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


My First Dead On Arrival

One of 8 vic­tims is removed from the burn­ing wreck­age of a Bud­liner Train, Decem­ber 1966

My father and I went to the Bru­ins game at Boston Gar­den sit­ting in my sea­son tick­ets on Row 73, seats 3 and 4. It was Decem­ber 26 or 27th, 1966, just one month into my new job. Dur­ing the game one of the Plex­i­glas pan­els got shat­tered after a puck hit it.  The shooter was Mur­ray Oliver of the Bru­ins and it delayed the game about 30 min­utes for the repair.

We went home after the game and I got to bed around 11:30. I had just put my head on the pil­low when Everett or Chelsea put on an alarm of fire for a col­li­sion between a Bud­liner Train and a tanker truck car­ry­ing gaso­line at a rail­road cross­ing on the line between those two cities.

I jumped out of bed ran down the hall to my par­ents bed­room and asked my father if he wanted to go with me.  We were in the car in a cou­ple of minutes.

When we got about a block from the scene of the crash there were pud­dles of flam­ing gaso­line rolling down the tracks towards us. We got out and I began tak­ing pic­tures. I was using a 2 1/4 for­mat cam­era, either a Yashica or a Mamiya Cam­era (I had both at the time), and for light I was using flashbulbs.

We made our way up to the point of impact and the first image I got was of res­cuers remov­ing a burned vic­tim from a blown out win­dow of one of the train cars. The sec­ond shot was of a priest giv­ing last rites to another vic­tim as he was being taken from the burned wreck­age over a rescuer’s shoul­der. I made sev­eral other pho­tos and in the end eight peo­ple died in the fiery accident.

When I got out of the car I only had a box of flash­bulbs and one roll of film in my cam­era for 12 images. I tried to no avail to get another roll from a cou­ple of pho­tog­ra­phers that were there. I saw Archie New­man, a pho­tog­ra­pher from my paper. I told him about the shots I had and he told me to get right the office in order to get the pho­tos in the last edition.

My father and I made our way to 5 Winthrop Square, in down­town Boston where the Record Amer­i­can was at that time, and ran up the stairs to notify the edi­tors of the pic­tures and we started to develop my film.

The pic­ture edi­tor, Bobby Hol­land, was stand­ing over me wait­ing very excit­edly. After he looked at my neg­a­tives he was even more excited. I remem­ber not really know­ing what I was doing as I was so ner­vous work­ing under such pres­sure to print pictures.

Bobby took wet prints, squeegeed them off and ran to photo engrav­ing. A lit­tle while later they asked me if I could go to the morgue and wait with a reporter for the peo­ple show­ing up to iden­tify the deceased. My father took a taxi back home to Revere. He was happy to do what­ever as he was a part of my first big story.

Thank­fully no one showed up at the morgue while I was there. Den­nis Brear­ley (of The Brear­ley Col­lec­tion at Faneuil Hall in Boston) even­tu­ally relieved me and he got a very good photo of a griev­ing rel­a­tive to go with the paper’s fol­low­ing stories.

Next morn­ing when the day­side staff came into work I received hand­shakes and ver­bal con­grat­u­la­tions from every­one. I was the rookie pho­tog­ra­pher and I scored big time. We owned the story due to my photographs.

Both AP and UPI picked up my neg­a­tives at day­break and I won my first con­test with the photo of the res­cue through the win­dow at the yearly AP com­pe­ti­tion. It was a great start even if I still had 11 months of pro­ba­tion till I was an offi­cial staff member.

The morn­ing paper had another great photo of the scene by Leo Tier­ney. His image showed the tanker up against the train and even though I might have had a great action photo his really told the story. Leo was a lit­tle upset as he had his young son, Mar­tin, rid­ing with him that night and was sorry he had to see such a calamity.

This made me think through the years as to what I could take my girls to and when to leave them home. Some­times things I went to were inap­pro­pri­ate for them so I would leave them in the car and if I let leave the car I was always watch­ing over my shoul­der to make sure they were safe.

My wife Deb­bie used to go with me to sto­ries when we first met until the day we cov­ered the shoot­ing death of a Chelsea police­man and she saw his widow being brought to the police sta­tion to be told what had hap­pened and I pho­tographed her going in.

Leo and I talked about his scene photo after­ward and he explained to me about an inci­dent he cov­ered in down­town Boston years before. A crane over­turned and he got the photo of the crane oper­a­tor on a stretcher. He said he was run­ning back to the office all excited when he saw Mor­ris Ostroff, another staff pho­tog­ra­pher, mak­ing his way to the scene.  Mor­ris asked him if he had a scene shot and Leo just shook his head no. Mor­ris got the image of the over­turned crane and got page one while Leo’s photo was a 2 col­umn cut on the jump page. A les­son learned.

Every Christ­mas I think about this tragedy. I never looked at the train sched­ule to see if that 30 min­utes lost to replac­ing the Plex­i­glas would have made a dif­fer­ence for many of the vic­tims. Sev­eral of them had just left the Bru­ins game and took the train north. I never looked to see if there were ear­lier options. I guess I did not want to know.

