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Archive for the ‘Jeff City/The Missourian’ Category

I’m pleased to present my final capstone project — my last project as an undergraduate here at the University of Missouri.

In the House of Representatives press gallery.

You can view my video/photo project in one of two places:

My website

or

My Vimeo page

What exactly is this project, anyway?

As I’ve hinted previously in this blog, the scene is the Missouri state capitol building, and the characters are various statehouse newspaper reporters. As for the story — well, let’s just say that as the economy takes its toll and the journalism industry continues to shrink, state capitol bureaus are suffering.

Last spring, The American Journalism Review published a survey whose results showed a more than 30 percent decrease in the number of newspaper reporters covering state capitols full-time over a period of six years. This survey was released while I myself was reporting in Jefferson City, the capital city of Missouri, so it seized my attention and I kept reading similar reports (such as this March 2009 article in The New Republic). A month ago, as I was searching for a story idea for my capstone project, I remembered the survey and reports — and contacted a few reporters and asked if I could follow and interview them.

I’d like to thank Chad Livengood of The Springfield News-Leader, Virginia Young and Tony Messenger of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jason Noble of The Kansas City Star and Phill Brooks of Missouri Digital News for their immense help with this project.

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Scene:

The Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City.

Here’s a (kinda) sneak peek at my final capstone project. It’s my last undertaking in the Missouri School of Journalism since, in exactly one week,  I’ll be graduating and hightailing it to the Poynter Institute as one of its 2010 College Fellows. So — what exactly am I doing for my project?

Well… I won’t disclose everything right now. But here’s the cast of characters.

Chad Livengood, a Springfield News-Leader reporter who is currently reporting on his third legislative session in Jefferson City.

Virginia Young, who directs the Jefferson City bureau for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and who's been reporting there for 20ish years.

Phill Brooks, director of Missouri Digital News...

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Friday night photo-editing shifts at The Columbia Missourian always seem like the longest ones, even if they’re not. I don’t know if that’s because it’s the Friday-night mentality or because assignments actually do tend to run later.

Stephanie in barefeet, Jeff in muddy shoes with ridiculous shoelaces. This is how we roll.

The completion of a Friday shift, though, calls for celebration in multiple forms.

A quick - and our first - stop at Yogoluv, a frozen yogurt bar that's struck a chord among especially high school and college students.

I’m borrowing Nick‘s Mamiya 645 1000S for the next few weeks, and Erin gave me a roll of Ilford 400 to use as a test roll. I’m pretty excited — I haven’t shot medium-format film in years, and this is my first time using a waist-level viewfinder. It’ll take a while to get used to, especially since I feel like it takes an entirely different perspective and visual eye from an SLR-esque viewfinder.

A borrowed camera with borrowed film. That's how I roll.

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I have a big, fat radical idea for the MU School of Journalism:

Start early.

Do more journalism.


In other words: Instead of only one or two required semesters for students at any given newsroom  — how about three full years?

Click on the image to view/download the full PDF file.

In light of recent discussions and in anticipation of tomorrow’s forum (flier above), here are the facts, the problems and my totally radical ideas.

The facts

Don’t know how the MU School of Journalism works? Here’s a fast run-down:

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Yesterday was a pretty atypical Tuesday, since on Tuesdays I go straight from my last class to my photo-editing shift at The Columbia Missourian — and I’m in the newsroom until the last assignment comes in.

But yesterday, the Avett Brothers were in town. And Jeff had given me tickets for my birthday. So I arranged not to have to edit at The Missourian all night.

The Missourian at dusk.

Instead, Jeff and I went down the alleyway between the Tin Can and the Missouri Theatre (where the Avetts were to perform)…

Graffiti in the alley.

…and ate for the first time at Ingredient, which features gourmet, customizable salads and burgers.

Waiting for our food at Ingredient. Yes, the light above our table was that harsh/stark.

Then we went to the concert. I didn’t take my camera — because frankly, I was there to enjoy the music.

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More than two weeks ago, I spent my entire weekend at the Mizzou Aquatics Center, where the fourth annual Missouri Grand Prix was going on for four days.

Eric Shanteau swims the championship heat of the 200-meter individual medley finals on the second day of the fourth annual Missouri Grand Prix.

I was there to help the assigned Columbia Missourian photographers — most of whom had never before shot swimming, which I think is one of the more technical, difficult sports to photograph — and edit and submit their photos to the newsroom. But I also had plenty of time to make pictures, so I made full use of this opportunity.

