Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Through rain, sleet, snow and a global pandemic, Marty Hersam has presented us with #theTree. Every Sunday, the New Canaan, Connecticut native makes the 20-minute trek from his home in
Rowayton to Sherwood Island in Westport to photograph a tree that was social distancing
long before that became part of our consciousness.

"I first noticed this lone tree on October 15, 2017, " said Hersam, a longtime media executive.
"At the right angle it seemed very solitary and its leaves were turning reddish against a gray
sky. I took a picture of it, posted it, and didn't think much of it. Then on April 1, 2018, I noticed
it again and started photographing it on Sunday mornings since then."

Hersam's very first picture of #theTree. October 15, 2017

For those scoring at home, that's more than 100 consecutive Sunday mornings in a row - and counting. Hersam employs an iPhone 11 Pro for his pictures and always frames the #theTree
between 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

"The season changes to the sun's angle is the trick of the light," he said. "Then the weather
paints the sky something different each week while the tree is the one constant. It feels different
every Sunday."

To many people, taking a picture of the same tree every week might seem a little boring, but
Hersam sees it as an opportunity to create something truly unique.

"The tree is unremarkable until you look at it from the right angle," he said. "Then it appears
to be standing all alone against the expanse of Long Island Sound. I enjoy the challenge of
visually expressing that each week."

Hersam's favorite picture of #theTree
Hersam and his pictures have attracted quite a following on social media and while he gets
a rush out of putting his artistic self on a platform for everyone to see, he also uses the
opportunity for a little self-improvement.

"I go to Sherwood Island by myself every Sunday morning as a way to clear my head, feel the
salt air and find a little gratitude," said Hersam. "I love the routine of my Sunday mornings.
I enjoy that space and time."

Hersam's following not only gets a wonderful picture of #theTree every Sunday, but also a
meaningful quote that offers a window into his heart, mind, and soul.

"Without mountains, we might find ourselves relieved the we can avoid the pain
of the ascent, but we will forever miss the thrill of the summit. And in such a terribly
scandalous trade-off, it is the absence of  pain that becomes the thief of life."

-Craig Lounsbrough-


"The quotations are really meant as a diary to myself," he said. "It's kind of like a mile marker
for what might have been happening in my life that week, something that moved me or
motivated me."

Stay motivated, Marty. We love your pictures of #theTree.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


According to researchers out of Princeton University, people make judgments about such 
things as trustworthiness, competence, and likability within a fraction of a second 
after seeing someone's face.

That study was seemingly confirmed in "The Last Dance", the wildly spectacular documentary
about Michael Jordan and the dynasty of the Chicago Bulls.  Oh, everybody has always 
loved Jordan at first blush, except maybe that basketball coach who cut Jordan 
from the team during his sophomore year in high school, -MJ has always been magnetic 
and somebody that demands your attention.

No, I'm talking about Jerry Krause, who was made out to be a villian in the documentary. 
Krause, the Bulls general manager, didn't make a good first impression, and for a society 
that often judges people by physical appearance, Krause never had a chance. Let's just 
say, Krause wasn't genetically gifted. He was short, heavy and just didn't look the 
part of an executive, especially in a sport defined by its players who are tall and gifted
by the gods with overflowing talent and chiseled bodies. Pat Riley he was not.

Jordan openly mocked Krause about his height saying that he shouldn't be smoking a cigar
because it could "stunt his growth." Scottie Pippen, who wanted his contract renegotiated,
dressed down Krause on the team bus. I'm fairly certain Krause had been made fun of
his entire life just because of his appearance. As much as we all want to think differently,
we are still a society that bullies, harasses, mocks, and makes judgements about people
just because of the way they look. Don't believe me? Go spend five minutes
on Twitter.

Using a description from the movie, "Moneyball", where baseball scouts often judged prospects
on whether or not they had a "good face," - well, Krause certainly didn't have it. And
the millions of people watching "The Last Dance",  made judgements about Krause just
because of the way he looked. And like a lot of those baseball scouts in "Moneyball", people
weredead wrong about Krause.

The bottom line and the thing Krause should be judged on, is his record which includes
the six NBA titles he helped bring to Chicago.  As much as people want to say it
was all Michael Jordan,  it wasn't. Krause was the architect of that dynasty. The moves
 he made were worthy of being a first ballot Hall of Famer - it was blasphemous Krause
was rejected time and time again before finally being elected into the Hall of Fame.
in 2017.  In fact, he didn't get into the Hall of Fame until after died, which is sad.

I'm fairly certain the people who watched "The Last Dance" don't even know Krause
is in the Hall of Fame. Judging by how he was portrayed in that documentary, that's not

People shouldn't have judged Krause on his appearance, they should've made up their
mind by seeing what he did to construct that dynasty. His moves were brilliant.

Krause's first move as the Bulls GM was hiring Tex Winter as an assistant coach.
Winter didn't invent the Triangle offense, but he perfected it and made the other
coaches understand it.