I think about these vic­tims fre­quently. It is 44 years later and all they missed in life as there were both young and older peo­ple who did not make it. We got pho­tos of most of the deceased and inter­views with fam­i­lies and some of the sur­vivors. You felt closer to their lives by see­ing and read­ing who they were.

I have always said I don’t wish for some­thing bad to hap­pen but as a news pho­tog­ra­pher I want to be there.


Newspaper Stories From My Past

Every year around this time I remem­ber a great story from my news­pa­per days. It was Christ­mas Eve Day a Sat­ur­day and we were all work­ing for the Sun­day Adver­tiser (name of the Sun­day paper.)  It was in the late 60s, before we moved from our 5 Winthrop Square, down­town Boston loca­tion to the Herald’s cur­rent loca­tion in Boston’s South End.

The Photo Depart­ment was on the third floor about 75 feet from the news­room so what­ever we did out there was not heard or seen by bosses. We had our own space.

It was a cold and snowy day and one of our pre­mier pho­tog­ra­phers, Car­roll Myett was assigned to get a page one Christ­mas photo and Car­roll was up for the chal­lenge. He began cel­e­brat­ing early so he was eager to go and go he did. He came back twice first with pho­tos of Boston Com­mon with the var­i­ous Christ­mas orna­ments blan­keted with snow. Then he went out to get the big prize a Santa which he knew would be page one.

Where did he go? He went to the Boston Globe’s down­town office on the cor­ner of Wash­ing­ton and School Streets, where Santa was doing his thing. He came back with a great photo of Santa his arms in the air, bells ring­ing in his hand and you could almost hear the HO, HO, Ho in his smile. It was a won­der­ful photo and only the few of us in the photo depart­ment knew it was the Globe’s Santa which made it more fun and Car­roll was really enjoy­ing himself.

Car­roll turned the print in and then came back to the depart­ment.  Still very happy, laugh­ing, jok­ing and then he looked at his beat up shoes and real­ized his soles were hang­ing off the bot­toms of both of his shoes. He went down to the art depart­ment and came back with a jar of rub­ber cement with the big brush full of glue stick­ing in it and began spread­ing it on his shoes and soles to hope­fully get the two pieces to stick together.

At that time in the photo office there were pho­tog­ra­phers Gene Dixon, John Lan­ders Jr., Dick Thom­son, Car­roll and me. Then all of a sud­den Car­roll takes out a match and lights it intend­ing to heat the rub­ber cement to bond the two pieces.

Gene Dixon screamed “don’t” but it was too late and heavy fire was erupt­ing from Myett’s shoes.  John Lan­ders moved fast picked Car­roll up by the ankles drop­ping him like a wrestler drops his oppo­nent and pulled his shoes off. Then he ran the burn­ing shoes over to the print washer about 10 feet away and dropped them in the water extin­guish­ing the blaze and sav­ing Car­roll and prob­a­bly the building.

Carroll’s cel­e­brat­ing was over and he left hum­bled, alive, with soak­ing wet shoes and made his way down to South Sta­tion for his bus.  It was cer­tainly an eye-opener for us all and as you can tell I haven’t for­got­ten it yet.

Car­roll Myett was a very com­pet­i­tive man. He hated to get beat and would do any­thing to get the best photo no mat­ter if the com­pe­ti­tion was on his own team.

On another Sat­ur­day there was a jail break at the Charles Street Jail on lower Bea­con Hill near the Mass Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. I raced down to the scene.  I did not know that Car­roll who was in the com­pany cruiser was already there.

I was try­ing to fig­ure out what was hap­pen­ing and when I looked down Fruit Street there was Car­roll at the other end. I started run­ning down the street and Car­roll was flay­ing his arms in the air try­ing to warn me to watch out. I knew the guards were run­ning around with their guns out and he made me think they were going to start fir­ing from the gun tow­ers on the wall.  Trust me I thought my safety was in dan­ger and I tried to get out of the way and off that street. The scene seemed to be under con­trol and a few min­utes later I left as I knew Car­roll had it covered.

When I got back to the office later in the day Car­roll was get­ting his print ready for the edi­tors I real­ized why he was shoo­ing me away, he did not want me to take a shot of a jail guard with his rifle ready and his foot on the pris­oner after his cap­ture which he had made.

Myett was like that and he was great at what he did but let no one get in his way. After a knee injury took him out of the cruiser he worked on the assign­ment desk and always took good care of me.

He died trag­i­cally in a boat­ing acci­dent near Minot Light off the coast of Sci­t­u­ate in the mid 70s. The small boat he was in cap­sized and from what a sur­vivor said he hung onto the over­turned boat for hours but the res­cue did not hap­pen for him.


Hanging out and Hanging Up


Mon­day Octo­ber 11, 2010

My first shift of the week started off early. I got a call from Joe Roche on the assign­ment desk at my sta­tion WCVB-TV about a hit run fatal in Revere by the Won­der­land Dog Track rotary. Sec­ond call on this story got me to Lynn where the sus­pect was found at a methadone clinic and where his car was located. It was towed before I got there. I care­fully took video of the build­ing mak­ing sure I did not show any of the peo­ple who were get­ting treat­ment there.

