E'town grad witnesses Boston chaos up close

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Hodges lives near Watertown, Mass.

By Jeff D'Alessio

The text message came into her cellphone around 6 a.m. Friday, telling her to stay away from work for the day.

That was the first indication to Lindsay Hodges, a 1998 graduate of Elizabethtown High School, that Friday would not be like any other she had experienced in about eight years of living in Massachusetts.

Hodges stayed in her Waltham, Mass., home, not even leaving to get her laptop out of her vehicle parked nearby as the region was under a lockdown as various police agencies searched the area for one of two men officials believe masterminded Monday’s double bombing near the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

“It’s been unreal and surreal at the same time,” she said.

Waltham is the next town over from Watertown, Mass., where a shootout ensued early Friday morning, killing one of the suspects. The second suspect was captured Friday night in Watertown, about a 5-minute drive from Waltham.

She said Boston television reports kept her updated on the ongoing hunt and also displayed how life-changing the search left the area. She said there is a main strip in Waltham that she compared to Bardstown Road in Louisville with dining establishments, clubs and shops.

“They showed it and there was not a person on the sidewalks,” she said. “Usually you can’t get a parking place on the street.”

Police used an office park where Hodges works as a global employee progress coordinator as a command center during Friday’s ordeal.

“Any average person has never been part of anything like this,” she said. “This is not every day America.”

She said the events of the week kept people on edge. She said she made contact with her parents, Danny and Ann Hodges, who still live in Elizabethtown, about 45 minutes after the explosions Monday afternoon at the marathon.

“I didn’t want them to worry that I was closer to it than I really was,” she said.

Danny Hodges said he and his wife have been to the area a number of times and are familiar with the locations as news kept coming in about the chase for the two suspects.

Lindsay said in the days after the bombings police “looked at trash cans and backpacks differently.”

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at (270) 505-1757 or at jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.