Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 1, 1968)
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Monday April 1, 1968 ,
The Daily Nebraskan
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The camera tells
by Jack Todd
Omaha There is a hint of watermelon in the air. The
spring is full, warm, and juicy. Young boys can take big
gulps of it and exhale its energy. It dribbles unseen down
laughing chins. Strong young arms tug at kites dipping in
the watermelon air.
The photographer is tall, thin, scholarly, A little strange
around this part of town because something about him is
different. Maybe his color. But that man has a camera,
and Mike Hayman knows how to smile.
Smile and convince a boy you're for Bobby Kennedy,
and he'll perform all day long; flexing muscles, scuffling
with one or a dozen other boys. Launching a thirteen
Indian assault on the wire fence outside North High School,
lining up on a fence.
A sharp female voice stops a would-be wanderer in his
tracks. He plops down on his front step, gives the camera
a James Cagney steely-eyed glare for a split second, then
bursts into laughter. A boy younger than the rest doesn't
understand the camera. He squats for a second to get a
closer look. Click. He's immortal.
Bits of old newspaper and coke cups skitter across the
street. The air chills. An old man on the bench pulls his
coat over his wide shoulders, lights a cigarette. Grins so slow
ly after the camera passes it's a full minute before his
teeth appear. He shakes his head slightly. His eyes are tired.
Half a dozen men in long coats lean against a building,
augh an easy bubbling laugh that is drowned out by the
music from the soul house across the street. The air is a little
chilly, but that time is coming. That full, warm, wide time.
Watermelon time. Black is beautiful, baby.
The day grows cooler, the wind bursts in little puffs down
the long, narrow street. A woman shoos her brood into an
apartment, on up the stairs. The air is so quiet you can
hear the time-bomb ticking, tocking, steadily, underneath
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photo by Inui Uutaiy
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