Tonight I attended a special event. It was held at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church on Halloween – a celebration they have made a tradition at their church. This year, the celebration included a presentation about the history of photographs by Joe Struble (more on him later) and the launch and book signing event for Bill Lattin’s new book – Halloween Pictures and Pranks. It was a very nice event!
First, let me talk about Bill Lattin and his book…..cause, that was the main reason I went (Mr. Struble’s presentation was an enjoyable icing on the cake). C.W. (Bill) Lattin is many things to many people. First and foremost, he’s a hell of a nice guy and a joy to be around! He taught art when I was in high school and he is the recently retired Orleans County Historian. He has more knowledge about our county than anyone alive…..and he can tell you the remotest little detail about anything you want to talk about dating back to the dawn of time without stopping to think for a second about it! He has written several books, including this new one he launched tonight.
Back a few months ago, there was an article in the Orleans Hub saying that Bill was looking for local Halloween photographs and stories that date before the year 2000 – in particular, any stories about pranks and photographs of handmade costumes. I happened to have an adorable photo of my son, Robby, in a costume I made for him when he was seven years old – I bought some red and white striped flannel, pom poms, sheets of felt, and a pattern for a clown outfit. It came out so cute and he loved it! So, I submitted the photo with a little blurb about the costume and Halloween at my Grandparent’s house. Well, Bill included it in the book and I was so happy! I went to the book signing and purchased three copies – one for me, one for Robby, and one for his Dad! I am also very happy to know that proceeds from the sale of this book will go to help with renovation costs on our local treasure – the historic Pullman Memorial Universalist Church!
The other part of the event – the main presentation – was a wonderful talk by Joe Struble. Joe was the Collections Manager of the Photography Collection at George Eastman House / International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY for 26 years before retiring in April of this year (per the notation on the Foreword he wrote for Bill’s book). He showed scanned photos from the mid 1800s up through the mid-late 1900s and talked about what makes a photograph special and the significance of amateur snapshots over the years. It was so very interesting and the photos he shared were fun and thought provoking! I really enjoyed it!
Another wonderful treat of the evening was some gorgeous music played on the beautiful pipe organ in the sanctuary – it is the first time I’ve been in this church when the organ was played and it was incredibly moving to hear!!!
Here are some photos:
I really hate that this photo came out blurry!!! It is Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon Town Historian, and Bill Lattin. Melissa’s Halloween costume is an historic marker that says “On this spot Oct 31, 2015 Bill Lattin former historian launched new book titled ‘Halloween Pictures and Pranks'”. It is funny and significant because Melissa is on a crusade to restore historic markers around the county by repainting them (read more about her efforts by clicking here). Bill called her up to the podium to show the audience just prior to his introduction of his book.
Bill Lattin speaking to the audience about his book!
Pullman Memorial Universalist Church Pastor, Lee Richards, introducing guest speaker, Joe Struble.
Joe Struble giving his presentation
Prior to the formal presentation and after, at the reception, my friend Al Capurso played guitar and sang for us.
Jim Knight dressed up as Beetlejuice!
The cover of Bill’s new book – Halloween Pictures and Pranks
The page with the photos I submitted of my son, Robby!
Bill Lattin signing one of his books.
If you get a chance, purchase one of Bill’s books – this one and/or one of his many other books! They can be found at Bindings Book Store on Bank Street in Albion or in other Orleans County locations. If Bindings is out of them, just ask them – they can get you one!