Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

Maureen O’Neill, cancer victim and Hospice of the North Shore patient, died 20 years ago today, May 9, 2003. 

In January 2003, I contacted the Danvers-based hospice now known as Care Dimensions about the possibility of following the life and trials of one of their patients. They introduced me to Danvers resident Maureen O’Neill.

I spent the majority of my time with Maureen, at her house and beyond, from the time she returned home from Salem Hospital to the moment of her death. 

I often think about the first time I met Maureen.

In order for this project to go forward, Maureen insisted on meeting with me first and seeing some of my photography work. I brought my photo portfolio to Salem Hospital, just a few days before she was to be released to the peaceful confines of her home.

Maureen chose to bypass chemotherapy to die at home with her 92- year-old mother at her side.  

One of the first photos in that portfolio was a mother duckling and her babies crossing a busy street in Waltham. Maureen loved the photo as she was a huge bird lover. We hit it off from that moment forward.

The following photos are dedicated to Maureen’s loyal friends and family, Care Dimensions, and most of all, Maureen, who wanted to show the benefits and dignity of dying at home.

Above & below: Cancer victim Maureen O’Neill, wishing to die at home with her mother, returns home from the hospital after realizing Chemotherapy was not going to work against her cancer.

“Don’t worry Mum, we will get thru this” Maureen O’Neill (above) returns from the hospital greeted by her 92 yr old mother Ann

Maureen O’Neill shares a laugh with Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo and mom Ann.

After a difficult morning, Maureen O’Neill is instructed on her medicine usage by Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo.

Maureen O’Neill sits on her Mom’s bed as she talks about her family.

Maureen O’Neill celebrates what would be her last birthday, her 63rd, with Josh, her friend’s grandson.

A tired Maureen O’Neill is watched over by her mom Ann.

"Choosing Hospice" - Ann O'Neill wipes moisture from the face of her daughter Maureen O'Neill. The next day Maureen would be gone. fragm

As friend Bob Supino places one hand on Maureen’s forehead and one hand on her pulse, Maureen O’Neill dies in her Danver’s living room with best friend Glenda, mother Ann and Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo at her side.

Maureen O’Neill is laid to rest in her lifelong home of Danvers, Massachusetts


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I chase and photograph thunderstorms. Every thunderstorm that I can chase, I chase. July 28, 2014 was a day off from work, which afforded me the opportunity to storm chase. The storm cells that the weather radar showed just after 9am that morning, looked like a good possibility for me. I drove to Bayswater St. in East Boston thinking I could shoot the Boston skyline with any lightning that might be occur. It did not occur. The storm’s energy seemed to shift quickly toward the northeast, over what appeared to be the Revere, Saugus, Everett area. I then drove to Morton St. in Winthrop, which gives a nice view of Revere. Photos of daytime lightning are very difficult to achieve, especially during haze and heavy rain, so this was not turning out too well for me. I did, however, notice the very turbulent sky above Revere. I snapped a few photos. Shortly thereafter I got a tip that Revere had a lot of damage near the lower Broadway area, near city hall. I headed out toward Broadway and Tafts St., arriving in short order. The extent of the damage was shocking. I started taking photos and then moved toward Revere Beach Parkway. There I saw several homes with rooftops blown off. It was then, after seeing the angle of the fallen trees and calling up a high school weather class memory, that I guessed it might have been a tornado that socked this area. If fallen trees are angled in several different angles, then most likely it was a tornado. If the trees are lined up in the same way, then it was straight line winds that tore through the area. Here are some of the cloud formations just prior to, and after the tornado, and also the damage caused by it. 











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              It was 11 years ago today that Christine Desrochers-Broderick, clinging to the roof of her submerged car, was rescued by off-duty Somerville firefighter Michael Marino in the Assembly Square underpass at Mystic Ave. It was not long after that all three of us were contacted by The Weather Channel, to “star” in their (then) new show, Twist of Fate. Here is my blog dispatch from that day.
              I came upon this dramatic scene after completing news coverage of a long, hot, then very rainy immigration rally in Boston. The police scanner was crackling something about a person or persons stuck under the Assembly Square underpass at Mystic Ave. I drove to an area near the courthouse where I saw troopers feverishly trying to enter the water and gain access to the serious situation that was unfolding. I noticed a young couple sitting on the curb and I turned to see that their car’s roof, about an inch of it, was still visible. Within a few minutes the tunnel was almost 80% filled with water maybe 10 feet high. I had to kneel down to see what was unfolding about 70 yards into the tunnel. There I could see a woman atop of what appeared to be her car. I returned to my car to get my 800mm telephoto lens, snapped a few photos there and then ran like hell to the other side of the underpass. That is where I saw troopers Joe Kalil and Stephen Barnes and Somerville firefighters Jack Betkwith, LT Michael Anzalone and off-duty firefighter Michael Marino. I positioned myself on McGrath Highway above the rescue and pointed my 70-200 mm lens through the chain link fence. The troopers and the firefighters worked in unison to perfection. The only problem was, would my lens stay dry enough in the rain to capture the rescue? I borrowed the corner of a passerby’s dry shirt to use to clean my lens since my clothes were drenched. Lucky for me that the man didn’t think I was nuts when I asked him: “may I use your shirt to clean my lens?” Then, out the rescuers popped with one cold and wet Christine Broderick, as they guided her through the water that now contained mostly raw sewage.


