Taking the Plunge

Boston, 1985.

john tlumacki

Photograph by John Tlumaci/the Boston Globe/Getty Images

“It was unusually warm—89 degrees on Saturday, May 11, 1985, as the Farmer’s Almanac refreshed my memory. Back then, it was common to see groups of kids cooling off by jumping off the Dorchester Bay Bridge on Morrissey Boulevard. The cool ocean water below was a daring plunge, but usually a safe one. This day, it was very important to find a “hot weather feature” for the Globe’s Sunday paper, so I remember how lucky I was to find a large group of kids ­leaping off the bridge.

There was a bunch of them jumping from the railing atop the bridge, but the only way I was going to get the photo was to go to the other side of Morrissey Boulevard, and walk along the sand and shoot underneath the bridge as they jumped.

I guess it was perfect timing to get all six kids jumping together; one girl is just about to touch the water with her feet.

I wonder where those kids are now, 30 years later.”

—John Tlumacki, Globe photographer