PRIVILEGED IN THE PARK – GARRY ARMSTRONG

It was really a lovely day. Cool, bright, not humid. The car, after these months of sitting under the trees which, these days, are covered with the remnants left by Marilyn’s birds. Our Renegade was not looking her best. And, there were a lot of medications waiting at the pharmacy.

We had gotten up early because Marilyn thought we had a doctor’s appointment, but it turned out to be next Tuesday. Since I was up already, I bravely ventured out. Mailed a long-delayed letter. Picked up medications, got the car washed, bought Marilyn a bouquet of white roses, then went down to River Bend.

I found a great spot for photographs, an old Andy Griffith, Mayberry scene. And there was a mom and her two little kids playing in the river. I was also wearing both mask and gloves with my USMC T-shirt and an NCIS vest (bought directly from the CBS online shop).  I guess I didn’t look dangerous enough to call the cops.

I asked permission to take pictures of her and the kids. Eventually, I asked why none of them were wearing masks. She told me, “Thanks for asking permission for pictures. Yes, you can take them. As for no masks and gloves, I think the media is blowing this out of proportion. The President knows what he is talking about.”


Long pause from me. “Hey, ” she said, “You look familiar. Didn’t you used to be on TV? Oh, don’t tell me. I know! I grew up watching you on TV. You have a nice day, now.”

I also guess no one told her about the literally thousands of snapping turtle who live in that area of the river. That’s why you aren’t allowed to swim in it or even dangle your feet off the dock. They like to munch on toes and fingers and have the jaws to for it.


Her 5-year-old is in preschool. The 4-year-old is in nursery school. And mom watches Fox News. You can’t save them all.

31 thoughts on “PRIVILEGED IN THE PARK – GARRY ARMSTRONG

  1. In CA, we are being told that masks are required EXCEPT for young children. I’m not sure I understand the logic of that, because kids in school do bring home all manner of diseases, but apparently there’s also concern about the safety of masks for small kids.

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  2. Been thinking about this one. Was at first inclined to think your privileges derived from the NCIS jacket. The more I pondered, it confused me… do Fox news watchers also watch NCIS? Pretty sure now she finally realized you were Samoan. Game on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Queen, sharp observations and questions. I don’t know about FOX viewers watching “NCIS”. Not sure Gibbs wants them in his building. My NCIS gear is worn as a fan and hoping some folks really believe I am an NCIS agent. Purely fantasy on my part.

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  3. She picked the wrong person to trust… However, the chances of getting or spreading the virus playing in the park are almost zero, at least as long as they stay away from other people. What gets me are the people in crowded outdoor areas or, worse yet, inside public buildings not wearing masks, particularly since there are always large signs on the door with a message such as “Be considerate of others – Please wear mask at all times while inside.”

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      • It is cool that you were able to talk to her, particularly since her viewpoint was a little extreme. As you said, some people might have become angry.

        I feel comfortable in the wide open spaces, but know not every does. If you have a need to be ultra-vigilant, do what you need. I’ll assume you have a reason and be sure to respect your distance if I don’t have my mask on. In closer quarters, unless I will be very close or for extended times, I am not too worried, but I do not want to be the one that accidentally got someone else sick! So yes, in closer quarters, for extended times or any time indoors, it is on, more so I don’t spread it if I am a asymptomatic carrier, but I also don’t want it!

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  4. Nice pictures Garry. I guess there was no point in telling this woman that her kids shouldn’t be in the water. Anyone who thinks the president knows what he’s talking about was never going to believe you.

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    • Is ignorance bliss here? Perhaps for the time being. I hope the kids, as you suggest, don’t have to pay for Mom’s take on things.

      BTW: I am reading Dobe Carey’s “Company of Heroes”. Wonderful. I am up to the section where he is talking about his youth on “Pop’s” 1000 acre ranch and hanging out with the Navajos who lived and worked on the ranch. Reminds me of some of your shares. Waiting for him to describe singing arias as he rode on the ranch. Dobe’s description of doing “Three Godfathers” is priceless. You’ve already given me a heads up with your stories. Thank you.

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      • Yes, it is a wonderful look into the world of Ford and his movies. I think I told you at one time that Dobe was really a kind of protoge of Ford’s because of his mother, Olive, who was always Ford’s lost love.She was the only one who could sass him back and he’d take it. I don’t believe he mentions his opera singing in this book. It was kind of a teenage endeavor that his sister and I knew about. I remember Stan Jones’ stories about working for Ford. He wrote some songs for his pictures, “Waon Master, Horse Soldiers, and The Searchers among others and also acted in some of them. It was a whole other era then, not the Golden Age, but is own distinctive one.

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  5. There was a new programme on our TV a couple of days ago. Mainly about the situation in New York, but also a little further afield where everyone seems to live in nice houses. Anyhow, in this area they did a couple of interviews which astonished me as there were actually people that found Trump was doing a good job. I suppose they live in a nice safe clean other world where no-one gets killed by the police on the streets. Both Mr. Swiss and I were astonished

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      • Well, this is Massachusetts, but close enough (just 15 miles south of us, actually) and after they peaked, we were already pretty hard hit. What I can’t figure out is haven’t they noticed that the schools are shut? That you can’t go outside without a mask or use the grocery or really, enter any premises without a mask? How about the endless lists of deaths in the news (oh, wait, they don’t READ the news). When 110,000 people are dead — probably more because of early miscounting — HOW can anyone NOT notice all those deaths? Because they are alive doesn’t mean that the problem is gone.

        Human stupidity is something special, I think. If animals were that dumb, they wouldn’t find the feeder.

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        • I was referring to Pat’s comment about New York but you’d have to be living under a rock not to be aware how serious it is. What part of 103,000 deaths doesn’t sound serious?

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    • Mrs. Swiss, I continue to be astonished at locals who think Trump is doing a good job and the liberal media “is blowing everything out of proportion”. Many know I am a retired reporter and, I think, are trying to bait me into an argument. I won’t do it in their arena.

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      • I avoid FB and only occasionally poke around on Twitter. There are a lot of authors whose books I read on Twitter, so I look to see if they have written anything new. But otherwise? I dodge and weave between the raging rants.

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    • There was a book years ago — and I don’t remember what was in it — called “The Rich ARE different.” They are. They live in an insulated, safe world made up of people who are just like them, and what’s weird is that color doesn’t matter there — unless it is GREEN. All our money is green, by the way, which is why we often refer to cash as “greenbacks.” But in that special circle of wealth and privilege, all that they care about is making sure their wealth and privilege never end. That’s why there’s never enough money and never enough privilege. They don’t work, they don’t serve, THEY DON’T CARE. You had a lot of them in England, I’m sure. They exist in every country including Russia and China.

      Not all the wealthy are bad people, but an awful lot of them — especially those “nouveau riche” ones — worship the God of Greed in all his golden splendor. And right now, they control this country. It’s a horror show.

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