October 03, 2014


By John R. Greenwood

"Camera Shenanigans"
It was a long day that began when the alarm on my Ipod started chiming at 3am. I was on the first floor of the Daze Inn just off the Adirondack Northway in Plattsburgh. I would spend the next twelve hours riding with a tractor trailer driver making his deliveries in the surrounding area. It was the first day of October and Mother Nature was dressed to the nines. When our day was over I headed back to the motel. 

"No Caption Needed"
There were still a couple hours of daylight left so I made a last minute detour toward Lake Champlain to see if I could grab a picture or two before calling it a day. As I weaved my way toward the waterfront I passed a used-book store called the "Corner Stone Bookshop". It actually yelled at me to pull the car over and come in. Since stumbling across Jack Lewis's, "The Hudson River" book a few years ago at the Lyrical Ballad Bookstore I am drawn to used bookstores like a moth to a flame. I always feel as though there's a book in peril and its up to me to rescue it from a life of shelf stagnancy. The Corner Stone was packed tight with everything from old Vermont Life magazines to an introduction to Winslow Homer. I dug in. 

"Book Mo-Deal" 
After scouring the shelves for awhile I realized daylight was fading and if I wanted a view of the lake I needed to grab my books and go. I left with three great buys for a total of $12.00. I had a simple book of Winslow Homer's work, a 1974 Vermont Life Magazine, and a Time-Life book called, "Turbulent Years, The 60's." They provided a cross section of my life and my interests.  

George, Paul, Ringo, and John
What happens to me is an insatiable need to find stimulation in the form of artistic expression. If I go more than a few days without it I get antsy. I begin sniffing out inspiration anywhere I can. It might be a bookstore or a grocery store. When you're craving a creative workout you don't stop until you find something that satisfies that hunger, but like Chinese take-out you're starving again a few hours later. 

Homer's "Snap The Whip" (1872)
Because I hadn't posted anything new in over two weeks I was as desperate as George Bailey and Uncle Billy. I was getting logy and distant and clinging to the hope that a town full of college students, a bookstore, and the end of a long day might provide a little CPR. The next stop was the waterfront. 

Things on the dock were quiet. The day was as tired as I was. I got the feeling the waterfront was waiting for inspiration from me more that the other way around. 

"Spoken Silence" 
Even this orphaned bike seemed to be in need of a twenty-foot wheelie and a five-foot skid. I said hello and goodbye all in the same sentence. My monkey-mind wasn't full but at least I knew it was still working. Off for slice of pizza, a cold beer and another motel night away from home. 


  1. Lovely… I too am a used book store junkie. I also can't wait for your post detailing your visit with Kathleen….

  2. Hmm - Vermont Life. I grew up in Weston. I love the last photo - it is exquisite.

  3. You sure know how to find the good stuff, wherever you may be.