Jerome Spunberg of Palm Beach Gardens can’t help but reminisce as he follows the news coverage of the manhunt in Boston.
Spunberg, the president of the Harvard Club of the Palm Beaches, remembers riding his bike along the street where the bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon earlier this week.
He used to work as a medical student at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where one of the bombing suspects reportedly died.
He was introduced to his wife through a chance encounter with her cousin on Harvard Square, so conspicuously quiet now with the city locked down and awaiting the capture of Suspect #2.
“Those of us who lived in Boston for a while — I lived there for four years — have a particular feeling of connection with what’s going on there,” he said.
The stories and connections of Palm Beach County residents to Boston have been pouring in all week. And now, as details begin to emerge about the two suspects, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, those connections seem even more important, more significant.
News reports have Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, reportedly a student at UMass-Dartmouth, as being a lifeguard at Harvard University a couple years ago.
“Harvard is really the centerpiece of the activity in Cambridge,” Spunberg said. He said he wasn’t particularly surprised by the suspect’s alleged connection to the university.
“This all brings back a lot of memories.”
West Palm Beach commissioner Keith James, himself a Harvard alum, has a reason even bigger than his past connection with Boston to be glued to media coverage today: his son is at Harvard Law School right now.
When James heard today about the city being on lockdown, he immediately texted his son: “Are you at your apartment safe?”
His son, usually so quick to answer back, did not respond immediately to the 8 a.m. text. James began to fret.
Finally, at 8:34 a.m., a text came back. Keith James Jr. was OK, was holed up in his apartment and had plenty of food.
“He may have been asleep,” James Sr. said with a relieved laugh.