In which I run into Edgar Allen Poe

I was walking from the Boston Common over to Jacob Wirth’s after my road race when I ran into this guy with his pet raven at twilight:

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Poe was born in Boston in Boston in 1809, although he went to Virginia soon afterwards.

Poe’s reputation has risen since his death and stays high. In addition to being a writer of fiction and poetry, he was also a good literary critic.  Here is Wikipedia summing up Poe’s opinion of our old friend Heny Wadsworth Longfellow:

A favorite target of Poe’s criticism was Boston’s then-acclaimed poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was often defended by his literary friends in what was later called “The Longfellow War”. Poe accused Longfellow of “the heresy of the didactic”, writing poetry that was preachy, derivative, and thematically plagiarized. Poe correctly predicted that Longfellow’s reputation and style of poetry would decline, concluding that “We grant him high qualities, but deny him the Future”.

“We grant him high qualities, but deny him the Future” — is that prescient or what?

Here’s more about the Poe statue.

The road race, you ask?  Don’t ask.  Here’s a photo of the pack going into Kenmore Square.

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Notice that my part of the pack isn’t exactly “running”. The folks heading in the other direction, back from Kenmore Square toward the Common–they’re running. Sheesh.

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The Fourth of July in my little town

The day began with me and a couple thousand of my friends getting up way too early in to run four miles or so in the rain down Main Street.  I have been doing this for years, so it’s a good way of measuring my physical disintegration. This year, maybe because it was cooler, I was actually a couple of minutes faster than last year.

Here I am close to the finish line, going too fast for the photographer to catch up.  Notice the way my town paints the center line red, white, and blue for the occasion.

Too fast for the photographer

A couple hours after the race people reassemble on Main Street for the parade.  It’s pretty much the same every year.

Here is Uncle Sam, who always leads off the parade:

Here is our world-famous Marching Kazoo Band:

Here’s a tall guy:

Here are guys pretending to be soldiers:

Here are some more guys pretending to be old-time baseball players:

Here are cute kids waiting for people in the parade to throw them candy:

And here is Tom Brady watching some bagpipers.  What’s the Fourth of July without bagpipers?

Don’t you wish you lived in my little town?