I love photo collages of fencers, even when I don’t know who any of the people in the pictures are.  Especially if there are lots of faces to look at.  I always find myself looking closely and wondering, “Is that….?  No, probably not.  Well, maybe…”  Last summer I visited my old friend Len Carnighan up in Portland at the Studio of American Fencing.  He had several collages up in the club and I’d seen them before.  But now, with an eye toward protecting and preserving fencing history, I saw his collages from a new perspective.  And, sad to say, they needed some help:

Carnighan Montage No.1

Pictures had come unglued or un-taped, they were sagging, and the whole thing just called out to me.  I negotiated the loan of the four collages Len had up at the salle and brought them home.

The process was a little labor intensive and I had to take care not to damage the image of any of the photos.  Some had tape on the front, all had tape on the back that had to be carefully removed.  Once all the tape was off, I scanned all the individual images so that I could manipulate them into a new file in Photoshop, roughly re-making the original layout.  Here are some of the individual shots:

Len.Montage.1.006.MetkusBotenganAllen

From a Los Angeles open around 1980, that’s Andrea Metkus, Ruth Botengan and Debra Allen.  I wonder if any of them still have those caricatures?

Len.Montage.1.024.EditVinnie

Edit Kolos talks to her director, Vinnie Bradford, as her opponent gets her foil checked.

Len.Montage.1.051.AlanBuchwald

This small one is Alan Buchwald at a Santa Cruz beach tournament.

Len.Montage.1.062.MikeGay

Michael D’Asaro Sr. gives Gay D’Asaro a warm up lesson.

Len.Montage.1.069.JuniorCharlieMichael

Another collection of D’Asaros.  Michael Jr on the left, as Charlie Selberg and Michael Sr. discuss a lesson plan during a summer workshop at San Jose State.

Len.Montage.1.032.Palomar

The final evening at the old Santa Cruz Fencers Club at the Palomar Hotel Ballroom on Pacific Avenue.  I can’t identify anyone except Bob Cotter right in the center, fencing epee in the black sweatpants, possibly fencing against Debra Allen.

 

Len Montage no.1

Last is the final verion I delivered back to Len.  I had it printed out larger than it had been originally and laminated it to protect it a little from foil point damage.  But I’ve still got the file, so I can always print another one for him.  He also got all the original images back, so no loss to him and I get copies of everything for the Archive.  Win!

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