On Oct. 3, we at Spare Change News learned that longtime vendor Fred Boykin had passed away. While we plan to release a fuller tribute to Fred in the next issue, I wanted to acknowledge Fred, commend his hard work for the paper and make sure our readers — including his customers — heard the news.
Fred shared his story with Spare Change News a couple times in the past, detailing a life that saw plenty of challenges, from health issues, homelessness and the loss of loved ones. But he was always amiable when I met him, and always proud of his upbringing in Dorchester and Roxbury. You could hear the love whenever he spoke about his mother or siblings, and he had great respect for the various community members — from a local preacher to the local veterans — who helped him out as a young man. He also had kind words about his customers, who often looked out for him and even brought him an occasional cup of coffee.
We’ll miss you, Fred.