President Obama

Much of the discussion over the last few days has concerned the imminent arrival of the President.   Will it require the closure of North Road ?  How much will it inconvenience the neighbours ?  Did he leave a monogrammed Presidential basketball behind by mistake ?

But some of the discussion relates to the deeper issue as to how far the President has fulfilled the hopes of his greatest supporters (Martha’s Vineyard is full of loyal democrats) ?  Most people feel that he could and should have done more, but they remain sympathetic to him as a person.   They know that the expectations of a President are nowadays unreasonable.   They blame Congress.   Some blame his closest advisors.   And they recall that he has been, and still is, a great orator.

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Chappaquiddick

In recording our explorations of Martha’s Vineyard, I feel that I should also record that we visited Chappaquiddick yesterday, and stood on Dike Bridge where Edward Kennedy’s car went off into the sea in July 1969.   At this remove, it was hard to see how he could possibly have taken a wrong turning down an unpaved road and left Mary Jo Kopechne in the sea to drown.   But at least I remember the months of news coverage of the trial.   This is the so-called Chappy Ferry:

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Middle Road

The afternoon was hot and sultry as I walked the footpaths on the property of our friends, Hans Kraus and Mariana Cook.   No wonder Mariana has had a project photographing primitive walls (see Mariana Cook, Stone Walls, Bologna, 2011) because the estate is surrounded by ancient walls made up of large boulders, dating from a time when the land was grazed by sheep and including a nineteenth-century sheep pen.   It felt prehistoric because of the old oak trees, including some dead, and the wealth of untamed vegetation.   I swam in the pond.

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