Chapter 2 Traditions of shame Traditions of Fame section 1 a cam clash words and photo Esteban Erik Stipnieks all rights reserved

 

 

Sunday saw Stephen relaxing after church with Brent Calloway and Roberto Gonzales at Fellowship Bible San Antonio.  Brent was a senior at Clark and he had heard about the run.  Brent played football and the two had been in action that weekend.  The church had a small youth group.  They had started a study on Nehemiah.  Mark Steynizer the pastor was a hard taskmaster demanding that they do some of the work.  Mark talked to Stephen to ignore the critics and to keep working on what he was doing and was being embodiment of what was to be.  Monday came like thief in the night.   

Tara went to the high school group at First Baptist.  Donna Goode asked some about Stephen.  Stephen was back.  Amanda Cook kind of explained to Tara about what happened with Heights.  Amanda was surprised.  Tara told Amanda how the hatred was almost universal towards Marcus and that all runners from different teams when a Marcus runner was about to be passed worked like a team.  Amanda started laughing.  In many ways the Unicorns were regarded like Marcus.  As Sunday school progressed it was clear to Tara this was no Denton Bible she asked her dad if she could go to church with Stephen the following Sunday.  He reluctantly agreed. 

Sunday's Herald had a full blown section on the team after the football game coverage.  The Unicorns had beaten Seguin at their house.  Tara's dad had not messed with the system.  The paper mentioned team members were mentioned Varsity and JV.  The comment was that Unicorn Crosscountry entering 1993 with more balance between the boys and the girls.  Stephen read this after church as he played on his guitar.  The high activity level Stephen was maintaining was aimed to avoid overlap of time with his parents.  Its hard to argue with people when you are never around them.   

Monday Stephen walked the short distance to campus about a mile from his location on the hills across from Walnut. Gulf moisture had rolled in and the sky was cloudy and the air a stale 82.  The route was familiar down Kerlick across Walnut by Shwaumkrugs through a small trail on school property that was part of the draw that spawned Panther Canyon and up the JROTC center.  He walked Lt.Col Ron was asking him where he was going "Got film to process."  It was an annoyance Stephen knew he had to be there but there were other commitments.  He got the familiar front of the building crossing the practice field altering the angle a bit and went through the door by the office down to main hall and down by the band hall to the yearbook room.  He kept his cam at home he had carefully placed the bulk loaded roll of film bulk loaded in a steel tank and reel.  It as was to be processed that day. 

It was five till 8 when Stephen arrived.  He opened up the front compartment of his backpack.  It cointained the film canister in a tank and reel set up that was his own.  Mrs Anderson looked surprised.  Stephen explained "Gifts from Denton and since I am odd ball liking metal they gave me one."  The metal provided more tactile clues which suited his dyspraxic hands.   Some one had actually welded into the side of the tank and lid of the tank Bronco staff photog 91-92 92-93 best wishes thanks.  Mrs Anderson said that she had anticipated the use.  The good thing about T-Max was it was mixed at room temp.  His Junior year Stephen had to do a reshoot because the temp of the developer was too hot.  The result was a thick grainy negative.  Also due to the fact the New Braunfels water was so hard and contained so much limestone it doubled as a calcium supplement the water had been filtered. 

Stephen got a black bag and placed it on a table he quickly decided to keep the bag un cluttered just to put the tank with its single reel and lid all together since it held the film.  He zipped the inner and outer bag tight then inserted his arms.  This was all done by feel now.  The tips of his fingers were his eyes.  He removed the tank lid grabbed the canister with his left hand and with his right hand removed the reel.  He bounced the bulk loaded canister against the desk with his left hand his right hand verified that in deed the lid had had come off and he pulled the film out of the canister with it placing it back in his left hand where his fingers grabbed the end of it.  His right hand fished for the reel and once the reel was found he carefully brought it to the end of the film on the left hand his fingers located the catch.  Stephen had gotten to the point of bulk loading with just a straight edge it made loading the camera a bit more difficult but it was worth it since allowed the film to come onto to reel with ease.  The film was carefully placed in thne Stephen gave a slight tug making sure it was secure.  Then slowly he applied just a bit of pressure with his left hand to the sprocket sides or the film bending it just enough to make into the reel and expanding to fill the metal spiral he wound with his right hand, periodically making sure the shape was round not oval finally near the end of the film a the tape that had secured the film to the center part of the cartridge was found and torn. Stephen verified that the film was in the shape it should be the felt ok and he placed it into the tank and placed the lid tightly on the tank and withdrew his arms. 

