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Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell were all of us

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  April 16, 2013 11:31 PM

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Fans forever.

Martin Richard and Krystle Campbell.

How many of us have taken the same photo?

Every parent I know has done with their son or daughter on that first trip to Fenway, the Garden or Gillette Stadium.

"Stand right there so I can get the Monster in the background."

I have the photos of my son at all three.

And it's not always kids.

Standing up at the Garden - with your Celtics or Bruins shirt. Perhaps during the warmups, a time out or after a Celtics or Bruins victory.

Sneaking down to the first row at Fenway. Past the old crusty ushers, either flashing them a smile or - back in the day - a buck or two - to get down and get that moment when you're thisclose to Yaz/Rice/Clemens/Pedro/Ortiz/Pedroia.

Proof that indeed, you were there.

Tonight at the Garden, we will all be there - either in person or watching on NBC Sports Channel.

Rene Rancourt's national anthem will be one for the You Tube books.

And all that emotion Boston has held back the past two days will come pouring forth from thousands of fans in person and millions across the country.

Richard and Campbell were murdered (ugly word but apt) Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Their only crime was that they were fans who wanted to be there.

The tearful remarks from Campbell's mother in Medford were unbearable to witness, as were the reactions of neighbors and friends of the Richard family in Dorchester.

Although she grew up in Somervile and Medford, Campbell lived in Arlington in the final months of her way-too-short life. Based on the accounts from her family and friends, and the digital legacy she left on Facebook and elsewhere, it's an honor for both cities and the town to claim her.

News of her death did not come via ABC bulletin, @BostonGlobe or the lastest updates from WBZ or Fox News. It came via a Facebook post - put up before Campbell's name was officially confirmed. Campbell's former employer - the Summer Shack restaurant - and her gym of choice - Hordon Health - also posted messages of mourning.

Campbell's death hit home - literally. There have now been five terror attacks on American soil in the past 20 years - the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, 9-11, the shootings at Fort Hood and the Boston Marathon bombings. I can now say that there was a victim from my hometown of Arlington.

Unlucky her.

Campbell worked as a manager at Jimmy's Steer House, which is one of the oldest "sit down" (as we used to call it) restaurants in Arlington. That means it's not a pizza place. Jimmy's has been around since the Nixon administration and is as Arlington as Spy Pond, the No. 77 Mass. Ave bus or multiple Dunkin' Donuts locations. Because she worked at Jimmy's, she came into contact with thousands of people a week, including my sister-in-law this past Friday night.

Among the others she came into contact with during her 29 years - her 30th birthday would be next month - was Judi Shaw, a family friend, who was from Arlington but now lives in Milford.

"Krystle was a shining light. A spirit of happiness and hope and optimism. All who knew her were attracted to her beautiful smile and loving heart," Shaw said Tuesday.

This 2009 video from Campbell's days at the Summer Shack also offers a glimpse of her spirit.

Here's a portion of the tribute posted by Hordon Health:

Campbell.jpgKrystle was seldom caught not smiling, and not expressing her opinion. She was beautiful, she was loud, and everyone loved her for it. Along with the million dollar smile came head to toe freckles and gorgeous bright red hair, connecting her Irish roots and kid-like manor; it was easy to feel ten years younger around her, no matter who you were. She had tremendous passion and energy, and Krystle attacked life with vigor and excitement.

Opinionated, loud, passionate, energetic, Irish.

My God, if that isn't your textbook definition of a Boston sports fan - I don't know what is.

And she was indeed beautiful, to boot.

It was that passion that drew her to the finish line of the Marathon - again - on Monday as it had done every year since she was a girl. As both a fan of Boston, sports and - this time - to cheer on her a friend's boyfriend crossing the finish line.

Richard, reports say, was an all-too-typical "All-American" 8-year-old Dorchester boy who was "always chasing a ball."

A neighbor told The Globe that Richard and his brother were always in the family’s backyard, playing soccer, hockey, or baseball.

His entire family was at the finish line.

Like so many other families.

His mother and younger sister remained hospitalized Tuesday. That, too, is all too common in Boston these days.

Boston began its long journey back Tuesday. The first-place Red Sox did their share to help divert our eyes, trouncing Terry Francona and the Indians 7-2.

For those who want to get involved personally, a "Run For Boston" Facebook page organized by the BCS Marathon in College Station, Texas, was launched Tuesday and had more than 11,000 Facebook likes in seven hours.

The page is asking runners everywhere to "gather in groups of any size, wear blue and yellow and run together as a sign of solidarity for the people and runners of Boston." They also ask that you or your group take a photo with the words "Run For Boston" and Wednesday's date - 4/17 - and post it on "Run for Boston" Facebook page.

The Bruins return to the ice Wednesday night at the Garden against Buffalo, Boston's first big public pro sporting event since Monday's attacks.

The lines will be long, security will be tight, the tension before the game will be stomach churning. There will be nervous buzz around the Garden all afternoon. Each loud noise will turn heads.

The crowd will be orderly, almost reverent. No one wants to be the first DB to get arrested for being too drunk or acting like a jackass less than three days after the city - and nation - was ripped apart.

Do you take the kids? Do you bring the wife/girlfriend/significant other? Do you go yourself?

Knowing Boston and having two siblings who are members the Boston Garden Club - the answers will be a solid "yes" across the board.

Everyone at the Garden tonight will be fans just like Martin Richard and Krystle Campbell.



As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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