Kent State Pagoda

Kent State 08-25-2015Some times you see things in the real world that you had only seen in photos, and suddenly events become real to you. My old chief photographer, John J. Lopinot, will probably send me a message this morning, like he does every May 4: “Never Forget.”

I’ve written a lot about covering the protest era at Ohio University, and had several major exhibits of my photos. It wasn’t until August 25, 2014, that I actually got around to visiting the school I was headed to when the word came across the radio about the shootings at Kent State.

Dean Kahler

Kent State 08-25-2015Seeing the pagoda at the top of the hill where the Ohio National Guardsmen turned “with a deliberate action” and unleashed a volley of shots was made even more moving by listening to Dean Kahler tell the story of being shot that day. He was an innocent bystander in the flat area behind him – 300 feet away from the troops – when his life was changed forever.

“I didn’t want to be eating grass when I died”

I posted his account last May 4. I can’t improve on the way he told the story. It’s worth listening to.

Remembering the dead

Kent State 08-25-2015Here are some of the earlier stories I’ve done about the era.

1968 Anti-War Protest

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968I’m working on an exhibit of photos dealing with the turbulent 60s and 70s at Ohio University. Given the choice between posting random photos as I’m editing them or letting the site go dark from time to time, I’ll opt for posting pictures with minimal copy.

The negative sleeve says February 22, 1968, so I must have shot them for The OU Post.

Must have been cold

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968It’s Ohio. It’s February, and people are wearing coats, scarves and gloves. That’s a pretty good indication it was being held outside where it was cold.

Must have been one of first

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968I transferred from SEMO to Ohio University as a junior in the fall of 1967, so this must have been one of the first of many protests and demonstrations I would cover over the next two years.

These three are a mixture of genders and ages. They’re dressed downright preppie, too. They don’t quite fit the image of commie pinko hippies. A lot of the photos from this post will be in the show.