He unzipped the bag emptying the bulk load cartridge a small piece of film he grabbed the bulk load spindle container and two metal parts for future reuse he went to the sink for the use of the chemicals.  The next thirty minutes he was basically a machine shaking 10 seconds per minute first 6 through T-max he had to dump out the chemical.  Then a quick in and out of stop bath.  Then 10 minutes of fix.  This was probably the least interesting part of photography for Steven King. 

Once it was done he gently removed the long strand of negatives from the reel and turned on the filtered water to wash the fix off the negatives.  Then he looked briefly.  The negatives were dried right as the first bell rang.  Stephen quickly cut five strips four exposures apiece and put them in a negative sleeve.  Stephen would partially skip lunch and produce a contact sheet.  The bell rang for first class no negatives had touched so he had a decent start on the process.

JROTC was interesting.  Stephen King had been promoted to cadet Captain and was given command of the PT team.  The first three classes went by fast Stephen was looking to see if he could get a glance at the negatives he had sleeved to see if he had gotten some good photos.  Stephen was happy to hear the recognition of the football team's victory and how the boys crosscountry was doing well.  The smile on his face "Have a good day Unicorns" meant so much.  He looked at some this only fed his curiosity.  Finally lunch came.  He quickly went down the Science hallway back to the lab.  His lunch bag had a ham and cheese sandwich a coke and a couple granola bars.  It was newspaper time and the editor asked if he had imagery from the first race of the season.  He was also given an assignment for band night practice on Wednesday. 

(sleeved negatives Northlakes Park and some from regional Lubbock I Esteban Erik Stipnieks shot those negatives)

Susan Dalshaw and Stephen had never gotten along.  His freshman year had seen the civil thaw.  Now they were forced to work together.  Once inside the print lab and the safe light was on the main light was off the chemicals for the rest of the way were quickly made.  Other contact sheets were going to be made the last class.  Stephen was surprised how fast Susan worked as she measured the chemicals and the dilution first for developer then the stop bath.  Stephen was stuck handling the fix which was almost like handling CS powder.  As any got inhaled like tear gas the mucous membranes would immediately start pouring snot out.  And mixing it always meant tears.  That got mixed quickly.  The water heater was nearby so he stirred the powder with the hot water.....and measured in pitcher.  It was placed in a pan the remainder of the mixture was placed in a labled bottle with the date.  Chemicals mixed it was time for a contact sheet!

Then came the grab for the frame to set up on the contact sheet.  It was large piece of glass meant to hold sleeved negatives over photo paper.  Stephen located the 8X10 paper.  The large double safe light made the print lab far more brighter then he was used to.  He found the paper cutter and he quick cut a test strip.  A piece of card board covered the exposure in 1 section of the paper was exposed for 5 seconds another exposed for 10, and the finally another for 15 the enlarger head was mid fstop.  Susan was sizing Stephen up.  Quickly with tongs the test strip was in the developer stop bath finally the fix.  10 seconds was the best exposure.  Contact sheets need not be perfect but they had to be readable.  Paper secure was the call.  It was double check to prevent an expensive exposure of photo paper.  The light was on.  The test strip was read the full white light revealing 10 seconds was the best time.  He shut the light off again.  As he grabbed another piece of paper he quickly closed and secure the box in a closet to stay dark.  Stephen slid the paper underneath the negatives and the glass sheet on top of them.  With a touch of button the enlarger light went on for 10 seconds the 60 watt bulb passing light through the negatives on.  The paper was exposed the emulsion had its chemical content changed and into the developer to reveal the changes in the form of   a print.   45 seconds later the contact sheet was made a clean set of tongs brought it into the stop bath.  Once in the stop bath for 30 seconds in the fix then he could safely turn on the main light. 

The hints had to be become clear he still had focus issues but the result was some intense facial expressions and the top of the Unicorn logo.  He as a cross-country runner liked the results.  Susan seemed surprised at the images.  They were intense.  The faces showed struggle drive pain.  Stephen looked at her with a condescension written all over his face.  He said volumes without speaking a word.  He walked away and started on his sandwich and drank his canned juice.  He chain ate.  Susan was visibly upset.  Mrs Anderson looked at Stephen.  He looked at Susan "You wanted me to shoot it I did."  The shirt was 1993 crosscountry it was artsy lavish script baby blue and royal blue.  Susan was stewing.  Stephen finally said talk to the shirt.  The bell rang ending the period. 