On my way from Lynn to the Revere scene I heard a call on one of the news group chan­nels I mon­i­tor about a para­chutist who was stuck in the trees in Dun­sta­ble adja­cent to the Pep­perell Air­port where sky­div­ing is a hobby.

I called in and started head­ing to the scene. All the way there I could hear var­i­ous res­cue units head­ing to the scene and one of the fre­quen­cies said it was too far in the woods for the lad­der truck to reach the man in the trees so a rope oper­a­tion would be used.

In the mean­time one of the places the office was call­ing insisted the para­chutist was res­cued caus­ing con­fu­sion. I knew bet­ter as the out­side res­cue units were still responding.

I had my GPS on but still I was not sure exactly where I was going. I did know some of the respond­ing res­cuers which I hoped would help.

When I got near Dun­sta­ble a Rehab Five vehi­cle dri­ven by Roger Baker (it is a vol­un­teer group who help at fire­fighter involved scenes with hydra­tion and other needs) and an out of town fire chief passed me.

I fell in behind them but they were mov­ing too quickly for me to keep up with and although I was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with Baker via our Nextel’s he went one way and I went another.  I ended up about 8 miles out of the way at Pep­perell Air­port look­ing up and see­ing lots of para­chutes float­ing down but nowhere near where I needed to be.

The good news was I knew the res­cue was not com­pleted and the man in the trees was talk­ing to res­cuers which meant he was con­scious and alert. I still had time to get there.

Then I went to the scene but the way the day was going with my geog­ra­phy con­tin­ued and I went to the wrong side of the res­cue oper­a­tion. Police were there and I  was told where the press was located and how to get there. Of course that was another ten min­utes away.  In the mean­time from radio chat­ter I knew the res­cue was not imminent.

I was one of the last TV sta­tions there but I had a plan. The first thing I said to the group was I think I can get us into the res­cue oper­a­tion and if I did I would be the pool pho­tog­ra­pher. They all agreed. I knew a cou­ple of the Chiefs oper­at­ing at the scene from the many fire related inci­dents I have gone to over the years and most fire chiefs real­ize the use of good pub­lic rela­tions and when this res­cue was com­pleted it had all the mark­ings of great work and a good train­ing exer­cise for their review. I wanted to be involved.

In the mean­time Kelly Tuthill had arrived with one of our satel­lite trucks. For over an hour we were all shoot­ing what we thought was the para­chute and res­cuers through the trees. Most of our video cam­era dis­plays are viewed through a black and white viewfinder so try­ing to fig­ure out what was a branch and what was the para­chute was very dif­fi­cult. I would pick a branch or two with my bare eyes and then try and find it through the viewfinder. Thank­fully I did not have to rely on this footage for our final product.

One of the Fire Chiefs came out and said they were ready for the pool pho­tog­ra­pher and it would be me. I grabbed my video cam­era, tri­pod, IPhone, dig­i­tal cam­era for stills, extra bat­ter­ies and tape. I then asked Brian Foley the Chief Pho­tog­ra­pher at WBZ if he would like to join me.

When we got into the scene the dreaded yel­low tape was up but it was only up to show us where we could be. We had a great loca­tion, able to move around and see every­thing you could see but the tree branches were an issue from cer­tain angles.

The res­cuers were fin­ish­ing putting their ropes and pul­leys in place, talk­ing to the para­chutist, Andrew Stack. Brian and I were run­ning around try­ing to cover all the angles.  I was shoot­ing with three cam­eras to begin with and Brian asked if he could help and I handed him the tri­pod and video cam­era. It was great and more fun for me to shoot stills and I knew Brian would do a great job.

We were in the woods prob­a­bly about 15 min­utes and I likened what they were doing to what I saw when I was in the woods in Man­ches­ter By The Sea after the Hood Blimp landed in their woods. Back then I did not have a great still cam­era but the video was ter­rific. This time both still and video images were very good and of course the best part in both inci­dents the men were res­cued with­out seri­ous injury. No injuries for the Hood Blimp Pilot and only leg injuries for the parachutist.

After the res­cue one of the Chiefs talked with us and adding that a new high angle res­cue unit has recently been train­ing and what they have learned was used in this res­cue. There were a cou­ple of pro­fes­sional para­chutists that came over from the air­port who had gone in the woods to help find the vic­tim and talked with him.  They described what they believed hap­pened. They both thought it was user error.

Back at the office I talked with Karen Lip­pert a pho­tog­ra­pher I work with who has done over 1100 jumps and this is her descrip­tion from watch­ing and read­ing the sto­ries that went with the incident;

“The vic­tim was a newly licensed sky­diver who lost alti­tude aware­ness and deployed his canopy late. Because he was late in deploy­ing his canopy he did not have the alti­tude or time to nav­i­gate his way back to the drop zone and ended up in the trees.”

