Photos of readers

If you have a good photo of yourself in lockdown—or doing something interesting, to introduce yourself to other readers—by all means send it to me with a short caption (two photos max, please).

Today’s featured reader is Scott Gerum, whose pictures arrived May 1, with captions that are indented:

I’ve attached a picture of my wife Aleda and son Marc for you to post if you like.  Marc loves to see your duck pictures and hear the stories. His birthday, May 4, is close to the day of “the big hatch” and I’ll have him blow out a candle for your ducklings when the time comes.

They are about to embark on their regular morning constitutional. The picture was taken early last week and mornings in central NJ have been ridiculously cold. It is May, correct?

The walk has been a staple of their “social exclusion” due to the pandemic, which we discretely refer to as “the sickness”.  My wife is a teacher, my son a pre-k student, and getting out once or twice a day helps with remote learning.

Several times a day, they travel circular 1 or 2 miles around our neighborhood.  Both keep a reasonable pace (30 to 40 minutes for 2 miles) and Marc takes the distance in stride.  And he always reports back on the numbers of bunnies, birds, or stumps he sees.  Daddy will join them for a walk after lunch or dinner when operational levels of caffeine are no longer a concern.

So, this is how we have passed the time for exercise by Walking. Wearing clothes fit for darkest winter during what likely is the darkest spring of our lives.

Marc misses his friends and it breaks our hearts that he can’t play with or interact with anyone in a normal fashion. Although, he will still yell hello to anyone he sees, even after they’ve crossed the street!

When I asked Scott where the picture of him was, he sent one:

Caught me. I’m always behind the camera!

Will this do?

We recently got Marc a new bike and here we are celebrating.  Marc insisted his best buddy “kitty” came with us to pick up his birthday gift (check under my left arm).  I got the Lion cub toy from the Bronx Zoo ten years before I met my wife.  The toy just seemed to follow me (as if waiting for someone?). And now Marc and Kitty are inseparable!




  1. Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Marc is a nice looking boy. Sad that he cannot play with his friends. I was a child during the 1950s polio epidemic, pre-Salk. Parents were pretty panicky, but social distancing was more selective then. The cousin of a friend I played with got polio and when my parents found out they forbid me to play with my friend. So did other parents, so the poor kid had to play alone while other kids played together. That was harsh.

    • Scott Gerum
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the compliment.

      We (as parents) try to be safe but not harsh. What is hard is having Marc wash his hands long enough to matter (the Abc’s take about 25 seconds).

      We’ve been able to zoom with some of his friends from school (which he attends remotely) so that is always a plus.


      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Rough times. There is the approach of co-isolation, where friends can come into contact so long as they and their immediate families are fastidiously out of contact with all others. I am sure there is some risk to that even so.

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Nice Raleigh bike, too. Marc will have a lot of fun with it.

        • Scott Gerum
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Marc picked the green color himself. The color choices were black and green. He was quite sure green was the color he wanted: “Because people will see me better” he said.

          • merilee
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            Smart boy!

  2. Claudia Baker
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Marc is a cutie!

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      He sure is.

  3. Janet
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    What a terrific story about Kitty. And what a beautiful family.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes, for May that is a lot of clothes. We had a couple of really weird days here as well. They are gone now and we are back to shorts.

  5. rickflick
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    This is the kind of personal report that registers with me. A family.

  6. merilee
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Lovely family.

  7. Gary
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh, man, a new bike. I think that is about the best gift a kid could get. To me it meant freedom to explore. I’m 68 years old and have a bike, but now you’ve got me thinking about getting a new one, anyway!

    • Scott Gerum
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Marc asks to ride it every day. I had to explain to Mommy that “…he rides so fast, because it is fun!”

  8. Dominic
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Nice bike! 😃

  9. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Scott, one really does not need a DNA test to find out who Marc’s father is. That smile! Uncanny resemblance 🙂

  10. Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This is hard on kids in ways that people will not know for a few years. On our street alone we have over 10 tens and you can sense when they would like to play and then when they unnaturally adopt the mindset their parents, justifiably, require of their kids, to segregate. It’s disheartening.

  11. Posted May 17, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    He looks so very proud, I’m sure he is already anticipating all the fun and adventure he will have with this bike from now on.

  12. Posted May 18, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice family!

  13. Posted May 20, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Nice-looking family. Keep up the walkin’.

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