The 1965 Girardot says that the Cape Girardeau Optimist Club honored Jim Stone and Carolyn Penzel during their first annual Youth Appreciation Week. Jim and Carolyn were given trophies.
The school was presented with a print of Wasserberger’s Sad Clown. Sounded like kind of a strange choice to me, but I barely made it out of Art 101 in college.
Who was Wasserberger?
A Google search turns up a Polish artist named Nathan Wasserberger, who was born in 1928 and is still alive, at least as recently as early 2009. He is best known for his nudes and darker works which reflect the horrors he saw when his family and friends were killed in World War II and he spent time in the Buchenwald concentration camp.
I wonder if the print is still kicking around.
Photographers hate grip ‘n grins
The bane of every smalltown newspaper photographer – and what else is a high school but a small town? – is the presentation photo.
We hate grip n grins, three-people-and-a-piece of paper, check passings with a giant check, ribbon cuttings with giant scissors, ground breakings with gold-painted shovels with ribbons tied to the handles wielded by guys wearing suits and hard hats… Geez, the list could go on and on and I get the shivers just thinking about how many of those I’ve done.
You have to keep it in perspective
The most important thing you had to keep in the back of your mind, though, was that this routine PITA assignment for you might be a big deal for the folks in the picture.
I remember when my Dad was awarded the Boy Scout’s Silver Beaver Award. It was the highest adult award you could get as an adult volunteer and Dad was very proud to have received it. The newspaper photographer did a lousy job of taking the picture; it was poorly set up and badly lit.
After that experience, I made it a point to do the absolute best job I could even if the assignment WAS a cliche.
After all, EVERYBODY is SOMEBODY’S mother, father, brother or sister.
Photographers get the last word
OK, I have to recall one check-passing I did in Athens, Ohio. A gaggle of local movers and shakers were making my life difficult by hamming it up and mugging the camera while I was shooting.
I ended up running a three-shot sequence of their antics.
The day it hit the streets, the publisher called me in and said that some of the people in the picture thought I had made them look “undignified. I promised them that I would talk with you about it. That concludes your obligatory chewing out,” he concluded.