Leaf Pictures in Jackson Park

Leaves 10-27-2014_3788Monday was a blustery day triggered by a cold front moving toward Cape. There was a bunch of yard tasks to accomplish that took most of the day, so I didn’t have much time to shoot. I was really hoping to put together a video of trees bending down, branches whipping and leaves falling like snow.

I took a few seconds of video of some of the trees in the yard, then loaded Mother into the car and headed over to Jackson’s City Park. It has lots of trees, plus Hubble Creek meanders through the middle of it, offering the possibility of colorful leaves floating on moving water..

By the time we got to the park, though, the wind had died down, the sky had gotten overcast and I was afraid we had lost the good light.

Off in the distance there was hope. I saw some small kids running and frolicking.

Is this a photo shoot?

When I got closer, I noticed there was a woman with a professional-grade camera who was directing the kids and setting up shots. I’m always careful not to butt into somebody else’s shoot as a matter of professional courtesy.

I asked Krista Taylor if she was working, and she said, “Not today. I’m just taking family photos.”

With that concern out of the way, I could fire away without my conscience hurting. I tried to stay out of her frame, all the same.

I have one of these at home

Mason Taylor 10-27-2014_3783Since I have a grandson back in Florida about Mason’s age, I enjoyed watching him charge through drifts of leaves that were almost as high as he was tall. From time to time, he’d stop to make sure he knew how to get back to the rest of the kids.

Chiggers on my mind

Kolton and Khole Dodd w Alexis Boyles 10-27-2014_3785You know how you can tell that you are old?

While I was watching Kolton, Alexis and Khole making leaf angels and covering each other in leaves, all I could think of was, “If I did that, I’d wake up in the morning as one huge chigger bite.

I’m sorry I ran out of time and energy before I had a chance to edit the video. I had to drop Wife Lila off in St. Louis on Tuesday, and I’m headed back up to the Gateway City on Thursday to pick up Curator Jessica for a brief MO to OH road trip. Maybe I’ll give it a second look when I get back to whatever my Zip Code is. I filled out a form the other day and couldn’t remember it.

Click on the photos to make them larger, but not so large you can spot the chiggers.

May 4: Compare and Contrast

2014 Jackson HS Prom pix in Jackson Park 05-03-2014Mother and I were on our way to Wib’s in Jackson for my last BBQ before leaving Missouri. On the way past Jackson’s city park, a flash of glow-in-the-dark green and a small crowd caught our eye. I did a U-turn (causing Mother to gasp uncharacteristically when she thought I turned too quickly in front of an oncoming car) and headed into the park.

We drove around spotting other gaggles of kids in fancy clothes and even a horse-drawn carriage. Pulling up to the Green Gal gaggle, I rolled down the window and asked, “Wedding or prom?”

It was the Jackson High School prom.

The Green Gal Gaggle

2014 Jackson HS Prom pix in Jackson Park 05-03-2014The foursome provided names: Tessa Long and Amanda Matlock are in the front row, left to right, and their dates are Mitchell Graham and Alex Wright.

[Editor’s note: When I asked if was a wedding or a prom and was told “prom,” I joked, “Well, since you are all dressed up anyway, why don’t you go ahead and get married?” I got a call this morning that I must have had that on my mind when I was typing at 2 in the morning, because in the first posting of the story, I called Amanda Matlock “Amanda Wright.” I guess I was determined to marry her off. I have officially annulled her marriage and given her back her maiden name. Another note: the kids were home by 1 a.m. The prom ended at 11 and the stopped at Denny’s on the way home. I guess the younger Jackson generation doesn’t have the stamina that the Cape Central Class of ’65 had: our party lasted all night.]

Color coordination

2014 Jackson HS Prom pix in Jackson Park 05-03-2014Alex’s tie matches Amanda’s dress, but Amanda went him one better with her green socks and shoelaces. This is a gal who looks like she’s ready for some serious dancing.

Our May 4th memories will be different

Meeting on Ohio University Main Green after Kent State shootings 05-05-1970When Tessa, Mitchell, Alex and Amanda wake up on May 4, their memories of that date are going to different than mine. They are going to remember the clothes, dancing, music and fun.

I’m going to remember four Kent State students who were gunned down by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. Former Palm Beach Post chief photographer John J. Lopinot sends me an email every year: “Never Forget.” I don’t intend to.

Another photographer and I were on our way to Marietta, Ohio, to a surplus store where we were going to pick up riot gear and head up to Kent State. We were about half-way there when a radio news bulletin reported the shootings, although the initial garbled reports had the guardsman as being the ones shot. We elected to get the gear and head back to Athens and Ohio University, because we didn’t know how our campus was going to react.

4,000 gathered on College Green

Meeting on Ohio University Main Green after Kent State shootings 05-05-1970The protest movement up until that point was fairly small and made up of “radical” students. That afternoon and evening, though, as many as 4,000 students, professors, townspeople, preachers and even a congressional candidate crowded onto the College Green to listen to speeches and to figure out what was going to happen next.

