Photographer's Note

Please no points on this one.

Yesterday, as I'm sure most of you know by now, my city of Boston was struck by an attack that claimed the lives of at least three people and wounded at least 140 others. Two bombs were detonated mere feet from the finish line of the internationally renowned Boston Marathon just before 3pm. The race was shut down, Boston's fine hospitals were jammed with injuries that were more like those found in war zones, and the entire region went into panic as people tried to locate loved ones and friends who were running, or waiting for someone to finish the race.

I watched the marathon yesterday from a spot near my parents' house, in Newton, MA; mile 19 of a 26 mile race, far from the scene of the bombing. From where we were, it was a perfect day; sunny, a perfect temperature for an April race. The joy on this, the greatest day in Boston's yearly calendar, was everywhere as thousands of dedicated runners, many supporting local, national and international charities, streamed past. It was the celebration of Patriots' Day here in Boston, the day that the American Revolution began in 1775. The Red Sox won in a dramatic walkoff victory earlier, the media was celebrating the victors of Boston's crown jewel of a race, and then this.

One of the dead was an 8 year old boy from Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. He was there with his mother and sister, waiting for their father to finish the race. He was also the former student of a friend of ours who taught in Boston. His sister lost her leg. His mother was severely injured. He was killed immediately. And of course his was far from the only family touched; the Boston Marathon is a national and international event, with runners from all over the world. The bombs went off just behind a display of flags representing the origins of the runners that day. Afterward, those flags lay on the ground, looking - as one Boston journalist has said - like victims.

No one today has much more information than they did yesterday. There are, as far as anyone can tell, no suspects. No group has stepped forward to take responsibility; I'm not convinced, given the nature of the devices and the attack, that any will. I'm also not sure it matters. My city was attacked, and it will spend a long time healing. Whoever was responsible for this has already done their worst; I'm not sure it matters who they are or why they did it. I do know that Boston will come back, as New York did, as London has, as Madrid has, as cities in Israel, Iraq, and many other places are forced to do on a regular basis.

I posted this shot today obviously because of its subject matter - it was taken only an hour or two before the bombing - but also because of what it symbolizes: people helping others, taking joy in their collective effort and triumph. The boy here is just a bit younger than the one killed seven miles up the road; I hope he is able to grow up in a world where senseless violence like this is at least on the retreat rather than the advance. In other words, a world very different than our own.

I'll leave this today with a song, appropriately called 'Road Runner', by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Sometimes called the first punk song, it's also a love song to the state of Massachusetts.

"Roadrunner" - Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers

one two three four five six
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going faster miles an hour
Gonna drive past the Stop 'n' Shop
With the radio on

I'm in love with Massachusetts
And the neon when it's cold outside
And the highway when it's late at night
Got the radio on
I'm like the roadrunner

I'm in love with modern moonlight
128 when it's dark outside
I'm in love with Massachusetts
I'm in love with the radio on
It helps me from being alone late at night
It helps me from being lonely late at night
I don't feel so bad now in the car
Don't feel so alone, got the radio on
Like the roadrunner
That's right

Said welcome to the spirit of 1956
Patient in the bushes next to '57
The highway is your girlfriend as you go by quick
Suburban trees, suburban speed
And it smells like heaven(thunder)
And I say roadrunner once
Roadrunner twice
I'm in love with rock & roll and I'll be out all night
That's right

Well now
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going faster miles an hour
Gonna drive to the Stop 'n' Shop
With the radio on at night
And me in love with modern moonlight
Me in love with modern rock & roll
Modern girls and modern rock & roll
Don't feel so alone, got the radio on
Like the roadrunner
O.K., now you sing Modern Lovers

(Radio On!)
I got the AM
(Radio On!)
Got the car, got the AM
(Radio On!)
Got the AM sound, got the
(Radio On!)
Got the rockin' modern neon sound
(Radio On!)
I got the car from Massachusetts, got the
(Radio On!)
I got the power of Massachusetts when it's late at night
(Radio On!)
I got the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts
I've got the world, got the turnpike, got the
I've got the, got the power of the AM
Got the, late at night, (?), rock & roll late at night
The factories and the auto signs got the power of modern sounds

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Additional Photos by Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 884 W: 75 N: 1695] (7511)
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