THE NEWS & OBSERVER
the campus media.
LYDIA WILSON is a master’s student and
Park Fellow in UNC’s School of Journalism
and Mass Communication. She recently
completed an internship with the Review.
ONLINE: UNC Libraries has a comprehensive look at the Speaker Ban in a new online exhibit at
Jock Lauterer ’ 67 was photography edi- tor for The Daily Tar Heel in the spring
of his junior year, when the Speaker
“I had an apartment across the street, over
what was then a cleaner’s and Kemp’s record
store. Right on the corner of Henderson and
Franklin. It literally overlooked McCorkle
Place. I thought that it would be neat to
have an aerial view that day. But the apart-
ment was across the street and too far away.
“I had a darkroom in the garbage room
of the apartments. I took this camera right
here — this wonderful old horse of a camera — a 1947 or ’ 48 dual lens Rolleicord. I
had been covering demonstrations for years
then as a photographer.
“I’m a tree climber from way back — I
used to have a tree house. I just went ‘boy
howdy’ and up I went. The tree is still there
and the branch is, too, though mysteriously
it has gotten higher.
“I was in what Red Barber would call
the catbird’s seat. I remember thinking
when I was up there, looking down at that
sea of faces, that it was as good as it got. It
was [in photographer’s parlance] an f11 day.
Perfectly cloudy, bright, no shadows. Almost
as if it had been lit by a movie set designer.
You could make out everyone’s face.
“What was I thinking up in the tree? I
was wishing I had a wide-angle lens. That
is exactly what I was thinking. The limita-
A Tree Climber From Way Back
tions of the camera I had, there was no way
I could show the expanse of the crowd.
That’s why I took multiple exposures. At
the time when I took the pictures, I wasn’t
thinking, ‘This is a great picture.’ It was just
another demonstration picture. I did realize
the import of the event, but I didn’t realize
my photograph would become an icon.
“As a photojournalist, this was a fabulous time to be a student photographer.
You had stuff happening all the time, right
in front of you. There were marches, the
peace vigil on Main Street was going on all
the time, people were demonstrating for a
variety of causes. It was a time of ferment
and social upheaval. That produced a lot of
photos for a budding photojournalist. It
was a very rich period visually.
“Civil rights — that was the main thing
going on even in my high school days. In
1963, my mother, who was a real lefty, had
me out there marching in the streets. This
was for public accommodations. There was
terrible segregation in restaurants and drug-
stores. I was shooting for The Chapel Hill
Weekly. [Jim] Shumaker [’ 49], he was the
editor. I finished taking pictures for him and
I slung my camera on my shoulder and I
picked up a sign that said something about
the protest, I’m sure. I went back to the
office. Shumaker said, ‘Expletive deleted
Lauterer, I don’t pay you to demonstrate.’
“The DTH was completely subjective.
Ernie McCrary [’ 66], who was editor, we
were in it up to our eyeballs. We were
completely anti-Speaker Ban Law. We were
hammers and tongs against South Building,
and we loved it.”
— Lydia Wilson
Lauterer was back in the old tree recently.
DAN SEARS ’ 74