About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Death and Dying: Larry Leroy

May 12th, 2015, my friend Larry Leroy dies.

Wednesday, May 20th I go out to work on my garden. I see an alert on my iPhone that Larry Leroy died. It is from a mutual friend.

I call Donny, Larry's friend of 40+ years. He says Larry died from heart attack in his truck at the post office in Theresa, NY. He had heart attack. He died Saturday May 16th.

I call John F in Syracuse. No answer. leave message that Larry passed away.

8:00 PM watching Survivor on CBS. An unknown call comes in. I not answer. Two commercials later I listen to voice mail. it is John. Please call him back about Larry.

9:30 I call John. His wife read obituary that says Larry died May 12th.

I google obituary. Larry did die on the 12th.
Rewind in time to April 4th. I text Larry, "Are you still alive?" Just a joke because I have not spoken with him in a while.

April 29th I am driving and get a call from Larry. I cannot answer. Voicemail from Larry: "Gary, I am still alive."

Larry's obituary published on Saturday the 16th. Donny thinks Larry died on 16th. I hear from Donny on the 20th. Larry is gone. Family has all ready taken care of him and his remains.

Thursday the 20th they plan to have an estate sale at his house.

I talk to John. I plan to go to Larry's house in Theresa and meet his family.

Larry Leroy, 64 years old. Viet Nam veteran. Classical guitarist. Funny man. For 4 or 5 years I met up with him every Thursday and we played guitar, worked on music. I will miss him. He was a really good man. No wife. No kids.

Larry was  born in California and his immediate family still live there.

Tomorrow I may meet up with Donny and John at Larry's house. I hope so. We can commiserate.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I photograph a wedding reception for Donald Moe Hunt in Watertown, NY

This afternoon I photographed a wedding reception for Moe Hunt's grand son. Moe is a legendary SCUBA diver from Watertown, NY. He grew up with my father. I took diving lessons from Moe many years ago and went on a lot of diving adventures with him. Today he is 83 years old. He hired me cover the party today that was held at The Paddock Club. The photo presented here is of Moe. He was seated next to a fire place. The room was quite dimly lit. I used a Nikon D4s camera with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. I set the ISO to 10,000.  For any of you that know what I am talking about, that is quite impressive.

Legendary scuba diver Donald "Moe" Hunt at his grand son's wedding reception.             photo by Gary Walts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Guitar concert in Sackets Harbor, NY

It is two minutes before midnight on March 21, 2015. It is 26 degrees here in Chaumont, NY. I played a some what private party for the people of Sackets Harbor this evening from 7-9:00. It was sponsored by the Sackets Harbor Historical Society. Essentially it was open to the public but they only spread the word about it locally. So that village resident might have something to do, some event within walking distance. It took place in an historic old stone building close to the marina. About 40 people attended. The room I p;ayed in was set up like a cafe. Small cloth laden tables with candles. The visitors got their drinks which ranged from coffee and tea to wine and beer. I then set about playing for 45 minutes. I offered some anecdotes and odds and ends of information between songs. They were silent and attentive during the playing of the pieces. Close scrutiny. It's the type of scene that stage fright blossoms in. But for the past year I have been exposing myself more and more to these type of situations, so I handled this one well. But here is the thing: For the past year I have put together a 45 minute set that I can get through quite handily. Tonight however, I was required to fill two hours. That's a lot of time to entertaing and hold a groups attention. But I did with plenty of songs to spare that I did not play. Over all I enjoyed it. At one point early on I broke into a slight sweat, feeling one bead of perspiration form on my forehead and roll down my face. During the second set (after a 15 minute or so break) I had a minor bit of hand shaking. This was nothing compared to years ago and even a couple years ago when my hands would shake so that I spilled wine out of my glass and I would sweat so that my hair would get wet and my eyes would burn. I almost miss that. When I was younger and did not know how to swim I had a real fear of the water. I eventually over came that and finally, this late in my life I am working to overcome stage fright. On another note the Better Half has been on vacation with her daughter No. 2 and her family in Myrtle Beach. They return tomorrow. That will be nice. It was fine having some time alone, but I got lonely. I squandered a lot of my time that I was hoping to capitalize on without the distraction of the Better Half being in my presence. But, what is one to do? Anyway, I welcome her return.

