Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A jaunt down Memory Lane..

Danny "The Eskimo" Tichonchuk was a nice guy and welcomed me to the San Diego Union and Tribune Photo Lab with helpful hints. 
He encouraged me to "hang in there" when I was hired and assigned to the tiny Wirephoto Room (still going to school) where I could do course reading after I turned the lights back on.

I often would read during the 7-minutes it took for an AP photo to be transmitted then I would turn off the overhead light, flip on the reddish-yellow "safe light," open the machine, take out the newly-exposed photo paper, wrap a new sheet around the drum, close the machine and then process the one just received in the trays of developer and fixer. Then it would wash for 10 minutes or so after I turned the white light on again.

This was time to "hit the books" again before the cycle repeated itself. And it did over and over as I was privileged to be seeing the BEST examples of news-worthy photography. 

When the prints were properly washed, I would drain them and take them down the short hallway to dry them on the glossy dryer so they would have the shiny finish necessary for use in the paper.

We really didn't worry about extended washing for long-lasting archival quality. These were news photos shot by AP professionals from around the world, and were discarded at the end of the day.

The Photo Editor would have seen the facsimile thin paper copy and alert me when he was really interested in a shot.

Sometimes I got a LOT of reading done for school and other times, not so much "white light."

Stan Griffin started a few of us in Wire photo so we could see these professional images and learn a thing or two about how to be a winner with our camera. Stan knew what he was doing!
After about 6 months I "graduated" to the large room where multiple prints and enlargements were made for the CNS, Copley News Service, working with Al Sund.

Shortly thereafter, I was paired in a small darkroom with Thane McIntosh and went out on my first assignment as a staff photographer for the San Diego Union and the Evening Tribune.

I started this during my sophomore year then took a break from college for four years to concentrate on being a news photographer. I got married, had two children and DID return to USD for my final two years and got my BA in English/Journalism in 1968. 

Stan encouraged me to complete my education and he and Charlie Sick arranged for me to work weekends and split days off when I went back to school.

I never did make the cover of TIME Magazine but I DID graduate in 1968 so I did a bit of manual cut-and-paste to have me featured.

In 1964, my full page in its sister publication LIFE, was for real.

I had snapped two shots of a sign I saw carved in an apple orchard while flying back from shooting aerials of surfers.

The paper turned it down (?) so I offered it to the national magazine. It was the Miscellany Page and I got a byline...and a $300 check.

After I graduated and had my BA in English and Journalism, I wanted to apply to the paper's Copley Training program and move over to the writing side of newspapering.

Stan Griffin broke the bad news to me.

After so many years as a staff photographer, my pay grade was much higher than the entry level for the writing/reporter slot. To use my newly-received diploma, I would have to take a cut in pay.

Instead, I started looking around and got hired as a Researcher by the CBS Cronkite Morning News. A new direction for my career in news.

Here are some miscellaneous views of me in the 1960s:

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