Gary Schemel in 1964

Gary Schemel 1964When I photographed a casual Gary Schemel, right, chatting casually with a friend in the cafeteria in 1964 there was no way of knowing that he would be the first Central High School student to die in Vietnam.

When this picture was taken, the all-conference athlete, described by a teammate as “tough as steel” would have just about a year to live. He was born January 4, 1946, and died in Quang Tin Province September 26, 1965.

It’s worth going back to an earlier post I did about Gary to read the many comments from his friends, teammates and classmates. Robert Taylor, also in the Class of 1964, was killed in Dinh Tuong Province March 8, 1968.

A Pie Sale?

Girardot picture saleThe negative sleeve said “Pie sale, but I couldn’t imagine a pie sale generating this big a crowd.

Well, it turned out to be either a piece of bad handwriting on my part (or a piece of bad reading). It actually said “pic sale,” as in “picture sale.” The Girardot yearbook staff was selling leftover photos after the final deadline was met, setting off a mad scramble.

My internal facial recognition software in woefully inadequate. Wife Lila and her yearbooks help put some names to faces – Jane Coile and Joe Snell, for two. The girl in the middle who is looking at the camera is driving me crazy. I know her face, but I can’t think of her name to save myself.

Please excuse the dust spots

Girardot picture saleThe film was in pretty bad shape, so I gave up after getting most of the spots off faces. (Sorry for missing a spot on your nose, Margaret.)

There’s an interesting mix of students here. I think Rick Meinz, Class of ’64 is on the left, Joe Snell, Class of 65 has his back to the camera, and Margaret Randol and Bill East, Class of ’66 are on the right.

Photographic feeding frenzy

Girardot picture saleI can’t believe how many people showed up to look through the photos. Names I am willing to guess on include Diane Meystedt, Jane Coile, Bob Swaim and Susan Welker. You’re going to have to fill in the rest.

You can make the photos larger by clicking on them.