Night pictures can be the most fun to take. Playing with the shutter, aperture and getting the light that is there to properly portray the scene can be frustrating. It was a lot more frustrating, and challenging, back before digital cameras, you didn’t know what you got until much later when the film was developed. Now I can take a picture, look at it on the small screen and make adjustments from there. Still, I am often surprised when I get them home and look at them on a bigger screen.
This set is from my time teaching at Granite High School, I was there for the last three years it was open. Granite was the second high school built in the Salt Lake Valley, and in 1906 it was completely surrounded by farmland. By the time I got there it was as inner-city as this valley gets, yet it was still “The Home of The Farmers.”
This first picture is of the lobby of the (1940’s) state of the art theater. Originally it was a building unto itself, and now still has a full sized lobby, actual ticket booths and paintings of each of the school’s principals. It also still has the original art-deco light fixtures, neon lighting and mosaic tiling “GHS” in the center of the floor. Much like the ghost towns of my sepia pictures, you can just imagine the students and parents of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s all dressed up in their Sunday best for a night out watching their kids perform Shakespeare or some other classic plays. Ahhh, those days are over. Parents now show up to performances in jeans, sweatpants or whatever they can throw on, when they find the time to even show up.
The next group of pictures were taken at the Halloween dance that last year. One of my favorite students, who was a quiet, depressed loner that first year I was there, had transformed into quite an outgoing school character by her senior year. Her Halloween costume was a big pink hat on her head and tiny little wings strapped to her back. (The rest of the outfit was not unusual dress for her).
Through the windows above the front door of the school. You may have noticed that the picture has been doctored a little bit. In a school that is over a hundred years old, with many of the remaining buildings close to 100, there are going to be rumors of ghosts roaming the halls. Many schools here make extra money by renting out their facilities, usually the gym or the auditorium, sometimes their sports fields, to organizations that don’t have the full sized facilities they occasionally need. One of the years I was there we had a para-normal group apply to rent the oldest building overnight, they wanted to document what we later coined “The Granite Ghosts”. District policy requires at least one administrator and one custodian be in the building during the entire duration of the rental, and because not many administrators or custodians want to have a sleep-over with strangers, overnighters are either not allowed or simply discouraged. Either way, this group was denied the rental, but the ghost rumors found a whole new life. And I, of course, had to have a little fun with pictures and ghosts. In this last picture I have the Granite Ghosts leaving the building for a night of fun on Halloween, the only night of the year they can leave.