Franklin Park is not exactly the easiest place to get to from Cambridge. But it is there that the Crimson cross-country team practices and runs its home meets. Nestled in Boston's scenic South End, a hotbed of schoolboy football, Franklin Park is a good healthy walk from the nearest subway station, and an exciting drive by car from Harvard Square.
Little wonder why swarms or even dribbles of excited fans don't flock to the park to take in the action. In addition there is the brevity of a cross-country meet. It lasts only 15 thrill-packed minutes, without boring time outs or commercial breaks.
Indeed, one may conclude a trip to the park on the day of a meet can be a rewarding experience. And getting there is half the fun. Traveling by car, you start out with a tour of historic Boston. The South End features a number of cozy bars and quaint taverns that you might want to stop at with your date for a few drinks before the actual spectating. For those who dislike public drinking spots, tailgating at the park is a definite possibility. But make sure you're wearing your most stylish threads, for the South End rivals even Beacon Hill as the fashion center of the Hub.
For those more intellectually oriented, the South End offers a number of fine high schools on the tour. Among them are South Boston High, Boston Latin, Boston English and of course Boston Technical School. Take a look around at these fine institutions, but first learn the proper terms to call them. For example, there's Southie (pronounced sow-tee), Tech, Latin and The English (pronounced de-english).
The sports fan will be interested to know that the above-mentioned schools provide some of the most exciting football in the city. An exciting grid schedule is climaxed by the traditional Turkey day tiffs, featuring rivalries as old and exciting as Harvard-Yale. A few games, and you'll want to stay in Boston over the Thanksgiving recess just to witness these sports spectacles, filled with the school spirit of days gone by.
A word of caution should be inserted for those not quite as gung-ho about Thanksgiving football rivalries: a number of minor incidents involving over-zealous and perhaps over-indulging fans have resulted in mobs from one school carrying off fans from their rivals and dumping them off the top of the stands. Well, boys will be boys. Also, you might want to park your car a good distance from the stadium, for there have been a few isolated rock-throwing incidents reported.
There are many other exciting things to see and do in the South End but time and space prevents me from listing them all. Let the reader wander about and discover them for himself. But make sure you get to the park in time for the start of the cross-country meet. That was the whole point of this thing, wasn't it?