Timing is everything: Scene during a squall

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  • A small boat heads to the safety of shore during a brief squall over the Connecticut River at the Hadley levee last week. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Photographer
Published: 6/12/2020 3:29:17 PM

This was one of those times when you say, “I can’t not take that picture.”

Driving back from a long day in Amherst last week, I had already made one unplanned stop. Often — very often — when I’m driving through my regular haunts, on something approaching autopilot, my brain goes through a litany of remembrances. “Oh, that’s the place that such-and-such happened,” or, “there’s where I photographed what’s-their-name.” There’s one nondescript “no outlet” street off Rocky Hill Road in Hadley that, as I pass, always makes me think, “Yep, that’s the street where I photographed the newborn triplets, or … was it … that street?”

This day ended those doubts. There, in the front yard of one home, I spotted three identical signs: “Congratulations to the senior Golden Hawk that lives here.” Hopkins Academy graduates? Could it have been 17 years? I had to turn around and photograph the signs, just for myself. Later, I did a little research and, sure enough, the Kowal-Safron triplets are graduating this year. Four years ago, their brother was the class valedictorian.

By the time I got to River Drive, my little pause down memory lane had put me right on time to witness a momentary rain squall over the Connecticut River. Again, I pulled over, but it wasn’t until I reached the top of the levee that I spotted a tiny boat in the middle of the river. It was making its way in haste to the safety of shore, and in a matter of seconds it was out of view — and the sun, too, had retreated behind a cloud.

As I returned to my car, I spotted someone else just getting their camera out and thought to myself the words I often hear people tell me: “You should have been here three minutes ago.”

Kevin Gutting can be reached at kgutting@gazettenet.com.


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