This is a panorama photo made with the iPhone5. It's the remnants of a snowbank on a Syracuse sidewalk.  Photo bt gary walts. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Knob and Tubing Wiring

This is a photo I snapped with the iPhone 5  of what's known as knob and tubing wiring. It is a system of electrical wiring that was introduced into buildings early in the electrical era. It is still found intact and being used in varying degrees in many building to this day.

Knob and tube wiring in an old home in Watertown, NY.                     iPhone photo by Gary Walts 

This photo happened because it was simply another thing that "caught my eye". I was showing a friends house to a potential tenant and noticed this knob and tube in the attick. The light was nice and soft and so I snapped it. That's all. On another note, any followers of this blog will be aware that i have not been active here for a few months. It's hard for me to explain why other than a lack of ambition, working, maybe being a bit burned out, what ever, the reasons are multiple. It's been a long, cold, tough Winter here in Northern NY and I suppose that's a part of it too. Anyhow, I wishh all of you well.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wedding Photography in Watertown and Thousand Islands Region of NY

Wedding photography by Thousand Islands area photographer Gary Walts. The following are photos from various weddings I have photographed.
From a Boldt Castle wedding in Alexandria Bay, NY
Photo from a Watertown, NY wedding
Sackets Harbor, NY
Photo from a wedding at Thompson Park in Watertown, NY
This was at a state park in Central NY
Port Leyden and Boonville, NY
Wedding in Mexico, NY
From a Mexico, NY Wedding
This photo taken at The Eiss House in Mexico, NY
Wedding reception at Wysocki's, Cicero, NY
Wedding reception at Wysocki's, Cicero, NY
Brownville, NY wedding
Sackets Harbor, NY

You can view a lot of my wedding photographs at My Face Book weddings album

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Favorite Christmas gifts 2014: quilt art by Julie Dugas purchased via ETSY

Santa Clause was especially good to us this year. Among our favorite Christmas gifts for 2014 were two original quilt wall hangings by Julie Dugas, Ashville, NC. I purchased the pieces through her online ETSY store Fiber Art and Fabric I paid for the work with PayPal, I believe it was on a Monday and the pieces arrived on Friday. The pieces are beautiful.

Julie Dugas quilted art work. I wasted no time hanging them on Christmas Day before our dinner guests arrived.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Photos of Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 turned out pretty nice at our house in Chaumont, NY. But getting to it seemed "off" this year. I had trouble shopping, I seemed to have a shortage of time and was disorganized. Generally we decorate the front porch with garland, lights and red bows. This year all I could manage was to string up some lights (LEDs) and did a less than ideal job of that.  I suspect the main reason for the state of discord was the death of my brother Tom back in October.  Anyhow, here are a few photos:
This was the start of a figgy pudding from a recipe I found on the internet. This is butter, eggs, and molasses which was supposed to be whipped up. However, I didn't let the butter soften properly. 
This is the figgy pudding wrapped in cheese cloth soaked in Blackberry Brandy. After 24 hours you unwrap it and it's ready to eat.
Some gifts very artfully wrapped by the Better Half.
Christmas Eve at Angels Inn, an assisted living home in Watertown. The Violinist & I played there for about an hour for the residents. It was most enjoyable. 
Christmas Eve at Angels Inn, an assisted living home in Watertown. The Violinist & I played there for about an hour for the residents. It was most enjoyable. 
This is our Christmas Tree. It is a Noble Fir that we purchased at Lowe's in Watertown. A nice tree for $45.00

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lake effect snow storm hits Chaumont, NY November 18, 2014

An intense lake effect snow storm hit Chaumont, NY November 18, 2014. These are some photos I snapped during a walk around the village.

