... the Bruins take the cup, millions come out to get a picture
This is the story of a retiring journalist, seventy-ish, taking it upon herself to
photograph the victory parade of Boston's champion Bruins, an event attended by no
less than a million fans. Boston was jammed, ten and fifteen deep along the three-
mile course, screaming, cheering, yelling -- and above all, using a multitude of
itsy-bitsy new age digital cameras.
This is Louise Fennell's explanation of what happened that eventful day. But first,
a review of what this important lady does: About 75 now, she is still attractive,
still active in publishing this Melrose Mirror, still teaching an aerobics class,
and still holding down two part-time jobs to make ends meet and to ward off the
inevitable process of aging. Still, she is a joyous woman.
No one gave Louise this assignment -- but then, no one gets an assignment at the
Mirror. It's all what you want to do. She was advised by her boss to come in early
so as to avoid the crush of people flooding downtown Boston that Saturday morning.
So yes, she came early, yet the endless hordes got there first. She made her way
from the subway station at Chinatown two blocks to Boston's Colonial Theatre,
where she has had a part-time job as an usher for some 14 years.
The front of the theater was mobbed, so she made her way to the small alley between
the theater and neighboring Emerson College, and entered through the stagedoor. When
she went out the front lobby, she found she was about 14 people separated from the
roped-off Boylston Street. Agh, close enough.
The trouble was that practically every one of those Bruin fans had his own little
digital camera, so when the first of the parade "ducks" came into sight, thousands
of arms went up to record this event. Louise, at five feet three, didn't stand much
of a chance. She too had her miniature camera, rather than the bigger Pentax she
She put the little red camera on full telephoto, put her arms over her head as far
as she could reach, and sort of guessed where to shoot -- just as the lead duck
drove past the Colonial. Her first shot was low and she had captured the backs of
lots of fans. The second shot, adjusted for elevation, was of the tree-tops in the
Boston Common, across the street. Eventually she got the feel of the competition,
figuring that the more she shot, the better her chances were.
There were something like 13 ducks used to carry the Bruin players, their wives, the
coaches, the owners and their families, and a couple of dozen players from past
championship teams -- all VIPs. It took the better part of two hours to get all
those vehicles past Louise, at the Colonial.
Hey, it was worth the try, she said. A week later she called me -- the company
expert in editing photos -- and asked for an appraisal. Neat, I said, most of them
are out of focus, you moved the camera many times (shoved by the tightly-packed
people around her), and missed the target with her narrow telephoto view more than
Nevertheless, we did pull out enough decent photos to tell the story. It's not a
clean show, but it is arty; sorta-blurred pictures I see as fine art. But the major
point was, as good a photographer as she is, she WAS THERE. She did the job, and
understanding the numbers of people involved, she wins the award for best photo-
spread this issue.
July 1, 2011