Monday was a horrible day for the city of Boston, and Rich Shertenlieb from the Toucher & Rich Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub had some unfortunate first-hand experience.
One of the explosions took place right in front of Rich’s apartment building on Boylston Street.
“I brought my son, who is 5, down to watch the men’s winner cross the finish line directly in front of our apartment,” Rich said on Tuesday’s show. “We do that every time, every year, and we were out there for about 10-15 minutes. I brought him back up and after having lunch I went to go put my youngest son down for a nap, and as I was putting him down in the other room, that’s when we heard the first explosion, which was right down the road from us.
“When that happened, there was no mistaking that it wasn’t just a celebratory cannon or something that somebody had set off – it was too loud to be that. And as I got to my window in the front of my apartment building, the second bomb went off and I immediately saw smoke and fire in front of the window.
“At that point, we know that obviously something was going on, and it sounded like a bomb.”
Rich then got his wife, who is not supposed to leave the apartment because her white blood cell count is very low from chemotherapy, and his children to a safe place at a friend’s apartment several blocks away.
Rich then realized he had left his apartment without taking his wife’s medicines, so he needed to get back to his apartment to retrieve them.
“So I went back over toward my apartment building and when I got to Newbury Street, there was a line of police officers there,” Rich said. “I told them where I lived, I showed them my ID, and they said, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t let you back there.’ And I said, ‘Well, there’s medication for my wife and she’s going to need it,’ and they said, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t know how long it’s going to take but it’s going to be a while so you might have to make other plans.’”
A friend, however, was able to get Rich to the hospital, which was in “complete and total lockdown.” He did get the medicine eventually back to his wife.
“It’s pretty amazing, and when I think about it, how 45 minutes earlier, this person, this terrorist, whatever they are, literally set off a bomb on my front doorstep. It’s a place that I go 10 times a day, usually with my two sons — my 5-year-old and my 2-year-old in a stroller — in and out,” Rich said. “I had been standing there 45 minutes earlier. My wife and I were talking about how when my youngest son got up, we were going to go down and we were going to enjoy the marathon like we do every single year. But some bastard put a bomb right in the front of my apartment and blew people’s legs off right where I go every single day. Right on my front door.
“And I’m so angry, I can’t see. I don’t even know what to think. I hope and pray that my son isn’t old enough to understand what he saw or won’t comprehend what he’s been going through the last four months, the things that he’s seen. I hope and pray that my wife’s OK and wasn’t infected from having to walk past bloody walls, people and smoke.
“There’s just a lot of rage going on, I don’t understand it sometimes.”
Rich said that he can’t feel sorry for himself, knowing the tragedies that many others experienced.
“I just … I’m so angry and I don’t know what to do,” Rich said. “I don’t know whether [the name of the person who is responsible] everywhere on TV. I don’t know if I want anyone to ever know what this man’s name is. I don’t know. All I know is that this has gotta stop. It has to stop. And I don’t know what we can do to make it stop, whether it’s our generation, whether it’s what responsibility we have. How we can make it stop, it has to stop.
“I don’t know how you make it stop, but please, someone tell me. How do we stop this? I don’t know.”