Boston Harbor Canoe Guy Spends His Days Thinking About School Reform

Image Credit: Reddit user sleasca

A seafaring Associated Press reporter snagged an interview with Michael Richard Smith, the man who set up a tent on a floating barge in the middle of Boston Harbor this week, and he is, in every way, just as interesting as you might imagine a guy who lives on a canoe in Boston Harbor in December would be. “Smith is a wiry, mustachioed man with long brown hair who tucks a silk pink rose into the brim of his explorer hat,” the A.P.’s Bridget Murphy tells us

Smith first came to our attention when he tied his canoe up to a floating barge near the Aquarium and set up a tent atop it, causing some curious onlookers to post about him on Reddit. But Smith has in fact been living on his canoe in the harbor since October, he tells the A.P., and plans to stay through the winter. “What is he thinking?!” you are probably saying just now. Glad you asked. He’s thinking about how to improve our schools:

Smith said he’s spent years trying to advocate for better public schools, and has passed on a newsletter he’s written on the topic to politicians, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The canoe owner said he thinks about public policy as he’s paddling through the harbor and that living on the water has taught him balance, patience and fortitude.

He also says he’s not worried that he’ll be bothered because to bother him, someone would need a boat, “and boat people stick together.” This guy! [Associated Press]