While Mayor Menino’s vision for Boston was always clear, his voice…maybe not so much.
The mayor had a good sense of humor about his speech and the so-called “Meninoisms” he often let slip.
No one was a bigger supporter of Boston sports teams than Menino, even if he did sometimes mangle the players’ names.
Speaking of Celtics stars Kevin Garnett—KG—and Rajon Rondo, Menino once said, “There’s a lot of heart in this team, let me just tell ya. K.J. is good but Hondo is really the inspiration. Hondo drives that team.”
And we all got a kick out of the mayor’s unique pronunciation of Patriots names like Vince Wilfork.
“Wilcock…Wilfork, I’m sorry,” he said.
And Rob Gronkowski.
“Gonk…is Gonks hurt.”
The mayor even had Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek standing in for former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri in a list of great moments in Boston Sports.
“Fisk waving the ball fair…Flutie launching the Hail Mary pass…Varitek splitting the uprights.”
But from the day he was first elected mayor in 1993, Tom Menino never had trouble laughing at himself.
“I’m not the smoothest candidate…or the prettiest face…although I have become a pretty fancy talker,” he said.
And his Meninoisms—as we came to love them—carried the mayor through five terms.
“Sometimes I might mumble once and a while, but that’s the way I’ve been for 16 years as mayor. Sometimes I wish I could pronounce words a little bit better…enunciate better. But that’s Tom Menino.”
The mayor said he was never envious of the smooth talkers.
“Sometimes those smooth talkers don’t have the heart…don’t have the commitment. It’s all about, you know, it’s all about sizzle and no steak,” he said.
“When I became mayor all the reports were ‘the mayor wouldn’t last more than one term. He’s not handsome. He can’t speak.’ All those things…those are superficial things. Where you’re elected it’s what you’ve got in the heart,” he said.
Mayor Menino said he loved proving the naysayers wrong, in spite of his unique speaking style. He certainly did that…and more.