Newtown the Beautiful. Part 1 of 4

When I decided I was going to do these posts, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was very emotional as I exited I-84 for Newtown/Sandy Hook.  From what I have read over the last few weeks, I know I am not alone in the pain felt over the thoughtless act that occurred on December 14th.

It didn’t start that way for me though. You see, I had my work holiday party that day and was driving there when I heard over the radio that police were responding to a shooting at a school in Newtown.  That is just 30 minutes west of where my daughter was in school and where soon, she would be in a school-wide lock down until they knew it was safe. The sad thing is that it didn’t even phase me to hear about the shooting and I assumed it was either one student against another or against a teacher. And I also assumed it was a high school or middle school. Like that would have been OK.  It is a very sad truth, but we have become accustom to hearing these news reports in our society.

So I just continued on my way to the party and a few hours later, when a coworker told me that 20 children were killed, I knew for the first time that something on a larger scale had happened.  I still went to the post party happy hour that happens every year, but being a big tough thirty-something (OK…in my mind I am tough) at a bar full of happy people, while inwardly weeping, was not a good place for me to be.  I put on a good act for a while, but when I saw a friend outwardly emotional about what had happened, I didn’t know how to react.  I wanted everyone to continue having a good time at the bar, but I was emotional about it too.  So what choice did I make?  I told her she should leave because she was bringing everyone down.  Yes, I know I am an ass and told her so the next day.  I left the bar early and immediately got a bad stomach bug that kept me up all night…served me right.   Anyway, during the week that followed; I saw so many heartwarming stories and acts of kindness that I knew I had to do something too.  A town was weeping and as I read on and on, I realized that it wasn’t a town, but a state; a nation; and a world that was weeping. And as we scoured the web in search of answers, we saw countless images of beautiful memorials in town; of the beautiful faces that were taken from the planet way too early; of the grieving that so many were going through; but I had been to Newtown many times in my life and that was not how I knew it, nor how I wanted to remember it, so I decided I would go as many days as I could on my holiday vacation and photograph the scenery of Newtown.

Day 1 – Pond Brook

As I entered Newtown before sunrise on Saturday, December 22, I couldn’t help but notice the local diner right off the exit.  I would have stopped and photographed it right away, but I had been up a few hours already that morning and had planned out my trip so that I could be in a certain area by a certain time in case the clouds opened up.  So I made a mental note to go back there another day and continued to my preset destination. When I do these trips I often open up Google maps and zoom into a wide area around my location.  From there, you can see rivers and ponds, state parks, etc…  And that is exactly what I did to end up here at Pond Brook.  It was actually snowing out a little when I arrived, so my hopes for good light coming from the sun were pretty much over.  That was until I was packing up the car to leave after taking about 15 or so mediocre shots.  I noticed just a hint of the sun on the far trees.

I pulled everything back out, mounted my camera back onto my tripod and began snapping away.  I only took 75 photos that morning, which is low for me on something like this, but I knew I had some good images and was satisfied.  As I left I decided I would drive over near the school to see the memorial.  I didn’t get out of my car, but I gave a nod and a wave to the policemen guarding the entrance to the school road.  It was a very emotional first day.

Day 1 – Pond Brook


Tomorrow I will share the Image of that diner I mentioned and bring a little color to this blog.



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