As governor he rode the train to work, often chatting with his constituents about their daily lives, hardships and struggles. As former governor he was honored to have a train station named after him and now, as ex-governor and citizen of the state he was born, raised in and served— he spends his time picking up garbage in train stations.
“This morning I befriended a nice old man who was picking up garbage at the train station on his way to work,” Sarah E. Godfrey wrote to the Boston Globe in a letter to the editor.
She was in the Park Street Station where she noticed what she called a “nice old man” picking up garbage.
“What a good citizen you are!” I said. He was grouchy and told me the train stations were always filthy. I agreed, but cringed when he bent down to pick up a food wrapper and what looked like a used napkin. I told him to make sure he washed his hands when he got to work. “That’s what my wife says,” he replied.
He threw his collection in the trash bin when we got to the top of the stairs, then turned to me and asked, “How many ex-governors do you think go around picking up trash at train stations?” I laughed, and said, “Not many.” Then his comment sunk in. I asked if he had, um, actually served as governor of Massachusetts. “Yes, for 12 years!”
And that is how Sarah Godfrey met Michael Dukakis, who served 12 years as Governor of Massachusetts and almost became President of the United States.
This isn’t the first time Dukakis has been spotted picking up litter. He was sighted in July, bending over to pick up trash on a city sidewalk, a plastic bag in one hand.
— Michael Levenson (@mlevenson) July 15, 2015
“It’s enough to drive you out of your mind,” he told the Boston Globe in a 2003 story about litter. “You see it all over the place and you have to ask: Why isn’t anyone dealing with this?”