Jan 26, 2024 - Culture

Boston's unsung heroes

Illustration of a screeching seagull wearing a golden crown.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Heroes walk among us. Of course there are the medical professionals, first responders, dedicated teachers and others who have made impacts the last few years.

Then there are the unsung heroes. The everyday locals who exemplified Boston and what it means to live here.

  • It's time to acknowledge a few of the characters who made up the fabric of Massachusetts culture in 2023.

For every Ben, Matt, Mark or Mindy, there are less notable Bostonians who fly their freak flag just as high.

  • The top of the 2023 class has to be Slide Cop, who showed the world just how viral flinging yourself down a children's slide could be.
  • He's inspired so many of us to follow his surprisingly swift and unstable lead and walk in his footsteps, if with a limp afterwards.

We asked readers to nominate a few unsung heroes to rep Boston. Here's who you suggested:

Phil Hates Gluten: Down-to-Earth YouTuber/Instagrammer/etc. Phil makes the gluten-free lifestyle a little more palatable with tips, techniques and guides. He even busted out his 2004 World Series shirt for his guide to gluten-free Boston.

Michael Marotta of Maynard, who heroically handed out Market Basket rotisserie chicken to trick-or-treaters.

As for unsung celebrities, former SNL star and Lexington native Rachel Dratch impressed a number of Celebrity Jeopardy viewers with her smarts.

  • And Framingham's Katie Nolan, known for her sports comedy, made it to the final round.

Massachusetts-born clergyman Luke Forte, aka The Gilded Age's Robert Lawrence Leonard, got kudos for his classic Boston accent.

The bottom line: We're all heroes, but some of us are just bigger heroes. Like everyone who contributes to People of Market Basket.

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