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As the Marathon approaches, remember Tommy Leonard of the Eliot Lounge

Charlie Manning recalls Tommy Leonard, the bartender at the Eliot Lounge, back when it was a required visit for Marathon runners:

On this Patriots’ Day weekend when the Boston Marathon is run, you should also know that Tommy loved the Marathon. He had run it several times himself, and since the Eliot was right on the Marathon route, Tommy made the Eliot the center of the Marathon universe.

There was a clock in the Eliot that counted down the days until the race was run. There was a Hollywood- style Walk of Fame out front where the famous runners had left their footprints in the cement.

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for the link to that story. I used to work quite close to the Eliot Lounge and Tommy Leonard was not only a legend but a truly nice and smart guy. I remember his support for women in the marathon and how their times were improving every year. The marathon lost a little of its local flavor when the Eliot Lounge closed.

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I used to live directly across from the Eliot Lounge, on the corner of Mass Ave. & Comm. Ave.in the mid 80's. I remember those sidewalk tributes to Bill Rogers, et. al., and visited the Lounge on occasion. Wish it were still around.

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I never met the man, but I feel like I kinda knew him from reading Bill Rodgers' many references to "my bartender friend Tommy Leonard" in books and magazine articles over the years.

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