By Seth Daniel
When it comes to putting one foot in front of the other, Everett’s Robert Ragucci has decades of experience.
The Bellingham Avenue, life-long Everett resident has specialized quietly in long distance walks. Whether it’s a brisk walk to Cooledge Corner in the snow, a spring jaunt to Piers Park in East Boston or a long trek to Quincy on a hot summer’s day, Ragucci, 63, has done it all on foot.
“I do long walks and I’ve been doing it all the time for years,” he said this week while making his way through Kenmore Square in Boston. “I walk whether rain or shine, hot or cold. I do that pretty much every day and I would say I average 15 or 20 miles a day. You can get about anywhere from Everett.”
Ragucci’s pastime started rather simply, when he used to travel from Everett to Revere Beach. One day, the bus didn’t come, so he walked there.
“In the 1960s I lived five or six miles away from Revere Beach,” he said. “I used to take the bus to the Beach. One day I walked there. By the 1970s, I started walking there all the time. It was easy, just taking the streets to Elm Street and Park Avenue in Revere and onto Beach Street and then to Revere Beach. I’ve been walking every since.”
Recently, Ragucci has walked up to Swampscott and back.
Earlier last week, he kept it simple and walked to Chelsea.
“It was an easier day for me so I just walked to Chelsea,” he said. “I went to the Market Basket and got a dark chocolate candy bar and then came back to Everett.”
His farthest journey, he said, was when he was visiting relatives in Reading.
“I took the bus to Reading to see my relatives once,” he said. “When I was there, I walked from Reading to Methuen and back to Reading. I stopped at Methuen because I saw a sign that said I was about to enter New Hampshire. I figured I needed to turn back at that point. That was a 12-hour journey round trip.”
Most of the time, nowadays, Ragucci heads into Boston. Taking Main Street to Lower Broadway, he walks to Rutherford Avenue and into Downtown Boston and then out on Massachusetts Avenue. Along the way, he picks up trash or debris and deposits it into the trashcan, just to be helpful, he said.
“A lot of times, I just set out and figure out later where I’m going to go,” he said. “I like Cooledge Corner in Brookline. It’s one of my favorite places. So, I do come through Boston and Kenmore Square a lot. Another favorite place is Piers Park in East Boston. That one’s really easy, just Broadway to Second Street and then over through the Produce Center and the Bridge.”
He also said he enjoys walking to Quincy, going by UMass Boston on his way – where he once attended college. On those walks, though, he said he likes to take the train and bus back to Everett.
And in extreme conditions such as last year’s snow events, Ragucci said he stays close to Everett, but still keeps his feet moving.
“When we got all of that snow in 2015, I walked Broadway Everett from Everett Square to Pope John. That’s 1.5 miles one way. You do that several times and you’ve gone a long way. Plus, it’s an uphill walk so it’s better for your heart.”
More than anything, he said he enjoys seeing things at a slower pace, recognizing changes, and getting great exercise.
“Walking is better for you than jogging,” he said. “Jogging is very hard on your knees. It’s very beneficial for your health to walk places. It’s great for stamina. You also get the 15 minutes of sun every day and that helps you get the Vitamin D you need every day.”