This morning I was truckin' through downtown Northampton when whom should I come upon in front of The Green Bean but none other than the internationally famous guitar god J. Mascis of Amherst's Dinosaur Jr! Wearing the dorky glasses he always wears when trying to hide in public, at the very non-rockstar hour of nine o'clock Mascis was engaged in the very non-rockstar act of walking his kid in a stroller.
Of course my first instinct was to whip out my camera and take a pic, but I hesitated because of the child. It is one thing to take a picture of a celebrity who has their picture taken all the time, but taking a shot of somebody's kid feels to me like an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, the true paparazzi has no morals when on the hunt. Prominent Valley photographer Keith Sikes, who used to work as a paparazzi in L.A. told me once that he quit the field because he became disgusted by scenes such as paparazzi "knocking aside old ladies to get a picture of Robin Williams eating an ice cream cone."
Well, I guess I'm just too nice to be a true paparazzi, because instead of ruthlessly stealing a shot of father and baby to sell to the rock press I said, "Hey Jay, let me take your picture - just you - not the kid." He looked relieved and smiled very nicely for me - or at least as much as he ever smiles.
Then he and I went our separate ways.
Earlier today I was at Amherst College looking down from Memorial Hill on a baseball game. The view of the Holyoke range from that location is among the finest in the Valley.
Here I am with Yolanda, woman of mystery.