Unfortunately, my portable hard drive crashed just 10 minutes after I’d submitted the photographer’s photos in my last editing shift on Feb. 14. This meant I lost all these photos, and more — until I sent the drive to the data recovery company. Hence, the delay in posting these Grand Prix photos.

View from the diving tower.

Of course, there were many other photographers there, so trying to find angles and content that nobody else was getting was practically impossible. But it was a good challenge, and considering this was my first time at a big swim meet, I’m pleased with how my photos turned out.

This year was also the first year — in my memory — that Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and a few other big names were not in competition. Due to the snowstorms that were pummeling the east coast at the time, the North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmers scheduled to compete (including Phelps and Hoff) were unable to attend. Almost every other photographer I know was disappointed about this, but I frankly didn’t mind. I even tweeted, “Oh boo hoo, no Michael Phelps at the MO Grand Prix. There will still be incredible swimmers in the pool too, you know.”

So I, for one, enjoyed not having to stress about getting Michael Phelps photos. And I had fun. Enjoy some photos:

Missouri swimmer Jowan Qupty prepares to compete in the second heat of the 200-meter breakstroke finals.

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — I’m in the Bramlage Coliseum media room after the Missouri Tigers lost 63-53 to the Kansas State Wildcats.

Kansas State senior forward Luis Colon shoots against Missouri sophomore center Steve Moore during the first half at Kansas State on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010.

Two points of interest. The first: It’s unusual for a Columbia Missourian photo editor to cover a basketball game, but none of the staff photographers could or would volunteer to travel with the writers to Manhattan.

The second: I shouldn’t have worn a purple top for a game at/against Kansas State.

During the final 30 seconds of the game — which lasted about five minutes of real time — I was bored at my place at the endline. One of my camera batteries had died, so I was switching between lenses on the other camera, and I was pretty dissatisfied with my situation in general.

So I went into the stands, where I saw a young boy whose emotions were very much invested in the game: He was crying, shouting and, at some points, turning away from the court as if he didn’t want to watch the Tigers lose. I started making some pictures.

Ten-year-old Jack Kropf of St. Joseph, Mo., watches the Tigers lose to the Wildcats during the last 30 seconds of play at Kansas State.

Then I heard, nearby, voices shouting: “She’s taking pictures of their son, and they don’t want her to!”

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I’m spending this weekend at the Student Recreation Complex, where swimmers have gathered to compete in the fourth annual Missouri Grand Prix.

The Columbia Missourian photographers are photographing. I’m there to edit — but between card dumps and transmissions to the photo desk, I have the opportunity to roam and make pictures, too.

So that’s what I did tonight.

I’ve shot dual-team meets at the rec center before, but never a full-blown, multi-day tournament whose roster includes Olympic swimmers. Tonight, I fiddled around a bit and tried not to resort to just the “one swimmer per frame” kind of shooting. Tomorrow and Sunday morning, because I know what to expect and where I can go, I’ll do better with this.

That’s right. I volunteered to live-edit during almost my entire weekend. But I made a point not to volunteer for the Sunday evening shift — because I’m sure as hell not missing the pairs short program for the Winter Olympics.

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It’s the end of football season.

Missouri sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the Missouri players walk off the field after losing the Texas Bowl game.

Which means, on New Year’s Eve, I shot my last college football game.

Carrying two backpacks (one covered by the pink jacket), a camera messenger bag and a 400mm lens on a monopod, on the way to the media entrance at Reliant Stadium. Blame the wind for the bad hair. Photo by Jeff.

Okay — more accurately, the Texas Bowl game was the last college football game I’ll ever have shot as an undergraduate photojournalism student. And boy, was it a tough one.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved with every football game I’ve shot this season. I started out a little rough with the Illinois game, which I chalk up to my previously not having ever used Nikon equipment and shooting with a D3, a D2H and a 500/4 lens. Photographing the Nebraska game turned out a lot better, despite the personal misery associated with the inclement weather conditions. And I felt really on top of things when I shot Missouri’s unexpected victory at Kansas State and happened to be in exactly the right places to capture most of Missouri’s touchdowns.

But boy, did the Navy throw Missouri — and me — a curveball with the Texas Bowl game.

