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Hometown touch lost

June 23, 2012
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

I am writing in regard to the article concerning photo IDs at Fairmont Area Schools and local photographer Roger Carlson.

I was appalled that Carlson was not given a chance to do this service again this fall. Anyone who knows business knows that when you begin something new it takes more time than one might think. You know how better to do it a second time. I believe not giving him this chance does him and our school a disservice. One day there is all the hype to promote Fairmont, and the next a vote is taken to get service elsewhere and citizens do not get a vote.

I have another reason I am so discouraged with how this happened and what happened. A personal example for my family goes like this: A year and a half ago, our granddaughter passed away unexpectedly. School pictures were not back yet, but had been taken. When Roger heard of the death, he did our Aleia's photo. When asked by her family about wallet-size pictures to pass out, Carlson could not do them in time for that volume, and he knew the cost was more than the family needed, so he put the photos on a disc and gave them to her family with the rights to use them anywhere.

A few weeks after the funeral, Carlson contacted Aleia's mother with his heartfelt sadness. He said he hoped she liked that he had removed the wheelchair from her picture. He had done that for the years she was in school. None of us even noted that. It was a gift from him and a use of his talent. This would not have happened, not any of it, from someone out of town where photos will be numbers.

Like I said earlier, I am appalled and saddened. The personal touch of using hometown business should be a first for all of us. I hope there has been enough backlash from this that our school board will rethink.

Kris Shoen




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