By Lindsay Daly, Media Relations Intern, BostonBruins
It’s a hard task for anyone to live their dreams without forgetting who they are.
Anyone but the Black & Gold's Bobby Allen, that is.
By now, you have all heard of Bobby, the Bruins resident hometown hero. But what you probably don’t know is just how "hometown" he is.
Born and raised in Hull, Allen does everything that normal South Shore residents do, from watching the Red Sox and sitting in traffic on 93. And the best part is, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hull is the seaside town just 40 minutes from Boston that is responsible for many of Allen’s great childhood memories.
“I remember days where I’d never leave the beach when I was a kid,” reminisced Bobby, recently. “In the summer, for me it would be Little League Baseball and Nantasket Beach.
"I can’t tell you how many times I was there when I was a kid.”
Some things never change.
Bobby has lived in Hull nearly his entire life. It was his home base throughout boarding school and college, and his parents still live in the same house he grew up in.
And when Bobby first went pro and bought himself a condo -- you guessed it -- the condo was in Hull.
Now he and his wife Natalie have a house in Scituate, yet another seaside town in the cluster of Boston’s South Shore.
“When you grow up here it gets in your bones,” he says. “I stayed wherever I was for the hockey season, and then I’d come home for the summer.
"It was tough for my wife. She’d be at home and I was in Edmonton and Toronto and Albany.”
But, just like in the movies, things quickly turned around for Allen when he was picked up by Boston. Then, on January 17, 2007, Bobby got the call -- after several years of playing in the minors, with only the briefest moment on the NHL stage, he would be stepping onto the ice as a Boston Bruin.
Ever since then, he’s enjoyed living the dream, and being home.
“This year I get to live in my house in Scituate, and it’s even better than I imagined,” he laughs.
Except for the traffic, right?
“Oh, traffic going into Boston from the South Shore is the toughest thing!” Bobby complains. “But I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Due to the close proximity to the city, it’s hard for any resident of the area not to be infected by the sports bug, and Bobby is no exception.
He loves all of the Boston area teams, and is really excited about the Sox this season.
“I like Dice-K, and I’m curious to see what the atmosphere will be (like) with all the reporters.”
And though it’s hard to get to Patriots and Celtics games during the year, Bobby does his best to sneak in to Fenway every once in awhile.
“I try to get into the Sox games as much as I can,” he says.
Clearly, however, the Bruins have always been number one to Bobby, who grew up idolizing #77, Ray Bourque.
“I got to watch his whole career," he said. "As a kid, I’d go out to play street hockey with my buddies and I always wanted to be Ray Bourque.
"He’s definitely the guy I’ve tried to emulate.”
But believe it or not Allen almost didn’t play hockey past elementary school.
“I hated it when I was a kid,” confessed Bobby, who, due to a family history of hockey players, began skating at age four. “It took a little while.
"I wasn’t having a lot of fun (early on), but the more I practiced, the more I started to like it.
"Eventually I got hooked,” he said.
Getting hooked on hockey led Bobby to a stellar high school career at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, with whom he won the prestigious John Carlton Memorial Award, given by the Bruins to the top player in Eastern Massachusetts high school hockey.
“I got to come to the Garden to watch the Bruins play, and meet some players,” Bobby recalled. “Getting to see the Bruins locker room gave me a little taste of what it would be like, and it planted the seeds for my dreams of playing in the NHL.”
Known around the locker room for his composure, Bobby admitted to being “starry-eyed” that day, but remembers the Bruins being nothing but welcoming. But before he could join those pros, college came calling and it was off to another local hockey stop: Boston College.
“I always wanted to play for BC," Bobby explained. "That was the college team I followed growing up, so it was dream to play there.”
Bobby had an amazing four years there that culminated with the Eagles 2001 National Championship win -- their first National Title since 1949.
And now, after several professional stops and two stints with the B's organization, he is home.
“There’s nothing like playing for the hometown team,” he says.
As such, Bobby fulfills his dream every night out on the ice, and he still gets to go to his favorite South Shore spots and live the normal life he’s used to.
For those fortunate enough to drive down Routes 18 and 53, you know you can’t travel one block without seeing a Marylou’s Coffee; it’s a South Shore staple.
“I am a Marylou’s fan!” Bobby smiles. “I do Hazelnut-French Vanilla, and I get that funky iced coffee drink in the summertime, too.”
One must assume that he means the “world famous" Funky Fanabala, an iced coffee drink so delicious that Marylou’s will not divulge any of its ingredients to anyone.
And just like most of the other Bruins, Bobby finds himself “addicted” to golf.
“I like playing Pinehills and at Waverly Oaks in Plymouth. They’re easy to get to and fun to play.”
Another local place Bobby loves is Jake’s, a seafood restaurant right on Nantasket Beach.
“Jake’s is still one of my favorite restaurants,” Allen said, adding that he goes to Jake’s every summer.
And speaking of the beach, Allen and his wife still spend plenty of time there, too.
“I don’t know if I could live in a place where I couldn’t see the ocean,” he said. “I want to see the ocean everyday, and I love being surrounded by it.
"Now, in Scituate, I’m only about 30 seconds away from the beach.”
The breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean are just part of what makes living on the South Shore so desirable to Bobby and to its many happy residents. The area is rich on character and quirks, and its location makes Boston easily accessible.
“Maybe it’s because it’s the only thing I’ve ever known, but I feel really comfortable here and I love the people," said Allen. "I love the towns too. Each town is so unique. I love anywhere on the South Shore. It’s just such a great area.
"And I love the city of Boston. I think it’s one of the greatest cities in the world."
Mulling his last statement over, Allen laughed and said, "(But) maybe I’m a little partial.”
And why shouldn't he love Boston -- all of Bobby Allen’s wildest dreams have come true here, from winning a National Championship with the BC Eagles to wearing Bruins Black & Gold every night.
Success like that could get to anyone’s head, but beneath his pads and behind his helmet, you’ll find that Bobby Allen is a humble guy, and actually, a lot like you and I. He loves his life, his family and he loves where he lives.
“There’s just something about the South Shore,” said Bobby. “I don’t want to live anywhere else.”
I think it’s safe to say that Bruins fans don’t want him going anywhere either. --- Lindsay Daly is an intern in the Boston Bruins media relations office. She is a student at Emerson College.