Museum of Northwest Colorado: Gillam around town
For a number of years Keith Gillam was Craig’s unofficial photographer. He could be seen at all hours of the day walking all around town with his camera case slung over his shoulder. He worked at the middle school in maintenance as well as a photographer for the newspaper from 1972 to 1980. His passion was to capture the everyday heartbeat of his chosen hometown, and he did it well. The Museum of Northwest Colorado, thanks to the gracious gift from Gillam’s family, now has a substantial collection of Keith’s photographs which number well into the thousands.
Keith’s images captured every nuance of life in Craig, from the overgrown weeds in a backyard alley view, to the formal poses of community club members. He was there at Moffat County fairs, capturing the tykes with ice-cream smears across their grimy chins. He recorded the pigs and the lambs with their awkward pre-teen owners in the 4-H sale barn. He caught the changes in the townscape during the boom years when the power plant was being built. He was there to take innumerable images for a bride and groom on their wedding day. Keith did it all, in terms of photography, and left us with an invaluable and irreplaceable documentation of life in Craig in the 1970s and ’80s.
Many of Keith’s photographs in the museum collection center on school activities but unfortunately, as with most of his photos, they have no identification as to the event or the people. The photograph shown here appears to be of junior high school students, but their identification and the event remain a mystery. The boy in the center back has been identified as Chuck Merlino but the others are unknown. The girl seated in the middle wears a crown which might be comprised of heart shapes, so possibly this could be a Valentine’s Day-related event.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado would love to hear from anyone who might have information about this photo. Call 970-824-6360 if you can identify anyone in it, or come by the museum during business hours and take a closer look at the photo to see if you remember anything about it.
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