Midway through this February’s unprecedented winter onslaught, a curious thing popped up on Facebook’s news feed. James “Jimbo” Encalada, a longtime resident of Somerville, made an announcement. It seemed he was planning a big move from his small little hovel outside of Boston to somewhere a bit more exotic.
Hoth? The Empire? What is this, Star Wars? According to Encalada, the answer is a resolute “yes!”
“I grew up watching The Empire Strikes Back,” he tells BDCwire. “So whenever I think of cold and snow, I think of Hoth. Or, to be precise, the sixth planet in the Hoth System.”
As a joke, Encalada – famous among his friends for “checking in” on Facebook just about everywhere he goes – decided to change his apartment’s online designation. Whenever he or anyone else felt the need to mark their arrival, they’d now have to tag it as “Hoth.”
The joke was a big hit, so Encalada redecorated his Facebook profile with screen shots and artwork from the film. He also began providing consistent updates on his day-to-day travels, which conveniently mirrored the first act of Empire Strikes Back. Soon enough, Encalada’s dog Midnight and others were making regular appearances in his posts.
So were other local celebrities, like the MBTA – everybody’s favorite public transit system. A Medford native, Encalada put this new outlet to good use and took out his frustrations with each successive post. Trains and buses, inexperienced transplants constantly bugging him about the weather, the street’s many new potholes – all were susceptible to Encalada’s game.
He even took on space savers, the tried-and-true tradition of Boston winters currently under fire in Somerville and elsewhere. Before Mayor Walsh’s recent statement, Encalada was one of many drivers who regularly made use of space savers. So when the snow emergency was still in effect, he made use of an old chair – besides, Commander Luke Skywalker’s life depended on it.
Winter looks like it’s on the retreat, but Encalada isn’t ready to “move back” to Somerville just yet. When asked how long he intends to keep his current Facebook address at Hoth, Encalada stands his ground: “Until the weather gets better and the MBTA runs on a 100% normal schedule.”
Before that moment comes, Encalada plans on going about his days in a world where Han shot first and temperatures in the high 30s are a cause for celebration.