Archive | December, 2015

Our first man-to-man talk

20 Dec

Sept 21, 2015

Today, Hunter and I got a pizza, and headed to the local shipyard.  No agenda, no plans, just hanging out.  The weather was warm, and it was dinnertime.  We started talking about what it means to be “the man of the house” – which Hunter is.

You see, Hunter lives with his 5 siblings, in cramped quarters with his grandma.  He often fights with his little brother.  He has never had a stable male role model; hence his getting a Big Brother.  I grew up with 5 brothers without a father also.  So, I totally get it.  It’s hard.

I explained that I know it’s hard, and it’s not always fair.  But, being the big brother is really important.  Hunter’s job, at 7 years old, is to have fun, do his homework, and be a good example to his brothers and sisters.  And I told him…not to worry…I am not going anywhere.  I am here for you, Hunter.

So, we sat there, and ate our pizza, and looked at the boats.  And maybe, just maybe, life became a little easier for that little boy.IMG_9579

Allen Arseneau is a Big Brother in Boston.He first came to know of Big Brother Big Sisters (BBBS) 27 years ago, when he became a Little Brother himself.This blog chronicles Allen Arseneau’s journey of becoming the best Big he can.
Learn more about Allen.


Saddened by yet another shooting

3 Dec

I hate to say this, but it seems that the reality of current American culture is a culture of fear and violence.  I do realize that the world has a history of violence, but one would think that in this modern world that we live in, people are simply more sophisticated.

And for the most part, I think this is true (that the majority is sophisticated).  But, there will always be the violent minority (or perhaps a more accurate description is a micro-fraction).  Those few who would rather pick up a weapon with destruction on their minds, than extend a hand of negotiation.

I am an eternal optimist.  I see a future and a world of less chaos, more prosperity.  I believe we find ourselves at a time of transformation; we are in the process of letting go of of older ways.  I just hope the future is a healthier place, and that we are ready for it.

But tonight, my heart and prayers go out to the many victims, and their families, of this latest tragedy.

– Allen Arseneau


Learn more about Allen Arseneau, and his adventures as a Big Brother in Boston, that is, a mentor to a little boy in need.
Learn more about Allen.

We almost watched a man die

1 Dec

May 30, 2015

Today was an extreme outing.  On one hand, Hunter let me know what he really thinks of the Big Brother Big Sister of Mass Bay Organization (he wrote in chalk “Big Brother #1”).  On the other hand, as we were walking home, we witnessed a horrible accident as a wooden beam fell 4 stories and hit a worker (who was not wearing a hard-hat) directly on the head.  The man instantly crumpled, and blood pooled in the gutter.

Freedom Trail Part II:

The outing started out fantastically.  We picked up the Freedom Trail where we left off the week before.  We walked through Charlestown, saw the USS Constitution, and then back to Park St.  During lunch, while eating some pb&j in a Charlestown park, I saw some chalk on the ground, so naturally, I wrote something on the sidewalk: “Boston # 1” (having grown up in Boston city, I have pride).  Hunter, always polite, asked if he could write something himself.  After my approval, he went about writing his message: ”Big Brother # 1”.

That was nice to read.  It certainly made me smile.  He smiled one of his very wide grins.  It was a really nice moment.


Allen Arseneau & Hunter

Allen Arseneau and Little Brother Hunter, USS Constitution


We then made it to the USS Constitution, where we saw an actual human jawbone fragment that was taken from an unfortunate British sailor that mistakenly engaged the USS Constitution in battle.  Poor guy.

A man almost died in front of us:

At this point, we started walking back to Park Street, where I was parked.  Hunter was tired, and it was getting late.  As we were walking, we saw the accident.  I immediately ran over to a police office who hadn’t seen the accident, and was engaged in a conversation – a mere 10 feet from the guy, who now lay unconscious, bleeding profusely from his head.  I screamed at the officer to come over.  He realized what was happening, and called for help.

I had taken multiple first-responder courses years ago (back when I thought I wanted to be an Army Medic or a volunteer EMT), so my instinct was to go over and help the guy.  Although I am not a first-responder, I could at least help stop the bleeding.  However, during that split second, I had to decide what to do: help the guy, or get Hunter out of there.  We were 1 mile from Mass General Hospital – one of the best hospitals in the country.  So, I figured real help would be here in a minute or so, and this guy would be at MGH shortly thereafter.  I also saw several workers and the police officer go over to the guy.  So, I decided instead to get Hunter out of there, before he saw too much gore.  Afterall, there was literally blood pooling in the gutter.  By the time we walked to the corner, I saw the worker sitting up with the help of some of the other workers.  I think he is going to be ok.

Lemons into Lemonade:

This created a really good opportunity to talk to Hunter about the need for certain rules, especially safety rules.  We talked about the importance wearing a hardhat, of wearing your seatbelt, and of generally following rules that are meant to keep you safe.

I let Hunter know that the worker would be ok, and that he was lucky.  After about 5 minutes, we were on to a new topic (I think Hunter was already asking me if he could play at the park).  I let his grandma know what happened, in case he wanted to talk about it further.  Last I heard, it did not come up again.

The lesson for me: if you are standing below a palette of wood dangling 50 feet above your head, wear a darn hard hat.