See more photos of the storm here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lake Effect snow storm Nov. 18, 2014 northern New York

This is view from my kitchen window at 6:20am. The sun is not up yet. It looks clear enough but 20 minutes earlier I could not see the end of the driveway. There is a strong wind that comes in gusts varying the visibility. This is the start of what may be three or more feet of lake effect snow to hit this region over the next 48 hours.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Come Saturday Morning ( the Sandpipers) and some Saturday snapshots

iPhone and instagram snapshot of crayons at our house in Chaumont, NY. I snapped this photo this afternoon.

It was a pleasant day today, Saturday October 25th, 2014. Last Saturday was brother Tom's funeral. The three previous Saturdays I was occupied with weddings. Two of them I played guitar at, the other one I photographed. The funeral week was tough to get through. The mixed emotions linger as do thoughts of my brother. I am feeling a bit down still. That's ok.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday... I think of the song Come Saturday Morning by the Sandpipers:

Come Saturday morning, I'm goin' away with my friend
We'll Saturday-spend till the end of the day, just I and my friend
We'll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles and then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone
Come Saturday morning, come Saturday morning
Come Saturday morning, I'm goin' away with my friend
We'll Saturday-laugh more than half of the day, just I and my friend
(My friend)
Dressed up in our rings and our Saturday things and then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone
Come Saturday morning, come Saturday morning
Come Saturday morning, just I and my friend

Here is a youtube video of the Sandpipers Song Come Saturday Morning

So this Saturday  I got together with the family violinist for a music lesson. I picked him up and we went to Musicology on State St., Watertown. We worked on some Christmas music. He then went outside the store for an hour and played for passersby and picked up about $15.00
Then we had lunch together and I took him home. By then it had begun to rain.

At home the Better Half's youngest grandson G is spending the week end with us. So late in the afternoon he and I went for a walk down by the lake. I snapped this photo:
Out walking in Chaumont NY with and iPhone 5 and the instagram app. Produced this photo. How wonderful.

On the walk home I snapped this photo. It caught my eye but will certainly not be immediately appreciated like the pretty pictures above.
Photo number three snapped today while walking in Chaumont.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Classical guitar at Cape Vincent NY Library

Tonight from 6:30-8:00 I did my 9th out of 10 classical guitar presentations. This one was at the Library in Cape Vincent, NY. 25 people showed up. I played my Alejandro Cervantes guitar. I felt I did exceptionally well. Played Carcassi eteudes 3, 7, and 19 from opus 60. Some Sor studies and Tarrega pieces. All went well. then I played Christopher Parkening's trancription of Bach's prelude #1 from the Well Tempered Clavier.
From there I met up with the Better Half and sisters Sue & Carol at the Blue Heron restaurant in Chaumont. Then we met at our house for an hour or so.
Tomorrow we have calling hours fro my brother Tom at Calarco Funeral Home on Keyes Ave in Watertown.

Here is a photo I snapped with my iPhone 5 in Auburn NY.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Death in the Family: Sunday October 12, 2014 my brother Thomas Walts died

Death in the Family: Sunday October 12, 2014 my brother Thomas Walts died.

I didn't sleep last night.
Tonight I drank most of a bottle of Zinfandel. I may sleep a bit better.

Tom was the 7th of 10 children born to Aubrey & Margaret Walts.

I am the 2nd son and second eldest.

Alan is the eldest and first son.

All told I have seven brothers and two sisters.

My father was 56 when he died in 1987.

My brother Tom was 52, though he was only 4 days away from his 53rd birthday.

My heart is heavy.

My Father, My Brother, My Heart.

My, my, my,

It appears it is all about me.

The hood from one of Tom Cat's race cars. It sits outside the garage he built at my mother's house in Calcium, NY.
Tom was married to Cathy Dean. Tom and Cathy. Tom Cat.

Number 3 son Melvin will be here Friday from Dallas, TX.

Number 8 son Bruce will be coming from Alabama.

Bruce is the youngest of the tribe, 12 years younger than I.

Suzy and Carol roll in from Tucson, AZ. 

Tom's daughter Sierra is 15 years old. One day she will be 20. Then 25. 30, 40, and 50 years of age will arrive for her. 35 years will have passed by the time she is 50. By then Tom will be a faded memory. For her, for me, for us all.  

If I am still alive I will be 95. 

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. 

I love you Lord.
I love, I love, I love.