July 28, 2015

The Smile Fixer

Dr. Hollis 

I felt a strong need to write this note of thanks to you and your staff. I recently found myself sitting at my laptop holding my front tooth in the palm of my hand. A home plumbing repair and a hissy fit gone bad were the cause of its original demise in the 90's. My then-favorite-dentist, Dr. Bauman came to my rescue and sculptured a "temp" that lasted over 20 years. Jump ahead to 2015 and I again look like I just finished a Blackhawks-Bruin's Game 7.  

I look at the tooth in my hand and say to myself, "gosh darn it" or something to that effect. What am I going to do now? 

Who you gonna call?

Dr. Hollis, that's who.

That's what he does. At least that's what his webpage says. 

Boy, does he. 

I knew the minute you handed me a mirror and showed me the result of the two hour rescue you and Brea performed on my smile that I would be writing this letter. It was a given. 

It was two hours of squirming and head nodding. 

Discomfort yes. 


Not a hint. 

Amazement at the result? 

Damn straight! 

When you finished and flashed that Men's Warehouse, "You're going to like the way you look," smirk I was skeptical. When I saw your smile-repair in that mirror I knew you were both in the right profession and I'm grateful. 

Granted, I don't possess a set of piano keys but they're mine. I've been in the milk business for 30 years; I get up at 4am every morning; I've sipped a lot of coffee. 

What pleases the eye more, a worn and weathered hay barn or a shiny new galvanized one? 

The point of this letter is simple. 

It's a thank-you/confirmation letter. 

You and your entire staff picked the right jobs. 

I'm proof of it.

I hope your smiles reading this are as genuine as mine was writing it. 


"Smiling" John Greenwood

July 21, 2015

Fighting Back

Fighting Back
By John R. Greenwood

dry tires and rusty bolts

frayed wires 
squeaky joints
get away from me

spit and sputter
swear and mutter
go to hell

faded paint
lights so faint
turn the key
and you’ll see

all the life 

still left in me

July 18, 2015

I Found The Owner Of Page 253

I Found The Owner Of Page 253 
By John R. Greenwood

The title of this post is deceiving. I did not actually find the owner of the painting on page #253 in Jack Lewis’s book “The Hudson River,” they found me. It’s one more great story placed at my feet by the magic of this book. 

For readers of this blog who’ve been following my Jack Lewis journey over the last few years you know how excited I get when I collect another piece to the Jack Lewis puzzle. Trust that my lack of writing on the subject is not indicative of my interest in the subject. Work and personal responsibility have kept my posts and investigations at a minimum.

Until this week.

I recently posted some photographs of our town’s community celebration called Parkfest. It is a one day event full of activities for town residents. It has a carnival flair and it provided some great photo opportunities. When I got home the day after posting the photographs there was a comment unrelated to the post at the bottom. The person leaving the comment stated they had a Jack Lewis painting and that they were having trouble contacting me through the email address I use for the blog. 

Of course I panicked knowing that someone had Jack Lewis “stuff” and they couldn’t get to me to share it. I was on the phone to tech support within seconds. The online tech was the most pleasant customer service representative ever and after telling him my story, (which he genuinely seemed to enjoy) and after exercising extreme patience with me, he solved my problem and then some. Now I had to try and contact the person who left the comment. 

It wasn’t easy.

Many people who comment on blogs do not have a blog of their own. The comment may show a profile page but that doesn’t always lead to an email address, which is what happened here. So, now I had to get my Google engine started. Before you know it I’m on a FB page of the person I think is the wife of the man who left the comment. I go to her Facebook page and leave: a message, my repaired email address, say a simple prayer, cross my missing finger and wait. 

Low and behold.

I get an an answer from another “nicest person in the world.”

This Jack Lewis thing has them falling from the sky. Jack if you’re up there listening I want you to know that just mentioning your name has produced the nicest people this world has to offer; that includes your daughters. Having made phone contact with them has shown me why this entire journey has been blessed with goodwill and cooperation. It’s like a cloud filled with Jack’s spirit is drifting along side me during this discovery of his work. 

Back to my newest “nicest person in the world.” 

I asked her if I could share her story. She said certainly, but would I leave out her last name. 

Here’s Barbara’s, “Jack Lewis” story:

*Barbara’s Email:
“My name is Barbara. I came across your blog about Delaware artist, Jack Lewis. I have an original painting by him, entitled, “MacDougal Alley” (Greenwich Village, New York City) and I also purchased his book, “The Hudson River…Its  a signed copy. So pleased when I realized my painting was on page #253 of the book. I’ve had both for about 10 years and every once in awhile I search the internet for any new information I can find about him. That’s how I found your blog. I knew he had passed a few years ago in York Maine. I loved reading all the information about Jack Lewis on your Blog… Thank you…. Love my painting! 