Kelly and I went to Low­ell Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal from there wait­ing to see if we could talk with the vic­tim or his wife but noth­ing hap­pened the first day.  We went back up another day and still noth­ing then on the third day Andrew Stack agreed to talk to us (so we would leave him alone).

He was great explain­ing exactly what he thought hap­pened and he felt his hand altime­ter had not func­tioned cor­rectly thus he did not deploy his chute on time. Luck­ily his auto­matic chute did.  He knew he was a lucky man and we joked about his next jump which he hoped would be in the spring if his wife lets him.

I have been in con­tact with Andrew via email and I hope to be invited when he does his next jump, it should be fun!


Senator Edward Brooke and My Beginning!

This photo of then Attor­ney Gen­eral Edward W. Brooke is one of my favorites from his vic­to­ri­ous cam­paign to become the first elected African Amer­i­can Sen­a­tor in the US Sen­ate. It was taken dur­ing the Colum­bus Day Parade in East Boston in 1966.

It all began for me in May of 1966. I was fin­ish­ing up a one year course in pho­tog­ra­phy at the “Franklin Insti­tute of Boston” in Boston’s South End.  I had been chas­ing fires and acci­dents for many years and a cou­ple of years before this my father said to me “you are there why not take pho­tos” and he got me a camera.

I had a great expe­ri­ence at the school and my instruc­tor would be Mor­ris Miller a won­der­ful knowl­edge­able pho­tog­ra­pher from Revere who just hap­pened to be a con­tem­po­rary of my parent’s, one of my Cub Scout lead­ers and I went to school with his chil­dren.  This was an unex­pected plus when I reported to class the first day as we had no idea he had signed on to teach.

He nur­tured a class full of great peo­ple through the fun­da­men­tals of pho­tog­ra­phy and I finally learned what depth of field was and how to stop action.  Before this course I hate to think about how much I did not know.

In May of 1966 a rep­re­sen­ta­tive  (I only remem­ber his first name, Bob) of the adver­tis­ing agency work­ing with Attor­ney Gen­eral Edward Brooke’s cam­paign to win the US Sen­ate seat being vacated by retir­ing long time US Sen­a­tor Lev­erett Salton­stall. He came to the school look­ing for a pho­tog­ra­pher to travel with then Attor­ney Gen­eral Edward Brooke tak­ing pic­tures of him wher­ever he went and what­ever he was doing.

After sev­eral inter­views with many of my class­mates I got the job.  It helped I had a dark­room at home and I told Bob I was used to get­ting up in the mid­dle of the night and keep­ing weird hours.  I am sure there were a lot of other influ­ences like know­ing the right peo­ple and hav­ing great potential.

My first day on the job in May of “66” I went to a meet­ing of Repub­li­can Women at a hotel in Boston.  I took many rolls of film and my main assign­ment was to be there when Mr. Brooke shook hands with any­one and who­ever was trav­el­ing with me would take their name and I would give them the roll of film num­ber and neg­a­tive number.

I went home after a long day of sev­eral events, stayed up most of the night into the early morn­ing hours and had 100 or so pic­tures ready to be signed at the Brooke Cam­paign Head­quar­ters the next morn­ing. They were very impressed.

I knew noth­ing about pol­i­tics but knew how to take pic­tures, keep my mouth shut and do what­ever was requested.  It was a great 8 months.  I trav­eled the state from east to west, north and south and met peo­ple who really believed in Brooke and his cam­paign.  I had my first legal drink at age 21 with staffers at a Hol­i­day Inn some­where in the State and I ordered a Tom Collins. I also had my first Mar­tini with the group.

In bet­ter times, Sen­a­tor Brooke with Pres­i­dent Nixon in Boston, mid 1970s.

It was a great time for a naïve 21 year old.  I saw how the real news pho­tog­ra­phers worked and met many national net­work cor­re­spon­dents.  In the Fall of 66 my imme­di­ate boss Joe McMa­hon and another Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­eral Bill Hay­den drove down to Wash­ing­ton.  We met at mid­night at the Bea­con Hill Head­quar­ters and I drove Joe’s Mus­tang for the next 8 hours to the Capi­tol of the United States. I think we had the top down all the way.

Dur­ing that visit which as an endorse­ment and fund rais­ing event the future Sen­a­tor met with Richard Nixon, who was in-between an elected office, even­tu­ally becom­ing the Pres­i­dent of the United States, Everett Dirk­sen, US Sen­a­tor from Illi­nois, Howard Baker a US Sen­a­tor from Ten­nessee and even­tual Chief Of Staff for Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan.  Baker it turned out was a real cam­era buff although I did not know it at the time and I met sev­eral other elected offi­cials  whose names I for­get.  These were the news mak­ers and I got to take pho­tos of them and shake their hands.

It was a great begin­ning, excit­ing, adven­tur­ous and the chance to meet folks I would have never met with­out this opportunity.

Mr. Brooke was a warm, charis­matic man whose per­son­al­ity and smile were all win­ners.  He was the man of the hour and defeated his oppo­nent Endi­cott “Chubb” Peabody a for­mer Gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­setts by hun­dreds of thou­sands of votes.  In an unof­fi­cial pool amongst the staff it was Mr. Brooke’s wife Remi­gia who won the pool.

