on a Friday afternoon in 1979.

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