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

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

    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.

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

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    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

    Boston

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