After the cam­paign was over his pub­lic rela­tions per­son Gerry Sadow got me inter­views at the three Boston papers, The Boston Herald-Traveler, Boston Globe and the Record Amer­i­can.  I met with the chief pho­tog­ra­phers at the three news­pa­pers and only Myer Ostroff the Record American’s Chief saw my poten­tial and hired me.

I had a year’s pro­ba­tion­ary period and my first day on the job 44 years ago as of this writ­ing, Novem­ber 22, 1966 I wore a suit and tie. I walked into the Record Amer­i­can at their orig­i­nal office at 5 Winthrop Square in Down­town Boston and waited out­side the photo lab on the third floor for some­one to let me into the labs.

Mor­ris Ostroff, the Chief Photographer’s older brother let me in. He was a short man who always was smok­ing a long cigar.  He intro­duced him­self to me and said fol­low me. We went down the cor­ri­dor to the print­ing labs there were 5 of them, handed me a sponge and an apron and told me to please clean up the lab, the start of my illus­tri­ous career.


Rolling Stones

Mick Jag­ger Worces­ter Air­port, Sep­tem­ber 1981

In Sep­tem­ber of 1981 reporter Bob Kee­ley and I were sent to the Brim­field, Mass­a­chu­setts to find the Rolling Stones.  We had got­ten word that the group was prac­tic­ing out there for an upcom­ing tour.  It took a day or two to find where the farm stu­dio they were work­ing at was located.

We spent the week hang­ing around the out­skirts of the farm just wait­ing for a glimpse of the mem­bers.  We did see some of the female com­pan­ions horse­back rid­ing on a cou­ple of those days but no sight­ing of the musicians.

On Fri­day of that week word was out they would be fly­ing out of Worces­ter Air­port.  We all waited with many more of the Boston Media show­ing up. I only knew Mick Jag­ger but was lucky enough to get images of every­one in the group.  Of course I had to rely on my good friend, fel­low pho­tog­ra­pher and rock and roll expert Ted Gart­land to ID the other mem­bers in my photos.

Please visit my Smug­Mug site to view and pur­chase pho­tos:


Another Soldier To Remember

Scott Mil­ley Age 23

I have been cov­er­ing the sol­diers return­ing home from bat­tle since the Viet­nam War; some happy return­ing men and women and way too many sad stories.

One that par­tic­u­larly stands out to me is a very happy East Boston sol­dier return­ing to Logan happy and healthy from ‘Nam. We were allowed out on the tar­mac to be there for the greeting.

Then there are the many sad sto­ries of sol­diers who did not return home. I was in Woburn, MA when the fam­ily of one of the last sol­diers killed in Viet­nam was noti­fied of his death. I can still remem­ber his father talk­ing with us and his younger brother being incred­i­bly emo­tional and hat­ing every­thing that was hap­pen­ing. He later joined the Marines like his brother but ended up in a wheel­chair after a car acci­dent on the West Coast.  Every time I drive into Woburn via Mont­vale Ave, I think of the fam­ily as I drive by their home.

There was a Green Beret from the Worces­ter area that was killed in the Granada Con­flict. I cov­ered the funeral where the brother of the deceased deliv­ered a eulogy and after he got through his very painful speech he put his hands up to sig­nal vic­tory and said, “I did it!” He was so sad yet so proud of his brother’s ulti­mate sac­ri­fice for the United States.

In the last few years between Iraq and Afghanistan con­flicts there have sadly been many more funer­als to cover.  I’ll never for­get the funeral of a female lieu­tenant from Swamp­scott and the sound of the “clop clop clop” of the horse’s hooves hit­ting the pave­ment as the white horse drawn hearse car­ried her to her final rest­ing place as her boyfriend rode upfront on a bit­terly cold morning.

In Leomin­ster, the fam­ily of a sol­dier let us come into their home after their son’s body was brought to the local funeral home for bur­ial and talked to us so bravely about their hero son.

There are many more mem­o­ries of both happy and sad home­com­ings but yesterday’s meet­ing with the fam­ily of Lt. Scott Mil­ley, a 23 year old sol­dier from Sud­bury, will rank as one of the sad­der home­com­ings I have witnessed.

Scott Mil­ley Age 23

Joe Roche, the assign­ment edi­tor, had called the fam­ily ear­lier in the day. After speak­ing with the brother and sis­ter of the sol­dier, Joe spoke with the boy’s father. Tears were soon flow­ing on both ends of the phone and Chan­nel Five was invited to the fam­ily home to talk with Mr. Mil­ley about his son.

As we were dri­ving down their street in Sud­bury, MA, I asked Jack Harper the reporter I was with what the house num­ber of the fam­ily home was and his reply was, “Where all the cars will be.”

Sure enough, there were 15 plus cars and dou­ble that in peo­ple in the yard of the family’s home. As we walked up, I began shoot­ing video of Stephen Mil­ley, the soldier’s father, hug­ging every­one as they arrived.  It was very painful to watch and lis­ten to him greet his fam­ily and friends.