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I was not planning on spending too much time, or thought, on today’s Solar Eclipse, due to a wrist fracture that I sustained covering the controversial protests on Boston Common two days ago. I decided I would try to set up my heavy gear in my Winthrop,MA driveway. With some help from my neighbor Ron, my set up of a Canon 800mm lens and a large tripod was complete with seconds to spare before the solar show. Stuart Cahill, a colleague of mine at the Boston Herald newspaper, had already made me an improvised solar filter for my large lens, and I had already obtained nerdy solar glasses for my eyes. I was amazed at how good the filter worked on my lens. I started to shoot photos every 4 minutes, or so, and was excited with what I had. There was one thing that I really wanted, though. I had expected that there would be an opportunity to get a high altitude airliner through the sun, or more correctly stated, through my view of the sun. I was not disappointed, though it came very late in the eclipse, and did just barely sneak into my view of the sun. I watched as one after another high altitude airliner, most flying from Europe to NYC, just missed the sun. I remember thinking that I wished air traffic controllers in Nashua,NH., would turn them just a little for me. It was getting late and clouds and haze were moving in front of my view of the sun. I noticed the flight tracking systems that I use, flightradar24 and planefinder, were showing an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, over the Massachusetts/NH border, and heading my way. The plane was at a flight level of 40,000′ and traveling at 446 knots. The Etihad Airlines plane was flying from Abu Dahbi to New York city. It was almost directly over Tufts University when I watched as the plane disappeared into the blinding rays of the sun. I shot a heavy handed burst of several photos. I only knew of my success as I looked at the back of the Canon digital camera a few seconds after the moment of impact. The spots on the sun are not dust, they are sun spots, or storms on the sun itself as I understand it. This was a once in a lifetime photo for me, on a couple of fronts. First, and most important, was the rarity of today’s solar eclipse. Second, this is the first time I have photographed an airplane thru the sun, as I usually concentrate my aviation photography on the moon and an airplane, as seen in my aviation photo link above. Also, this is the first time I have captured the A380 thru the sun or the moon. The sky is black due to the heavy filter I was using to safely photograph the sun.
For print sales

08/21/17-Winthrop,MA. With just a few minutes left before today’s rare solar eclipse ends, an Etihad Airlines, Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, flies across my view of the disk of the sun en route to New York city from Abu Dhabi. Photo by Mark Garfinkel




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Neil Fingleton, “Game of Thrones” actor and one of the tallest people in the world at 7 feet 7 inches, died yesterday at the age of 36, reportedly of a heart attack. See Worcester Telegram story here. In 1999, I spent several weeks with Neil as he completed his senior season on Worcester’s Holy Name High School basketball team. I had heard about Neil and wanted to do a picture story/photo essay about him for the Boston Herald. I took my idea and petitioned his coach, Worcester sport’s legend J.P. Ricciardi, who later became a Major League Baseball executive. I met with Coach Ricciardi at a coffee shop in Worcester. He made it clear that he did not want Neil’s height to be exploited. I was given a thumbs up to meet Neil and to get his blessing on the project. He was all in. Neil was a bit shy at first, but we quickly took a liking to each other. The last time I spoke to him, he had called me at the Herald in 2007 or 2008 and alerted me to his new career in the entertainment business. He said he was traveling to Boston to promote a show he was in, and asked if I wanted to cover the event for the Herald. We never connected. Below are my photographs from my time with Neil. May he rest in peace. 

Two years ago 18 year old Neil Fingleton traveled to Worcester,MA. from his home in Durham, England to learn a game he had never played. In several days he will have come full circle when he announces his decision to accept a full Basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

Running sprints in the hallways of Holy Name High in Worcester into the night…

Legendary Worcester area athlete and former Celt’s player Togo Palazzi works with Neil. Togo says about the “work in progress”, “it’s a labor of love” (working with Neil) .

