Soapsuds Hollow: Four decades later, Smith photo still impressive
September 12. 2013 12:13PM
Virgil and Norma Smith owned and published the Dell Rapids Tribune when I was a kid. At the same time, they also published the Baltic Beacon, Hartford Herald, and even the paper in Humboldt. Smith Publishing was a busy place.
The Smith kids all pitched in to help, covering events and taking photos, typesetting and printing. Jeff was a good photographer, and would have to travel about to various sporting events with his camera in hand.
In the late 1960s, Jeff snapped a photo of two high school football players attempting to make a play on the same pass, and they were perfectly in sync, identical in their movements. Virgil had that photo hanging in his office for many years.
The photo was recognized nationally with an "honorable mention" award from the newspaper people. More importantly, LIFE magazine was so impressed that they ran the picture in its Dec. 19, 1969, issue.
That issue just happened to be the one with Charles Manson's haunting photo on the cover, and has been collected over the years due to the Manson cover. It is still available today on various websites.
As another season of high school football gets underway, my thoughts turned to two-a-day practices, running the hill, the smell of the autumn air, and Jeff Smith's photo of those football players. It should be shared again with the world, I thought to myself, so I got in touch with Jeff and he graciously allowed the Tribune to run a copy of it for my article this week.
I'm still impressed 44 years later. Thanks, Jeff.