images from an archaeologist's scrapbook
by Will Brame

I may have cut an angelic figure in these 1968 school photos, with my big eyes and snub nose and Huck Finn smile, but even then I was up to No Good. My occasional girlfriend was called Mickie ("Hey Mickie, you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickie!"). She used to lure me into the alley in our down-at-the-heels South St. Louis neighborhood and wheedle me for a session of practice in kissing. She had a darting intrusive tongue which always tasted like hot cinnamon candy.

Flash forward to 1982, when I was an archaeology student at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in the bucolic squalor of Cape Girardeau. SEMO's greatest claim to fame is that Rush Limbaugh fled the place. I stayed. I was having too much fun playing with the skeleton.

The classmate who took these photos insisted I do something serious in the second shot. Here I am at work on my lab project, re-assembling with Duco cement a fragmentary human being I dug up in a salvage excavation. Gruesome, you say? At least I never balanced a skull on my palm and said, "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well," like three or four other archaeology students I could name. And if I had, I would have gotten the line right. (Photographer: H. F. "Jay" Riggs).

copyright © 1997
William Brame
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