Making of Lucky Bag Cover Picture

Jerry Nay

lucky bag photoAs I look back to the year we worked on putting together that BIG Book, our Lucky Bag, chronicling the Great Class of 1955’s Four Years at the Academy, I recall how ‘it’ ….what turned out to be the cover picture…came about. Here it is.

In the course of several Lucky Bag Committee staff meetings, I was enlisted as a photographer for the Class and we hunted for a theme, or opening picture. Having an interest I aviation, and sensing a need to tie things in the Book to a familiar frame of reference,--Eureka—why not take an aerial photograph of Bancroft Hall, and show it as if one were looking at it through a ship’s porthole? Sort of crazy?

The time was after Aviation summer, and we were back at school following our vacation. I wish I could remember the name of my instructor pilot when we took our Aviation summer flight orientation rides, albeit, in N3Ns (phew! a swell 90 knots experience). I believe it was “Major- Sir” (any Marine stationed at the Academy). Since we had established a relationship of sorts during the few hours of flight orientation, I later looked him up to see if there was a chance of arranging another ride, but with him at the controls, to make several overhead passes at a few hundred feet over “Tecumseh Court”. It was arranged. (I doubt if we could get that done so easily in today’s environment).

It was a great day for flying, and an even greater day for taking pictures. We circled the Academy several times for my taking several pictures—first with my “Rollie”, then my “Speed Graphic”, and finally with my “Leica”…but without today’s neat feature of a motion dampener (if you were to look too closely, you’d see a bit of un-sharpnesss, to say the least). So it was back to the dark room on the third deck in the Fifth Wing of Bancroft. Then,“Voila”! We had our picture!

The Lucky Bag caption to this picture reads:

“From the same portholes through which we as naval officers shall view our future, we as midshipmen would like to show you a fragment of our past….”