Archive for March, 2012


“Hi, my name is Doug and I want to talk about something and someone that changed my life.

My wife and I met in ninth grade. I was a troubled kid. It was back in the late ‘60’s and at the time I was hanging around with a bad crowd. I was 14 years old, selling drugs and the outlook for us at that time was pretty poor.

My girlfriend’s mother, who turned out to be my mother-in-law, and has since passed away, took me under her wing and showed me a different way of approaching life. We hear how people around you can influence the way and direction of your life. She did that. She just always took the time. It changed the way that I thought about myself and turned things into a positive light.

For me, this needlepoint captures the essence of basically who she was and the quality of time that she put into things.

In retrospect I see where my life has gone, taking me from someone who basically would have been a real loser in life to someone who can say, I’m proud of myself. I have accomplished a lot of things. I’m still married to her daughter and her father is still with us. We have a nice family.

All of this, pretty much, because of my mother-in-law who did this needlepoint.”


“Hi my name is Layla,

I brought my childhood blanket. My mom got it for me when I was born and I have had ever since. Well not exactly. The first blanket was mistaken for a rag and used to clean my friend’s floors after I forgot to bring it home one day. Needless to say I was not very happy, it was my number one possession. What are the chances you are going to be able to find the exact same blanket in the exact same store four years after purchasing it? Well that’s what happened and with that little piece of luck my mother skirted a major meltdown that only a four year old can produce and I got my blanket back.”


“My name is Bobby

A friend came over to my my house for dinner one time, left his tie on my sofa and it was a 1940’s palm tree tie. I tried to call him for the next two, three weeks trying to give it back, never got back to him and then I just kept collecting from there. By the time I was finished I had 70 different palm tree ties.

Grey suits, brown suits, navy blue suits were what was happening in the post war years of the 1940’s and ’50’s. Then these great flash ties appeared on the scene with bright colors and pictures and patterns. That is why I like them so much.

They’re bold and they’re bright in a world that was pretty drab!”

Most days Bobby can be found at his vintage clothing store, Bobby From Boston located just off Harrison Ave in Boston’s South End. He said that his love for vintage clothing probably came from his mother and father. “She was an interior designer and a clothes horse and he was a dandy”. Bobby has been in the clothing business for more than 38 years and has an international following. His clientele range from the random kid off the street to buyers of vintage at Ralph Lauren.


“Hi, I’m Jim

I say, and this is the dead honest truth, I’m glad I had that accident, because of that accident they started detoxing me. It put an end to a destructive path my life has been on since coming back from Vietnam a heroin addict. For the last 16 years, I’d been either living on the streets or in and out of halfway homes.

In June of 2005 I blacked out at the Ruggles Subway Station in Boston, Ma and fell onto the tracks and the electrified third rail.

I can’t recall anything about that day except that I just wanted to get really high. I had received my prescribed dose of methadone from the clinic at the V.A. that morning, which I got everyday for probably 30 years. I then got Klonopin on the street and took 60 of those. People who do heroin are always searching for that first high, that feeling you get from that first high by taking larger and larger doses of drugs, but it doesn’t work. On the night of the accident, I was rushed to the ER at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. They weren’t sure they could keep me alive, but they did. Almost a year and a half had passed before I was brought out of a medically induced coma after going through many operations. When I woke someone told me “You don’t have a nose.” A bandage was covering me so I didn’t believe them. The third degree burns caused by the high voltage third rail had resulted in the loss of my nose, cheeks, teeth and the roof of my mouth. Also I had damaged one of my eyes and severely burned my arms and hands. The injuries were so bad that even with all the operations, I was still extremely disfigured.

It was lucky for me that a doctor named Pomahac was on call the night I was brought in. He took over my case and performed all the surgeries. A couple of years after the accident there was new hope for me. Dr Pomahac said I could be helped by a transplant. In 2009 he performed the surgery. I became the second person in the United States to have a partial face transplant.

When I saw my face 4 days after the 17 hr operation, I told Pomahac, “I can’t believe you made me look so close to what I used to look like”

I’m 62 now. I’m looking good for 62!

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac was a junior plastic surgeon the night they brought Jim in and had never seen such severe facial injuries in his career. Ever since performing Jim’s operation and with the support of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he has led a team of doctors into the forefront of advances in transplant surgery and is now Director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation. Dr. Pomahac has gone on to perform the first full facial transplant in the U.S., a rare double hand transplant and other additional first of their kind transplant surgeries.


“Hi, I’m Kevin

This is the first purchase that myself and my wife made as a couple.

When we got married we loaded up the Subaru with camping equipment and had a ride through the American Southwest. About a week into the trip we came across this skull at one of these traditional Southwestern outdoor markets in Santa Fe, NM. Mexico is written on the back of it so it was probably killed in Mexico and brought across the boarder illegally, but, you know–who knows? I wish I could say that I killed it myself, but I didn’t.

The other option was to buy a necklace for my wife.

I really like this, honey, I’m going to get this dead cow head instead of a necklace. Yeah, the dead cow head-Yeah, definitely!”