“It’s a test,” he claims, because the game on that date actually took place not at Fenway Park but at Yankee Stadium. The true, discerning Sox fan that glimpses the Rolling Green Monster, perhaps on an alcohol-aided post-game walk to the T, says Millette, will spot the error immediately. [Editor’s note: We’ll let it slide that an extremely discerning Sox fan might recall that the team was off on August 19, 2004, and that the scoreboard actually looks a lot more like the October 19 game in the Bronx that year — Curt Schilling’s legendary bloody-sock win in Game 6 of the ALCS.]
From strike zone to twilight zone
Millette alternates Red Sox hats and shirts as his daily uniform — red one day, Army print with a matching pair of green Nike sneakers the next. His face is George Hamilton–esque in color — perhaps from his winters spent in Florida — and, like an old baseball mitt, it’s gradually been worn down by life’s curveballs. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C this past year; now he survives mainly on disability insurance.
He’s flipped between jobs many times in his life, though for the past seven years he’s mainly worked in carpentry — and as a mime on the streets of Key West. He’s even managed to translate that idea into Sox speak, by painting his face red, donning a Dustin Pedroia jersey, and standing on a wooden box on Lansdowne Street, perfectly still and statuesque.
Though it was only christened six months ago, the Rolling Green Monster is constantly evolving as a vehicular testament to Red Sox Nation. White paint commemorates retired Sox legends along the upper edge of the RV’s passenger side. (Millette recently even added the not-so-dearly departed Ramirez.) When Neil Diamond — the schmaltzy singer whose 1969 pop single “Sweet Caroline” has been adopted by fans as a Red Sox anthem — played a concert at Fenway in August, Millette painted SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD, in large block letters on the RV’s driver’s side.
If you’re milling around Fenway before the Sox playoff home game this Sunday, you’ll likely see the Rolling Green Monster on Burlington Avenue. That’s where Millette usually parks, close to Fenway and an Ace Ticket location, so that he doesn’t have to sleep on the cold concrete sidewalk, and yet he can still be first in line for Sox tickets, a position he takes seriously. “Every time I’ve been first in line, they’ve won,” he claims, as we stand on Lansdowne Street just before that Cleveland game. “The times I’ve lost my first spot in line, they’ve lost the game.”
Though they share the same passion for the Sox, Millette doesn’t always get along with other fans or team security. (“I open my mouth sometimes when I shouldn’t,” he admits.) Case in point, the night of the Indians game, a man walks by as I’m speaking with Millette and offers us one free ticket. I defer to the mayor, who happily takes it — but the next day he tells me he was thrown out of the game after four innings, for taking photos of vendors employed by Aramark and posting them on his MySpace page.