He soon spot­ted Jack and walked over to greet him with his arms out­stretched. He was cry­ing in a way that only a heart bro­ken father can. He hugged Jack and then did the same to me. Through the tears the three of us shared, both Jack and I were able to express how sorry we were for his loss and express how much we wished we did not meet under these circumstances.

Although he was clearly dis­traught over the death of his son, Mr. Mil­ley was proud and artic­u­late when dis­cussing his son. He told us Scott wanted to be a sol­dier from the time he was three years old. From every­thing he said about his son it is evi­dent that he was a won­der­ful man, a great ath­lete, a lov­ing brother and every parent’s dream son. Mr. Mil­ley summed it up with one state­ment: “Scott was liv­ing his dream. It has now become our nightmare.”

Please see Jack Harper’s mov­ing story via the link below.

Mr. Milley’s Uncut Speech:

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A Thanksgiving To Remember

Boston Fire­fighter George Gir­van rushes Tammi to safety after her res­cue from her home on West Sixth Street, South Boston in 1977.

For 44 years this past week I have been cov­er­ing the news of the day around New Eng­land, mostly in Boston. I have tried to cap­ture the moment of many news events and most of them were not happy stories.

Per­son­ally, when I pho­to­graph a story I always try not to por­tray a vic­tim as “a vic­tim”. I don’t per­form brain surgery or save lives directly, but I hope that some of my images might have changed a life for the pos­i­tive, or made some­one feel bet­ter about what is hap­pen­ing or has hap­pened with­out hurt­ing those directly involved in the story along the way.

This past July, Tammi Brown­lee (full story on web­site) con­tacted me about an image I took in Jan­u­ary, 1977.  It was a long time ago but for­tu­nately I had the neg­a­tives and was able to help Tammi and do a cou­ple of great news sto­ries along the way.

I received an email this morn­ing which I want to share. For me, it sort of makes the pho­tos I have taken that have caused peo­ple pain when look­ing at them worth­while.  Tammi has given me per­mis­sion to share but first I will tell you about my great day, Thursday.

Steve Lacy, a WCVB-TV reporter, and I trav­eled to Tammi’s home to inter­view her and her brother David Gladu whom she has spent more than half her life search­ing for to do a Thanks­giv­ing story for the 6 o’clock news.  We were both very excited about the story but of course who knew how good it would look on air?

We arrived to a happy home where Tammi and her two chil­dren Chris and Ash­ley along with her boyfriend Chad were get­ting ready for Thanks­giv­ing and her brother David along with his wife Tina would be join­ing in the dinner.

Tammi and David

The day was both fun and sad but more impor­tantly it was a remem­brance of how bad life can be and then how good it can become. We learned a lot from the con­ver­sa­tions.  I knew Tammi had been search­ing for a half brother and sis­ter since her teenage years but I did not know that her brother David had no idea that Tammi existed.

He told us he had been given up for adop­tion when he was two along with his sis­ter Eleanor who was one at the time.  He spent a few years in fos­ter care and was adopted when he was six.  He had no idea that Eleanor existed until he was around fif­teen years old and then his search began.  He got nowhere and finally stopped the active search.

Tammi found out in her teens that her brother and sis­ter existed and she con­tin­ued the search for more than half her life.  David only learned about Tammi in the last cou­ple of months. Tammi found him on Octo­ber 7th this year after she had found Eleanor a few months before.

It was a really feel good story.  I don’t cover that many of those types of sto­ries and Steve did a won­der­ful job of putting it out for view­ers.  Here I have been think­ing what a won­der­ful thing this has been for me and today I got this email which makes it all worthwhile.

Tammi’s Email

I am so glad to be able to meet my brother and sis­ter this year!  I am pleased with the videos that were done for both my sis­ter and me and my brother and me as well!  I have been think­ing a lot about the book I have writ­ten and even though I have not come up with a proper name for it yet (it will come to me) I have thought about how I want the cover of the book to look.  The pic­ture that you took of the fire­fighter car­ry­ing me I think would be a per­fect one to use, one of the titles I have thought of is “Out of the Fire and Ashes”, this one stays with me.  What do you think?

Thank you so much for help­ing me, your excite­ment kept me going, where years past I would give up and wait till I had the strength to search again, but you gave me the per­se­ver­ance to stick with it longer and that is how I was able to find them.  I will always be grate­ful to you for that!  It has been hard to write my story, as I have buried almost all of my mem­o­ries to pro­tect myself, most of them are not good.  But my end­ing is per­fect!  David, Eleanor and I are plan­ning a time already of when we can all get together; I still need a pic­ture of all three of us!

I hope you have a great day!


Please visit my web­site for the links to the sto­ries about the Southie Fire 1977.


