Remembering Jimmy Kelly

Read the Globe's outstanding obituary first, which does full justice to the newly deceased city councilor's strengths while being candid about his weaknesses. Then read the Herald's obit, which is lighter and more hagiographic then the Globe's.

As for the musings of the Weekly Dig's Paul McMorrow.... I tend to enjoy Paul's stuff a lot, but I'm baffled by his willingness to soft-pedal the more problematic parts of Kelly's background (you know, the anti-black, anti-gay stuff). Quoth McMorrow:
Yes, Globe, maybe Jimmy Kelly liked his neighborhood schools, his projects full of Donovans and Sullivans, and his parades gay-free.... But that’s not who he was. He cared deeply about people. He was the hardest-working guy City Hall will ever see.

Paul's description of Kelly's physical erosion in his final days is moving. But neither Kelly's work ethic nor the way he faced death change the fact that, for a hefty chunk of his life, he also embodied Southie parochialism at its most malignant. That's part of who Kelly was, too.

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