The most moving moment was when a young woman who said she was a Kent State student came out of the darkness and grabbed the microphone. She said she and some of her friends had witnessed the shootings and had agreed to fan out to the other state schools to beg the students not to allow a similar bloody confrontation to happen.

“The kids at Kent are running scared,” she was quoted by Tom Price in The Athens Messenger. “Don’t bring that here. Don’t throw rocks here. You don’t know how good it is to be here tonight. Just stay this way, please. Keep cool and stay together, please – male and female – because there have been two girls killed and two guys.”

Ministers call for 24-hour memorial fast

Meeting on Ohio University Main Green after Kent State shootings 05-05-1970After the young woman spoke, Rabbi Joseph Polak called for prayer, and silence fell over the 4,000 persons on the green. Each minister then offered his own short prayer.

“I’m calling you to prayer for your brothers and sisters at Kent,” the Rev. Thomas Niccolls said. “I’m calling you to prayer for your brothers and sisters in Vietnam. I’m calling you to prayer for your brothers and sisters in Cambodia.”

“As we pray for the dead and the dying,” the Rev. Robert Hughes said, “let us pray for the living and for ourselves. We have seen enough dying and enough pain for a lifetime.”

The Rev. Thomas Jackson concluded the prayer

Meeting on Ohio University Main Green after Kent State shootings 05-05-1970“I’ve gotta try one more time. I just want a moratorium for one day on the terms ‘jock’ and ‘Greek’ and ‘hippie’ and all the things we use to punch each other out.”

Praying the students realize what it’s like when people who are shot and killed, the Rev. Thomas Jackson quoted a Kent State student who said he thought the National Guardsmen were firing blanks, “until I saw her head blown open.”

“It’s time to quit blowing open heads,” the Rev. Jackson said. “It’s time to quit splitting up and hating and disgusting each other. Can’t we just once do it? Just one day, that’s all I ask. Please remember that head that was blown open. Do something embarrassing tonight. Like don’t kill each other. Like touch someone. Be a fool.”

A lengthy standing ovation from the demonstrators followed Jackson’s prayer.

OU Closed on May 15

Ohio University Protests May 1970Ohio University managed to stay open until May 15, when it closed after two nights of tear gas and rioting.

Previous posts about the Kent State eraPeace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968

Hubble Creek on the Rise

Children play in Hubble Creek in Jackson's City ParkI’ve written before about how Dennis Scivally Park and Hubble Creek in Jackson’s City Park were my go-to places for wild art. I still can’t resist going back there anytime there has been a heavy rain so I can see the water cascade over the low water crossing.

These youngsters are “down at the creek” in the 1960s.

Video of mini-flood

News of torrential rain in Southeast Missouri and a news brief that the city of Jackson is collecting old Christmas trees to combat bank erosion along the creek jogged my memory that I had shot some video in the park on Halloween 2013 after a heavy rain. I’m sure the water was a lot higher during the recent downpours, but this is the best I can do.

Like the video I did on the Bollinger County artesian well, listening to the water is worth 1:17 of your life.

Jackson Band Concert

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013I had a hankering to attend a band concert. I missed Cape’s Wednesday night concert at Capaha Park, but happened to be coming back from Perry County with Friend Shari on July 11, so I suggested we catch Jackson’s concert.

It took a bit of looking to find it,. We were a little early, so I told my passenger (who had slept most of the way back from Altenburg), “I’m going to take a 7-minute nap,” and set my alarm. When I woke up seven minutes later, she said, “You REALLY can fall asleep fast, can’t you?”

I couldn’t figure out why people were setting up their chairs at the top of the hill, several hundred yards away from the bandstand. I mean, sure, being able to get to the parking lot in a hurry is nice, but you needed binoculars to see the stage and I couldn’t imagine that you’d hear anything that far away.

Great warm-up act

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013 Steve Schaffner’s group got toes to tapping. I could have listened to them all evening. Shaffner retired this spring after 22 years of conducting the Central junior, senior high school orchestras.

And, much to my surprise, the sound was great. I walked all the way up to the folks sitting at the top of the hill and could hear as well as if I had been in the front row. The guy running the sound board did a great job.

The main event

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013Before long, the Jackson Municipal Band took the stage. They played well, with enthusiasm and the crowd liked them, but I’m low-brow enough that I like the group that played Blue Grass, folk and country music. I’m not complaining about the muni band, but it’s not really my thing.

The Municipal Band’s website has the history of the organization, which dates to 1920, and a current schedule.

Great evening, great location, perfect weather

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013If I only make it to one band concert every 40 or so years, I’m glad I went to this one. The music was great, the temperature was perfect, the sound system was excellent and the mosquitoes must have gotten lost. These is plenty of parking, so I think I’d rather go to Jackson than Capaha Park.

It looked to me that everyone was having a good time, particularly when free ice cream was handed out.

Band concert photo gallery

Sometimes it’s better to let the photos tell the story of an evening. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.