“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
I was covering the Miss Somerset County Fair Pageant. Hunched down on the floor so as not to obstruct anyone’s view, they announced they were going to recognize some special people. A few people’s names were called and they went up on stage to receive their roses. Then they called my name. I was completely oblivious as I waited for the person to make their way to the stage so I could take their photo. When I realized everyone was looking at me, I was in a momentary shock. A newspaper photographer being recognized at a non-newspaper event and getting roses? We live with the truth that we have a thankless job. We get small awards and certificates from newspapers, and a few thanks from people who enjoy our work, but mostly, we sit by snapping photos of other people getting awards and thanks for things they do. Hey, that's part of our job!
Luckily my husband was with me, taking names – he does a great job – and ran over from across the aisle to take my photo with the outgoing Little Miss Somerset County Fair Queen, a beautiful little girl I had photographed many times over the past year.
It may seem like a small thing to you, but to me it was like receiving the Academy Award of photography – if there was such a thing. And if there was, here is my speech:
"I don't know what to say. Thank you, Lynne Johnson and Jennifer Clayton, Little Miss Somerset County 2008 Madison Clayton. And I also want to thank the wonderful people of Somerset County and Crisfield. You are all special."
Here I am sans makeup (after a hard day) with the outgoing Little Miss Somerset County Fair Queen Madison Clayton. Normally, I would not post a photo of me looking like this but...
This is a photo I took of Madison Clayton last year when she was performing in the talent competition.
And here are two of the ladies who worked hard on the Little Miss and Mr. Somerset County Fair Queen and King and the Miss Somerset County Fair Queen pageants: Lynne Johnson, left, and Jennifer Clayton.
For photos of both pageant go to the Daily Times web site (see side bar) and look for the photo gallery.
Oh, and those beautiful roses - I would like to share them with newspaper photographers everywhere.