Marching Mizzou bandmembers Elysia Gooding and Alyssa Cowman perform as members of the Naval Academy band pass by and shout their cheer before the game outside the Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Going into the game, I had a few thoughts that shook me up a bit:

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It’s finals week at many universities and colleges, including Missouri. Because I’m not entirely engrossed in scouring the on-line Oxford English Dictionary for my History of the English Language take-home exam, I’ve taken inspiration from an old 10,000 Words post and am instead announcing my journalism-minded goals and plans for this winter break.

(For those of you not familiar with the 10,000 Words blog — it’s a great resource for journalists/journalism students where blogger Mark S. Luckie provides tutorials, pontificates on relevant issues/questions in the industry and frequently refers to other examples of good journalism and/or branding.)

Without further ado, here’s what this journalism senior is doing over winter break:

  1. Revamping my Web site, especially the setup and some CSS. I’ll be changing some things around in my photo portfolio section and adding my written reporting clips. And nope, I’m not going to link to it now — once it’s more complete, I’ll post the URL and invite everyone and anyone to provide any feedback/criticism/praise.
  2. Going through the last two months’ photos. Thanks to projects, I haven’t had time to go over my recent Missourian assignments or my just-for-fun photos (Texas Renaissance Festival?). But starting next week, I’ll have time to do that, as well as post them for you to see here.
  3. Continuing/finishing posting New York City summer photos. Okay, so these photos are about four and a half months old now, but I’m still proud of and excited about them. So you can expect to see those soon, too.
  4. Tweaking my photo final projects. For one photo class, I produced an audio slideshow about on-site beer brewing at the Texas Renaissance Festival. For another photo class, I created a two-story package about what happens on a dairy farm after the farmer is killed by lightning. Both these projects are complete and on-line, as of yesterday, but I’m going to clean them up a little more before linking them to my Web site and sharing them with the general public.
  5. Covering the Texas Bowl game for The Missourian. As far as I know, Ivy and I are the only Missourian photo people credentialed to go — and she’s the designated editor, which means she’ll be in the photo workroom for most of the game. Which means I’m the only actual Missourian photographer for the game. Which is a lot of pressure. But hell if I’m not excited.
  6. Start reading The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regularly. If I’m going to be there this summer, I’d best get started on learning about the city and the paper.

Time for me to hit up the Oxford English Dictionary now. But — got any more suggestions for my winter break? I’d love to hear what you think!

(Of course I’ll also be sleeping and eating far more than is healthy for me, but that was already a given.)

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Today, I accepted a summer photo internship at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And got credentialed to photograph the Texas Bowl on Dec. 31 in Houston.

Today is a good day.

In other news, I’ve been working on various projects for the past few weeks. These include:

  • my final project for Staff Photo (about a brewery at the Texas Renaissance Festival),
  • my final project for Electronic Photojournalism (about a dairy farm) and
  • my portfolio Web site.

These projects are the main reason why I haven’t had much time to continue posting New York City photos and other photography expeditions I’ve recently had. Rest assured, these blog entries will come soon. I’m hoping to unveil my portfolio Web site and share my final projects in the middle of next week, and to pick up the NYC and other photos during winter break.

But in the meantime, I’m thrilled to spend the summer in Atlanta and honored to receive the internship offer. I really can’t wait to work in a larger newsroom and be in a new city. And I’m pumped to photograph the bowl game — I’ve come a long way in my football photography this semester, and I’m excited for the opportunity to cover a big game.

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Introduction

As perhaps thousands of people now know, my conflict (for lack of a better word) with the Boone County Courthouse didn’t end a month ago.

If anything, these people know that:

  • the judge rejected my written apology and offered a second opportunity to send another apology,
  • I declined that second opportunity and did not send another apology; and
  • the judge declared a 30-day ban for me to enter the Boone County Courthouse effective Dec. 15 unless I filed a request for a hearing.

What the vast majority of those people do not know is this: I never declined that second opportunity. Additionally, the 30-day ban has — as of yesterday around 10:45 a.m. — been lifted.

In this entry, I will attempt the following:

  • explain how it was that I’d never declined that second opportunity,
  • divulge all relevant details, including associated court documents and e-mails,
  • discuss the importance of reporters’ getting ALL sides of a story and
  • express my gratitude to the many who helped me and supported me through this tough time.

This account will be told chronologically. As was the case with my first account pertaining to this incident, it will be long. But so many people have read my account about how I made my mistake and tried to atone for it, and I can only hope that at least half that many will read this follow-up.

