Friday, July 16, 2010

The Most Courageous Man of the Summer of 2010

Wading in a pool by a waterfall with all the other hippopotami in a heat wave, we see him: The Most Courageous Man of the Summer of 2010.
In long, dolphin-blue Bermuda shorts that might as well be pants, he begins climbing the rocks. The rocks rise about five stories high above Bash Bish Falls, on the border of Columbia and Berkshire counties.
Climbing those rocks and leaping into the waters below is illegal. The Most Courageous Man of the Summer of 2010 knows this. He knows the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, which oversees the 4,000-acre forest preserve in which the falls are located, couldn't make that point any clearer.
They've posted plenty of signs. Rangers patrol the falls frequently. And since the state can't assign an all-day security detail there, it has done pretty much the next best thing. It put up an information board beside the set of stone steps leading down to the falls. The board contains grisly newspaper accounts dating back to the 1970s of deaths and injuries at the falls. It's not pretty.