Team Mug Shots

The first time I went out to shoot a high school team’s mug shots for The Missourian, I took individual photos of each player. That was a chunk of change at five bucks a head. Unfortunately, jBlue balked at paying that much.

“Shoot the whole team in one photo. We’ll crop the individual mugs from it,” he ordered. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Chuck Murdoch brokered a compromise

That might have made good sense from The Missourian’s standpoint, but it meant that I had to spend an hour or more driving to the school, setting up the pictures, collecting IDs, plus another hour in the darkroom for the five bucks. The other problem was that each head was significantly smaller than a dime, which was considered the minimum size any face could be to show up clearly in the paper.

Break ’em up into fours and fives

Sports editor Chuck Murdoch, worked out a compromise: I’d break the team into groups of four or five and get paid $3 a shot for mugs. That would give Chuck faces big enough to reproduce and would make me enough money to be worthwhile. (I didn’t know in those days I could tell somebody to take a hike if I didn’t like the price.)

I got better at it

I got better and faster with experience. First off, I learned how to control the situation: I wouldn’t let a coach dictate how I was going to shoot and I wouldn’t take any guff from the players. I’D pick the location to give me the best light to work with. Then, I’d enlist the coach or someone else to help the guys write their names on a sheet of paper and line up. I’d pitch a coin on the ground or floor and say, “Kneel on the coin. I’m going to take two shots. In the first shot, hold the sheet of paper under your chin like a jailhouse booking photo. Then, drop the sheet and give me an expression that’ll make your momma proud.”

It wasn’t art

Once I realized that nobody was looking for meaningful portraits that captured the soul of the player, I could knock off a team in about 30 minutes. All the sports department wanted was a reasonably sharp photo that showed two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears (if the player had all those parts) that they could run 1 column by 3 inches to break up the type. (These aren’t examples of when I had my act together, by the way. I was still learning.)

Central vs Perryville Homecoming


This shot of Charlie Duncan and Fanny Clemmons walking off the field after Central bested Perryville 20-6 in the homecoming game was published in the 1965 Girardot.

Duncan was a superb athlete and one of the nicest guys at Central. The Girardot Senior Directory lists his activities as “President, Treasurer of Homeroom; Varsity Club; Football; Track; All-State Honorable Mention, All Conference First Team.”

Fanny was in the Sports Club and was Secretary, Treasurer of the Volleyball Club.

“Glory Comes Late in Season”

The Girardot said “The highlight of this year’s season came in a triumphant victory over the Perryville Pirates, 20 – 6. This being the homecoming and final game, the Tigers would settle for nothing less than victory. Executing brilliant plays and coordinated teamwork, Central took and early lead. The second half showed as much determination as the first, as the Tigers maintained a definite advantage and ended the Pirates’ winning streak.”

Cape Beat Jackson 19 – 0

I remember Jackson as being Cape’s biggest rival in our generation. The Girardot reported on the season’s fourth game: “The rivalry between Cape and Jackson surged to a climax as Central downed the Indians, 19 – 0.”

There were several players with numbers beginning with 5 in the yearbook team photo. Since I can’t read the whole number, it could be Mike Gray (52), Wayne Roeder (50) or Leslie Carlton (56). I know it’s not Bill Jackson (54), and I’m pretty sure it’s not Mike Gray. The girl on the left looks like she might have been one of the Dunklin girls, but I’ll let somebody else confirm it.

CHS lost squeaker to Sikeston

The Sikeston – Cape Central game I covered in 2010 was a blowout, with Sikeston scoring in the first minute and winning 21 – zip. The 1965 Girardot said “One of the most thrilling games was the Tigers’ encounter with the Sikeston Bulldogs. The last 52 seconds proved to be the deciding point when the Bulldogs scored a touchdown, ending the game in a close 20 -19 defeat for the Tigers.

I’m pretty sure # 84 was Jerry O’Connell.

1964 Varsity Scores

The Girardot: “Highlights of Central’s 1964 football season included both disappointments and triumphs.”

  • CHS vs Blytheville: 6 – 12
  • CHS vs University City: 7 – 14
  • CHS vs Paducah Tilghman:  6 – 6
  • CHS vs Jackson: 19 – 0
  • CHS vs Poplar Bluff: 0 – 14
  • CHS vs Sikeston: 19 – 20
  • CHS vs Chaffee: 34 – 13
  • CHS vs Charleston: 0 -14
  • CHS vs Perryville: 20 – 6

The yearbook’s team photo has some of the numbers obscured, but I’m going to guess that #28 was Mike Friese. Girlfriends, unfortunately, didn’t wear numbers, so I’m not sure who the girl was. Ron Riley was wearing #73 in the yearbook.

 

 

 

First Grade Farm Field Trip

I was going to classify this photo in the mystery category, but after taking a closer look at it, I’m pretty sure it was my Trinity Lutheran School first grade class on a field trip to an unknown farm. Click the photo to make it larger.

The woman in the back row, left, looks like long-time first grade teacher Mrs. Walter (Lulu) Kelpe. The woman to the right might be Mother.

Jerry O’Connell put a potato on his nose

The boy in the second row, left, might be Jerry O’Connell. My folks set up a first grade diary / scrapbook for me. (I should explain to you younger folks that a scrapbook is kind of like a blog without electricity.)

There’s an entry for Sept. 15, 1953, that says, “I ate at school again. I like it and really eat more than I do at home. It is so loud that you almost have to yell to talk. Jerry O’Connell always tries to be funny. You know what he did today? He put a potato on his nose to make us laugh. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t think that was so nice.” I was a tough audience all the way back in the first grade.

The boy in the striped shirt next to him looks like David Hahs.

Sally Wright Owen wrote in an August 25, 1980, Missourian story, “At Trinity Lutheran School here, first day business was a little unusual in Mrs. Walter Kelpe’s first grade classroom. When Brandon Hahs, 6, son of Mr. and Mrs. David L. Hahs, 3237 Lakewood, took his seat, he became the third generation to have Mrs. Kelpe as a teacher. Brandon’s father was a pupil in Mrs. Kelpe’s class, as was Brandon’s grandmother, Mrs. M. Luther Hahs, 2526 Allendale.”

Future majorette

The girl second from the left in the front row looks like Della Dee Heise, who has been featured here as a Central High School majorette. The boy next to her, leaning forward, may be Ronald Dost. I’m pretty sure the kid in the flannel shirt in the middle of the bottom row is me. Here was a picture of our kindergarten class taken in Trinity Hall in 1953.

I guess I’m going to have to scan my scrapbook. Jerry O’Connell wasn’t the only first grader who did wild and crazy things.

Trinity Lutheran School Kindergarten circa 1952

This was taken in Trinity Hall of the Trinity Lutheran School kindergarten class at its Christmas party. If I was five when I was in kindergarten, that would mean this photo was taken in about 1952. Click on it to make it larger.

I can’t identify everyone in the photo, but I see, in no particular order, Mike Miller, David Hahs, Jerry O’Connell, Judy Schrader, Della Heise, John Hilpert, Jim Lorberg, Patty Haas, Ronald Dost and Kent Verhines. Apologies to everyone I left out or whose name I mangled.

Oh, yes, I’m in there, too.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.