hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


October 11, 2012

Role models who bite the dust


Why can’t the Red Sox have players like these?

In high school, Jim Piccolo could do no wrong. He ran for class president and got elected all four years. He played football and captained the team to a championship. He was the homecoming king and excelled in the classroom. He was the All-American boy.

Piccolo was the envy of every parent who wanted their son to succeed.

“Why can’t you be like Jim Piccolo?” my mother once compared.

“Because I’m who I am and he’s who he is,” I shot back. “I could never be like Jim Piccolo because God didn’t create me like him.”

A year or two after high school, he got mixed up with the wrong crowd and was arrested on drugs charges. Nobody heard from him again.

So much for his perfect image.

Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from the Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.

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