Speaker DeLeo recognized Rep. Calter, who received unanimous consent to make a statement.
Speaker DeLeo recognized Rep. (Thomas) Calter, who received unanimous consent to make a statement.
Rep. Calter said, "I got to tell you, you can't make this up. I was just about to come down here and dropped my glasses, and they shattered. John was kind enough to give me his old man glasses, and my son brought up a pair and said my daughter fixed my glasses.
"I want to begin by remembering our four colleagues who passed away this session.
"I appreciate this opportunity to bid farewell. I leave here today with mixed emotions. On the one hand, Mr. Speaker -- he's very concerned -- I regret having never served as a committee chairman. (Applause) On the other, Bob, I feel grateful and privileged to have served with so many great people. You've always been honest with me, Mr. Speaker. Before I move on I want to share a true story that speaks of Bob's honesty and directness. Three or four months ago we had a few drinks. It was going really well, so I said, Hey Bobby, when do you think I'll be a chairman? He said, Tommy, I owe you the truth, brother. The way you vote you're more likely to become the dean of the House. That's true. Thank you, Bobby.
"No member should ever leave without thanking those who make this building work. I want to thank my staff. Please know I'm forever grateful.
"I'm not the first member of the Calter family to serve others. My family set an example. My father had three brothers, each Catholic priests. Father John Calter was a colonel in the Army. He did three tours in Vietnam as a chaplain. Father Art Calter served two tours. Upon his return from war, Father Art came home during busing, riding the buses from his home in South Boston to Roxbury, protecting students. Father Bill rode from Roxbury to South Boston for the same reason. The two brothers crossed along the way, trying to bring peace. My mother, father, brother and uncles have passed away, but I know they are with me today and I want them to know I have heard their call to serve.
"Every member of this chamber understands this is not a job we can do alone. It requires commitment of the entire family and close network of dear friends. I'd like to introduce you to my family. My son Ryan is a police detective in Kingston. I'm now his boss's boss. My daughter works at Kingston Hospital. My son Patrick is in the Boston EMS. I met Patty when we were 12. (Applause) Patty also chose a life of service to others. She has worked selflessly in service to our family, making sacrifices along the way to enhance our lives. Patty, our family is what it is because of your love and commitment. I thank you so much. (Applause)
"I'd also like to acknowledge my extended family. I thank the representatives from Lowell, Lenox, Norwood and Ludlow. I will miss the representatives from Holliston, Somerville and Watertown. I thank all of the representatives from the South Shore. To the senator from Plymouth, the Plymouth county treasurer and the former Senate president, thank you for your guidance.
"What does it mean to be a state representative? For me, it means service to others. It has been about lifting people up, not letting people down in their time of despair, and making available all the resources of this generous commonwealth to the most vulnerable among us. I want to thank each of you for your dedication. Having served in this institution for 12 years, I respect and admire those who choose this life. Today as I bid you farewell, I do so knowing I've done my best and I've been blessed to work with the best. May God bless the people's House."
Members stood, cheered and applauded. The time was 2:20 p.m.