1967 Sagamore Ball

Sagamore Ball 04-08-1967This has to rank as one of the three worst queen crownings I ever shot. When two out of three of the main players have their eyes closed and you can’t even SEE the eyes of the third person, then you should hang it up.

The April 10, 1967, Missourian caption under this photo said Mrs. Steven (Janet Brasier) Curtis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Braiser of Robertsville, is pictured as she was crowned Sagamore Queen in festivities Saturday evening at the annual Sagamore Ball held at the Arena Building. Officiating at the coronation was, at left, Miss Sandra DeClue, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas DeClue of Hazelwood. Miss DeClue has been editor this year and last of the Sagamore, college yearbook, in which Mrs. Curtis will be featured. At right is the queen’s escort, her husband.

Convoluted Missourian style

Sagamore Ball 04-08-1967 7Married women usually didn’t didn’t have first names in The Missourian: they were always Mrs. Steven Curtis, never Janet Curtis. I’m sure it threw the society editor for a loop when she had to figure out what to call a married college woman. Even as a married woman, she was still identified as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so. Notice that her husband didn’t have his lineage traced.

The shot of them approaching the steps is a nicer picture, but I guess you had to have the actual moment of coronation.

Photographer usually tipped off

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Someone generally came up to the photographer in advance to let him know who the winner was going to be so we could be in the right place. We had to do it without being obvious. In this case, I wonder if I didn’t get the advance warning. That would be odd, because I shot for both The Sagamore and The Capaha Arrow while I was working at The Missourian.

Women with crowns

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John C. Bierk

SEMO English Professor John C. Bierk 1966This is going to sound like a contradiction that John C. Bierk would have marked me down for, but the English professor was one of the handful of instructors I remember from SEMO, but, for the life of me, I can’t recall why.

I had him for Freshman English, the year before I shot this photo of him for The Sagamore (which has been consigned to the dustbin of journalism). He wasn’t an engaging lecturer like Arthur Mattingly, the history prof who taught American History in the present tense and could make you see the enemy sneaking up over the rise. He didn’t have the easy style of speech and debate teacher Fred Goodwin.

He was a man who set high standards for his students and wouldn’t accept anything less than their best. I ran across my old SEMO transcript not long ago, but don’t know what grade he gave me. I had a 3.75 grade point average when I transferred to Ohio University, so I couldn’t have done too badly in his class.

I did quick Google and Southeast Missourian searches without finding much. One surprising thing was that he became a prolific Letters to the Editor writer after his 1957-1987 academic career. He was a lot more liberal than I would have thought from his class demeanor.

Did anyone else have him? What do you recall about him?