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Nothing unusual, just another day of picking up the trash . . .

Michael Dukakis.David L. Ryan/Globe staff/file 2003

At around 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10, at Park Street Station, in the tunnel between Park Street and Downtown Crossing: This morning I befriended a nice old man who was picking up garbage at the train station on his way to work.

“What a good citizen you are!” I said. He was grouchy and told me the train stations were always filthy. I agreed, but cringed when he bent down to pick up a food wrapper and what looked like a used napkin.

I told him to make sure he washed his hands when he got to work.

“That’s what my wife says,” he replied.

He threw his collection in the trash bin when we got to the top of the stairs, then turned to me and asked, “How many ex-governors do you think go around picking up trash at train stations?”

I laughed, and said, “Not many.” Then his comment sunk in. I asked if he had, um, actually served as governor of Massachusetts.


“Yes, FOR 12 YEARS!”

And that is how I met Michael Dukakis.

Sarah E. Godfrey

The writer is a native Virginian who was 9 years old at the time of the 1988 presidential election.