Aero caught Stephen walking to class.  He asked, "Get the shots done?"  There was a demanding tone to the voice Stephen responded I got the contact sheet and an old familiar argument is playing again."  Aero looked confused.  Freshman were amusing.  Stephen let it hang and allowed him to be confused about the battles that were waging.  Three more classes passed till he was back in yearbook.  He looked in his basket.  Mrs. Ansderson made a comment "Susan is upset."  Stephen replied "I shoot the sport the way us athletes want it shot."  Actually the way wanted it portrayed a struggle.  Mrs Anderson said "If you promise to get the prints done by Wednesday you can workout with the team."  Stephen smiled agreed.  He slid the contact sheet now dry with a couple pictures marked on it into his bag. 

As he did this, a hall pass was written clearing him to the gym.  Mrs. Anderson read Stephen and was afraid of his mother's power.  The fact that Stephen had separated himself from her authority had earned him one him a friend though he did not know it.  Mrs. Anderson had been a military brat Stephen carried himself in the way.  On the political scene his mother had the board for a couple years.  Scores had gone down and New Braunfels had fallen from grace.  She was enough of a traditionalist to appease one side but the other side trusted her radical sister.  She would back up Stephen on this one if it came to that.  Stephen was unaware of all that.  He just wanted the photos.  Stephen walked to the gym as Mrs. Anderson let a smile.  Stephen was handed a sheet with his race time.  Stephen King had realized he went to wide at a few points the surge could have began earlier and smoother to be more gradual he would have made a couple more passes.  The paper contained more data about a race Stephen had rerun and analyzed.

Tara as she changed she looked at her paper her time a copy of the course on a map.  She had given it a pause and realized her minor mistakes a couple turns of hers had been too sloppy and a couple times she was to aggressive on turns which wasted energy that she could have done things.  It was her marital arts training taking over.  This long workout though was another chance to improve and she was determined to do so.

Once in the dressing room no one was there, Coach had just finished taking roll.  Stephen waited Coach Bob was the first in.  Coach asked, "You got the pictures?"  He handed the contact sheet to Coach Bob.  Coach Bob made the comment as they changed "Different then what is normally done."  Stephen responded, "Wanted to tell the story."  Coach Bob looked liked what he saw but realized the expressions and the intensity for some would be a turn off.  There was more a focus on the faces in the later stages.  Coach Bob then asked, "Try to get one of us doing proper form next time they give you an order."  Stephen now almost dressed replied will do.  The contact sheet made its way around the team Out of the back of what used to be the cafeteria the people team emerged.  Bo made a comment "Amanda is not going to like this photo you took of her."  Aero and Raul seemed surprised at the image captured of them.  Bo made the comment "Great shot of me.  Special took a look "Best shot of me I have seen."  Stephen thanked him and they headed out to the football field. 

Coach Noel Scott was in the training room mixing the Exceed. The humidity of early morning as they walked out had given way to scalding heat with isolated shallow cumulus clouds.  The sight was stunning and the heat was stunning to bodies and eyes that had not seen the sky since earlier that day.  Special said "We are running golf course by the way today."  Stephen nodded.  That made sense.  His knee was holding up.  Tom had the group circle.  The stretching was orderly and calm.  Amanda Cook, Tara West and Linda would run with the guys.  Brandy was cute Anna had her appearance.  Kim had done well.  The glow of the victory was adding a new feel to the team.  Bo made the comment "Amanda you are not going to like the picture he took of you."  It was a secret effort to get her attention.  Amanda responded "When he has Stephen cared what I thought anyway."  Bo laughed "She burned you."  Stephen replied "She has not seen what I have seen."  Tara could see Stephen pulling away mentally.  He was not seeking conflict.  Amanda said "This is New Braunfels not Denton."  Leisha looked at Stephen "Yeah two classmates dead 1 brains blown out and 1 overdosing to only 1 suicide in Bronco land ,Unicorn Pride is justified"  His voice inflection was flat almost sinister.  Tara winced but quickly understood.  Kimber looked stunned.  School spirit never meant much to the guy's team but mocking it to Amanda Cook by Stephen was stunning.  Stephen King had just assaulted what he long deemed sacred.  It was for Stephen being around his sister.  Scott had heard the line and was not surprised by it.  Special was stunned "You twithsted" the was a joke from years before.  It was an attempt to change the bomb that Bo had set off without knowing.  On that note they started running.

