Saturday, May 27, 2017

keeping promises

Twenty-nine years ago on an Ohio Magazine shoot I made a promise that I couldn't keep - I offered to send a photo to one of the folks in the story.  1988 was a time of slide film, lab processing and Cibachrome prints - long before digital & email.  In other words, sending someone a copy of a photo was a lot of work and truth be told, I knew I wouldn't send one.  Years of minor guilt ensued.  So, when we started the basketball project three years ago I made the decision to follow up on every photo request (& there have been a lot).  I email links, digital files and even deliver prints.  Last year when I took my summer workshop students upriver to Augusta I made some photos of the old Augusta gym and told the principal that I would send along some photos (I did email the blog link) so yesterday (a year later to the day) I delivered two 13x19 prints to the school.  Keeping promises does feel good.  CGS.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

noah's barn

LaPorte's Civic Auditorium, New Castle, Southern Wells, Pine Village, West Vigo, Shelbyville, Huntingburg, Whiting, Knox - just a few of the gyms that upon entering give you pause.  Purpose built spaces that have soul; places where you can imagine something special happening.  And then today, Noah's barn -- a cathedral-like hayloft in Amish country, just waiting for a game.    CGS.

Monday, May 8, 2017

home of the blasters

When most Hoosiers awoke on the morning of February 26, 1956 it seemed like an ordinary Sunday in late winter/early spring.  The temperature in the southern part of the state would start out in the high 20s, but would hit 54 by days end and although Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Platters were the hot topic of conversation with their #1 hit The Great Pretender. But Sunday February 26 wasn't just a normal day for Keith Huber of St. Paul - it was a day of endless possibilities. You see, Huber and his teammates Don Gordon, Jerry Owens, Jim Harris and Ray Bostic had defeated Greensburg the night before, 44-42, for the Sectional championship - the second one in school history for the Blasters (1941 was the first).  So on this Sunday, an unwritten page of their basketball history lay ahead - with the possibility of a Regional, Semi-State or even State crown to come.  If Milan had done it two years before, why not St. Paul?  But, by Saturday evening March 3, Huber & the Blasters had fallen to a very good Scottsburg squad and like most in the state, would sit back and watch Crispus Attucks march to a second state title.  

Today, St. Paul is a sleepy little town that the main highway has passed by (I-74 is two miles north) and in 1968 the Blasters were consolidated into North Decatur (some students living close to the town attend nearby Waldron). Although the school and team are gone, the gym remains and if you stop by on a Friday night you just might find Keith Huber there, no longer jumping center (he is #55 on the outside window) or pulling down rebounds but helping local kids play ball and appreciate the gifts of growing up in a small town. CGS.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

look up, look down

Basketball all around at Pine Village, Perry Central & English.  CGS.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

left behind

The next several posts contain images that were pushed aside to make room at tourney time.  Now, their time is here. First up - Rockport.  CGS.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

gerstmeyer & the '50s

The 1950s were a heady time for Terre Haute Gerstmeyer boy's basketball - five straight Sectional titles (1953-58), four Regional crowns (1953-54, 1956-57) and four trips to the state finals. The years of Buddy Holly & Elvis Presley were good to the Black Cats;  the only problem - they would play some of Indiana's most revered teams at tourney time.  In 1953 they made it to the championship game before falling to the South Bend Central Bears, 42-41.  1954 placed the Milan Indians in their way, while '56 & '57 brought them to the semis against the Flying Tigers of Crispus Attucks.  The Black Cats had their share of Hall of Fame players, including brothers Harley & Arley Andrews (& uncle Harold Andrews) and Bobby Leonard (captain of the 1953 IU National Champs), but the most widely recognized Gerstmeyer grad is probably Major League Baseball pitcher Tommy John.  John, a four time All Star who pitched for 6 clubs, is best remembered for being the first to have revolutionary arm surgery that replaced a damaged ligament in one arm with a healthy tendon from his other arm.  Today, this surgery is considered almost routine for pitchers of all ages.  The Black Cats of Gerstmeyer faced their final defeat in 1971 when consolidation created the new high school of Terre Haute North Vigo and even though their school has faded from memory, their legacy of championship caliber basketball lives on. CGS.