With Massachusetts Ties
There were a couple of deaths recently with ties to familiar places. Walter Cronkite, the pioneering TV newsman, died last week. He was a frequent visitor to Massachusetts, especially Martha's Vineyard, and used to go sailing off the Massachusetts coast. Personally I remember him best as the guy that used to do the space flight coverage I used to watch as a kid.
Cronkite was not the best of his generation, that honor would go to David Brinkley. In retirement Cronkite became known as the "the most trusted man in America" but I never knew what that meant. I mean he primarily read aloud news that was gathered by others, and had little to do with whether the news was accurate or not. On the occasions when he did seem to be acting on his own behalf, he showed a very strong preference for the Democrat Party. That partisan side of him went a bit too far when at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal he let his reputation for integrity be exploited by the Clintons by taking them for a highly publicized ride off Martha's Vineyard on his boat.
More than "most trusted man in America" I would have called him "the TV journalist most trusted to take the side of the Democrats."
Another person with a local connection who died recently was Frank McCourt (above) author of the Pulitizer Prize winning book Angela's Ashes. McCourt didn't write the book until after he retired as a school teacher at age 65, making his career a Cinderella example for all writers of how big time success can strike at any age. He also appeared in the 2004 Holyoke Saint Patrick's Day parade. Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh, was there and is quoted about McCourt's visit:
Walsh admits that some Ambassador Award Recipients, on first contact, have not heard of Holyoke or the parade. With some explanation, though, they are usually won over and decide to participate.
“The people that turnout, it just creates a memory for them that helps us,” said Walsh. “One Ambassador Award winner helps you next time. I remember Frank McCourt walking down the streets of Holyoke and he couldn’t believe the number of people on the parade route.”
Rainy Walk Through Amherst
We've had too much rain this summer, but it was so hot yesterday (by New England standards) that today's rain actually feels refreshing. Unless of course you're on vacation.
The rain was so intense at one point this afternoon that lower Cottage Street was flooded.
As people shopped in downtown Amherst, they left their umbrellas outside the door.
Peeking in at The Pub I see all the free papers for the taking.
Say what you will about the death of print but the little freebies appear to be still hanging in there.
The paving project appears to be wrapping up at the edge of downtown.
This Fearing Street party house still has their Christmas lights up in July.
Fearing Street has a few of Amherst's oldest trees on it.
At UMass these women were walking with matching official UMass umbrellas.
Things got so wet that the ducks left the UMass pond and explored the land.
Happily tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day.
Some people are very very angry and this music comforts them even as it feeds their anger.