As they had done so often during their wonderful, lifelong friendship, Nick Tsiotos and David Green met for coffee last Saturday at 8 a.m. The two Winthrop High 1972 classmates would share close to a couple of hours of conversation.
Green, a retired Massachusetts state trooper, visited the Tsiotos home later that afternoon.
“About 1:15, David came over the house and dropped off some fruit,” recalled Tsiotos. “He talked to my wife in the kitchen and he was in such a great mood. David came to the backyard and we sat down with my oldest son, Dino, and we talked about college and life and he gave Dino some sound advice.”
Just a few hours later, David Green was gunned down as he sought to help others after hearing a loud crash in the neighborhood.
Tsiotos still can’t believe the unimaginable tragedy that took his friend’s life.
“I’ve gotten calls from our classmates all over the country and we’re all in shock,” said Tsiotos. “This was just a terrible, senseless act of violence. This isn’t supposed to happen.”
Tsiotos said David Green was admired by all who met him or lived near his home on Beach Road.
“David Green was the best of humanity,” said Tsiotos. “He had great character his whole life. He always strived for personal excellence. He was loved by his classmates and his neighbors. He would do anything for anybody. Everybody respected him.”
Tsiotos said he is not surprised that David Green immediately rushed toward the scene of the accident in hopes of assisting people.
“David was sitting with a couple of neighbors and the minute he heard the loud noise, he headed toward the incident thinking it was a car crash where he was going to help people out,” said Tsiotos. “As a Massachusetts State Police officer, David did that for 36 years honorably.”
Nick Tsiotos met David Green in the seventh grade at. Winthrop Junior High. “We played junior high and high school basketball together,” said Tsiotos. “David also played for a championship football team in junior high school, but he stuck with basketball after that. I remember Jack MacDonald was coaching us in ninth grade and one day David took the basketball after practice and he dunked it. He was the only ninth grader that I had ever seen stuff the basketball.”
Tsiotos said he also had the opportunity to get to know David parents, Ray and Ruth Green, and his older brother, Ray Green.
“Ray was a great role model for David,” said Tsiotos. “He was one of Winthrop’s greatest gymnasts and won a state championship. He was accepted to Cornell but he took an academic and athletic scholarship and went to Penn State.
“Their parents were wonderful people,” continued Tsiotos. “Their father arrived in Winthrop in 1938. They were just a wonderful, hard-working family. The father was a wonderful man, a war veteran, and everyone knew the Greens.”
Tsiotos said the Winthrop High Class of 1972 has been planning its 50th reunion for next year. Olympic gold medalist Mike Eruzione is a member of the class.
“We were a close, hard-working, blue-collar community back then,” said Tsiotos. “David and I were looking forward to getting together and being with our old friends at the reunion.”
Tsiotos said in the numerous interviews he’s done with media he’s tried to convey to all what a great person David Green was.
“David was the best,” said Tsiotos.