Trading for Scottie Pippen and drafting Horace Grant on the same day in 1987 was
pure brilliance. Nobody heard of Pippen, who played for some tiny school in
Arkansas, yet it was Krause who saw the raw talent of Pippen that became, well,

Krause fired Doug Collins, who was running seemingly every play through Michael
Jordan, despite getting the team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Krause didn't want
a team that was Jordan and then everybody else. He wanted a true team where everybody
was involved. Krause replaced Collins with Jackson, who turned out to be Zen master
for that team

Krause surrounded Jordan with great talent: Pippen, Tony Kucoc, Grant, Rodman,
Bill Cartwright, Steve Kerr, John Paxon, Ron Harper, and many others. 

People wanted to vilify Krause for breaking up the Bulls and a bid for a seventh 
NBA title and that may be unfair. Krause worked for Jerry Reinsdorf, a savvy businessman,
who has been labeled cheap by many people throughout sports. Perhaps, Krause was
just following orders from the boss.

Oh, sure, Krause made some mistakes, like displaying his public infatuation with
Tim Floyd, who had been a college coach at Iowa State and the ultimate successor (failure)
to Jackson. And he sparred regularly with the media - and nobody wins with the media
when that happens, The pens, microphones, and cameras have always been mightier
than the sword and they stuck it to Krause because they made it personal.

Every general manager in sports makes mistakes, just look at the team you follow.
Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees has made a ton of them - Jacoby Elsbury,
Kei Igawan, Carl Pavano just to name a few. They happen. Krause didn't make very
many of them and he has six titles to prove it.

Krause wasn't around to defend himself against the comments made against him
and how he was portrayed in "The Last Dance". All he has his record - which should
be more than enough to tell his story. It's a shame that in this society, the facts and
record don't always matter - image still does. And Krause didn't have it and he was
judged harshly because of it.

In Krause's obituary, there should've been a line about how Krause being one of the
greatest GM's of all-time in any sport because that should be part of his record,
even if society wanted to judge him just because of the way he looked. And that's sad,
real sad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


I didn't know Jamie Wing well enough to call him a good friend, but I did spend enough
time with him to realize he was a great, great man.

Jamie died suddenly a year ago on May 12, 2019. He was just 42-years-old.

He was bright, funny, athletic, and an incredible family man - extremely dedicated
to his wonderful wife, Danielle, and two beautiful young daughters, Julia and Caroline,
who lit up the neighborhood with their effervescent personalities.

Jamie always made sure that every day was like Christmas for his daughters.
There were trips to the zoo, parks, lakes, mountains, and seemingly every place in
between. They fished, they camped, they kayaked and did just about everything
labeled an adventure, together. Jamie adored Julia and Caroline, who is a spitting
image of him.

Jamie had everything - the beautiful family, the great job, and the biggest house on
the block. I'd often say to myself,  "Man, this cat has his s%#t together."

We were neighbors for about six years, but didn't see each other all that often for two
people who only lived 50 yards from one another. Jamie was off to work before the
crack of dawn and I was working second shift at the time. When we did see each
other, it was mostly on weekends, but those moments where we said "hello", usually
turned into very long conversations.

Jamie and I had one great thing in common: Boston sports. Jamie grew up in Burlington,
Massachusetts and like most people from New England -  he was a die hard Sox, Patriots,
Celtics, and Bruins fan. I lived and worked in Boston for about four years and covered
all those teams for NESN, the regional sports network. We always had a lot to talk about.

He wasn't your typical Boston sports fan, you know, the ones who believe their teams
are the only ones that matter or exist. He didn't have the knee-jerk  overreaction to every
loss suffered by the hometown team. (His family may be getting a chuckle out of
that one.) Jamie was more measured in his reactions, although, I  would've liked to have
taken his temperature when he watched the Patriots go down to the Atlanta Falcons 28-3
in third quarter of the Super Bowl that he attended. And I would've loved to have seen his
reaction after his beloved Patriots pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

We had our "deep" - wink, wink, conversations about  Brady, Belichick, and the
state of the team.  We'd go on and on until one of us realized that we were spending
way too much time talking about stuff that we had absolutely nothing to do with -
then it was a quick "see ya" until our next meeting and conversation about Boston

Life is not fair and it can be downright cruel. Jamie was taken from his family and this
world far too soon and for no good reason. I know he would be proud of the strength
and resiliency that his wife, Danielle, has shown. She has been amazing.  Her life
changed in the blink of an eye, leaving her alone to raise her two young daughters,
during a time, especially now, that is downright scary for everybody.

Jamie, it's been a year since you left us - we miss you, brother. You were one helluva man.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Not sure when all these national (fill-in the blank) days became such a big thing,
but we usually find out about them as soon as we log onto our beloved social 
media accounts every day.

Cookies, tequilia, puppies, cars, legos - there seems to be a day for everything under
the sun. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are always  flooded with these "national days" 
with corresponding photos.

"Hey, it's national puppy day! Here's a pic with me and my pup named Brody!"

"It's national beer day! Just look at this picture of me funneling down a half a case of
Budweiser! Aren't I cool?"

