Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Boa Constrictor in Union County

... as well a peek into how this blog is put together (and a little newspaper lingo!)

 Last year all the old Charlotte Observer and Charlotte News photo files were digitized.
Hundreds of thousands of images now live on zip drives at my desk.

I could spend hours looking through the images! When I come across an intriguing photo I try to build a blog post around it.  This 1962 photo caught my eye -- there were several shots of this boy and a snake. 
I went in search of clues.

In the old days photographers stamped their name and date photo was taken on back of photos. 
The photo librarian would add name of photo file.
Here's what the back of the picture looked like.
James Denning took the photo on Sept 13, 1962. The photo was to be filed under 'Snakes'.  

I wanted to see if a story about the boy and his snake had run in the paper. 
James Denning was an Observer photographer (as opposed to the Charlotte News) so I went to the Observer microfilm.
It turns out just one photo and a caption ran - a 'standalone' - on page 1B, September 21, 1962.

I scanned the page using Adobe Acrobat, then cropped the story/caption using the Microsoft Paint app.
Here's the finished product:

What a cute kid! Denning took several photos of Joey and Iqui the snake but chose only one to publish (the 'select'). The images that didn't run in the paper were saved nonetheless and are here along with the photo near the top of the blog.

So, about the boy and the snake that could grow to be capable of squeezing him to death.
I checked public records for a Joey Shute in Monroe. Didn't find one, but there is a Joey Shute of the right age who used to live there and now lives on the NC coast.  Anybody know?

UPDATE:  A childhood friend of Joey (and his brother Randy) emailed me saying that he handled that snake way back when, the mom still lives in Monroe, and as he recalls the snake made a show-and-tell visit to school!


Anonymous said...

Research techniques met human interest. Informative and charming!

Anonymous said...

He's so cute!

Maria David said...

So glad you guys enjoyed this one! I think little Joey got a haircut in preparation for his big photo shoot...

Alin Shop said...

Hi..! Hop u all had a fun day..:)