Boston Bruins 1969-The Rest Of The Story

Fred Stan­field, Don Awry, Ken Hodge, Ron Mur­phy, Johnny “Pie“McKenzie, Dan For­re­stal, Wayne Cash­man, Bobby Orr, Glen Sather, John Bucyk, Eddy West­phal, Phil Espos­ito, Dan Canny

I was cov­er­ing the Bru­ins prac­tice in 1968–1969 dur­ing their play­off run the year before they won the Stan­ley Cup.  D. Leo Mon­a­han, the great hockey writer for the Record Amer­i­can, came out of the Bru­ins locker room to get me while I was shoot­ing stuff on the ice and said, “Bobby wants a team photo.”

Bobby Orr had received a poster from a group of sol­diers in Viet­nam and Orr wanted a team photo with the poster to send back to the sol­diers.  I took this photo of the group.

I saw every game Bobby Orr played at Boston Gar­den includ­ing games when the Oshawa Gen­er­als, his minor league team, played at the Gar­den. I had two sea­son tick­ets for sec­tion 73 Row C, seats 3 & 4.  I even had a Bru­ins stock­ing hat that I would wear at work and around the office and of course every­one got their laughs from that.

The first time I saw Orr in per­son was when I went to the Gar­den with UPI pho­tog­ra­phers Don Robin­son and George Riley for his first offi­cial prac­tice as a Boston Bruin.  He was there with Giles Marotte and as a hockey fan and future news pho­tog­ra­pher this was big.

We cov­ered Orr all the time and when he got hurt at an away game I was sent to Logan Air­port for his return along with Globe Pho­tog­ra­pher Char­lie Carey. In those days you could get down to the air­line ter­mi­nal but Bobby was none too friendly with us, as he was hurt­ing. It was not his usual demeanor.  On the other hand, Phil Espos­ito, who walk­ing with Orr tried to pacify us, being friendly but also try­ing to get us away from Orr.

I remem­ber many times I was asked to cover events with Bru­ins play­ers. One time, the two Espos­ito broth­ers were doing some kind of pro­mo­tion for either an air­line or a travel agency and we were out on the run­away while Tony and Phil waved to the cam­eras.  It was fun and funny.  I did a visit with Gar­nett “Ace” Bai­ley and his wife just before they got mar­ried. They were such a nice cou­ple and it is truly sad that Ace lost his life in the 9/11 ter­ror­ism.   A home visit with Ken Hodge was great, as I took a photo of Ken stand­ing in front of his fig­ure 8 swim­ming pool. I was wel­come to his home as if I was one of his family.

I only cov­ered a few Bru­ins hockey games; but, the few I cov­ered were mem­o­rable. As a sea­son ticket holder, I knew that Jacques Plante always skated off the ice with the stick in the air if he won a game.  They were play­ing on a Sat­ur­day after­noon and I got to cover the game. I planned this photo all game and when the Bru­ins won I got a great photo of him skat­ing off as he always did with the goalie stick up and a huge smile on his face.

The year before they won the Stan­ley Cup I cov­ered a game that you could almost con­sider a riot.  Lots of fights with Forbes Kennedy of the Toronto Maple Leafs going wild dur­ing an 11–0 Bru­ins win. The ice was wild and so was the crowd.  What a night!

Bobby and a group of rookie hockey play­ers became friends with a group of girls from Revere and I got to meet him at one of the girl’s homes. It was excit­ing to meet the future Mr. Hockey.

When the Bru­ins won the Stan­ley Cup in 1972 beat­ing the New York Rangers at New York, I was at Logan Air­port and on the run­away when they got off the plane, another excit­ing hap­pen­ing.  The only prob­lem was Bobby got off the plane next to a woman who I thought was his girl­friend (future wife) and went with that for the newspaper’s story. Only prob­lem was she actu­ally worked in the Bru­ins office and I iden­ti­fied her wrong. I found out by tak­ing the photo to Bob Crane the State Treasurer.

When Ray Lussier made the great photo of Orr scor­ing the win­ning goal in their 1970 Stan­ley Cup win, I was at the game in my seats and after the game I went to the office.  There was Mike Andersen’s great photo of young Bobby Orr drink­ing cham­pagne from the top of the Cup.

Ray Lussier saw me and told me to fol­low him. He took me to the photo engrav­ing depart­ment where back then engrav­ings were made to put pic­tures in the paper. There it was one of the best hockey pic­tures ever and he was so proud, Orr in the air after shoot­ing the over­time goal to beat St. Louis Blues.

I just looked up at the TV while typ­ing this and on NESN  there is a spe­cial on the Bru­ins and Bobby Orr fly­ing through the air and they are talk­ing about the Lussier photo.

I have lots of Bru­ins pho­tos to post in the future and have most of the neg­a­tives from the above stories.

Now the rest of the story about the Bru­ins group photo from 1969.

In Sep­tem­ber of 2010 I was con­tacted by a friend of the artist who drew the poster for this photo.  We exchanged sev­eral emails and then I exchanged emails with the artist who actu­ally drew the poster from Viet Nam.  The fol­low­ing is his story.

My Boston Bru­ins Viet­nam Poster Story By Don­ald Souliere

I first learned my reserve unit was being acti­vated for Viet­nam duty from the local news­pa­pers’ front page head­lines. They con­tained a list of all the reserve units acti­vated.  My 513th Main­te­nance Bat­tal­ion was on that list.

