Remembering Governor Paul Cellucci
The Hiller Instinct: Remembering Governor Paul Cellucci
We honor Paul Cellucci today because he was our governor, but when I think of him, I don't think of the State House.
Instead I think of his house.
"If we can get the polino out, we'll get six up," Cellucci said while playing bocce with a group of friends in Hudson in 1998. "Let's see if we can do it… oh yeah, we got it!"
Cellucci started out as a selectman from Hudson, and--though he eventually became an ambassador, he never really left his home town, and never wanted to.
"This has always been a small industrial town," Cellucci said when he was acting Governor. "It's always put a high value on work and I think I carry those values with me every day when I go into Boston."
And that's why he always went back to Hudson to have his best friend cut his hair:
"There you go governor!"
Everyone who knew Cellucci knew he loved movies, and he proved it in a 1998 debate that's remembered as "The Brawl in Faneuil Hall."
Scott Harshbarger said, "You tell the truth and I'll tell the truth and well see who decides, who wins this."
Cellucci said, "Scott, you can't handle the truth!"
A great line...that Cellucci took straight from the movie "A Few Good Men".
Nickleson's character Col. Jessup, says: "You want answers?"
Tom Cruise's character Lt. Kaffee: "I want the truth!"
Nickleson: "You can't handle the truth!"
Cellucci also got a kick out of resembling a big movie star:
"Well, the New York Times said I look like Robert Deniro," Cellucci said, "What do you think?"
I thought he did...and he thought it was funny.
Cellucci: "Want me to do my Deniro imitation?"
Hiller: "Sure, 'you talking to me?'"
But Cellucci didn't win every election he ever ran in because he liked movies. He won because he was genuine and confident:
"I'd give myself a high grade," Cellucci said in February 2000.
Hiller: "Honor roll?"
Cellucci: "Sure, I was Magna Cum Laude at BC.
Hiller: "Magna Cum Laude in that chair?"
You might argue about that. But there's no argument about this: Paul Cellucci was a good guy, a family man, and a loyal friend.