How it happened

As was published first in a Columbia Daily Tribune article and then picked up by the Associated Press, I received a statement from the court on Friday, Nov. 20. This statement came almost a full month after the Missourian director of photography, the photo editor who edited with me on that assignment and I sent letters of apology to the judge.

Click on the image to view/download the full-resolution PDF file.

(more…)

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Somehow, Missouri got it together and knocked the socks off of Kansas State yesterday, when the Tigers pulled off a 38-12 victory in Manhattan, Kan. This was a victory completely unexpected by almost everyone I talked to before leaving for the “Little Apple” to photograph the game.

A player (yet to be identified) embraces Missouri junior tailback Derrick Washington (No. 24) after Washington ran a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

But I’m not here to ponder, consider or explain how or why the Tigers secured their victory.

Senior Leslie Horn reaches out to senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon after Missouri defeated Kansas State 38-12 at the Billy Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

Rather, this entry’s title refers to the facts that:

All this means that, now that I know the game and know I can get the action, I can and should focus on working different angles and getting shots unlike what editors, fans and readers expect to see from a football game.

But as it is for now, I’ve got a few action shots from the game I’d like to share with you.

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Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins likes to perform barefoot, apparently.

As I wrote last week, I photographed a Third Eye Bind concert last Tuesday. Two projects and a wedding weekend later, and upon the insistence of my friend Cat, I’m finally posting these photos.

Third Eye Blind guitarist Tony Fredianelli.

When I was assigned to cover the concert, one of the editors referred to Third Eye Blind as “everyone’s favorite band from 2000.” Since I’ve had my head (and ears) stuck in a 1960s/70s rut for the past 21 years, I wasn’t sure I was familiar with the band’s music.

So Jeff had me listen to six or seven songs. And of those, I immediately recognized at least five from the opening chords.

It was definitely a throwback to contemporary radio play during my adolescence, and it definitely helped explain why the concert at The Blue Note was sold out.

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  • UPDATE (10:38 a.m., Nov. 25, 2009) — By my general reckoning, at least thousands of people know there’s more to this story, as of this past Friday. Various editors, journalism school faculty and I have since worked to remedy the situation. Now that we’ve tied up our loose ends, I believe now is the time to clarify exactly what happened — at least on my part. Please read my blog entry for the second (and final) component to this incident.

“Hello, this is Chris.”

“Hi Chris, this is Josh. You need to tell me the truth about what happened in court yesterday. And don’t lie to me, because lying isn’t going to get you anywhere.”

That’s how, via a phone call today at 9:13 a.m., I found out I was in trouble.

Here’s why:

Yesterday, I spent almost six hours in the Boone County Courthouse as the pool photographer for the fourth day of William Clinch’s first-degree murder trial. Armed with a 300mm lens, a 70-200mm and a 17-35mm, I knew the following before I entered the courtroom at 12:45 p.m.:

  • Do not photograph the jury.
  • Do what the judge tells me to do. Do not anger or even mildly irritate the judge.
  • Be respectful and quiet. This means not firing off more than three frames at a time.
  • Do not photograph the jury.

I photographed the jury.

That is why:

  • the Missourian reporter was kicked out of the courtroom this morning,
  • the photo director (Josh, above) called me,
  • I had to explain exactly what happened to several editors,
  • I could have been put in jail for contempt of court,
  • I spent the next hour tearfully worrying and wondering what would happen next,
  • I wrote a letter of apology to the judge,
  • I ended up on A1 of The Columbia Daily Tribune and
  • I am writing this blog post.

More specifically, I am writing this blog post to clarify exactly what happened. I believe in transparency, and I believe that other journalism students and journalists can learn from my mistakes.

Therefore, I am laying out everything that happened. This is the truth and is consistent with my letter of apology and my explanation to various Missourian editors and colleagues. And the truth is long, so this blog post is long. But I hope you’ll keep reading.

(more…)

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Tony Hawk is a MAJOR twithead.

The one and only Tony Hawk.

The one and only Tony Hawk.

Using the hashtag #THTH (“Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt”?), Hawk has started a Twitter revolution in which he reveals stops on his BirdHouse tour. He tweets scavenger hunt-like clues to locations where more clues are hidden — and then, whoever finds a clue must reveal its contents and, therefore, the location of his next tour stop.

On Friday, Hawk announced he would be in Columbia… on Saturday.