Believe it or not, there are actually 1,500 "national days"  according to guess who?
That's right, the National Day Calendar.

And yeah, these "national days" are cool in their own little way but most don't mean 
much and are forgotten in the amount of time it takes to scroll down to the next photo 
on the news feed or to click on  link to the story that blisters Trump for what he said,
how he acted and the business of his that failed 20 years ago.

May 6, 2020  means something. Actually, it means a lot. It's national nurses day,  
honoring the all-stars in hospitals, clinics, and medical offices that do so much for us.

It's sad in a way that it's taken this global pandemic to truly appreciate what all these
frontline workers do for others every single day. They are working double-shifts in just
horrific conditions to help others. They are putting their lives on the line to help in
saving the lives of people who are battling a faceless but brutal enemy that has put
this world on pause. 

In reality, this is what they do every single day on the job and the pressure is
always there. Make a mistake in your job and you'll probably get another chance.
If a nurse makes a mistake, it could be the end of another person's life.

Why has it taken so long to really appreciate the nurses who do so much? Maybe 
it's because when we or a loved one goes into a  hospital, we just want to be
relieved of our pain or the pain of a family member,  that we just become
oblivious to what's going on around us and all that the nurses are trying to do
for us. I get that.

Perhaps, it's like football where nurses are the offensive linemen who do all
the dirty work, making sacrifices while not seeking any credit for the job they
do. The doctors - the quarterbacks of the operation, always seem to get the 
glory and the spotlight every single day.

Let's face it. Nurses have to do some really gnarly stuff - drawing blood, wiping
things, cleaing bedpans, inserting enimas, etc., - it's not easy. They are not only
dealing with the  pain and emotions of you and your family, but the ones in the
next room and the ten rooms after that.

Then they have to come back and do it all over again the next day. Lather, rinse,
and repeat. Every single day. And then there is dealing with death which doesn't
get easier, no matter how many times you've seen it. It's an emotional toll that
few of us can relate to.

I realize  this is what nurses signed up for. It is part of their job. I get it. But
their jobs are far different than mine and yours. It's about life and death.

This is their day. Let's fully appreciate, honor, and respect them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


If you've never worked in television, then you'll probably never quite understand it.
Oh, sure, it looks glamourous from afar, but  if you've had an up close and personal
look at it, then you'll know it's anything but that.

At the local level, there are incredibly long hours for low pay in places that will never
be considered to be on anyone's bucket list to visit. There are late nights, early mornings,
and a lot of holidays that you have to work while your friends are cooking out, unwrapping presents, and celebrating new arrivals into this world.

But no matter where you've worked in television or how much money you made or didn't
make, you're always part  of one incredible family. And no matter where you move onto
in the business or out of it, you always have that family you shared the good and bad
times with and the incredible stories that people on the outside will never quite understand
no matter how many times you tell it to them.

On Tuesday morning around 9:00 a.m., I received an email from Jim Stewart, who had
been the chief photographer at WSEE-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania when I worked there
in the early 90's, I haven't seen Jim since I left but we've kept in touch through Facebook
over the years. He informed me that Gary Drapcho, the longtime sports director at the
station, had suffered a heart attack and was on life support.

Three hours later, I got a link from him that said  Rudy Yovich, who had worked
under Drapcho at WSEE-TV, had died suddenly. Several hours later, Drapcho would
also pass away.

Our television family lost not one, but two of its members who worked together as
at the same station at the same time and  died within 24 hours of each other.
In a year that's already been incredibly bad, this was another tsunami of emotions
that's drenching all of us.

Gary Drapcho, an icon in Erie who had been at the station for almost 36 years,
was gone at 63-years-old. Rudy Yovich left us suddenly at the age of 56.

Man, this was just cruel.

When I started my career in television in 1991, they were the first people I worked
with in the business. Gary was my mentor who taught me everything I needed to know
about the job. He was a pro's pro who guided me and stuck with me when I experienced
all the growing pains that come with being new to the business. I sucked. I knew it.
I sucked. He knew it. But he encouraged me to stay after it and told me that things
would get better with repetition.

We enjoyed a lot of laughs on our long trips to cover the Browns, Steelers, and Bills
every weekend on some brutally cold and nasty days there.  There were a lot of
early mornings and late nights traveling to and from games, but we always had
a great time working together.

Other than covering sports, we had another passion in common: golf.  During the
summers, we'd hack our way around golf courses in Erie about three days a week
before heading into work.

Rudy was a very talented anchor who possessed a booming voice, a great sense
of humor, and an unbridled passion for sports. Like many brothers in family, we had
our disagreements and "moments." Going out for a beer was never in the cards. However,
I respected his work. He was a superb shooter and an entertaining on-air personality.

Anybody that's worked in television is toughened up by the devastation they cover on
a daily basis. Death has to be reported on and while people in the business aren't
immune to it, they definitely get hardened by it. But this has shaken the entire television
family its core.

People outside of Erie television stations most likely have never heard of Drapcho and
Yovich, but they know how devastating this is for everyone in our community, our

It was the cruelest day.