To lose George McGovern and Locke-Ober in the same week is tough. The senator’s passing, of course, is much more consequential, but both remind me of threshold moments when I experienced inclusion.
I was on the floor of the ’72 Democratic Convention when McGovern finally accepted the party’s nomination, at 1:45 in the morning. As a young Cuban woman, I was keenly aware that people like me would not have been part of the process but for the reforms McGovern launched after the disastrous 1968 Convention in Chicago.
Equally empowering and symbolic was celebrating my 50th birthday at Locke-Ober, a symbol of an old and stodgy Boston I had worked so long and hard to challenge. My husband organized and hosted the best — and loudest — Cuban party ever for me — mojitos, daiquiris, a great Cuban band and 100 of my relatives and friends. I loved that night and all it represented for me — celebrating a milestone and my roots in such a quintessential Boston setting, underscoring the more diverse Boston we have become. Its doors closing does not surprise me, and in fact reminds me of an era of power and privilege that is best in our rearview mirror. Adios, Locke-Ober!