So, of course, every little kid with a skateboard, every college student with a camera and a lot of other people showed up. And I showed up.

Simon Midkiff, Logan Prange and Bubby Rios-Diaz vie for the attention of Tony Hawks promoters, who were tempting the crowd with a free skateboard.

Simon Midkiff, Logan Prange and Bubby Rios-Diaz vie for the attention of Tony Hawk's promoters, who were tempting the crowd with a free skateboard.

Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins warms up on the half-pipe before the demos officially start.

Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins warms up on the half-pipe before the demos officially start.

Jesse Fritsch on the half-pipe.

Jesse Fritsch on the half-pipe.

I arrived late to the event after I wrapped up another Missourian assignment, so I missed Hawk’s street-skating demo. I wasn’t assigned to cover Hawk, but my editor called as I was walking toward the skate park. Turned out the assigned photographer was 40 minutes away — so, a darned good thing I was already there to make up for him!

Walking into the skate park knowing I was legitimately covering this for a newspaper empowered me to ask the promoter to get me behind the barricade and in front of the nets. A few complications and 20 minutes later, I got access.

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Missouri lost to Nebraska, 27-12.

Where to start?

It was cold, rainy and windy.

Missouri sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert runs the ball against Nebraska junior safety Eric Hagg during the first play of the game.

Missouri sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert runs the ball against Nebraska junior safety Eric Hagg during the first play of the game.

Tons of sloppy play.

Nebraska freshman running back Rex Burkhead fumbles a punt from Missouri senior punter Jake Harry IV during the second quarter.

Nebraska freshman running back Rex Burkhead fumbles a punt from Missouri senior punter Jake Harry IV during the second quarter.

We lost.

Missouri freshman Morgan Stephens covers her eyes during the last play of the game against Nebraska.

Missouri freshman Morgan Stephens covers her eyes during the last play of the game against Nebraska.

And I shot a lot, learned a lot and tried not to worry a lot.

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Kickoff against Nebraska tonight is in five and a half hours. In an hour and a half, I’ll be meeting with other Missourian staffers to shoot the game.

versus

This means that right now, I am stuffing my face.

Last time I shot football, I became physically weak due to hunger during the third quarter, and I’d eaten the food provided to media. Now that Missouri Athletics no longer provides courtesy meals to the media at football games (instead, media can pay $7.50 for a cold-cut sandwich — ick), I’m currently loading up on carbs and proteins.

I’m also covering and taping up every piece of equipment I’m bringing out there. In stark contrast to yesterday’s sunny skies and 60 degrees, today features torrential rain and 50ish degrees. Last night, I went out to buy a rainjacket (something I haven’t had in fours of college, somehow), garbage bags and rubber bands. I’m also wrapping up the cameras in Ziploc bags — a trick that Jason learned from Sports Shooter Academy and taught me.

There are a few other complications that will make shooting this game especially interesting, but nothing changes the fact that I’m going to stick with this and do my best work regardless of what the weather, my body and anything else throws at me.

Two days ago, I tweeted:

5 inches of rain = Thurs forecast. If I survive shooting the Nebraska game, it’ll be a miracle. If I get good shots, the world will explode.

So, here’s to hoping the world will explode — for no reason other than I’ll have shot good photos.

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The past two weeks have been pretty hectic, which is why I haven’t blogged about my Missourian photo shifts and assignments until now.

So here is Week 5, which was Sept. 21-25. Of that week, I worked Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday — but you’ve already seen Friday and Saturday’s material.

The big theme for the other assignments I completed during Week 5? It’s all about the people.

Wendy Savley, an instructor at the Show-Me Gymnastics gym.

Wendy Savley, an instructor at the Show-Me Gymnastics gym.

On Tuesday, I photographed Wendy Savley at work for VOX’s “On The Job” feature. Savley, who used to be a gymnast, is now an instructor at a local gym, and my assignment was simply to photograph her doing whatever she does at work. So I tried to have fun with it and play with the rear-curtain feature on my strobe, as you can see.

Savley gently reprimands two of her young gymnasts for lying to her about when they could come to practice last week.

Above, you can see another aspect of Savley’s job that I hadn’t considered before. Working with younger children so closely often results in the instructor’s assuming a mentor role.

After I wrapped up at the gym, I met photojournalism student Mallory Benedict for one of the stranger assignments I’ve had to complete.

