Picture Day at Hollister School

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch left a comment on my post about Paul Lueuders showing up at Central High School to take homeroom photos for the Girardot: “When I was in high school, I always liked working alongside a group photographer. I would take pictures of the kids ‘getting ready’ to be photographed when they didn’t think anyone was watching, or taking their picture.”

That got me to thinking about this picture page I did for The Athens Messenger November 8, 1968. The original assignment was to go to Hollister School to capture kids being vaccinated or something, but it turned out that local studio photographer Ralph Norris was there to shoot student photos, so I switched gears.

Once you got out of the Ohio University-dominated Athens and out into the county, you were in Appalachia, where poverty and worked-out coal mines were found down every back road. When I see people walking down the street sporting “Hollister” labels, I have a different picture in my mind than they do. (Like always, you can click the pix to make them bigger.)

Slicked-back hair and shiny faces

Like Fred wrote, it was fun to sit back and watch Ralph work with the kids. He had a gentle touch and put the children at ease. He wasn’t the master photographer Paul Lueders was, but he was a decent craftsman who had been doing his job for years.

My copy was short and sweet on the page: “Slicked-back hair and shiny faces were the order of the day at Hollister School Wednesday. That’s when photographer Ralph Norris came to take everybody’s picture. Here’s how it was.”

Pretty girls and a crown

Ralph and I would cross paths from time to time. He was a nice guy who was fun to talk with. I don’t think we ever exchanged any heavy thought, but I do owe him big for one piece of advice he gave me.

Covering Miss Rutabaga or something

He was the official photographer for some local pageant. I don’t remember if it was Miss Athens County or Miss Rutabaga or whatever. All I know is that it involved pretty girls and a crown. I went to the swimming pool to shoot the bathing suit competition. Hey, newspaper photographing is a tough job.

Now that I think back, I don’t know how I got the pageant assignment. That had boss Bob Rogers written all over it. He must have been out of town.

Anyway, Ralph pulled me over to the side and said, “It’s become kind of a tradition for the girls to throw me in the pool after I take the group shot, so you might want to be prepared to get wet – you know how all those photographers look alike – or to beat feet while they’re distracted by me.”

I managed to get a shot of him making a big splash, then exited quickly.

I should go look for those negatives

Now that I think of it, I need to go digging for those negatives. To look for Ralph, of course.


11 Replies to “Picture Day at Hollister School”

  1. I grew up with the Hollister school right outside my bedroom window!! My Dad went to school there, as did his siblings. It was absolutely delightful running across these posts, and seeing the children! Thank you for sharing!! ❤

  2. My dad graduated from Hollister Schoolin 1950, it may have been the Miss Old Settlers Renion pageant, happens the week leading up to Labor Day. Started in 1937 and continues today.

  3. I went to Hollister Grade School in the Mid 60’s and grew up in Glouster, OH.
    Parade Of The Hills in Nelsonville and Old Settlers Reunion in Jacksonville, OH come to mind for Athens County pageants.
    Great pictures and great memories.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I went to jr. high at Hollister. Jacksonville elementary, then Hollister middle school, then Jacksonville Trimble for high school. Hollister was the eye opener for sure. I was always the well behaved straight A kid who got a real eye opener at Hollister. All the mean girls wanted to be my friend, and of course I didn’t want to make any enemies. They actually carried knives in their boots. We would sit on the steps at recess, and out came the knives. Those were probably the most fun two years I ever spent in school.

  5. Thank you, I had no idea you wrote and did photos at Hollister school. The photo under the crown comment was of me, giggle. Sandra Mitchell now (Quinn)

  6. I am the girl under the crown comment. I attended Hollister school three years before moving from Glouster. Hollister elementary school was a consolidated effort by the school district of the smaller schools all coming together. I lived in Glouster at the time. The boy in the photo is Jimmy Palmer. I remember picking up Jimmy while riding the bus to Hollister. He lived in Bishopville. I loved my early years at Hollister school. I am still friends today with many students in my class. And this even includes my husband Dennis who also rode the bus with me to Hollister. Thank you for posting.

  7. I would love to see more of your collection. I was born and raised there 1981 graduate. I would have been in kindergarten at Hollister in 1968. I have a clear memory of the vaccines in the Gym/Cafeteria
    Thank you for putting these out there. Hopefully I will see my friends and many of us have no photos at elementary age due to lack of funds. Thanks much

    1. I grew up in SE MO, went to school at OU and worked at The Athens Messenger before heading to The Gastonia Gazette in NC, finally ending up at The Palm Beach Post in FL until I retired from the ink-slinging business in 2008.

      I’ve pretty much plucked all the low-hanging fruit from my Missouri days (hence the name of the blog, which sounds rather limiting). I’m just starting to mine my Ohio days, something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. A lot of my work has been displayed at the SE Ohio History Center in Athens.

      My kid, who maintains my sites, said this morning that he’s going to have to move our servers to a different internet provider, something that might cause us to go dark for days (or weeks). If you can’t connect, give us some time to train another hamster.

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