Daily Prompt: Four Stars — Remembering the Garry Armstrong Show

For 31 years, there was a continuing series on Channel 7 in Boston. It was my favorite show and I watched it faithfully. It was on several times each day. The first performance often aired during the pre-dawn hours. The final day’s  episode might air long after most people had finished dinner and many had gone to bed.

It was an excellent series. Watching it kept me informed about events taking place in my neighborhood, the city and the region. What was especially nifty was I how close I was to the star, though it was sometimes difficult to reconcile the handsome star of the series to the exhausted, crabby guy who finally came home expecting dinner. As a faithful viewer, I never had to ask how the star’s day had gone. I knew. I had seen his day. I usually taped the episodes so we could review it at leisure.

Garry with Tip O'Neill

Garry with Tip O’Neill

Thus I watched my husband on TV every day and it was — for us — normal. It came with some perks: invitations to snazzy events that sometimes appeared in newspaper gossip columns. It was funny reading about us as if we were real celebrities. I suppose, by some standards, he was. I was just the celebrity’s wife, but even reflected glory is rather glorious. Although we rarely got the opportunity to have dinner in a restaurant without being interrupted by fans, mostly, it was a nice thing. Garry was recognized and loved by people who thought of him as a friend. After all, he came into their homes every day. Many viewers had been watching him since they were kids, so he felt like a familiar family member.

That’s what he did for a living. So did so many of our friends so I didn’t think about it much. It was our life. I had a ritual. As soon as I got in from work, I turned on the news. I kept a tape in the VCR, so when Garry came on, I was ready.  This was the only way he was able to see how his stories looked because he didn’t see the finished piece at work.

He covered or was involved with virtually every important event in New England for 31 years. I wish I had more to show you, but the tapes I made disintegrated over time.

Garry and I at President Clinton's party on Martha's Vineyard

Garry and I at President Clinton’s party on Martha’s Vineyard

Most of Garry’s career was pre-Internet.  No Facebook, no Google. We have one of his three Emmy awards on top of the television, but no tape except this one piece I found. It’s not a major story, but it’s something. Garry’s segment appears at about 1 minute and 30 seconds into the noon news. You can fast forward and skip the intro or choose to watch from the top of the show.

That was a “live shot.”

Time passes. It’s good to have something tangible to remember the show, though lucky me, I still have the star by my side.

On September 12, 2013, Garry Armstrong will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame. It’s quite an honor and I’ll be proud to be there with him.

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22 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Four Stars — Remembering the Garry Armstrong Show

  1. So cool to see this aircheck! Garry was such a responsible reporter. Seems like another age, with the rampant speculation and vamping that fills the airwaves now. Where will the award be given, and can we buy tickets to it?

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    • Nice to hear from you! What with the recent fiasco of the marathon bombing and CNN, I think you will see just a bit more responsibility, if not because of any sort of ethics, than because CNN has really lost a lot of credibility and more importantly, revenue. Whatever works, you know? Garry often comments how glad he is NOT to be a part of it anymore. Especially when there’s a blizzard and he isn’t out in it.

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  4. Thank you, Mrs A!!! You were my rock, support and believer in so many ways for which I’ll never be able to fully thank you. YOU are a legend!!

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    • He was, kind of, in a regional way. Although it was pretty funny, when we were in Dublin and stopped a guy to ask directions and he looked and he said “Hey, you’re Garry Armstrong!” Turned out, he was an exchange professor from Boston College. And he even knew how to get to the pub.

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