Once the run started the laws of physics and kinease dictated a harsh reality that Amanda, Tara and Linda were inevitably grouped by Stephen.  Ohio to California a race played itself out as Amanda wanted to peel away from Stephen....Stephen wanted to pull away from her the end result was they were close together.  Tara had let Amanda have team dominance in the pecking order but when it came to speed she was not about to voluntarily ease off.  Linda knew she was as fast if not faster then Amanda and her competitive fire would not allow her to be beat.  It was not a drag race but was not long slow distance and by the time the group turned on California.  Coach Bob who had been away from the verbal exchange could see the back pack pulling away from him and he could only see the tension in the four. 

The separation was initated finally as Lakeview began its turn and down hill Stephens long legs and propelled him away from Tara's 165lbs his weight and stride was greater then Linda or Amanda's 130lbs.  He passed a spring on the east of E Klingermann.  Stephen was now by himself Special had been left behind with Coach Bob.  His legs were sore sweat was stinging his eyes. 

Thomas and Mike were a bit a head of him.  As his Air Max hit the asphalt of the residential street Stephen was forced to think.  Amanda just drove him nuts.  She had talent but her personalty did not seem to develop besides it.  It was like dealing with Ellen but Ellen did not have the talent.  The restraint that kept Stephen's mouth shut in Denton was gone.  The sounds of the impacts of rubber on asphalt filled his ear as skin was slimy with sweat that was slowly evaporating.  The gulf that had opened showed the differences between Stephen that had developed in two years.  She was mild mannered and Stephen was a whirlwind.  Linda was struggling to deal with him and her brother.  Golf course had come into view.  Stephen took a right and was right along the curb.  This town was still refusing to acknowledge where it was in time.  The football game first home one would be mean that he would have to shoot it while being on JROTC duty.  He could see the calmness as the school was almost afraid to assert a course under the new voice of his mom.   VP still said "Had a good day Unicorns and Channel one was played.”  Those elements made it good to be home.  The team was still a Coach Bob team: drama all the time.  Briefly Stephen wondered why he missed it while he was in Denton.  He had to get on varsity.  He ran hard.  Then he continued around the bend in front of the Wursthalle and through Landa Park.  The line was straight once he crossed the bridge that went over the mill race that was dug out with slave labor.  The park had large hump. Then into the tight funnel that was Panther Canyon.  Finally it was Panther Canyon.  The shade of the canyon as it went up the face of Balcones escarpment was a relief from the heat.  Finally he emerged from the twisting turning path that wind up the draw climbing rapidly he saw Ohio and the school ahead.  He broke out into a full sprint. 

As Tara, Linda and Amanda made the turn with Stephen ahead Amanda blurted "He was weird then now...."  Tara responded,” Do you realize how much he loves this town, this team?”  Amanda looked confused the group slowed down ahead as Stephen was still racing madly.  Linda could see "Why did he leave the church?"  Tara responded "truth."  Linda was unnerved by the answer.  Amanda sensed that maybe she might have more in common with Tara then she thought.  Tara then in a line that surprised her said "The anger hides the grief he loves this town loves this team he hates what it has become."  Tara barely got this out running hard.  She continued "If the booze parties were busted all at once my father knows he would not have a football team.”  Tara commented "You heard a man whoose woman treats him no good make a stupid comment in frustration....rest assured he loves that woman."  Amanda comprehended what Tara had just said.  Linda was shocked.  The girls did not run the straightest distance and on the uphill Stephens legs pulled the distance greater.   Tara then said with a grin "Enough talking lets try to catch the nut case."  The voice had a but of humor and friendly dare.  The group surged a head.  They did not catch Stephen who was 60 seconds ahead.  He greeted them with three cups of Exceed.  Tara seemed to offer clues that maybe the long tall half breed may not be half bad.   

