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The Boston Globe

Opinion

opinion | simon waxman

Beyond Bulger

The best revenge is noting how far Boston and Somerville have come

The auto shop on Marshall Street in Somerville where Whitey Bulger once made his headquarters is a church these days. You could ask everyone in town what they think of the mobster, and most would probably tell you they don’t think of him at all — because he and his Winter Hill gang are long gone, because they know his name but not his exploits, or because they’ve never heard of him in the first place.

With its young families, revolving cast of college students, and embrace of immigrants, Somerville has moved on. Thanks in part to concerted efforts to encourage harmony between new arrivals and longtime locals, it is no longer the kind of parochial town where a Bulger could thrive.

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