“Doin’ Steps” is the term affectionately known for the exercise that was developed by school strength coach Tony Elia.

In his room which has a taste of home Union Jack flag on the wall, hours after deciding on a full scholarship to University of North Carolina, Neil receives congratulations from a friend. 

Hours before choosing UNC over Wake Forest, Neil consults with Asst. Holy Name hoop coach Tom Clark (Left) and head coach J.P Ricciardi.

Long hours at the gym have paid off for Neil as he dunks during practice.

Going thru the workout developed by Holy Name strength coach Tony Elia, teammates of Neil’s come up short during a flexibility drill.

Neil Fingleton going thru the training paces with fellow teammate A.J. at Holy Name High in Worcester.

Neil relaxes with friends in the Holy Name Cafeteria hours before the first game of the season. 

Before his 1st game of the Holy Name High School schedule, Neil gathers his thoughts alone in the locker room.

1st game of the year vs Worcester South.

Neil leaves school the day after making his choice to accept a full scholarship at University of North Carolina.



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I was a witness to many memorable events in 2016, from several nasty building fires, to extreme weather, to a tragic trench collapse. Here are some of these moments. Photos taken on and off my Boston Herald news photographer shift. Thank you to the Herald, and to my subjects, many of whom are first responders.

December 16, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

ABOVE: 04/28/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston firefighter stretches a hose toward a large brush fire in the Fenway section of the city, at the rear of City of Boston’s fire alarm office.

ABOVE: October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Construction worker Steven Smith pleads for help from others shortly after two workers were buried under water and soot as a trench collapse and water leak filled the hole they were working in on Boston’s Dartmouth St., Friday afternoon. The two workers were killed.

ABOVE: 05/26/2016-Boston,MA. Students peer at some of the 410 Charcoal drawings of the graduating seniors of Boston Latin’s Class of 2016, as they hang in the halls of the school. Philip Sossou, a graduating senior from Roslindale, started working on the drawings in February

ABOVE: 07/14/2016. The evening commute, Boston Logan style.

ABOVE: 05/19/2016-Boston,MA. The ocean liner Anthem of the Seas enters Boston Harbor, just after Thursday morning’s sunrise.

ABOVE: 04/21/2016-Winthrop,MA The sunrises as the moon sets over the city of Boston.

ABOVE: 04/02/2016-Winthrop,MA. Rooftop arrival.

ABOVE: 02/24/2016-Boston,MA Boston EMS’ Manuel Tejeda helps the victim of a car accident on D St.

ABOVE: 07/26/2016-Boston,MA. A Boston firefighter takes a breather at Tuesday afternoon’s multiple alarm fire at 87 Sawyer Ave. in Dorchester.

ABOVE: 08/09/2016- Sammy, of Winthrop,MA

ABOVE: 06/04/2016. Belmont,MA A turkey strolls along Belmont Hill.

ABOVE: 07/26/2016-Boston,MA. A tenant of 87 Sawyer Ave. in Dorchester, arrives home in tears, as her home burns Tuesday afternoon.

ABOVE: 06/01/2016-Winthrop,MA The very large Antonov 124 cargo plane, soars over Boston.

ABOVE: 09/08/2016-Winthrop,MA A Hummingbird Moth is seen tonight, refueling on some plants.

ABOVE: 07/20/2016-Boston,MA Boston Light frames tonight’s Super Moon rising.

ABOVE: 12/14/2016-Winthrop,MA. A high altitude airliner flying from Newark to Stockholm flies through a thin layer of haze as tonight’s moon rises. The plane was traveling at 605 knots and at 32,000′.

ABOVE: 10/15/2016-Winthrop,MA. An airliner, departing from Boston’s Logan airport, frames tonight’s Super Moon

ABOVE: 03/30/2016-Boston,MA Morning departure from Boston’s Logan airport as the moon sets in the background.

ABOVE: 09/16/2016-Boston,MA. The full Harvest moon rises over Boston Harbor’s Graves Light Friday evening.

ABOVE: 11/23/2016-Boston,MA. A very happy Paulina Lopez, age 10 years, is released from Franciscan ChildrenÕs in Brighton after being treated for a debilitating case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis. She heads home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. With her is her physical therapist Marcela Donat

ABOVE: 11/30/2016-Boston,MA. A man navigates Knapp Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood after a water main break flooded the area, shortly after 5:30am Wednesday morning. The Boston Water & Sewer Commission was in the process of shutting down the leak at 6am.

ABOVE: 12/03/2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon.

