Eye for history

Area photographer shares
pictures from presidential inauguration

joeyg’s to display Sheckler’s
photos through March 11

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(March 2009) – John Sheckler attended President Barack O’Bama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., and plans to share them in an exhibit that runs through March 11 at joeyg’s Restaurant and Nightclub, 218 E. Main St.

Inauguration Ceremony

Photo provided

The crowds were enormous during
the January inauguration ceremony
of President Barak Obama in
Washington D.C. This photo is part
of John Sheckler's exhibit.

“I’d never been in a crowd that size where people weren’t angry. Everybody was pleasant,” John Sheckler, 62 of Lexington, Ind.
While most people were watching the historic celebrations on television, Sheckler braved the massive crowds covering Washington. “Here’s the real measure of the success of that – close to 2 million people and not a single arrest.”
He has titled his exhibit “Witness to History: Photographs by John F. Sheckler.” The display includes 20 pictures from the inauguration, and is bookended by shots Sheckler took as a young man of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Dali Lama.
On March 18, meanwhile, the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum will feature Sheckler as the guest speaker of its monthly brown bag luncheon. The museum is located at 1050 S. Main St. in Scottsburg. Members of the public are invited to bring a lunch and enjoy a talk by this fascinating and energetic speaker. Drinks and deserts will be provided.
Museum director Jeremy Risen notes that one of the museum volunteers “had learned that John to the inauguration and had taken pictures.” Sheckler was then invited to speak about his experiences as part of the museum’s Brown Bag Lunch program. The third Wednesday of each month between September and May the museum plays host to local speakers to present on a variety of topics of community interest.
Patty Cooper Wells, a Madison-based artist, curates the art wall at joeyg’s. She learned of her friend’s trip and knew that his work would make for a perfect display.
“I knew he would inevitably capture some interesting photographs at this historic event and I thought that it would make for an interesting exhibit that other folks in Madison might appreciate.”

John Scheckler

Photo provided

John Scheckler poses
on The Mall during his
trip to Washington, D.C..

She describes Sheckler as “a very honest and down-to-earth person. He can’t help but to bring that into his photographs. He is interested in people and telling their stories. He also has the talent that is essential to being a good photojournalist, capturing the essential moment that tells that story.”
Sheckler was uniquely qualified to capture the historical significance of the inauguration of the 44th president. While only an eight-grader, Sheckler attended the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy with his grandfather. Later as a photojournalist, he would shoot pictures of four other U.S. presidents; his first day as a full-time news person included taking a picture of Ronald Reagan. “I selected journalism because I knew it would let me do things I would not otherwise be able to do.”
Before heading to Washington, Sheckler researched the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr. stood to deliver his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” The research paid off when Sheckler was able to capture one of his favorite pictures from the inauguration – a shot of the crowd in front of the Washington Monument taken on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in King’s very footprints. “I was very proud I could get in position for that specific photo.”

• For information about the exhibit, call joeyg's Restaurant and Nightclub at (812) 273-8862.

Back to March 2009 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta