Temple Legends: Part 1
I'm super excited to bring the first in an occasional series on extraordinary people who have called Temple home. The first is photographer Walter Iooss. Also, see new features at bottom of this feed!
MONDAY, JULY 19, 2021
“When I put the camera to my eye, the world goes silent. It’s me and the game, and I patiently wait to capture the perfect moment.”
THE LEGENDARY EYE OF WALTER IOOSS
Dwight Clark makes “The Catch” against Everson Walls and the Dallas Cowboys in this classic 1982 Walter Iooss photograph.
Temple native known for sports, music and SI swimsuit-issue photographs
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
In the eyes of many young men, Temple native Walter Iooss had the perfect job — photographing the world’s top models for Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issues.
Iooss, the son of a Fort Hood soldier, was born at Scott & White in 1943. As a kid, he loved sports and was drawn to sports photos.
“I would cut out magazine photos and tape them to my wall,” he said.
Iooss moved to New Jersey at age 5, and as a teenager he shot his first roll of film.
“My dad bought tickets to a Giants football game one weekend,” Iooss said this week. “When he picked me up he gave me a Pentax camera, a 300 mm lens and one roll of film. Just one.”
One roll was all it took.
“After the game, we developed the film,” Iooss said. “As soon as I hung the first photo to dry, my future was unlocked. I knew what I wanted to do in life.”
From that moment on, Iooss photographed his entire world — friends, family, sports, street scenes … you name it.
“I started getting pretty good, so I made a portfolio,” he said “One day during my junior year in high school, I called Sports Illustrated and said I wanted a job.”
“When they found out how old I was, they laughed,” he said. “I think they invited me down as a joke.”
But after viewing the portfolio, the joke was over.
“They gave me a few assignments,” he said. “I didn’t have a driver’s license so my dad would take me to games.”
Iooss was just 19 years old when he shot his first cover for SI and his reputation as a photographer soared. Soon he also was the top photographer for Atlantic Records, capturing images of musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and James Brown.
His life took an unexpected turn with a phone call from Jule Campbell, a fashion reporter hired to develop a swimsuit segment for Sports Illustrated. He jumped at her offer to travel and photograph beautiful women.
“She said, ‘I want you to shoot the swimsuit issue,’” Iooss said. “It grew from 8 pages to 44, and became a great but insane monster.”
“I really couldn’t go wrong,” he said with a laugh. “I had great locations, beautiful models and the best make up and hairstylists in the world. I’ve shot about 25 issues.”
He truly put the “super” in many supermodel careers.
Iooss served as Sports Illustrated’s top photographer for six decades and his work graced more than 300 covers. He is known for his award-winning captures of athletes such as Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Scottie Pippen and Kelly Slater.
While photographing women, pro athletes and rock stars made Iooss famous, it was his award-winning photos of children playing that still makes him smile.
“I loved sports as a kid, and I love photographing young athletes,” he said. “I did a series on kids playing stickball in Cuba, and one on young kickboxers in Thailand. Those are very memorable.”
Today, Iooss makes a lot of memories with his grandchildren, and he is having a blast.
“Work was very slow when the pandemic hit,” he said. “There wasn’t much going on in the world of sports. I guess I kind of got used to it. I’m having a lot of fun with the grands.”
Still, Iooss said he hasn’t ruled out a return to the sidelines.
“There’s something about shooting a big game,” he said. “When I put the camera to my eye, the world goes silent. It’s me and the game, and I patiently wait to capture the perfect moment.”
Iooss says his all-time favorite photo is this 1988 shot known as “The Slam Dunk.” That’s Michael Jordan doing what he did best in Chicago.
“The Corner” featured kids playing stickball in the streets of Havana, Cuba, in 1999.
BACK TO THE FUTURE — BELL COUNTY STYLE
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Doc Brown and Marty McFly have loaned me a flux capacitor, and I’ve successfully installed it in a ’66 Mustang. I’m about to fire it up for a trip back in time, but since I’m not a very good time-travel mechanic, I’m sticking to the land that eventually will become Bell County.
Wanna go for a ride?
| | | | | | |
We all know our present-day county. Black-soil farmland to the east, rolling hill country to the west, and two big ol’ lakes right in between.
The military is mighty here, so are the medical, agricultural, rail and manufacturing industries. And, we play a pretty fair brand of football.
The county is a melting pot with ancestries from Europe, Asia, Mexico and Africa. Soldiers from Fort Hood stationed overseas during times of war and peace brought back new spouses from Germany and Korea, and these populations have boomed as well.
Recreational opportunities include hiking, swimming, boating and fishing, and night-life is bustling in Temple and in the Killeen area.
The county has good schools, hospitals, colleges, restaurants and shopping — it’s definitely not a bad place to be.
OK, I was stalling until the ‘Stang warmed up…let’s roll.
First Stop: 1945
We appear to be in some sort of medical facility. Hey, there’s Dr. Arthur Scott, co-founder of Scott & White hospital. I think I recognize his patient, too.
Yep, that’s Roald Dahl, one of my favorite writers. You know him, he wrote James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
If memory serves me correctly, I read years ago that Dahl was a pilot for Great Britain’s Royal Air Force during World War II and his plane was shot down in North Africa. He injured his back.
He came to Temple a couple weeks ago to have disc surgery — his second actually. Now he is going to be a guest at Dr. Scott’s home. I bet he gets a lot of writing done.
Ha! Did you hear that?
Dahl just said Temple is filled with “cowpunchers and cattle ranchers and hillbillies and steers and cows.” He said cowpunchers had piles “because they’ve lived too long on horses.”
Funny stuff, but we have more to see.
Next Stop: The 1920’s
Here we are on the banks of Owl Creek. This is a little unexpected. I was hoping for something exciting, but this is bland. Bland, Texas, that is. Love that joke!
Let’s go inside the town’s business hub — Atkerson’s General Store. He sells a lot of goods, but most people are huddled in the back playing poker. And drinking.
We’ve been here all of two minutes and I’ve already been approached by two “farmers” selling booze. They both said they make the best. One of the guys also said they gamble so much here that the town was originally called Pokerville. He was laughing, but he said they had to change the name when they applied to get a Post Office.
Making moonshine is big here, and business really boomed with the passage of the 18 Amendment, which banned the sale, production and distribution of alcohol.
Hey, there’s Mrs. Ludwick, Bland’s postmaster. Let’s ask her why so many moonshiners live here.
“There’s been enough likker made in them thar hills to float the Queen Mary. Man can’t live on bread alone, so a little extra income has become necessary.”
Wow! Thanks for the insight, Mrs. Ludwick.
I’m really glad we had the chance to visit Bland because we won’t be able to when we get back to 2021. It was buried under a lot of water when Lake Belton was dammed in 1954.
Next Stop: 1905
Looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere, let’s see if ….screeeech.
Good thing the Mustang has good brakes, we almost hit that funky old train.
Hmm..I think I read about that in an old Temple Daily Telegram. Yeah, it was on a table back in Bland.
This is the Interurban, an old commuter line that runs between Temple and Belton. It was designed to get Temple people back and forth to the courthouse in Belton, regardless of the weather. After a heavy rain Temple streets get so muddy a wagon can’t even get through.
The train is full of people — not many folks have cars in 1905. If I remember correctly, the Interurban line was 13 miles long and was built by the Belton-Temple Traction Company.
The paper said it ceased operation in 1918.
Next Stop: The 1800s
Looks like we landed in a Tonkawa Indian camp on the banks of Salado Creek just as a hunting party returns carrying bison, deer, antelope and turkey. Nice haul.
According to my handbook, the Tonkawa are a mobile tribe that follows buffalo herds for survival. They set up camps along creek and rivers, and survive in a land teeming with danger. Wolves, black bear and the occasional alligator also call this land home, but the biggest danger comes from Lipan Apache, Kiowa and Comanche warriors and hunters who compete for prize food catches.
Lakes Belton and Stillhouse are decades from reality but the Leon and Lampasas Rivers, along with Salado, Nolan, Bird and Cowhouse creeks provide a rich source of fish.
Settlers from the new worlds have arrived, and they, too, hunt the bounties of the land. Antelope, bear and bison will soon disappear from the area’s landscape, and wolves will be eliminated as settlers clear land and settle the area into communities.
Several members of the Tonkawa tribe appear to be ill, perhaps from diseases brought by settlers from overseas.
I’ve been talking to some of the tribal elders, and they have amazing stories.
They say that European settlers came to the area a few years back and settled along the Little River and Salado Creek. Apparently the tribes didn’t take kindly to their hunting grounds being limited, and they fought back fiercely and drove the newcomers away. They call this the Runaway Scrape, but the tide turned after the Parker family’s fort was attacked in Limestone County — killing several adults and taking children hostage. Organized Indian hunters responded by driving many of the tribes away.
There’s a lot to see here and a lot more to learn, but it’s time to move on. This time, we’re going way back.
Next Stop: 6000 BC
According to this computer Dr. Brown gave me, we should be somewhere near present day Youngsport. Look at the cool rock houses. At least I think they are houses.
There’s people over there. My handbook says these are ancestors of the Tonkawa, and they make tools and weapons out of flint. I don’t think these rock structures are houses after all. They are building one and putting dead people inside. Must be a place they bury their loved ones. The ground is a lot rockier in this part of the county and their flint tools probably aren’t good for digging into the hard ground.
Oops, they saw us. Time to hit the, er, highway? You know what I mean. It’s time to get home. But first let’s stop in 1979. I’m craving a Charcoal Inn cheeseburger!
The burger smells delicious! Well, we are back safe and sound, and our time-traveling Mustang works great. We hit a few historical stops in Bell County today, and we’ll hit a few more very soon … wait, is that Doc and Marty?
Come with y’all? An emergency? Now?
I’m finishing this burger first.
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO READERS
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple publisher
I hope you have enjoyed the first week of Our Town Temple. It’s a blast covering the people, events, history and news of our local area, and I look forward to years of service.
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What’s Happening, Temple?
July 20, Tuesday - Catapult Coolness: TEEN Summer Program (ages 12-18), Temple Public Library, 3 p.m.
July 20, Tuesday - STEAM Team (ages 6-12), Temple Public Library, 4:15 p.m.
July 20, Tuesday - Taroks Card Party & Free Lessons. Learn the 1400s European card game brought to Texas by Czech immigrants. Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center, 7 p.m.
July 20, Tuesday - String Camp Faculty and Advanced Chamber Music Students Fundraiser Recital. Featuring the works of Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Corigliano, as well as a world premiere by camp composer in residence Isaac Villaroya. Free. 7 p.m.
July 21, Wednesday - Open Mic Comedy. Up and coming comics get 5 minutes to show their stuff. Corky’s, downtown Temple. 8 p.m.
July 22, Thursday - Taproom Trivia, Fire Base Brewing Co., 7 p.m.
July 23, Friday - Hot Summer Sounds, Lions Park, 7:30 p.m
July 24, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo: Women Who Rock!, Fire Base Brewing Co., 7:30 p.m.
July 24, Saturday - Earle Nelson & Morgan Lee Powers, O’Briens Irish Pub, 9 p.m.
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Our Town Classifieds
EPSON PRINTER — Workforce Pro WF-3820 all-in-one printer. Only been through one ink cycle. Like new. $50. (254) 624-4010
HORSE-STALL MATS — Two 4x6 super heavy-duty reinforced rubber mats. Perfect for home gyms. $35 each. (254) 624-4010
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