Russell duPont

Where it's Arbor Day everyday; Kennedy on Chappy

dupont2 “Path, Arnold Arboretum” (photo), by RUSSELL duPONT, in the show "Artists in the Arboretum,'' at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 125 Arborway, Boston, Sept. 17-Oct. 18.

Arboretums can be magical. We just toured the exquisite and unexpected Mytoi Japanese Garden on Chappaquiddick Island, part of Martha's Vineyard. Very, very soothing. Everything was perfect except that otters had eaten all the gold fish in the lily-padded pond.

Then  we took on the ugly, as we traced the routes that the late Sen. Edward Kennedy took in his drinking, driving and other activities  on the night of July 18, 1969 that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne when Mr. Kennedy drove a car off a bridge into the water.

None of excuses/explanations he gave were plausible but local authorities were in the pocket of the Kennedys so he avoided a vehicular-manslaughter charge and proceeded with his political career. But the accident may well have prevented him from becoming president.

-- Robert Whitcomb


Lovely, dark and deep

birches "Birches,'' by RUSSELL DUPONT, in his show "A Sense of Place: Photographs by Russell duPont,'' at the James Library and Center for the Arts, Norwell, Mass., Sept. 5-Sept. 30.

Norwell is  a Boston suburb, a community with a strong sense of being on a river (the  marshy North River) and the burial site of John Cheever, who, although he spent most of his life in New York City and Westchester County, wrote hauntingly about the South Shore towns where he grew up and whose physical  beauty he cited.


I'd guess that many people readers remember this closing of Robert Frost poem "Birches'':


I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
The photo above is beautiful  but also a bit ominous, as are many Frost poems.
Read his poem "Design''.