“Bradford Washburn, the founder of the modern Boston Museum of Science who transformed a modest collection into renowned institution, died last night at the age of 96.”
Walking the Berkshires alerted me to the passing of Henry Bradford Washburn — founder of Boston’s Museum of Science, the preeminent mountain cartographer in the world, and perhaps the best photographer of mountains since Ansel Adams. This man personified a lot of heroic attributes in my mind. Whenever I think about climbing Mount Washington and plan a route, I look at a Brad Washburn map. He mapped Everest in his 70s.
Washburn is the man who mapped Everest, McKinley and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He was a pioneer climber of Alaska’s peaks. His maps are art. The photos are exquisite.
Rainy Saturday, son has a fistful of gift cards from Xmas to use up, so off to Borders to indulge in my favorite shopping experience — book buying.
Santa didn’t bring me Against the Day, the latest by Thomas Pynchon, so I bought it for myself.
Being a major Mark Helprin fan, I was embarrassed when recently asked if I had read Freddy and Fredericka, so that went into the cart.
Cormac McCarthy is one of the top ten American novelists working today (the others include Don DeLillo, Richard Ford, John Updike, David Foster Wallace, and Pynchon), and being a big fan of All the Pretty Horses I had to get The Road based on an awesome NYT book review.
Robert Stone — Hall of Mirrors, Damascus Gate, Outerbridge Reach, Flag for Sunrise, Dog Soldiers — has written a memoir of the 60s and his days with Kesey and the Merry Pranksters: Prime Green.
And finally, because you need a little poetry, another edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
I need more book shelves. I have piles of books in closets, next to my bed, in the attic, in the kids’ rooms and my wife isn’t happy about it.