NOR’EASTER FELLS THE LEGEND By GARRY ARMSTRONG

Mother Nature came through on the heels of the frantic predictions of a whopper storm. Skeptical New Englanders are watching the snow fall faster than the numbers on Wall Street after another week of gridlock on Capitol Hill.

What’s the bigger story? The predicted heavy snowfall or Tom Brady’s retirement announcement? The latter has news legs that will still be running when the mountains of snow turn to gray slush and we count down the days to spring training in baseball. I saw the news of Brady’s retirement as I tuned in for news about the weather elsewhere. So much a fabric of life in New England. Weather and sports. I was stripping off my layers of snow-covered clothing as I saw the Brady news relegated to bottom screen crawls with the TV folks focusing on the weather. Weather is always a big news story in New England — bigger than crime, politics or sports. Longtime New Englanders are matter of fact about weather but many are still prone to boneheaded behavior, despite Mother Nature’s proven track record.

Snow gets you busy!

My 40 plus years in TV and radio news is best remembered by my coverage of blizzards and other foul weather. I’m proud of other stories covered but it seems I’m irrevocably linked to the image of that guy standing out in blizzards with a pleasant smile frozen on his face. I managed to stay on my feet for most of those stories — no small feat.

Today, I wanted to dig a small path out front so our furry son, Duke, would have a clear path so he could take care of business. Duke’s path led to clearing our front walkway to the gate and another clearing to our trash cans. The snow was high and heavy but very soft so shoveling wasn’t a difficult chore for my soon to be 80 year old body. 80? I still cannot accept that number.

Vital paths cleared, I trudged up our long, unplowed driveway — the snow levels almost up to the top of my high boots. I wanted to get some pics of our street and neighboring homes nestled in their Currier and Ives beauty.

As I paused to get my first beauty shot, I lost my balance and wound up looking at the sky, covered in snow. Me — not the sky! I looked around. Nobody noticed. Good.

I got to my feet and walked slowly, Marine-ramrod stiff to outflank the falling snow. I thought I erased maybe 30 or 40 years as I made my way to the top of the driveway and our street. I saluted myself with pride and, in a blink, took another header. Yikes! No way to treat an old Gyrene.

I lurched (yes LURCHED) to my feet and snapped as many pics as I could with my fingers rapidly dialing from numb to frozen. Fortunately, there was little traffic on our street. Apparently, our neighbors were being sensible. I reversed my path and shot more pics returning to our driveway and home.

By this time, my fingers were not moving despite protection from surgical gloves covered by warm gloves. Now, I was operating on automatic, hoping I was hitting the right camera buttons. Just as I reached the door, I took another header – a reminder that I was no longer that smooth pro of so many TV blizzard live shots.

Mother of mercy, is this the end of Garry, the TV weather reporter legend?

And, Tom Brady is retiring?

Holy Cow! What a day!!



Categories: #News, Anecdote, Media, New England, snow, Storms, Weather, Winter

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34 replies

  1. The pictures are enchanting! You like a high school boy in your 1959 picture!!

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  2. I have no doubt that the unsinkable Garry will return on his feet and live to report on the next big snowfall and big retirement. glad you are okay

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  3. HI Garry, these are fabulous pictures. The snow looks amazing to me. It’s only ever snowed twice in Johannesburg in my life time and it didn’t look like this. It was a thin smattering of snow. I love the two military pictures of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Roberta, thank you. I have a hard time imagining snow in Johannesburg. When? What was the reaction?

      Here, the snow is piled high on the day after. It’s bird’s eye deep freeze cold. Only fools would venture out if it’s not for work or a medical emergency.

      I’m proud of my second USMC picture. I was over-the-moon when I was able to fit into my uniform easily — more than 60 years after I first wore it. Yay for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Soldier!
    This storm was/is huge and widespread. Toronto is still digging out.
    Tom Brady … greatest QB ever.
    Definitely a guy who knew how ‘to get on base’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Sarge!

      The storm was a biggie. Yes, size does matter. I was almost dwarfed by the snow piles yesterday. The falls I took were like poetry in motion or so I would like to think.

      Brady? I always think of Spencer Tracy browbeating Fredric March’s Matthew Harrison Brady in “Inherit The Wind”. Tracy/Henry Drummond: “Brady! Brady! Brady almighty! Let’s have a book of Brady added to the new testament”.

      How soon before we see TB12 on the tube dissecting the play of other young QB’s? Will Giselle let him out of the house? Quien sabe?

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  5. glad cold and wet and pride were the major damages from your slip and slide snow adventures. ability to get up is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Say it ain’t so, Joe! I’ve never been a Brady fan, but the end of Garry?! No way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BTW I can never get over how ridiculously young you look in that photo. Were you even old enough to be in the Marines?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tas, more than 60 years later, I still get ragged about how young I looked. Many have said I looked like a boy scout. I was 17 and my Parents had to sign papers allowing me to enlist.

      Trust me, Vanda, Pvt. E-1 Garry Armstrong was no boy scout. Just ask those grizzled Drill Instructors who tried to intimidate me. I was designated as the “platoon problem” because of my “attitude”. It always drove those DI’s bonkers when I laughed at their screaming, profane “lectures”. The toys in my attic were a bit scrambled. But – I must confess — those leathernecks remolded young Garry into someone tougher to face the years ahead.

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  8. It looks like you have more than made up for not having much snow till now. Duke looks as if he is enjoying it. You be careful though Garry. The last thing you need is to break a bone falling over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tas, thanks. Duke loves to mix it up when I am shoveling .He thinks it is a game. I usually toss mounds of snow at him which he absolutely loves. He shakes off the snow and races around the yard – like a rocket dog — completely out of control. He is so funny.

      Tas, I’m keeping an eye on my dry bones.

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  9. Glad you managed to capture all that snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve only ever experienced snow twice and both times it was nothing to write home about. It would be strange, and awfully cold, to have winters like you have pictured.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mickmar, you get used to it when you live in New England. That said, I have no great affection for winter after decades of freezing the family jewels for those TV blizzard live shots. Mercy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. what a day indeed, and glad you both survived, you and tom will live another day to tell another story

    Liked by 2 people

  12. At least snow is soft to fall on; glad you didn’t break anything, Garry!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Owen’s little Tough Olympus really came into its own this storm. This blizzard lived up to its hype. When Harvey calls them, he gets it right.

    Aren’t you glad snow is soft?

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