The Well Has Run Dry

I’ve been sort of scratching for new content the last few days. I think it’s finally time for me to admit that the well has run dry and that I’ve reached the end of topics to explore in Cape.

The photos from my Ohio years have been exerting a powerful pull lately. It’s time for me to move on to the next era of my young life.

Time to shuffle off like Grandma Gatewood

It’s important to know when it’s time to shuffle off. This, by the way, is a photo of Grandma Gatewood, an extraordinary woman. She’s walking off into the mist in the Hocking Hills of Southern Ohio.

This’ll be the last posting. I’ll keep the site up for folks who want to read the old material.

[Editor’s note: check the calendar. It’s April First.]

If things are a bit light for the next week, it’s because I’m leaving this weekend to head back to Cape to collect new stories and shoot new photos and won’t be posting updates from on the road.


24 Replies to “The Well Has Run Dry”

  1. Oh, I think the Hocking Hills photo is classic. Could be a greeting card photo. And, I love Hocking Hills. The hills, caves, etc., makes me want to go back again.

  2. You may not know this about me, but I am a fairly gullible person. I have to confess that you had me going for awhile. I was feeling blue about no more new Cape postings. It was a pleasant surprise when I got down to the April Fool’s line!!!! I hope you do not run out of Cape material for a very, very long time!!!

    1. Ohio is where I found my voice as a photographer.

      I can see little flashes of getting it together in the stuff I shot in Cape, but it wasn’t until I came under the influence of some really good shooters at Ohio University and The Athens Messenger that I developed a more or less consistent style that stayed with me.

      Thanks for the compliment.

    1. I really AM going to crank up another site that will give me a little more latitude.

      Just like my bike blog isn’t really all about biking and CapeCentralHigh really isn’t about my old Alma Mater, WeWerePrint is going to be about whatever strikes my fancy on any given day.

      I’ve been rooting around looking for photos of the Ohio University Post staff for a friend’s project. Going through those negatives reminded me of how many photos I have taken that have universal appeal – like the grave digger and Grandma Gatewood.

      The site originally belonged to a friend who was going to try to post newspaper industry stories, but she got busy doing more productive (read “paying”) things and let it languish. I have to clean out the old content, come up with some headers and other cosmetic things and get posting.

      This site won’t die away anytime soon (unless, maybe, I do), but I may post two or three times a week instead of five or six. When I was WORKING for a living, I didn’t produce as much content as I have for the Cape blog.

  3. You really know how to keep our attention!! Safe travels, Ken! This is a daily joy and I’m sure I would also enjoy stories and images of Ohio, a state that I know very little about beyond Cleveland!

  4. You, sir, are a scoundrel, a rascal, and a scalliwag!!! I, too, was gullible enough to believe that you had run out of material–especially since I myself have had those feelings many times in the comparitively short time I’ve been writing for my little orphan newspaper in the far reaches of North Stoddard County.
    Before I reached the good news about April Fool, I thought, “Oh, well–I’ve often wondered how he came up with this ecclectic collection of fascinating trivia day after day, and now I see that he isn’t a bottomless pit of creativity after all!” I was just consoling myself with the “All good things must come to an end” phrase—when I reached your April Fool disclaimer!
    Soooo glad it was all a joke! (Don’t ever do that again!!)

    1. Miz Madeline, Mam,

      It is always a pleasure to be called those names. They are used so seldom these days by folks whose vocabulary is challenged to reach beyond four letters.

      Here’s a note I posted to a telecom managers’ email list when I hung up my buttset. It touches a bit on the topic of the well running dry:

      Back in the 70s, Atlanta columnist Paul Hemphill wrote a piece for Southern Voices magazine about “Why I Quit the Paper.”

      Paraphrased as best as I can remember, he tells the story of an old editor who had been a hotshot writer himself back in the day talking to some summer interns.

      “Boys, the newspaper is a monster. You fall in love with it, it’s so big and so strong and you promise you’re going to feed it every day. At your age, everything is fresh and new and the words just
      flow out of your typewriters straight into the monster.

      “As the game goes on, though, you’re going to come to the point where the world isn’t fresh and new anymore and the words will have to be pried out of
      the typewriter when the monster roars.

      “Finally, one day the words won’t come at all and the monster still needs to be fed. That’s when
      you realize that what you’ve been feeding the monster is YOU and there’s nothing left to give the monster.”

      In 1976, I was called into the editor’s office on a Friday afternoon to be told that they were going to fire my boss on Monday and that I was going to get his job as photo director.

      Early Tuesday morning, I got a call from a detective who asked if I could stop by to identify someone they had found in the woods with a hose from the exhaust pipe stuck in the car window. It was my former boss, Gary.

      Steve Mitchell, a good ole boy Southern writer wrote a wonderful column that quoted Gary as saying, “Ah, those were the days. We were so young and so good and everything was going so right … What happened to all that?”

      He ended the column by telling the Hemphill story.

      A few years later, Steve Mitchell woke up one morning, found that he had nothing to feed the monster and put a shotgun in his mouth.

      Another columnist, predictably, pulled out the Hemphill story.

      Fortunately, I managed to make the transition to telecom before I felt The Monster’s hot breath. Not by much, but by enough.

      1. Well said. After being downsized by a major magazine publisher, I became a bartender and waiter for several years. Didn’t make the same money, but I slept better, blood pressure went down, and my wife and daughter found I could be tolerable.

        Newspapers are a Monster. Fortunately I spend most of my writing career just dealing with semi-tamed beasts.

  5. Ken, you got me! I, too, was ready to unsubscribe. I got to thinking that this photog guy must not have taken very many pics, then the tag line. Really funny stuff.

    1. Don,

      I calculated once for budget purposes that the average newspaper photographer shot about 30,000 photos a year in the old film days.

      Now, under the influence of One-Shot Frony and having to buy my own film, I didn’t hit quite that many in my Cape years, but there’s still a lot of stuff left.

  6. Well Ken, it gave me a sad feeling for a minute also especially the picture of walking off in the mist! Would have even if it had been off in the sunset!! We would all miss your articles of Cape Girardeau and other interesting places that you take us.

  7. Wow! I read this on April 2, so I was really worried. It’s really funny how attached I’ve become to my morning read, and I didn’t even grow up here. But this is home. Safe travels.

  8. Ken,
    It has been a great ride – thank you. I was a bit nervous after seeing your opening gambit of pictures that couldn’t be published. However, you proceeded to rekindle old memories and reconnect old friends and I am sure that everyone who has followed your wonderful content & commentary has thoroughly enjoyed the ride – I know I have. Your hobby (and ultimately profession) was documenting the lives we were merely living. We have our memories – such as they are. You have your memories and a photographic record to jumpstart ours – drive-in movies, TAC dances, fishing in the pond, 25 cent gasoline, etc. As Nietzsche once said: “The existence of forgetting has never been proved: We only know that some things don’t come to mind when we want them.” Thank you for stimulating those misplaced memories through your wonderful photographic journey through the past.

  9. Shame, shame, shame to make my old heart beat out of control for fear of losing your wonderful pipeline back to Cape! By the way (notice I didn’t use BTW) I love the misty picture on this blog. Black and white pictures and fog and woods, a perfect combination.

  10. Ken, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the memories. I plan to stay connected with you in the next phase. It’s time we all move on! Mary Lou


  12. Love and appreciate your photos and stories from the 60s, Ken. Thanks for all your and sharing. Brenda

  13. You almost had me, Ken. Dang, I guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer for your Ohio photographs.

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