As told by Bootmobile driver Eddie F.
The day started just like any other day; I woke up, got ready, and headed out to give the Bootmobile its regular check-up: lights, turn signals, tire pressure, etc. But today it looked a little different – completely decked out in red, to replicate the 2013 World Championship Boots we gave to the Red Sox. It wasn’t just another day – today we were headed to Fenway Park to join the biggest parade the Bootmobile has ever been a part of.
We arrived at Fenway Park around 6 a.m. I was so excited that I almost didn’t need any caffeine to keep alert after my 4 a.m. wake up (key word: almost). As we waited to find out where we would be placed in the parade line, I decided to venture into the ballpark to see what was going on. To my surprise, Fenway was already packed. The trophies were on display and I was going to witness the World Series celebration from right there on the outfield grass.
It was truly amazing to set foot on the same field that had been such a part of an unbelievable year for the Red Sox. While I had already been there with our One Fund Tote earlier in the year, walking around the field today would be something else entirely.
Soon we joined the parade and headed out of Fenway. The Bootmobile was ready to go – and with our smiles, cameras and “beards,” so were we. (While we didn’t grow our facial hair out – not to mention that I cannot grow any to begin with – we decided to improvise in honor of our beloved Red Sox.)
While I had been in a few parades over the past few months, nothing could have prepared me for what took place. From start to finish, the fans came out in huge numbers and brought with them an incredible amount of excitement and energy. Chants of “Lackey, Lackey, Lackey” transitioned to “Boot, Boot, Boot” as we rolled past.
One particularly memorable moment was the ceremony held at the Boston Marathon finish line. Positioned about six Duck Boats back, we sat in our famous boot-on-wheels and listened to “God Bless America” with the rest of the crowd who were fortunate enough to witness such a moving, awe-inspiring event, taking place amidst one of the biggest parades the city has ever seen. It was also great to see David Ortiz (better known as Big Papi) run from his Duck Boat to greet his fellow teammates as they commemorated the tragedy that took place earlier in the year. On his way back to his spot in the parade, Ortiz surprised me with a high five (I still haven’t washed my hand).
During some parades, it can take some effort to keep a smile on our faces and wave to the crowd while maneuvering the Bootmobile. On this day in Boston, however, I smiled so much I forgot that it was even part of the job.
Many days later, I still continue to grin. Stopping by the office after a week on the road for our L.L.Bean Wintervention Tour, people commented that I was still wearing the same smile that I’ve had for the past week. So while it may have started out just like any other day, it turned out to be the experience of a lifetime.
Check out this video to experience the rolling rally from the Bootmobile driver’s perspective:
Did you see the Bootmobile in the Rolling Rally?