Jeane Adams’ End of Summer

One of my Missourian jobs was to edit the weekly Youth Page. It wasn’t heavy lifting: I had to edit copy submitted by student reporters and staff writers, lay out the page, write the headlines and come up with pictures for it. Whenever possible, I tried to assign them to myself for a few extra bucks in my paycheck. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Needed: end of summer story

I’m not sure which came first here, the chicken or the egg. Since it was summertime, the page was probably pretty light of school news, so I must have decided to do some kind of end of the summer story. Whether I ran into Jeane Adams while looking for that story or whether I ran into her and decided to build a layout  around her, I don’t recall. I had never seen her before this shoot and never saw her again after we were finished.

At any rate, we wandered around town shooting things she remembered about the summer. I may or may not have gotten a photo release from her parents. We usually didn’t bother with that formality in Cape. I DO recall going by her house to tell her parents what I was up to. They trusted me enough to turn her loose for the afternoon. Their trust only went so far, though. I had to drag her younger sister or cousin or some kid as a chaperone (or because they wanted a free babysitter).

Jeane was a natural

Some days you’re lucky enough to find a natural model. Jeane was one of those people who came alive in front of the camera.

Ran one big photo with overlays

I wanted to run a series of shots (remember, I’m getting five bucks a picture), but I couldn’t justify filling the page with her. I compromised by doing something I hadn’t tried before. I made one big print, then created a layout of smaller prints stuck down to the big one with rubber cement. I cringe at photos that are cut into weird shapes, but even the diagonal crop of her looking at the river works in this case. I’d have shifted up and to the right if I was doing it again, but…

Pulling off something like today would be a piece of cake with Photoshop, but it was a bit more of a challenge in the days of film and darkrooms.

All over Cape

I’m not sure where the log photo was taken, but the train was at Arena Park and the river photo was Cape Rock. We probably shot the dog photo at her house.

Jeane was going to be a sophomore

I thought she was younger than high school, but the caption under the photo said, “Miss Jeane Adams, like most youngsters at this time of year, is sitting and thinking of all the things she had done over the three months of ‘freedom’ from teachers, homework and tests. The days of romping with her dog, riding the Arena Park Dinky to far-off places and just sitting watching the river go by are rapidly drawing to a close. Jeanne, who will be a sophomore at Central High School this fall, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milford Adams, 605 Albert. This dog’s name, incidentally, is Chico.”

Based on that she would have been Central Class of 1968. I looked for her on, but she wasn’t there and the class yearbook wasn’t online.

Where did this girl come from?

This little girl was in the middle of the roll of Jeane photos. I have no idea where we stumbled onto her, but she was too cute to pass up.

College High Junior-Senior Prom

I hope this will make amends to Miss Peggy Schweain for not showing her face when she was crowned College High School Prom Queen in 1967. We ran this action shot of Miss Carol Keller helping Miss Schweain adjust her crown. To add insult to injury, the caption had her last named spelled both “Schwein and “Schweain.”  (The latter is correct.)

Miss Keller is the daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Layton Keller, and Miss Schweain is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schweain. Miss Nora Reynolds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reynolds, Jr., is at right. Click on the photos to make them larger.

College High Prom Court

Maybe I was trying to squeeze out an extra five bucks from the assignment, hoping the paper would run the action shot, then back it up with a group picture. I guess not. It was getting close to the end of the school year, so it was probably pushed off the page by the  glut of school news to get in. (The New York Times motto was “All the news that fit to print.” The Missourian came closer to reflecting economic realities: “All the news that fits we print.”)

The May 13, 1967, Youth Page story said the ceremony was held in the Memorial Hall ballroom. In addition to Misses Keller and Reynolds, her attendants were Miss Judy Masterson, daughter of Mrs. Evelyn Masterson, and Miss Ellen Gockel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Gockel, Jr.

The queen’s throne was placed on a platform decorated with a purple curtain held back with gold streamers. At the center of the curtain was a crown of purple velvet trimmed with gold tinsel.

Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Gilbert and the parents of the queen candidates were special guests of the juniors and seniors. The class sponsors were Wendall Wyatt and Mrs. Mary E. Magill.

(As an aside, I could have sworn that Carol Keller was a Cape Central High School student. I don’t know what I assumed that.)


Girl Scouts Turn 100 Today

Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts! I understand you hit the Big 100 today. Want to hear something that will rock you back? These Brownies and Girl Scouts, who toured The Southeast Missourian in 1965 or 1966, weren’t too far off from having been around to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization. Now they’ll be able to light double the number of candles.

If you were a regular reader of the Saturday Youth Page, the photo above should look familiar to you. One of my jobs was to edit the weekly page, so I took a photo from the tour and made it into one of the standing page sigs. I always liked it because I knew it gave some of the bigots heartburn to see kids of different races “mixing.”

Newspaper tour groups

Cop reporter Dan D. Whittle is doing his best to look important and ignore the group standing around him.

A lot of newsroom folks hated the tour groups, but I enjoyed having them come back to the photo department at The Palm Beach Post.

If I wasn’t busy, I’d take them on a tour of the darkrooms, where the highlight was going through the revolving light trap that would let you go from the lighted hallway to the dark print room without interrupting any work that was going on. You’d revolve a cylinder until an opening showed up, you’d step inside and rotate it until the opening reached the darkroom, then you’d step out. With practice, you could do it without slowing down.

The farmer and the magic room

I’d tell the kids that the experience was a little like the farmer who saw his first elevator when he took his family on a visit to the big city.

He watched mystified as a door would open, people would enter a small room and the door would close. When the door opened again, the room would be empty. This went on for quite some time while he tried to figure out what was happening to the people.

Finally, an elderly woman entered the magic room. The door closed and a few seconds later a beautiful young woman stepped out. There was a brief pause, then the farmer turned and said in a hushed voice, “Son, quick. Go fetch your momma.”

Darkroom tricks

Once they made it through the revolving door, I’d usually have groups of them put their hands on a piece of photographic paper, then I’d turn the overhead room lights on and off to expose it. I’d toss the “blank” paper into the developer and let them see a reverse image of their hands pop up. Even high school kids were impressed, and it made for a nice souvenir to take home.

If we were lucky enough to catch a photographer with prints from an assignment that was going to run the next day, I’d introduce the shooter, have him or her show the kids the pictures, tell them a little about what how they were taken, then tell them to look for the shots in tomorrow’s paper.

I thought it was important for them to realize that real people produced the art that got pitched in a puddle in their front yard. It might encourage them to keep reading the paper. Based on what’s happening to newspapers today, I guess I must not have been too effective.

Earlier Girl Scout stories

 Tour group photo gallery

I tried to print as wide a variety of photos from the tour as possible (including the little girl picking her nose. I hope her kids spot it.). Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts of America.