This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!
By Bob Chambers
This picture of a Welland city employee clearing snow from the Chippawa Park pond, ran in The Evening Tribune about five hours after it was taken. It illustrates how the Tribune of that era had current items in the paper. Often front page photographs and lead news items were not chosen until just after one pm, when the managing editor, Tommy Morrison, returned from lunch.
I took the picture Wednesday morning, January 10th, 1962 after an overnight snowfall piled more snow on the area. And it was not only a winter with snow, but cold temperatures, because you can’t walk out on Chippawa Park pond pushing a heavy snowblower, without there having been many days of sub-freezing temperatures to provide ice thick enough. It was certainly a winter unlike the one we’re having currently, as the weather forecast until Jan 10, will provide us a touch of snow, but little more than thin ice on the pond.
The picture received the most prominent position the paper could provide …. top left corner of Page One, with an impressive size – 8 1/2 inches wide by 7 1/2 high, but with an even rarer touch – its header was two lines from a poem, And out of the frozen mist the snow . . . In wavering flakes begins to glow. And credited to the poet simply, Bryant, was surely a Tommy Morrison touch, as he would have been one of the few Wellanders to be able to source these lines out of the middle of a circa 1855 poem by the prominent New York City newspaper editor, William Cullen Bryant. Knowing Tommy, I believe he could have quoted lines of poetry from memory and he certainly would have known about Mr. Bryant. Under Bryant, The Post was New York’s most influential newspaper.
Tommy did not have the ability, that I have today, to Google multiple references to Bryant’s poems. By Googling, I believe that his use of the lines could have been from memory, as there is one word wrong, although it may also be a typo. The Tribune of 1962 was seemingly on a much higher intellectual plane than most of today’s publications, as just 11 days previously they had published another snow picture of mine with a caption that was entirely a poem …. written, anonymously, by “HFH”, the district editor at the time.
The paper not only dignified itself that Jan 10th, by running poetry on the front page, but elevated me a notch with a credit line that read, ” ……… an enchanting composition by Robert Chambers, Tribune photographer”. Sure beat the, “Tribune Photo by Bob Chambers”, that I received ALL of my other 13 years at the paper. Jeez, was it my only really good picture?
– Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957-1970
Your comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer/author.
(Chambers’ Corner is a popular, recurring feature on the blog.)