We left the Boston Army base and left my new com­mer­cial art career behind one cold morn­ing in Octo­ber. An Army con­voy was tak­ing us to Fort Dix New Jer­sey to be retrained for our over­seas duty. I thought I would not have the oppor­tu­nity to exer­cise my graphic design skills for at least a year; how wrong I was.

We flew out of Fort Dix in a troop trans­port plane. I slept most of the time to make the trip seem shorter. We arrived in Alaska to refuel. It was the first time I had ever seen any­thing like Alaska’s Blue Moun­tains. I had never trav­eled before. Now I was going to Japan and finally to Da Nang, Vietnam.

I stepped out of the plane and saw for the first time the Viet­nam that I had seen so many times in the news. It was a hum­bling moment. A con­voy was wait­ing to take us to Phubai. On the road to our new home the con­voy had to stop for a short time because the Marines were hav­ing a fire fight to clear a bridge of dan­ger so we could safely cross. Wel­come to Vietnam.

A few weeks prior I was sketch­ing fam­i­lies enjoy­ing the swan boats in the Boston Pub­lic Gar­den. A few months later I was in a bunker with a 30 cal­iber machine gun on guard duty on the “perime­ter” out­side the com­pound for the 513th. The army shot up flares dur­ing the night to illu­mi­nate the rice paddy fields in front of us so we could see up to the tree lines.  We hoped we wouldn’t see any­thing mov­ing. I was a reg­u­lar GI Joe just like the movies. Except this was not a movie.

I really believed the oppor­tu­nity to exer­cise my graphic skills in a com­bat zone would be nil. To my sur­prise I was used imme­di­ately by the Army as a graphic artist as soon as they checked my civil­ian occu­pa­tion. I did illus­tra­tion of trucks for their main­te­nance man­u­als. I did posters to warn our sol­diers of the pos­si­ble dan­gers they might encounter such as sab­o­tage, booby traps etc. I did mar­quee signs for the com­pounds for the Marines and our own bat­tal­ion insignia for our compound.

While in Phubai I was approached by 3 sol­diers to do a poster to cheer the Boston Bru­ins hockey team quest for the Stan­ley Cup. They mailed the poster all the way to the Boston Bru­ins. I used a Newsweek sport sec­tion photo for ref­er­ence on the slap shot pos­ture for the bear. I used Sports Illus­trated photo for the Bru­ins uni­form and I had a book on ani­mals to use for ref­er­ence to draw the bear. I used a Speed ball pen for the let­ter­ing and a brush and ink tech­nique to do the bear. I never real­ized at the time that my poster would be in one of the most famous Boston Bru­ins hockey team pho­tos ever.

After 3 months in Phubai I was recruited by the Army as a Com­bat Artist and was trans­ferred to Da Nang Com­mand Head­quar­ters. I never saw the sol­diers again and com­pletely for­got about the Bru­ins poster. I did not see the poster again until five years ago in the office of a Bru­ins fan. As I looked at the photo I said, “I did that.” After that the “I did that” got around very quickly. Later I dis­cov­ered the photo was in a book “A Cen­tury of Boston Sports,” it was hang­ing in the T.D. Gar­dens, and sold in stores sports photo section.

My last duty in Phubai before being trans­ferred to Da Nang was to escort a Viet­namese truck to deliver used wood to a dump for the Army. On the way I spoke to the Viet­namese in French and we made friends. As we drove by their vil­lage they had me over for lunch. They gave me “Tiger” beer and chicken wings.

In Da Nang the famous Navy SEABEAS built me a draft­ing table in the Com­mand Head­quar­ters where I did full color illus­tra­tions depict­ing our sol­diers in every­day life in Viet­nam. The illus­tra­tion where intended to be used as pic­to­r­ial doc­u­men­ta­tion for pros­per­ity.  As a com­bat artist I got to fly in a Huey heli­copter tak­ing pic­tures of the sur­round­ing com­pound area that I would later use to make a large draw­ing. It was pre­sented to a gen­eral for his out­stand­ing efforts dur­ing his years of ser­vice in Vietnam.

Dur­ing my Viet­nam tour in Da Nang, I was on duty 14 hours a day start­ing at 5:00 am. After spend­ing my day doing illus­tra­tions, I was off duty at 7:00pm. We did not always get the rest we wanted. The Viet­cong would hit us with rock­ets. These attacks would hap­pen mostly late at night. One time they hit an ammu­ni­tion dump a quar­ter of a mile away. It exploded all night with the smoke float­ing over us with flashes of lights from the explo­sions. We were told an attack was pos­si­ble and to stay on guard duty with our M16. After 36 hours they gave the all clear sig­nal. There would be no attack. The only casu­al­ties were some of my posters/signs that had shrap­nel holes in them.

I fin­ished my tour and went back home where the mem­ory of the poster and Viet­nam expe­ri­ences faded over time.

Don­ald Souliere, Spe­cial­ist E5, US Army, Vietnam


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South Boston Fire Rescued Girl 33 Years Later

Tammi Brown­lee being inter­viewed 7/30/10.

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