BLACK & WHITE FAVORITES – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

I’m glad for the open topic. I am feeling a bit over-structured lately. Been looking at older posts and realizing I’m losing my “zip.” Maybe life has just gotten too serious, but I definitely need my zippedy-doo-dah back!

With faded green by the stone bridge over the Blackstone River
Photo: Garry Armstrong
A lone Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Cee's Black-White

DREAMING IN BLUE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Flower of Any Kind
Spiderwort – FOTD – June 8, 2019

This challenge came up exactly when I needed it. For reasons best known to my cameras — ALL my cameras — I cannot get pictures of my spiderwort in their actual color of dark blue. They always come out some shade of pink. It must have something to do with the light and that in the leaf, there is a lot of pink and that’s what the camera picks up.

Since this is a monochrome challenge, I could finally make my Spiderwort their real color: blue. If I could figure out what filter would alter the pink back to it’s “real” color of blue, I’d have done it by now. I have spent hours trying to make those pink flowers the color my eyes see them. Lacking that, here are my monochrome cerulean Spiderwort!

Dreaming in blue –and that is very close to the flower’s actual color — except the leaves would be green.
All dynamic cerulean blue!
This monochromatic coloration is called “bluesy” …
Solid, hardcore cerulean spiderworts

Cee's Black-White

ANY KIND OF HOUSE IN BLACK & WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Kind of House
Beacon Hill, Boston – a classic apartment
Beacon Hill brownstones in a row
Tepee
House and shed
The farm by the lake
Brookline
Arches in Roxbury
The old Inn in Amherst, mid-1700s 

SMALL SUBJECTS – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Small Subjects

This reminds me of a very (VERY) old joke I first heard as a little kid, maybe five or six.

“A big elephant is big and a little elephant is small. A big fly is big and a little fly is small. Therefore, a big fly is bigger than a small elephant.” This was the ultimate definition of a syllogism, at least for a first grader.

So small. How small?

These are Native American fetishes — very small ones. I do have bigger ones, but you asked for small and small you are getting!

ALL of these fetishes will fit comfortably in one of my hands. They are absolutely guaranteed — SMALL.

The healing bear and the ram
Standing Wolf
Black and white married wolves

CLOWNS ARE RUNNING THE WORLD – Garry Armstrong

“Send In The Clowns”, on its own merit, is a beautiful song from the show, “A Little Night Music.” Judy Collins’ cover has made it a popular favorite for decades. A Frank Sinatra version is especially poignant.

Jimmy Stewart (clown) and Charlton Heston in “The Greatest Show On Earth”

In the early 70’s, a seemingly more innocent period, I used “Send In The Clowns” as a musical wrap around a political TV piece. I was covering local Boston politics. A primary campaign. Those were the days of political and community icons like “Dapper,” “Fast Freddie,” Trixie, “Kevin From Heaven,” “Wacko,” and “Raybo.”

Those were influential folks, beloved by their constituents and bearers of much political clout. I was on “friendly” terms with most of these folks. There was less Sturm und Drang between the media and politicians in those days.

There was respect.

My piece was shot with silent black and white film.  We were still in the pre-videotape and digital days. I chose silent film over sound because I wanted the music to have more presence, less competition from people talking.

We used a montage of candidates faces, posters and campaign slogans. The lyrics of “Send In The Clowns” soared as the video zoomed in on campaign slogans and candidates kissing babies and pressing the flesh.

I anticipated a flurry of angry calls from campaign directors.  Nothing. Nada. One candidate, over happy hour drinks, praised the cleverness of my piece but said he would’ve preferred the Sinatra version of “Clowns”.

So much for being glib in those days.

Imagine using “Send In The Clowns” today.  For the coming mid-terms.  The  ’20 Presidential race. How would the “Clowns” lyrics fare over the screaming POTUS?  The ranting Rudy? The shouting Sean Hannity?

Should we intercut snippets of circus clowns with “breaking news” video and clips of all the President’s minions?  Don’t forget those shots of the President’s supporters, the “People,” with their “Jail Her” signs and the racist banners flying over political bonfires.

Send in the clowns?  Don’t bother.
They’re already here. 

HANDS, FEET, PAWS IN BLACK AND WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge:
Hands, Feet or Paws

One naked foot
Garry’s hands
Photo: Garry Armstrong – At home with dogs
Sandals
Naked feet
Youthful feet
Relaxing
Hands, feet, and paws
Hand holding time
Gibbs’ feet

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY: A MOTHER’S WALTZ – Leslie Martel and Marilyn Armstrong

Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 12, 2019


FROM swo8 (Leslie Martel): Today is Mother’s Day. To commemorate this day, we have created a photographic montage of families together. It includes eight generations of my family and three of Marilyn and Garry Armstrong’s families.

The song is bittersweet because to be a mother, is indeed bittersweet. Our children bring us our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. The couple in the video are my great-grandparents.

My great-grandmother died in childbirth, leaving 3 babies and a husband. When my great-grandfather remarried the children were sent off to their aunt to be raised.

The aunt is the lady sitting by the fireplace. The first photo of children is of my grandmother and her twin sisters. My grandmother being the oldest would have missed her mother the most. In spite of her early losses she became an extraordinary person and had a huge influence on me and my thinking.

To be a mother has got to be one of the most difficult endeavors to undertake in one’s life. We are given this helpless creature for a short period of time to nourish, educate and inspire before they disappear into the ether of adulthood.

As a tribute to mother’s everywhere we dedicate this song, “Mother’s Waltz” by swo8 Blues Jazz and Marilyn Armstrong. 


FROM Serendipity (Marilyn & Garry Armstrong): The melody of A Mother’s Waltz echoes in my mind. I feel as if it is something I remember hearing my mother sing a long time ago, but of course, it is new from swo8 Blues Jazz

The pictures of my family include my mother, me, much younger and my son as a toddler. Pictures of Garry’s family include his mother and father’s wedding, Garry’s dad back from WWII with little Garry on his knee. Garry’s mom as a young woman.

The pictures are family heirlooms that evoke strong and sometimes conflicted feelings.

Music by swo8, with pictures from Leslie Martel (swo8) and Marilyn Armstrong (from both my family and from Garry’s family).

These are memories in music for all mothers.