Jackson Cheerleader Clinic

1964 Jackson HS Cheerleader Clinic 12

In the summer of 1963, I was working for Dad’s construction company unloading trucks, chopping weeds with a scythe in the hot, hot sun and doing other unpleasant tasks.

In the summer of 1964, I was working for The Jackson Pioneer covering dull stuff like county commission meetings and … cheerleader clinics. I was pretty much sure which career path I wanted to follow.

“Yell Along with Herkimer”

Our sister paper, The Advance Advocate, ran the same photo as The Pioneer on September 2, 1964, but had a longer cutline:

“Approximately 400 high school cheerleaders from throughout the Southeast Missouri district, including nine cheerleaders from Advance High School, attended a special clinic Tuesday in the high school gymnasium at Jackson. The clinic, sponsored by the Missouri High School Activities Association, was directed by L.R. Herkimer, executive secretary of the National Cheerleaders Association.

“The Advance cheerleaders are Linda Croy, Kathy Rhodes, Sandra Ward, Judy Croy, Jill Jenkins, Linda Holland, Stephanie Strobel, Sondra Harnes and Sharon Sims.

Speaking of cheerleaders, does anyone have any idea who these girls are?

Cheerleader clinic photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger (but, please overlook the dust spots), then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.


Ron Smith – Fan of Year

Ron Smith was one of those quiet gentle souls who seems to float through high school without making any waves. I’ve often wondered what happened to him. Everyone knew who he was, but I don’t think many people, including me, could say they knew him.

I shot him at a basketball tournament at Houck Field House on Feb. 27, 1967.

This photo ran in the March 1 Missourian with the caption, “Fan of the Year: You see him at every sporting event, whether it be baseball, basketball, football, track, or even swimming. It makes no difference whether it’s high school, college, or junior high. Ron Smith (shown holding radio), a junior at Central High School, was recently presented the “fan of the year” award by State College’s Varsity Club.

Ron Smith died November 8

Judy Kurre Ringwald passed on the sad news that Ron died Nov. 8, 2012.

Here is his obituary from the Nov. 11 Missourian: Ronald Roy Smith, 63, of Belleview, Mo., passed away Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at Belleview Valley Nursing Home. He was a longtime nursing home resident, having spent most of his time at Belleview Valley Nursing Home where he was loved by staff and residents.

He was born November 13, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to Roy and Hulda Vasterling Smith. He was a graduate of Cape Girardeau Central High School and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. In his teens, he was an avid sports fan, following local high school and college teams and the Capahas. Smith especially loved the St. Louis Cardinals and didn’t miss listening to or watching most of their games.

Loving survivors include one sister, Rosalee (Everett) Plunk of Cape Girardeau; one brother, Ray (Linda) Smith of Scott City; nieces and nephews, Marla (Maury) Taylor, Crystal (Justin) Smith both of Cape Girardeau, Mike (Nancy) Plunk of Lake St. Louis, Mo., Kim (Brad) Schiwitz of Frisco, Tex., Ray (Brittney) Smith of Jackson; great-nieces and nephews, Christina (Lee) Dodd, Haley and Hayden Dodd all of Scott City, Jennifer Boren of Lake St. Louis, Mo., Mackenzie and Mason Smith of Jackson, and Elizabeth Smith of Cape Girardeau. He was preceded in death by his parents.

It must have been a slow game

When you look at your film and see pictures of fans like Ron and Notre Dame Cheerleader Cathy, you can surmise that the action must have been pretty slow. If you haven’t bagged something at least half-way interesting by the end of the first quarter, you start looking around for sports feature shots. (As always, you can click on any shot to make it larger.)

Yep, pretty dull

I can see why I was looking for features. This was about the best action I had from the game.

Anne Buchanan

I don’t know if I shot this photo of Anne Buchanan or not. I have the negative, which would make me think I did. On the other hand, the exposure and lighting are better than what I was generally capable at that stage in my career. Still, even a blind hog can find an acorn from time to time. Maybe I got lucky.

I’m not exactly sure why the photo was taken. If I had to bet, I’d bet that it had to do with that big trophy she’s holding. What’s odd is that it has a car on it. I didn’t know Anne well enough to know if she was a car racer, collector of special cars or what the trophy was for.

That’s the Anne I remember. Every hair in place, a friendly smile and a look that says “I know I’m going to photograph well, even if the photographer IS a klutz with a plastic pocket protector.”

Anne as a cheerleader

She and the other cheerleaders are collecting for the March of Dimes in 1963. Anne is on the right.

The 1965 Girardot Senior Directory listed her activities: Secretary of the Tigerettes; Silver Spear ’62 1-Act Play; French Club; Girardot Business Staff; President of Homeroom; Cheerleader; Psychology Forum; National Honor Society; Football Queen Candidate; Senior Queen Candidate; Library Assistant; Red Dagger, Talent Show.

The Class of 1965 grows smaller

When I had lunch with Terry Hopkins and Pat Sommers the other day, we played the usual game of “I wonder what ever happened to…” They shocked me by reeling off a number of our classmates who won’t be showing up for the next reunion. Sadly, Anne’s name was on the list. I hope they were mistaken. It’s hard to think of someone as vibrant as Anne Buchanan not being around forever just like she was captured in the lead photo.

Ronald Dost and I went to school from kindergarten through Central High School Shortly after we graduated, his was the first obituary I wrote of a contemporary. Gary Schemel was the first of our classmates to die in Vietnam. When I went to the Class of 1961’s 50th Reunion, they had a moving video of the 40+ members gone from their class.

The sand, it appears, is running out.