Photography: Garry Armstrong

No matter what anyone says about those “special gloves” that are supposed to let you use electronic devices, I can’t. Buttons on cameras are small and most of us go by feel when we are shooting, so when you can’t feel the buttons, weird things go wrong. Especially when you press “video” rather than the “still” shutter.

Twilight in downtown Uxbridge

We got to the church yesterday afternoon, post grocery shopping. It was a bit too early to get night shots. I figured by 5ish, it would be nearly dark but instead, it was twilight.

Twilight is a beautiful time, but it’s tricky for photography. Heavy shadows and bright, sunny patches make getting the right lens interesting. We could have sat in the car and left it to run with until full it got dark, but by then we were tired. We had grocers to haul into the house and unpack and we were more than a little frozen.

We had great conversations with a passing stranger who had an old Border Collie who strongly resembled the Duke, minus the smooshed in face — or one ear pointing up and the other down — OR his curled tail looped over his back. But his coloring was very similar.

He was 18 years old and moving slow. That’s a great age for a dog. He deserved all the petting and doggy baby talk. He earned it.


His owner is a member of our Town Council. She knew Garry from the years he worked all over Massachusetts. She’s probably a little younger than me — maybe 70 rather than 75? It’s hard to tell.

She has lived in Uxbridge her entire life. Her house has been here since the early 1800s and her uncle imported the town’s World War II howitzer which usually is on the common, but right now is being restored. Under all the pain, the metal was all rust. UniBank has started a collection to “Save the Gun.” This sounds more ominous than it is since the gun hasn’t been fired since the 1940s. it’s part of the memories of those who fought and while I have mixed emotions about guns in general, I also understand the symbolism. While we were talking about guns, she was expressing frustration that no gun control laws have been passed yet, so she was on the right team, artillery notwithstanding.

It was a good day to be in town. Everything was on sale at Hannaford and the day had started out warm. By the time we got to the Common, warm was vanished and it was winter again.

We took pictures and talked about our favorite parks — the one along the Blackstone River and Canal — which while dedicated to someone else, we pushed through by Teddy Kennedy. Teddy was a hard worker for Massachusetts. I think people outside the state don’t understand how dedicated the Kennedy’s have been to public service. Their personal behavior hasn’t always been great, but they worked relentlessly to improve Massachusetts and mostly, they succeeded. Health care, parks, education — all the things we are proud of, the Kennedy’s were at the helm, pushing projects forward. They could do it, so they did. They tried to be on the good side of history.

Pity we don’t have them now. All the “good old guys” who worked for us have passed.

You have to wonder what kind of crazy person would want to be part of the current government. We have made it impossible to get anything done working in our government. Whoever you are, you are going to get beaten no matter how you behave. Not the kind of treatment that encourages citizens to step up. We’ve stopped applauding “work.” All we seem to be looking for are “sexy stories” that will raise “ratings.”

I don’t think sexy stories are going to solve any of our major issues. Not here, not abroad. Not anywhere. But hey, what do I know?

Categories: #gallery, #Photography, Anecdote, Architecture, Garry Armstrong

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26 replies

  1. What a nice old dog, 18 is a fantastic age for a larger dog. Cindy is going on 16 now and apart from arthritis seems in good shape. We both get stiff if we lie down for too long.
    Garry’s photographs are fantastic. Twilight is a nice time for photography. Speaking of the Kennedy’s I heard the other day that President Biden has appointed Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Australia. That’s pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The fingers may have been cold but Garry’s photos are beautiful and they fit your post perfectly 🙂 I especially love that last one with the moon and that lovely light on the church!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We both we trying to get that shot and we both did, but using different lenses from different angles. The moon was really UP all afternoon — as soon as the sun moved to the other side of the sky. It wasn’t even a full moon, but it seemed very close and very clear. I love what he did with the union soldier and the steeple. I thought that was brilliant!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sarah, thank you. I’m still learning how to use the “new” camera and lenses. There were some lovely photo ops and I tried my best to get some of the images. The falling temps made it difficult to keep a steady hand while focusing. I actually counted myself down (“3,2,1 – SHOOT, Garry!”) as a mind game to stay focused.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great small-town photos! I have to relate to strange things happening with wrong buttons on the camera — my “new” camera takes great double exposures that way (but I did find the setting and fix it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a lot of trouble using the menus in my cameras. Every camera has a plethora of new “functions,” none of which I will ever need or use. I know they have to try and convince us to buy another camera, but these silly bells and whistles won’t do it.

      These days? I bless auto-focus because my eyes aren’t what they used to be, even though they are technically great, I can’t focus close OR far without changing glasses, so I let the camera do it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but damn, I really love auto-focus!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Slmret, thanks so much. I, also, have problems finding the right button on the camera. I frequently hit the wrong button and screw things up. I have to run to Marilyn – like a 10 year old — asking for help.
      It reminds me of what my camera crews had to endure in harsh weather to get those wonderful shots for my stories. Now, they were really pros!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I bought my camera last year as a b’day gift to myself — then couldn’t use it for almost a year, so I’m having to relearn all the buttons and whistles. How do I reformat the memory card? Where can I go to undo the double exposure feature? How do I go from one menu to the next? Lots of really basic questions like that at this point. I should have fun once the weather clear a bit!


        • A manual wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Considering how much we pay for these cameras, they could really afford a writer! We work cheap.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It helped when I realized that the 85 page manual that came with the camera is only a “tart Guide,” and that the real manual is on the web! I think I’ve solved the double exposure issue, and I found the menu location for formatting memory cards (if I don’t forget where it is!. It will be good for me to work on learning the functions I really want to use!


            • If you use a reader for downloading your cards, there’s ALWAYS a format tool in there no matter who manufactured it. The computer’s own “reader” might have one too. My PC doesn’t have its own slot, but my Mac does. I almost never use my Mac for photos so I would have to explore it and find out. It was supposed to snow yesterday. It didn’t.


  4. Garry–you took some very pretty photos. Buddy looks like a sweetheart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buddy WAS a sweetheart and doing well for a dog who, in dog years, has to be at least 100. Moving slow, but moving. And talking to his owner was fascinating. Talking to strangers is often the best part of small town life.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lois, thank you! Buddy and I hit it off immediately. A handsome fella who gave me his best profile with little effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this post–the pictures and the sentiments and truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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