The phone rang. The caller ID flashed, showing one of Boston two major newspapers. I figured it was the sales department. I handed the phone to Marilyn. I heard Marilyn respond “yes” several times and was puzzled. We didn’t need and couldn’t afford expensive home delivery of newspapers. Then Marilyn said “He’s right here. Why don’t you speak to him?” She had a broad smile on her face. I was even more puzzled.

Long story short. The caller was a reporter working on a series about Boston schools and the history of court-ordered school desegregation. She was looking for people who had covered the story in 1974.

forced busing Boston
Photo: Associated Press

Apparently my name came up in her research. I confirmed I had indeed covered the story and shared a few anecdotes about the first day of what some called “forced busing.” I also shared some stories about my coverage of Boston schools over the following 25 plus years before I retired. To give some context, I mentioned that I’d also covered the civil rights movement for ABC Network before coming to Boston.

The reporter seemed impressed. We agreed to meet again for a more detailed interview. I hung up the phone and smiled. I looked at our dogs seated around me. Obviously, they understood. They were grinning at me. I could read their minds. He’s not just any old fart who feeds and plays with us. 

I looked at Marilyn with satisfaction. I wondered what she had said to the reporter when she took the call.

Marilyn smiled and recounted the conversation. “She asked if you were alive. Then she asked if you actually remembered what you used to do. I bit my tongue and didn’t say ‘That’s a matter of opinion.'”

I looked back at the dogs. They were still grinning. How fleeting is fame.


      • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 1:43 pm

        “Hell Is For Heroes” (’61/Paramount) Steve McQueen, Fess Parker, Nick Adams, Bob Newhart. Dir: Don Siegel.


    • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      I’m a-going, Mr. Ben!


  1. lwbut January 1, 2018 / 2:27 am

    There’s hope for investigative journalism yet if she can dig you up way out there in the boondocks! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Gotta dig deep, very deep.


      • lwbut January 1, 2018 / 9:21 pm

        Cos that’s where the real Gold is! (or Diamonds!) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth January 1, 2018 / 7:42 am

    Great story, Garry. Good to be alive. Wishing you all good things in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Ruth, thank you. Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ruth January 1, 2018 / 1:59 pm

        Thanks Garry. Same to you.


  3. judyt54 January 1, 2018 / 8:21 am

    She’s probably still shaking her head in wonder that anyone that old can even speak in full sentences. Ah, youth. Ya did good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      I done good? Why, thank you, Judy. I try.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. swo8 January 1, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Way to go Garry! What to start to a new year. She might be a good person to review your book when it’s finished. You gotta network here Garry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 2:47 pm

      Yes. That book. He talks about it, you know. Talks the talk. I’m still waiting for “The Walk.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • swo8 January 1, 2018 / 2:52 pm

        He’s got most of it written already. All he has to do is pull it together.

        Liked by 1 person

          • swo8 January 1, 2018 / 3:02 pm

            Yes I do. I had a hard time to get Peter to sit down and write too. I thought Peter had some extraordinary experiences that should be documented, especially his research. Garry has had some extraordinary experiences with some very famous people. I think that would command a broad readership, even better than Peter’s which is more geared to science.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. John Thompson January 1, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    “Didn’t you used to be Garry Armstrong….”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong January 1, 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Yeah, I usta be. He was kidnapped by Samoan thugs.

      Liked by 2 people

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