Monday, April 10, 2006

"The Mouse That Roared" and the camera that captured a fragment of it

My maternal grandmother had a big, black, boxy Kodak Brownie camera that seemed to travel with her everywhere. She's not in many family photos because she was usually the person looking through a quirky viewfinder (as I recall, the images of what you were about to photograph were upside down) and urging the rest of us to move closer together, stop fidgeting, smile, and say "cheese." And then she'd make lots of copies for everyone and save a set for herself.

Even though my primary interest was writing, not photography, I acquired the camera habit at an early age. My photos weren't works of art, but they remain interesting bits of documentary evidence and sometimes evoke memories that have been in storage for a long time.

Recently, while searching through a box of old black and white photos for a snapshot of a girl I'd met at summer camp, I discovered several old photos I'd taken in the fall of 1963 of cast members from "The Mouse That Roared." The two actors wearing ties are Michael Fullwood (left) and Larry Lewis (right). The photo was probably taken in a second floor classroom at Madison Central High School. The actor with the cape and the rather forlorn look is Nils Olsen. This photo was probably taken outside the second floor lavatories, which often served as dressing rooms for plays performed in the auditorium.

Several members of the Class of 1965 have mentioned to me that they have interesting photos of themselves and fellow classmates, depicting both their years at Central as well as days before they attended school in Wisconsin Avenue. I hope they'll follow through with their plans to make copies of those photos available here. And if the rest of you also have some of these historical images to share, I hope you'll get in touch with me so we can arrange to scan them and post them.

No comments: