Last night as I was walking the beagles – and contemplating potential photography subjects – it hit me.
I’m not really as new to all this photography business as I thought.
I joined the US Army in 1984. My MOS was 71Q – Journalist. After basic training I was sent to the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort Benjamin-Harrison, Indiana (now defunct) for journalism school. In journalism school we were trained in covering all kinds of news events – from sports to natural disasters. We were also trained in photographing the events we covered, and developing our own photos.
When I graduated from DINFOS I was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky and assigned to the post newspaper there — Inside the Turret (a reference to tanks, as Ft. Knox was a tank-training base). I covered Community News.
We had professional grade 35mm film cameras, black and white of course. I don’t remember the brand. No surprise since I have an abysmal memory. (Although I can still name every horse and pony we had in our barn when I was growing up. Go figure.) Our little newspaper office, housed in the old fire station, even had its own dark room. I actually enjoyed developing my own film, although today if you put me in a dark room with a bunch of chemicals I would have NO idea what to do. Blame the faulty memory.
We had a lot of fun at The Turret. Our editor was a civilian named Larry Barnes and he had deep connections with the Louisville area so we did lots of fun outings. We even got Press passes during Derby week. Somehow I missed out getting to go to the Derby – even though I was the horse girl! – and had to be satisfied with covering the paddle boat race on the Ohio River. Not as exciting as the Derby, but it was pretty cool to get to ride in the Press boat!
I was only at Ft. Knox for a little more than a year. After marrying and deciding to start a family, Mark and I decided to cut my military career short, something I have always regretted. Probably the biggest regret of my life. Being a journalist was truly a dream-come-true for me, as I had wanted to be a writer since first grade. Later I would work again as a reporter for our local community newspaper The Bedford Press. Of all the jobs I’ve had over the course of my life, being a journalist is the one I loved the most and am most proud of — my job as wife and mother not withstanding, of course. I even won two awards for my journalism while at Ft. Knox.
So, it’s not true that I have no experience with photography. And many of my photos have been published — in two newspapers!! 🙂 I went searching for my file folders full of articles and my old photos. I kept many of the ones I took during my time at Ft. Knox. After 30 years, they are starting to deteriorate somewhat. On a couple of these you can see my crop marks and my percentages for enlarging or decreasing. We did all our own page layouts along with writing our stories and developing our own film. And this was in the days long before computers!
On the day the paper went to press we would have to drive down to Elizabethtown and do all the proof reading. The articles and photos would be printed out on a paper that had a waxy substance to it and then pasted onto the full-size news sheets. We had to go over every word and if we found typos, they were marked with a blue grease pencil, cut out with a pen knife and the corrected word pasted in. Ahhhh, the Good Old Days.
Remembering all these things made me have an Army dream last night. Mark and I both have this phenomena happen to us periodically. (Mark served in the Army for 4 years, that’s where we met. 🙂 ) Funny how something that was such a short period of my life has continued to affect me all these years later.
Thanks for taking a stroll with me down memory lane! Take a moment and tell me about your photographic past. How did you get interested in photography?