My Pre-Anarchist Motif

Update #2: Tom Blanton, of the Project for the New American Revolution, also kindly did an upgrade of the photo. Here is Tom’s version:

UPDATE: “Black Bloke” and Wes Baker kindly sent improved versions of the photo, now inserted at the top of this post. I’m not sure if Wes’s version will open in some browsers.

[full-size photo is available here]

It was a good thing that I had not yet started drinking when I crossed that log back in ’68.

And it was a blessing I wasn’t obliged to juggle any balls, as well as carry the pack and stick.

This was taken during a hike in the Shenandoah National Park; the photo appeared in Boys Life magazine.

This is a scan from an old slide. Would anyone have suggestions on how I can touch-up this 1968 photo?


20 Responses to My Pre-Anarchist Motif

  1. Greg Fasolt December 4, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    Cool! I was an Explorer at about that time, sponsored by Bell Telephone and working on communications.

    If you want to keep the restoration simple, try Google’s free Picasa ( For more detailed control, Gimp (

  2. Black Bloke December 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    How about this for the photo?

  3. Jim December 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks! That looks much better!

    Thanks also to Wes Baker – who sent me an edited version that is also a big improvement over the faded slide.

  4. Jim December 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Greg – thanks for the suggestion. I need to get savvier on photo tuneups.

  5. Jim December 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    BTW – Black Bloke’s website is at

  6. Black Bloke December 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    No problem Jim 😉

    Though I disagree with you on the case of John Brown (who I consider a martyr and hero), you’re an alright guy.

    Wish you’d write more about anarchy too…

  7. Jim December 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Ya, I should write more about anarchy… First I have to get better organized.

  8. alpowolf December 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Boy’s Life…that brings back memories.

    Does the Nanny State still allow Boy Scouts to do stuff like this? Or are Scouts restricted to Nerf rooms now?

  9. Jim December 4, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    I saw some recent issues of Boy’s Life – seemed like the magazine has gone post-literate…. Far less substance than in the old days.

    That’s a funny line on the Nerf rooms. Talking to folks who are still involved with Scouting, it does sound antiseptic these days… I guess folks have forgotten that shedding a little blood is part of how boys grow up.

  10. DDB December 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Wow another Bovard balancing act, much like the mine fields daily navigated amidst Congressional Cowpiles. Can’t say we ever saw you donning the official Scout Field Cap, especially walking the timber tightropes over the mountain streams. Finesse y’all were proving at such an early age, by golly!

  11. alpowolf December 5, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    I don’t know that they’ve forgotten how boys grow up, so much as they are deliberately trying to change it, for the worse in my view.

    For instance, I live and work in Northern VA and a lot of these people think it’s crazy that I carry a Swiss Army knife, and I’m almost 50. In contrast when I joined the Scouts, my uncle (a Scout leader himself) gave me a sleeping bag and a pocket knife (I still have and treasure the latter). Nobody, including my teachers at school, were at all shocked that I carried a pocket knife everywhere. It was just normal.

  12. Jim December 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    DDB – yep, that Scout Field Cap was something donned only when some photographer was lurking. A simple baseball hat is far more functional – and more comfortable.

    Heck, wearing a hat like that, you expect someone is going to make you spend a few hours practicing marching on the drill field.

  13. Jim December 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Alpowolf – a Swiss Army knife can come in handy for so many things. There have been plenty of times in life I have been surprised that a beer bottle top did not screw off….

    I hope the TSA never gets its paws on your Swiss Army piece.

  14. Ryan December 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    Damn, Jim, that pack you’re humping looks a hell of a lot heavier than my army ruck. Come to think of it, it looks as big as those carried by the troops in Afghanistan.

  15. Dirk W. Sabin December 7, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I envy you your cap. I was voluntarily washed out of my local troop after telling the troop master I thought the point of camping was camping and not some roster of busy little tasks. He was too nervous
    and jerky for this kind of subordination and so I was invited to leave camp, whereupon we set up a guerilla camp a mile away and because it began to drain off others of the tightly wound scoutmaster’s sunbeams, I was further invited to leave the
    mountain altogether. I don’t recall any “anarchy” merit badge but I was working diligently toward it….as well as the accompanying “Bad Attitude” Service Finger.

  16. Jim December 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Ryan, that pack certainly focused my mind. There was at least one winter hike where my pack was much larger and heavier – after a giant black pot was tied to the back of it.

    And people wonder where I learned to cuss so avidly….

  17. Jim December 7, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    Dirk, that’s a great story.

    An anarchy merit badge….

    I might not have earned that one, but if they had a Smart Ass badge, maybe…

  18. americaintifada December 8, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Before graduating from Webelos to Boy Scouts, I was in my glory at the Orange County, CA, fairgrounds “Scout-A-Roo” in ’62. I wonder if there is something in this State of Nature that makes one think of liberty and free will? Nah, it can’t be…must be the booze!


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