ABOVE: 12/03/2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon.

ABOVE: 07/21/2016-Boston,MA. Boston firefighters work at the scene of a 6-alarm fire on Bunker Hill St. in Charlestown, Thursday afternoon.

ABOVE: 12/06/2016-Malden,MA. Firefighters work at a 3 alarm fire at 381 Medford St. late Tuesday morning.

ABOVE: 03/05/16-Boston,MA A worker from a restoration/cleaning company is seen inside a fire-damaged apartment at 380 Talbot Ave. Saturday morning, hours after a fire killed a resident there.

ABOVE: 07/23/2016-Winthrop,MA A severe thunderstorm exits the coast at Winthrop Shore Drive after doing damage to homes, cars, and many trees.

ABOVE: 11/23/2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon.

ABOVE: 08/14/2016-Winthrop,MA A split-second burst of several lightning bolts is seen over Graves Light during an early morning thunderstorm.

ABOVE: 12/15/2016-Stoneham,MA. Firefighters work at the scene of a 2 alarm fire at 154 North St., late Thursday morning.

ABOVE: 12/16/2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

ABOVE: 03/18/2016. Winthrop,MA. Winter surfing.

ABOVE: 03/26/2016-Boston,MA. Mayor Martin J. Walsh poses for a photo with 6 year old twins Aiden, at left, and Austin, prior to the annual Sisters of Saint Joseph Easter Egg Roll in Brighton, Saturday morning.

ABOVE: 11/17/2016-East Boston. Birds of a feather.

ABOVE: 02/14/2016-Winthrop,MA. Seasmoke rises above the Atlantic as Boston temperatures dipped to several degrees fahrenheit below zero Sunday morning.

ABOVE: 12/16/2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

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Frigid temperatures and a dangerous windchill hampered Boston firefighters yesterday at the scene of a 6-alarm fire. The building housed 11 residents and a laundromat, which was featured in the Ben Affleck movie, “The Town. My photos were part of my coverage as a staff news photographer at the Boston Herald.
Also, two Go-Fund-Me webpages have been established —-> here & here.

December 16, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters battle fire and ice during this morning’s frigid 6 alarm fire in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.



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16 years ago this hour: 5 Fatality Newton Fire. Feb. 9, 2000

I was working my shift at the Boston Herald on a sunny afternoon when the police scanners reported a fire in an office building on Route 9 in Newton. As I approached the building I knew this was not going to be an ordinary event. Heavy smoke filled the sky near the Chestnut Hill Mall as the building, packed with workers, exploded in fire. Five people died in the blaze even as Brookline and Newton fire companies did amazing and heroic work that day. This the site of the new Wegman’s, etc. See my photos below. 

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Tomorrow marks the 16th anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage & Warehouse Company fire that killed six firefighters. The dead included: FF Jeremiah Lucey, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey, James Lyons III, Joseph McGuirk, and fire Lt. Thomas Spencer. Some of my photos from that week are seen below, as I was on assignment for the Boston Herald.

The search goes on for the remaining missing Worcester Firefighters.

The search goes on for the remaining missing Worcester Firefighters.


As the procession passes by the home Fire Station of 2 of the dead Worcester Firefighters, mutual aid firefighters (from No. Reading and Marblehead) salute back from on top of Marblehead Fire Engine. Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel

As the procession passes by the home Fire Station of 2 of the dead Worcester Firefighters, mutual aid firefighters (from No. Reading and Marblehead) salute back from on top of Marblehead Fire Engine.
Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel



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I have received questions about my settings for this type of photograph. The first photo, at top, was photographed last night, Sunday October 18, at 6:06pm. It is Aer Lingus flight EIN 139, a Dublin to Boston Airbus A330. I used a Canon camera and a 100-400mm lens at 176mm. Speed was ISO/ASA 1000. Shutter speed 1/400th of a second at F5 aperture.
I set the camera fire 5 bursts on the same frame. A 5 multiple exposure photo, with each snap at 1.2 second intervals. A tripod is a must as the city skyline will actually be photographed 5 separate, and thus has to be lined up the same each time.  
The bottom photo, a 6 image multiple exposure, was snapped on Saturday night at 5:49pm. ISO/ASA 320 with a lens of 200mm. Shutter speed of 1/320th of a second at F5, with a 1.5 second interval between snaps. These photo are a lot of fun, especially when the wind kicked up and the jet lands somewhat sideways.


09/21/2015-Boston,MA. A vigil for the young girl who became know as Baby Doe before being identified as Bella Bond, is underway at Deer Island, near the spot where her lifeless body was found June 25. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel


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