NEWS NEWS AND MORE NEWS I am going to get all of my memories down, before I forget what I remember!. . . . quote from Stanley Forman

24Jan/111

Yes, I Don’t Like Winter Anymore

Mem­o­ries of Cold and Snowy Win­ter Days

I am lucky enough to be off today the cold­est win­ter day since “05” in the Boston area. I think back to when I was a kid and lov­ing every flake. It was won­der­ful coast­ing down Franklin Place in Revere even if the Rice Broth­ers who lived at the end of the run put ashes on their dri­ve­way. This was to pre­vent us from crash­ing into their garage. Actu­ally I think they put them there because they did not like us as I don’t remem­ber hit­ting the garage doors.

Who can remem­ber before there was 4 wheel drive?

We all had rear wheel drive and mostly stick shift cars back then. Many of us gath­ered at the top of Wal­nut Avenue and Franklin Avenue.  We were cheer­ing those who could make the hill in the snow and get­ting behind the rest, to help push those who needed to be pushed.

Look­ing out my win­dow and see­ing Dex­ter Gru­ber shov­el­ing out his father’s dri­ve­way no mat­ter if there was 3 inches or 3 feet of snow. He just did it and bet­ter than any­one else could have.

The win­ter fire at the Lob­ster Cabin in Revere when I saw Revere Deputy Chief Eyden­burg take a header on the ice and break his ankle. Then I heard my mother use the word “ass­hole” towards a neigh­bor who gave her a hard time about where she parked the car in the snow. Boy was I proud of her and never knew she could swear till then.

I had every type of sled there was except the kind that some­one would pull to get me to the top of the run. In the 4th grade of school we had 4 ½ days off from a huge snow storm I could not see over the snow drifts. Roger Cohen and I built a snow fort in my back­yard. The City had to hire bull­doz­ers to clear the road­ways. We never had a snow blower and I doubt they were even invented in the late 40s and 50s?

We had a long dri­ve­way and always hired some­one to shovel it as I was either too lazy or my mother thought I was too weak, prob­a­bly both.

At noon­time when school was can­celled we would watch WBZ-TV and their storm cov­er­age. A pho­tog­ra­pher would always have the shot look­ing through the wind­shield of their vehi­cle trav­el­ling behind a plow. Yes I have also made that shot many times.

I tried ski­ing for the first time in the early 70s. Bought every­thing that was needed except the skills to be able to do it. My first run was at Mount Sunapee in New Hamp­shire. I took the lift to the top of the eas­i­est hill, got in posi­tion and tried ski­ing down. It was like I had glue on my skis. Point­ing straight down the hill I did not move a foot. How was I to know you had to wax your skis before you use them?

There was a big storm in the late 60s and I had gone to a Bru­ins game. While I was trav­el­ling home, I could not get off Route One because the ramps were full of snow. Finally I went through Revere and got to the Malden-Revere line at the Salem Street exit and I was able to get off the high­way. That was a good thing as traf­fic north­bound on Route One came to a halt right there and the cars were trapped for hours. Back then there were just not enough plows to keep up.

Work is another issue. I started in 1966 and there was noth­ing more excit­ing than cov­er­ing a snow storm. I don’t remem­ber my first news storm but I remem­ber going out there and every­thing you needed to see was right in front of you. You could not miss get­ting a good pic­ture and not every­one had a cam­era or a cell phone with cam­eras or even cell phones. In those days you just had lots of dimes to call the office and real cameras.

At the news­pa­per pho­tog­ra­pher Car­roll Myett would go to the Cop­ley Plaza hotel in Cop­ley Square every March. There were two lion stat­ues at the entrance to the hotel and if it snowed he would title his shot of the lions “March Roared in Like a Lion.”

Bliz­zard of 78

There was the “Bliz­zard of 78” one of my biggest dis­ap­point­ments as a news pho­tog­ra­pher. I had had an emer­gency oper­a­tion on my Achilles ten­don in Jan­u­ary and although I was using crutches I could not go out on the street to take pic­tures. I reported to the office every­day and just hung out.

With my right leg in a full cast I was able to drive after my friend and auto mechanic Alan “Doc” Kagan got a left foot gas ped­dle adapter from an auto parts cat­a­log and rigged it up for me.  I still don’t remem­ber how I got my right leg into the front seat but there I was dri­ving as needed.

On the day the storm began I left work early and went home to Roslin­dale, star­ing out the win­dows for sev­eral days and con­stantly call­ing the office with police and fire call updates for their coverage.

I did get out in the storm one of the nights as my friend and National Guard PR per­son Chip Hoar brought a National Guard truck to the bot­tom of my street and sev­eral National Guards­men came to my door and had to drag me through the unplowed snow to their truck and we went out and cov­ered the storm.

I had a portable scan­ner with me and we went to two fires, one in Dorch­ester one in Hull. There I was on crutches tak­ing pic­tures with the National Guard guard­ing me.

Through the years the best stills and video came dur­ing storms that affected the Beach­mont sec­tion of Revere. Before they put the pump­ing sta­tion up and bet­ter retain­ing walls. I could always count on peo­ple get­ting res­cued and great photos.

No Name Storm of 1991

The best one for me was prob­a­bly the No Name Storm of 1991 with the freez­ing cold and great pho­tos as Police used bull­doz­ers and ducks to get peo­ple out of their homes.

One of my bet­ter mem­o­ries was when my friend Alan Gorin came by to see if I was there and we went to Dunkin Donuts for cof­fee. Alan died much too young, shortly after I saw him.

One time I was work­ing with WCVB reporter Byron Pitts and we were in con­tin­u­ous cov­er­age from Rougham’s Point in the Beach­mont sec­tion and Byron was hav­ing a good time with me teas­ing me on the air about know­ing so much about the area and remind­ing view­ers I grew up near where we were.

The real good mem­o­ries of win­ter and snow storms is when I took my girls sled­ding, ice skat­ing and build­ing snow peo­ple. If there was snow we were out in it.

Snow vs. 30 Pound TV Cam­era!  PS the cam­era starts off at 22 pounds and gains weight like me dur­ing the day.

Now I dread the next storm and the thought of being out in it for hours. It is so had to maneu­ver through the snow banks and stay warm. I usual can so the for­mer and fail on the later. Last week while cov­er­ing the Revere mur­der on a cold winter’s day I was climb­ing down from a pile of snow when I started to take a header.

All I could think about was total­ing another cam­era and I felt like a bas­ket­ball player. On the way down I was able to twist my body like I was doing a dunk shot and gen­tle put the cam­era on the top of the pile.

Sev­eral years ago on route 95 in Peabody I was not as agile as I slipped, went up in the air and totaled a lens for about $12,000.00.

Not the last time I had issues with equip­ment and win­ter. Last year dur­ing the flood­ing I was try­ing to help a stranded motorist in Peabody. I had hip boots on and instead of putting my cam­era on dry land I put it on the wind­shield of the car to keep the cam­era safe.

I got into the driver’s seat to put the trans­mis­sion in neu­tral so the car could be pushed. Who knew when I turned the igni­tion on to put the trans­mis­sion in neu­tral the wind­shield wiper would push the cam­era off the wind­shield into sev­eral feet of water? Talk about a sick feeling.

This year has not been that bad yet but the poten­tial is there. Wow am I glad to be off today!!!

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  1. This is my first time go to see at here and i am in fact happy to read ever­thing at one place.


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