Youngstown native sees tension, relief in Boston neighbors
By Ed Runyan
Youngstown native Kevin Tarpley says the stay-at-home order issued by authorities Friday because of concerns about what the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect would do reminded him of times back home when bad storms blew through town.
“I remember a couple bad storms in Youngstown, so it’s a lot like that experience,” said Tarpley, brother of Youngstown Councilwoman Janet Tarpley. “We’ve been watching the news all day.”
Tarpley lives in Somerville, a suburb of Boston that is about 15 miles west of Watertown, another Boston suburb, where police closed in on bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday night.
Tarpley said he remained in his home most of the day, not really unhappy about the situation.
“I understand why the stay-at-home order was issued,” he said. “I don’t want someone to get caught in the line of fire.”
What did he do with his time?
“I got to read a couple books,” he said.
Tarpley, 50, who has lived in Somerville since 1990, did take a walk once “to see what people were doing."
“You can see tension on people’s faces,” he said. “They were worried about the next shoe to fall.”
The stay-at-home order also reduced traffic in Somerville to nearly zero.
“It’s like the Fourth of July. There’s hardly any traffic on the street. It’s like a ghost town, just two or three cars on the main street in town.”
By about 4 p.m., TV news reports indicated that the remaining suspect was in Watertown, which allowed residents of Somerville to relax a little.
“That means it’s coming to a conclusion and we can get back to normal,” he said. “It was a big sigh of relief.”
He said he noticed that Bostonians have drawn closer together in the days since the bombing, just like they did after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“After 911, everyone was so friendly to each other because if something happens will I be able to rely on all these people near to me? We have this outpouring of affection for everyone. That was shocking. It’s too bad it’s not like that all the time,” he said.