MY HUSBAND, THE LEGEND

It’s weird. I’ve known him since he was selling shoes at A & S. He had aspirations but no experience. Just back from the Marines who had discovered his dark secret. He was deaf. This didn’t go well with a military enlistment. I mean, you yell “Over the hill, men,” but this guy doesn’t go because he didn’t hear you. They said sorry, we might have made you an officer but you can’t hear. Oops.

So now it’s 1964. There we were, the soon to be greats, together at Hofstra’s 10-watt radio station which would soon jump up to 500 watts. Due to some strange bounces in the atmosphere, WVHC could be clearly heard in Ohio, but not down the road in East Meadow. Our motto? Don’t tune us in. We’ll drift to you.

When I got there in my Sophomore year at the ripe old age of 17, Garry was the program director. My first husband, Jeff, was the Station Manager and the two of them were friends. Good friends. Such good friends that I married both of them.

But I digress.

Somehow, with a little finagling and a lot of persistence, Garry got a job at ABC Network in New York. This would be impossible today, but back then you could call and someone — a human being — would answer. He just kept calling until they were so sick of all those calls, they hired him.

At ABC, he was really in line for what would probably have been a great job as a producer or director, but Garry wanted to be on the air. A quick hop-skip-jump to an RKO station in Hartford, Connecticut and thence to Channel 7 in Boston which was then also part of the RKO network.

He was there for 33 years and a lot of people around here are sure he still works there. He has given up explaining that he retired in 2001 and hasn’t been on regular television since. They don’t believe him. This sometimes worries me.

Today he was being interviewed by some people making a movie about the Boston Busing Crisis of the 1970s. This has been a big deal recently. I though maybe it was an anniversary of some kind, but it’s not. Maybe it’s just the times we are in that suddenly, this story has risen back up. Once again, it is the foam on our mental coffee.

These people practically breathless at being allowed to speak with a legend — my husband. Maybe this is why he can’t cook? Legends don’t cook unless they are cooking legends?

When breathless people are having trouble coping with being in the (zoomed) presence of my legendary husband, I sometimes think I’ve walked out of the movie of my life and wandered into a different film. Different director. New script. Where am I and how did I get here? Actually, that pretty much describes my life in Current Times.

It’s not that I didn’t know he’s a legend. I know. I even had a shirt made for him at PerfectPosters.com that says “Legend” on the front. These same people have printed all my photographs which are framed and cluttering up my walls. They will print any picture you want on almost anything from a coffee mug to a mouse pad. They’ll print it on aluminum, glass, wood, and a wide variety of papers at excellent prices with high quality. They also frame. Everything is done over the internet, except of course for mailing you the goods. Sadly, that is the post office.

Even with his special “Legend” shirt, I have trouble when so many people are breathing heavily at the overwhelming thrill of talking with my husband. Sheesh. Now it’s going to be that much harder to get him to help in the kitchen.

Some people are legends in their own minds. Then there are those who are legends in other people’s minds. I asked Garry if he is a legend in his mind. He said: “No. I do not have a mind.”

Neither do I.



Categories: #gallery, #Photography, #Work, Anecdote, Celebrities, Garry Armstrong, Performance

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23 replies

  1. Lovely, lovely post. And funny at the end.

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  2. A fitting tribute to the legend on your life.

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    • He really IS a bit of a legend, even to me. It’s a hard thing to wrap ones head around because he’s also the guy who likes to read the sports section while wearing long underwear. Yet — he knew a lot more than he ever reported, but his intense feeling that “it is bound to get better” kept him going. It’s easy to “give up and give in.” He kept at it, even when the winds changed and the company for whom he worked no longer wanted ‘the best” from its people. They just wanted the most lurid, gory, sexy, and exploitive. A few stations are still trying to steer a true course, but not many. One in this state and I think none in many others.

      I have a lot of thoughts on this issue. I’m trying to organize into it into posts or in this case, maybe a series of posts. It is a lot of thoughts and I’m still thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the photos, specially the one Marilyn and Garry together. 🌹❤😀

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    • That was taken by a professional photographer and it is one of the best pictures of the two of us. Of course, it was also 9 years ago and we both looked a lot younger, but hey, who’s counting? I took al of the recent pictures and I don’t know who took the “working” pictures. Garry doesn’t remember either. We do lose some details as the years pass.

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  4. Garry, you’re a legend in mine. I was so impressed the first time I saw you in action. I’m still impressed. You’re an honest man, a man of integrity, and you covered the news with panache and care. Your writing is stellar and I like you. Even though I don’t know you personally, I know you through your writing and coverage. I happen to be fan of both of you, equally. So pleased and proud to have met you here.

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    • Aw, shucks. Thank you! You know, we do this regularly and although Garry doesn’t write much, he contributes a lot of photographs and once in a while, gets it together to write. I think he would write more if he were less persnickety about it. He’s not a guy who can just toss off a piece and not go back and edit and doublecheck everything. I do the same thing, but I do it faster — probably because I do it so much.

      I had an interesting conversation with a couple of different people over the past few days and I think I’m going to write about it. But first, I have to think about it. Because — it’s complicated.

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  5. How wonderful

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  6. Fantastic post Marilyn. I love your last line. 😀

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  7. Garry–you are a gem! And no cooking ever–way to do it! ‘Such good friends that I married both of them.’—Marilyn, I know it’s a true statement, but the way you wrote it made me laugh.

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    • It is funny, even looking back, it makes me laugh. Of course, Jeff died 28 years ago, but sometimes, Owen looks exactly like him.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Lois, it’s a miracle. I go from being a legend to the putz who doesn’t cook in a blur of seconds. Keeps me very humble. Or ‘umble as Duke Wayne used to say. I wonder if Duke could cook? Print the legend!

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