Has Opportunity To Share History With The Boston Bruins
By: Christopher Kazarian
Rachel L. Greenfield of Falmouth has seen much of the world, spending five years of her life sailing around the globe visiting 51 countries, including such faraway places as Thailand and Zihautanejo, Mexico, and through such dangerous passages as the Red Sea and the Strait of Malacca.
But until last month, she had yet to cross one item off her list of must-see items—the Stanley Cup.
She not only saw it, she transported it as a driver for Boston Duck Tours, leading it—and Bruins players, who included goaltender Tim Thomas, center David Krejci and wunderkind Brad Marchand— into Fenway Park on Father’s Day when the team was celebrated by the Red Sox and each player threw out the first pitch before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The moment was the highlight of her short-lived career as a part-time “conDUCKtor” for the Boston Duck Tours. “To be a part of history like that and to share in the Bruins’ success was a tremendously fulfilling experience,” Ms. Greenfield said last week. “It was such a nice tribute the way they honored the players after the team hadn’t won in 39 years.”
Although she has worked for Boston Duck Tours the past two years, Ms. Greenfield still considers herself relatively new as a tour operator. She applied for a job after a friend sent her a posting on craigslist, telling her she would be perfect for the job after sailing around the world and earning her captain’s license.
At her friend’s prodding, she auditioned for the job, which was unlike any of her previous interviews in corporate America. “It was more like a drama theater audition where you are interacting with people and acting out different scenarios,” she said. “It was pretty wild and crazy.”
She passed that test with flying colors before being brought in for a second interview that was a little more “normal,” she said.
Even prior to her Bruins experience last month, Ms. Greenfield said the work has been enjoyable, particularly as a native of Swampscott who considers Boston “one of the most amazing cities in the world. I’ve traveled all around the world and I still love my hometown. I affiliate myself with being a Bostonian.”
And she enjoys sharing that passion with those visiting Boston, pointing out that for all the fun that is had on the tours, a large portion is focused on the city’s history.
Along with the historical aspect of the job, she highlighted the creativity involved. Each tour operator has to create their own character—hers is “Lorelei, the landlocked mermaid”—that they play during the sightseeing excursion around Boston.
“They want you to bring something that is a part of you into your character because you will be doing it for hours and hours so if it is not you, it is hard to pull it off,” she said. Lorelei is an extension of her sailing days, a mermaid who has been around the world, but now is landlocked in her favorite city of Boston.
Even with her love of the city, she admitted it is challenging navigating its narrow streets in the amphibious World War II vehicles. That difficulty went up tenfold, she said, when driving into Fenway Park.
She was one of four drivers chosen for the assignment, in part, because she was scheduled to work that day. She had lobbied her boss the day before to drive in the Boston Bruins parade, but “I was not working so I knew there was no way I’d be in the parade.”
During the parade, she happened to be selling her Cute Cape Cod Girl T-shirts at Arts Alive when she received a text from her boss informing her she would be leading one of the Ducks into Fenway Park the next day. “I texted him back and said, ‘Stop joking. That is mean,’ ” she laughed. “He wrote back, ‘I’m not joking. I’m serious. Call me’... I couldn’t sell anything that day because I was totally preoccupied with the Bruins.”
The next morning, Ms. Greenfield said they had a police escort from Dorchester, laughing that “I never went through so many red lights in my life,” before arriving at Fenway Park around 11:30 AM for the 1:30 PM game.
Around 1 PM, the four Ducks entered the park with Ms. Greenfield in the rear, driving an orange one nicknamed Back Bay Bertha. Because of the tight quarters, Ms. Greenfield spent much of her time concentrating on driving. “I’ve never driven a Duck inside Fenway,” she said. “It is very narrow and you are not allowed to drive on the grass and then you don’t want to hit the Green Monster. It was quite scary because I didn’t want to screw up.”
And while she was not supposed to snap any photos, she did manage to take a few of the players, including Thomas, Krejci and Marchand, the wildest of the bunch. “He was not supposed to be hanging out the window and climbing on the hood, but he was,” she laughed, saying that if it was a normal tour, “he would have been thrown off.”
Yet, he redeemed himself, she said, by “kissing me on the cheek and calling me hot twice.”
While she did not have the chance to participate in the Bruins parade, she said escorting the Bruins into Fenway Park and watching the reception they received from the crowd may have been even more thrilling. “I honestly think it was an even more special experience to drive into Fenway Park because it is one of the oldest professional ballparks in the country,” she said. “That doesn’t happen every day.”