Oddball photos from an oddball editor

... journalist, investor, playmaker -- but NOT a photographer ...

from Don Norris

SilverStringer Betty Rossi made the mistake of calling me a photographer the other day -- which I am NOT. For some fifty years I have been a journalist, a stock market investor, a fine arts painter -- but never, ever, did I ever get paid for taking a photo. That was strictly a hobby, done for fun.

And so it remains. I do pictures for fun -- for I have a crazy eye for art, for the unusual, for a different (perhaps oddball) view of the world. Yes, artistic. Colorful. Good stuff -- but not for sale.

Take, for instance, this picture of my picture. Odd, but interesting. Notice all the manila folders -- writings. Or the top photo, the one of the fat chef. That was a lifesize plaster figurine in a fine restaurant in Manchester, NH -- the light was marginal, but then you can do amazing things with the magical digital cameras. Canons and Nikons.

This is my portrait of the Hoover Elementary School, in the southeast corner of our city. (I can hear it now: "Boy, this guy is really an oddball".)

Not entirely. Take for instance, this lovely house atop one of the southeast 's corner hills, a home with a magnificent view of Boston. It (the photo) is gorgeous. Clean, orderly, colorful, interesting -- with one flaw: there are a couple of wires running through a corner. I could have removed them, but no, they're okay.

See that good-looking woman there -- the one in purple, not the one in white. She's my 82-year-old wife, a beautiful woman, the ultimate partner. We were visiting the Manchester Museum of Art that day.

Now we come to the recreational part of recreational photography. This is what a recreational photographer has (not too infrequently) to enrich daily life. That's a gin martini, on the rocks, with two large olives. Nutritional. The place is our favorite restaurant, the Longhorn on the Wakefield/Reading line. Ummm, such good food.

At this point you've made copies of some fifty fine paintings at the Manchester Museum, all with your back-up itty-bitty-stick-in-your-pocket Nikon camera. You're weary and you find refuge is the dining area -- no martini here, but a cup of coffee. And after picturing all that fine art, you turn your attention to that which strikes your fancy -- the salt and pepper shakers and the base of museum flower arrangement. I think, after seeing all that traditional art, that this is how I picture the Manchester
Museum of Art.

And finally -- to close this essay -- I chose to lay on its side the 175-foot-tall communications tower atop Mount Hood -- in Melrose. The tower belongs to AT&T, which rents repeater gadgetry to hundreds (perhaps thousands) of communicators. In the end, the City of Melrose leases its valuable hilltop to that corporation, thereby reducing our tax bills slightly.

June 7, 2013

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