John (Me) - I responded immediately and expressed my unstoppable desire to know the story of Barbara’s discovery. 

Barbara -
“You are not going to believe where I purchased “MacDougal Alley” ….. A garage sale!! 
I knew nothing about Jack Lewis at the moment I spotted it, my heart started pounding, because I knew it was a GOOD one! I love art and have bought many nice pieces at various garage sales over the years. 

I paid $6.00!! 

Yes, $6.00. Am I lucky or what??? 

When I brought the painting home, I started researching. I found out as much information as I could. That’s when I found his Hudson River book. I had an appraiser come in and look at the painting.”

Barbara now has the painting insured for many more zero’s than $6.00 has. 

I did edit some of our conversation for privacy and respectful reasons. Barbara was gracious and kind by sharing her story. I did not want to place her trust in me at risk. Don’t forget we have never met and only had these brief conversations within a few day period. 

I included the black and white image from Jack’s book along with the accompanying page that mirrors Jack’s interpretation of what he was painting that day. The colored image is a simple photograph of Barbara’s painting in a frame. She apologized for the reflection from the glass. 

With or without the reflection seeing the second original painting to come from this book will definitely highlight the summer of 2015 and it’s only mid July. 

Thank you Barbara, Jack, and “The Hudson River.” 

Time to turn another page…

July 12, 2015

Wilton N.Y. Parkfest 2015

Wilton N.Y. Parkfest  2015
Photographs By John R. Greenwood


"Summer Life"

"The people all stopped and stared"

"Life is a Roller Coaster ride" 

"Behind Door #1"


"Hunger Strike"

"Behind the Condiments" 

"Its been a long days night" 

"Waiting for the Fireworks" 

"Window Shopping" 

"Cashing Out" 

July 11, 2015

Swimming Outside The Buoys

Swimming Outside The Buoys
By John R. Greenwood

Swimming outside the buoys invigorates the spirit. 

Dancing with danger tempts the soul. 

Looking at boundaries from the outside injects the senses with adrenaline and places the mind on high-alert. 

That is what I see here. 

I live inside the buoys; where it's safe. I've never been the one to dive off the high bank or run to the line at the thrill ride. No, I was the one standing in the shadows watching. But for the uncontrollable full throttle blast down a country road on a motorcycle my experience outside the buoys has been from the bank. 

That is what I felt when I took this simple photograph. 

Always being the one to hesitate before acting has its benefits; I'm still here. The peril to swimming outside the buoys is  real. There's always a chance you won't return. I never watch videos of "Extreme Anything" and wish that was me. I'm happy being 'me' within the buoys--mostly safe, mostly happy, always within sight of shore and within earshot of comfortable. 

That's who I am. 

Sometimes it takes the same courage of those outside the buoys for those on the inside to say that out loud. 

That's who I try to be. 

I don't need a bungee jump to prove anything to anyone. I know who I am and what makes me tick. 

I enjoy the thrill and freedom of not having to prove anything to anybody. I have one person to impress and she's known since 1974 that the most dangerous thing I do involves power tools. 

What triggered this piece first was the photo. The second was watching the nightly news. Another high altitude story of rescue and recovery got me thinking about the lives of those having to risk their lives because others choose to risk their own. At whose expense is "Extreme Anything" enough? I often wonder why, in order to "feel alive," we need to "flirt with death?" 

To me it's simply turned into one-upmanship. I can out scare, out thrill, out do you, and I'll do it until I break a body part. 

I'll show you. 

"Big whup."

Dare instead to be different, to stand alone among strangers and declare, "I'm fine right where I am, here within the buoys, in water to my knees, not my neck." 

No matter which side of the buoys you swim on, it's your choice and your responsibility, not someone else's. 

Swim safe wherever it might be, it's a jungle out there. 

July 01, 2015

Love At Stewart's

Love At Stewart's 
By John R. Greenwood

A love-sided booth captures my eye and time comes to a stand still. A gentle cowboy comforts his girl. Two young hearts bridge the years with happy memories of Saturday night dances and Sunday rides in the country. I hear George Jones in the distance as for better or for worse these two spirits melt into one sweet scene. I imagine the history shared and storms weathered, the sick children and broken cars, the mortgages, the buried friends, the anniversary flowers left for days on the dining room table. I smile from behind and without words I thank them for reminding me that there is still hope for the world—still hope for love within it. 

Love this thick in a convenience store booth, can never be broken.