Clarence Page – Hall of Famer

Clarence Page - OU Post 1968I got an email from an Erin Roberts, External Relations Coordinator, Scripps College of Communications, at Ohio University this week. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Anyway, she wrote, “Andy Alexander let me know that you were a student photographer while he and Clarence Page were both writers with the Post. I am currently working on a short photo montage honoring Clarence, as he will be inducted into the Ohio Communication Hall of Fame on campus later this month. Do you have photos from that time of Clarence that might aid me in the presentation?”

I think I can come up with a few

Mark Roth - Clarence Page - Andy Alexander OU Post Staff 09-26-1968Oh, boy do I ever. Of course, when the Hall of Fame gets wind of student reporter Clarence, they may make a last-minute shuffle in their choice. Maybe I shouldn’t bring up the story about how Clarence got the publisher of The Athens Messenger hauled out of bed in the wee hours of the morning.

Clarence and the F-word

Ohio University Post staffer Clarence Page 09-26-1968Here’s Clarence’s version of what happened:

Kenner Bush, [publisher of The Athens Messenger, which printed The Post] told me the typesetters woke him up in the morning, poised to walk out rather than print my uncensored reporting of the F-word that brought a student into conflict with an 1812 Athens code. OU President Vernon Alden wasn’t happy either, to say the least. As some of you will vividly recall, our generation of Posties was pushed to the brink of expulsion and gazed over the edge before we were yanked back amid a burst of national publicity.

Clarence was born June 2, 1947, in Dayton. After his graduation from Ohio University in 1969, the Army got its mitts on him for a short period of time, then he went to work for The Chicago Tribune. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1989.

Today, a much rounder-faced Clarence shows up on political talk shows trying to bring some light to the heat.

Ohio College Newspaper Association President

Clarence Page - ONPA President 04-15-1968The Post did quite well in Ohio College Newspaper Association competition in 1968. Clarence was elected president of the association.

When Carol Towarnicky and I got together this fall to do a presentation on the birth of the student rights movement at Ohio University, we traded “remember when?” stories. She implied that she and I engaged in some shenanigans that helped get Clarence elected preisdent. She claims that she and I climbed on the roof of the hotel where the conference was being held and hoisted a bed sheet with a Page campaign slogan on it from the building’s flagpole.

Now, climbing on rooftops and water towers is something I did frequently, but I disavow any knowledge of such tomfoolery, even though I’m sure the statute of limitations has long expired.

Other OU Post stories

Clarence Page photo gallery

This collection is primarily so Erin can get a look at a young Clarence while there may still be time to arrange a more reputable Hall of Famer, one who wasn’t the first to publish the F-word in a newspaper in Athens, Ohio. Click on any image to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

SEMO’s Capaha Arrow Turns 100

Southeast Missouri State University’s student paper, The Capaha Arrow, turned 100 on Feb.l, a Missourian story by M.D. Kittle pointed out. Despite what my kids might think, I wasn’t around to help put out the inaugural issue.

I know I had a lot of photos in The Arrow, but the 1966 and 1967 Sagamore yearbooks don’t list me as being on the newspaper staff.  The photo above shows the front page of the newspaper set in type at The Missourian’s print shop. The picture on the front page is one I took, and this image appeared in The Sagamore.

Journalism Class

I had W.W. Norris, the paper’s adviser, for Journalism at SEMO. It was an easy A. I don’t remember Mr. Norris as being a particularly inspiring instructor, but we got along fine. After I’d breezed through the class exercises, he’d come over and we’d trade newspaper stories.

I wish I could dredge up some fond memories of The Arrow, but I can’t think of any memorable photos I shot there.

Part of that was because I spent as little time as possible on campus. That drove poor Missourian Editor John Blue to distraction because I was ostensibly hired as Campus Correspondent. I have a number of memos from him pointing that out and asking when I was going to get around to actually writing about SEMO doings. He’d probably have fired me if I hadn’t worn so many other hats (so cheaply).

Chief Sagamore and The Sagamore are gone

I’ve already written about the exile of Chief Sagamore for the more politically correct Rowdy Redhawk. In fact, The Capaha Arrow has dropped the “Capaha” from it’s name. It’s just The Arrow these days.

Bill East wondered what happened to The Sagamore if Chief Sagamore was deemed inappropriate. I went to the official SEMO website, put “Sagamore” in the search box and was directed to “Fun Facts,” where I was told, “The Sagamore Yearbook is no longer in production. Southeast began the Sagamore in 1912 and in 1989 decided to no longer print a University yearbook.”

So, if the university hadn’t pulled the plug on it, The Sagamore would have celebrated its centennial in 2012.

Don’t dis the subdivision editor

Wife Lila worked on The Sagamore as a subdivision editor. She rejected a print from one of the staff photographers, who sassed, back, “Let’s see if YOU can do any better.”

That was a mistake. She marched right into the darkroom and showed him that she HAD learned something from all those hours looking over my shoulder.

I normally side with the photographer, but I’d have loved to have seen that little exchange.