Amanda looked at him strangely but the hostility had disappeared.  He smiled greeting them "Good job gals you made me work."   He handed them three cups of Exceed.  Tara quipped "You would be embarrassed if we beat you."  She did a fake tough girl routine with a degree of humor.  Stephen laughed a bit.  Her brother had realized he needed to put on a human face and that he lost it earlier.  Stephen then said "I was a bit harsh have you seen the contact sheet?"  Amanda replied "No."  Tara who had been a victim of the camera said "Its different but long term I like it."  Amanda looked at Stephen less angry.  Tara's father had seen his daughter in action she was clearly instigating some sort of healing. 

Coach Noel Scott had watched the harsh line Ace had spouted.  He was sensitive too sensitive.  It did remind others of where he was coming from.  It unnerved Amanda because there was truth in what had Ace spouted.  It just was delivered in a tactless manner.  Doc was surprised and the two listened from the training room Tara, Linda and Amanda.  A smile emerged on his face.  Doc seemed surprised Coach Noel Scott simply said "His daughter is emerging into a young woman he should be proud of."  He then walked out and said don't forget to do your six strides pushups and crunches.  Coach Noel Scott wrote a note to the football coach.  In the plain style of writing Scott indicated that Tara West had behaved in a manner that he had hoped Tara would.  He concluded "I knew what Stephen liked and hated about this town I have seen it played out Tara's actions glorified Christ and aided in maintaining a unity on the team and turning the team in a direction he, and Stephen desired."   

The football field had been plugged the four runners got decently spaced and the form was to be arm swing on the center and the stride should be flowing.  30 yards slow accelerate 30 decel 30 and back again.  The cycle was to feel real speed after long one.  This was repeated going back down.  Bo seemed surprised to see Stephen talking nice to Amanda then headed back. 

Bo, Aero, Tom and Stephen headed to the locker room together.  Bo looked surprised at had it gone down.   As Stephen grabbed his bag from the locker in the dark concrete room void of windows he was overcome once again by being happy he was there.  He made a comment we know what crosscountry is running and the picture can say what no prose can.  Stephen then said "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."   Stephen had a dislike for Bo's hipster side.  Bo had forced an argument.  Tom had a rare look of contempt for Bo as he said "You hurt the team."  The runner left the locker room.  Tom looked at the photo and later told Amanda she might actually like it and the photo was high brow not a low brow candid. 

Tara's dad had picked up the note that evening when he got home he saw Tara working on her homework.  He kept the note and on the back in his spidery script wrote: "When you do the right thing in a complicated situation without guidance from me you are showing I have raised a woman with a heart for God I am proud of you."  His heart was beaming with pride.  As Tara looked at her father she saw a smile on his normally harsh demanding face and he commented "You picked up a block that needed to be picked up you made the play I am more proud of you then I was when you got your black belt."        

When Stephen got home he heard the phone ringing it was Mr. Frieshenhahn.  The voice on the old man indicated his years and that the two had been long.  The conversation went fast.  He had a place near Schertz and he would like Stephen to visit.  Stephen agreed to go by Tuesday night.  He had saved up some extra money and when the talk to photography came.  It was agreed he could use his equipment if Stephen bought the chemicals and paper. 

That night it was a quick dinner at Pats Place.  They got there early and avoided a big rush.  Stephen's mom was recognized by school board member Dr. Ramos  he was happy Stephen was doing well.  Another Dr. Orr also came by and congratulated Stephen on his performance.  He ate his Chicken Fried Steak horridly while drinking the water to him that was sweet.  The taste of limestone was good.  He would have to wait an hour to change and then do 20 minutes on a bike followed by leg extensions to keep the knee tight.  The Advil came with the meal. 

The AlgbraII, AP English, and Physics homework had been done.   Stephen went down town for 20 minutes on the recumbent bike and 3 sets of leg extensions.  He would have to eat before bed time.  He walked out of the building he once knew as Winns across the street from the building in third grade he had a tour of as the post office within a block of where he took his first communion and split from.  The dry cleaners had been replaced a coffee shop.  JC Penny and other clothing stores had become antique stores.  Night was falling in more ways then one.  He thought briefly as we went under the KATY bridge now abandoned as MoPac had been bought by Union Pacific and then went after KATY shutting down the line. 

While Tara rested in the security of a household where her dad may have been a workaholic but the two teachers had created a secure loving household Stephen was in a home that wreaked of tension his older sister was in Boston but the distance between his parents and their world view inevitably was something that created an envoirment Stephen wanted to run away from.  He got to sleep the following day was ahead and he would need his strength. 

 

 

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