There are endless things that I religiously refuse to be affiliated with, and two items that top that list are product endorsements and winter month niceties. The latter because I am a workaholic, and though I do dip out to check my family on some major grub-centric occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I otherwise have little use for the holidays, and prefer to write the nights away while enjoying the lack of incoming emails. As for lending my name to that of a commercial service or product, it’s not like companies are lining up to make me their new spokesperson or anything, but I generally find such shilling to be fraudulent. As if Tom Brady would sport UGGs without the deal.
All things considered, I nonetheless have zero reservations about shouting out JetBlue in our first issue of the holiday season. Some background: A few weeks ago, I learned that my grandmother passed back in New York. It had been expected, but I had also lost two other family members in the prior weeks, those ones not expected, and the grind of driving back and forth from Queens to Boston had cut into some important work. Most importantly, I had organized to meet with an entire group of people from the iconic Boston nonprofit Haley House to interview them for the oral history that appears in this week’s DigBoston. As difficult as it was to arrange, I almost had to cancel. That’s when I received an email from JetBlue. The subject line read: “You’re Invited: BOS-LGA Flight.”
It turned out my grandmother, who always loved a good deal, was getting buried on the same day of the inaugural trips by JetBlue between my native Queens (LaGuardia) and my adopted home of Boston (Logan). And that as a journalist, I got to fly for free on that particular day, enabling me to get back to the Hub in time for the Haley House interview. Considering that most of my family has died or relocated over the past couple of years, it would have been even better if JetBlue, my go-to airline anyway, connected through LaGuardia a long time ago, but I’ll take what I can get, and I’m thankful enough for the complimentary flight to appreciate the favor out loud.
CHRIS FARAONE, NEWS + FEATURES EDITOR
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.