Mallory Benedict drives to the site of her Aug. 2007 crash. Benedict had been driving home from a friends house at 4 a.m. when she texted the friend for directions out of the neighborhood. While typing her message, Benedict overcorrected her steering three times, which led to her rolling and totaling her car. Although her airbags did not deploy, Benedict, who had worn her seatbelt, was not injured.

Mallory Benedict drives to the site of her Aug. 2007 crash. Benedict had been driving home from a friend's house at 4 a.m. when she texted the friend for directions out of the neighborhood. While typing her message, Benedict overcorrected her steering three times, which led to her rolling and totaling her car. Although her airbags did not deploy, Benedict, who had worn her seatbelt, was not injured.

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I really love Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ.

Ben Moore performs as one of the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Peace Park stage on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

Ben Moore performs as one of the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Peace Park stage on Saturday.

Oops. As a journalist who covered the festival wherein music and barbecue took over downtown Columbia for two days, am I allowed to say that?

Oh well. I have loved Roots ‘N Blues since the 2007 festival, which was supposed to be a one-time thing. And then the powers that be decided to give it a second go. And then a third. And who knows if there’ll be a fourth?

If you don’t know what Roots ‘N Blues is — well, it’s a lot of things.

There’s music:

Ana Popovic shreds her guitar as bassist Ronald Zonker plays along at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. Popovic hails from Yugoslavia and learned to play the guitar at age 15.

Ana Popovic shreds her guitar as bassist Ronald Zonker plays along at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Popovic hails from Yugoslavia and learned to play the guitar at age 15.

There’s barbecue:

Hole Shot BBQ team member Kevin Henderson arranges smoked pork at his teams station on Sixth Street in preparation for the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival barbecue judging on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. The team, hailing from Wentzville, also prepared ribs and chicken for the barbecue contest.

Hole Shot BBQ team member Kevin Henderson arranges smoked pork at his team's station on Sixth Street in preparation for the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival barbecue judging on Saturday. The team, hailing from Wentzville, also prepared ribs and chicken for the barbecue contest.

There’re the fans from all over:

Music reviewer "Beatle Bob" - real name Robert Matonis - dances to Ana Popovics music at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. Matonis, who is the subject of an upcoming documentary called "Superfan: The Lies, Life and Legend of Beatle Bob," is known as a regular at live music events and for his active dancing to the music.

Music reviewer "Beatle Bob" - real name Robert Matonis - dances to Ana Popovic's music at the Peace Park stage during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday. Matonis, who is the subject of an upcoming documentary called "Superfan: The Lies, Life and Legend of Beatle Bob," is known as a regular at live music events and for his active dancing to the music.

There’re the kids:

Four-year-old Reid Boyd of Columbia plays his guitar while listening to James Hand on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, at the stage at Seventh and Locust Steets. Boyd, who doesnt know chords yet but can pick out tunes by watching others, is on his third guitar.

Four-year-old Reid Boyd of Columbia plays his guitar while listening to James Hand on Saturday at the stage at Seventh and Locust Steets. Boyd, who doesn't know chords yet but can pick out tunes by watching others, is on his third guitar.

There’re the activities for kids:

Balloon artist Mike Martin and Columbia resident Beverly Bell  help place a balloon hat on 8-year-old Nikki Williams head on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, outside of Flat Branch Park during the third annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Bell said the wait for balloon creations was an hour long.

Balloon artist Mike Martin and Columbia resident Beverly Bell help place a balloon hat on 8-year-old Nikki Williams' head on Saturday outside of Flat Branch Park during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Bell said the wait for balloon creations was an hour long.

There’s peace:

Festivalgoers form peace signs with their hands in Peace Park while listening to the Itals performance on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. The Itals, a reggae group hailing from Jamaica, asked the crowd, Give us some peace!

Festivalgoers form peace signs with their hands in Peace Park while listening to the Itals' performance on Saturday. The Itals, a reggae group hailing from Jamaica, asked the crowd, "Give us some peace!"

And there’s more music:

Texas country singer James Hand tips his hat at the end of his performance on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, at the stage at Seventh and Locust Streets during the third annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Hand, who has appeared on Nashvilles Grand Ole Opry, also played at the Whole Hog Lounge for the VIP guests.

Texas country singer James Hand tips his hat at the end of his performance on Saturday at the stage at Seventh and Locust Streets during the third annual Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Hand, who has appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, also played at the Whole Hog Lounge for the VIP guests.

(more…)

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