Monday, May 12, 2014

A curious twist of fate


Early in my career at The Indianapolis News, in the latter months of 1968, colleague Skip Hess and I got the idea that we could make money by photographing high school cheerleaders and selling the prints to their parents.

After all, we were serious newspaper reporter/photographers and we could give them photos of their kids they could never take. What could go wrong?

Well, among other things, it was damned dark in most high school gyms, especially the one at Zionsville where we made our first and only attempt. It was the Carmel-Zionsville game and the results were not encouraging. Almost all of my shots were crap and I don’t think Skip did much better. Consequently, we abandoned the enterprise.

Fast forward to this morning when I gathered up my negatives from that evening and started doing 6-frame batch scans with my Nikon Coolscan IV. I noticed one of the Carmel cheerleaders looked familiar. She looked a lot like my friend, former Carmel Clerk-Treasurer Susan Jones. I did the math and realized Susan, who once told me about trying out to be a Carmel High School cheerleader, would have been a senior in the winter of 1968-69. Her name at the time was Susan Wampler and damned if I didn’t have several shots with young Susan Wampler in them.

zville game I also had several shots with Skip in them and I couldn’t help wondering if anyone thought we were more than a little bit creepy, ignoring the game and shooting photos of the cheerleaders.

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