WHEN THE STARDUST RUBS OFF – Marilyn Armstrong

There was a piece on NBC’s Sunday Morning show about a guy who always wanted to be an NHL goalie. He never made it. Instead, he wound up as the equipment manager for a Carolina team. He wasn’t a player, but he got to hang out with them, be part of the team. Then, one day, the goalie was injured. They needed a backup goalie.

72-Peacham-Monday_022

Not even enough time to call one up from a minor league team … he got the call. Mostly, he sat on the bench, though he got to sit there in a full goalie’s uniform with his name on it. And for the final 7 seconds of the game, he was a player. He didn’t make the goal that saved the game and no one offered him a contract … but he could finally say he’d played in the NHL. As a goalie. His dream came true.

Most of us have dreams and occasionally, they come true. Or very close to true.

alfred_eisenstaedt_kiss_v-j_day_times_square_

V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, “In New York’s Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers”

I got to hang out with Alfred Eisenstaedt on Martha’s Vineyard and talk to him about his photographs I had bought several books of his pictures (we eventually owned several of his actual pictures) and he went through the books, looked at each picture and could tell me what film he used, which lens, camera … and most important, what it was that inspired him to shoot that picture in that way.

About his arguably most famous “street shot” of the sailor kissing the lady in white on V-J Day in Times Square in New York:

V-J Day in Times Square (also known as  V-Day and The Kiss) portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger—a woman in a white dress—on Victory over Japan Day (“V-J Day”) in New York City’s Times Square on August 14, 1945. I asked him how he got the shot.

He said “I was walking around Times Square with my Nikon. Everyone was celebrating, and I was looking for something special, I wasn’t sure exactly what. Then, I saw the sailor in his dark outfit kissing the woman in white. I swung my Nikon into place and just shot. I had the right lens, the right film. It came out well, I think.” Yes, it came out well. Very well.

I will never get that picture or any picture like it because I can’t “just shoot.” It’s not for want of trying. I see a shot, but I stop to think. One second of thinking is more than enough time to lose the shot. In a second, the hawk takes to the air and the kiss is ended. That special look on his or her face vanishes.

In short, I think too much to be a good street photographer. Fortunately, I think just enough to be a pretty good landscape photographer. Even a sunset moves slowly enough for me to get a few pictures before it goes to black. Which is why I always carry a camera.

Blogging has given me other pieces of my dreams. I didn’t become a best-selling, world-famous author, but I have gotten to chat with authors whose work is best-selling and widely read. And who I admire. Every once in a great while, I get a “like” or a “tweet” from a favorite author. I’m as thrilled now as I was the first time I made contact with one of my favorite authors.

I suppose I hoped by being in contact with greatness, a bit of the star-dust will rub off on me



Categories: Celebrities, Humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography

Tags: , , , , ,

34 replies

  1. You underestimate yourself Marilyn. I agree with Garry. I know what you mean about thinking and hesitating and there goes that bird…….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nick is good at seeing those ‘moments’ for street photography…much better than me. You take wonderful landscape shots, though, Marilyn…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful post. Dreams do come true.

    Like

  4. That meeting was such a wonderful opportunity!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s those special moments in time we’ll remember. Funny, most people when they do achieve greatness they often dismiss it saying “anyone could do it” and maybe we could, given the right moment.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  6. great story about the goalie, and about meeting Eisenstaedt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a big deal for me. And, I think, for Garry, too.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn is a bit modest. Her blog has touched the lives of many people – around the world. She’s “opened the window on the world” for people timid or apprehensive about testing their wings. I’ve seen coments from people so grateful to Marilyn’s mantra to not be afraid to make the jump. Marilyn has lots of stardust sprinkled on her simply being who she is. I have a grand closeup view.
      (Meeting “Eisy” was a hoot. For Marilyn, meeting one of her heroes. For me, meeting a geuine legend. I loved the rapport Marilyn had with Eisy. The Vineyard luncheon we hosted for Eisy and Patricia Neal is one of the highlights of our lives. memorable and so very funny with two legends trying to top each other. Lots of stardust sprinkled that day).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just the right shot, I am learning to take the picture right away. Stardust is sprinkled all over you. After a terrible car accident, I am finally able to write more and read again. I look forward to seeing your writings once more. You pull me in to your story right away. 🙂 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

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