Meet My Friend, Donovan

Meet My Friend, Donovan

Posted on Mar. 06, 2024
Donovan, Digital Dividends Program Participant

Born in  Jamaica, Donovan grew up with his grandparents and came to the United States in 1965 at 16 years old.  Donovan’s dad had been living in England, then moved to America and brought Donovan and his brother along.  They landed in New York…and came right to Boston that very night.  Thanks to a cousin who was close to Donovan’s dad, they found an apartment and Donovan enrolled in Boston English High School.

Soon after, Donovan joined the Army in 1968 for a short time, and then quickly found interest in electronics.  Following training programs at UMass Boston, UMass Amherst, and Roxbury Community College,  where he studied electronics, radio, and television, Donovan began working at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and then, Channel 38 where he did TV production switching, made commercials, ran ‘remotes’ and cameras for Bruins games at the old Boston Garden.

Donovan has always loved ‘old school, slow music’ like The Temptations, and The Spinners, as well as jazz, thanks to his dad’s interests and influence.  In fact, Donovan hung out frequently at The Sugar Shack in downtown Boston in the 1970s, popular for the soul, R&B, and funk acts it attracted, including James Brown, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.   He even met Bob Marley there several times.  “I went to see his show, and afterward, went to The Sugar Shack. He was very nice… well-spoken, and talked a lot.  He had a lot to say!”

Donovan adds, “I have always found learning new things (like chess), doing new things, and meeting people interesting,”  He’s an avid reader, especially of fiction, crime, and mysteries.  He has read all of Stephen King and Walter Mosley’s books.  He adds, “I change things up a lot.  I’m not set on one thing all the time.   I change up my habits, get into something new for a while, then move onto something else.”  These days, that’s games on his mobile device, especially Solitaire, and poker.

If Donovan could give the younger generation some advice it would be this: “Stay in school, it’s very important.  And care for each other. It’s OK to try new stuff…but don’t overdo it.”  And to older adults… Donovan’s best advice?  “I try to learn all the time. I read a lot. Newspaper, whatever comes my way. You pick up a lot of things about life, about the world, and other people. That’s where I get my knowledge.”

“So, learn from others….respect one another, help one another. Think about your neighbors…see what’s happening around you and help the situation. I try…I know I can’t do much…but I try to do something. It might not be much, but whatever little bit you can do. You never know ….I’ve been out there on the streets and hated to ask people for stuff. Sometimes people need and don’t even know they need. It’s good to care about each other.”