by Charles “Bill” Mausey
Mayor, City of Carterville
When I was first informed about the Southern Illinois University photojournalism project, explaining to me that a crew of student photographers guided by professional photographers would “take over” our Tri-C communities of Carterville, Cambria, and Crainville for a weekend, I am certain I did not comprehend at the time what it would truly capture.
They would rise before dawn, work into the night, sleep on council floors, all in order to capture every moment of our community’s stories. It was Homecoming Weekend, where a sea of orange and blue can be found in the downtown parade, the high school football game, signs on utility poles and on various apparel worn by Carterville fans throughout town.
You saw the students at the local coffee shops talking to seniors to learn more about the stories that truly speak of the Carterville area. Students went to clean-up projects, charity drives, sat on front porches to talk to a couple approaching 50 years of marriage, experienced the bond of friendship at the local marina, soaked in every element that speaks in unspoken words – Carterville.
Moments that we love, but seem routine – like high school football games and homecoming dances – are now captured from the fresh eyes of S.I.U. students showcasing the power of our players, the spirit of our community and the thrill of a dance. Beautiful sunsets and the wide-open blue skies of our farmland and wineries, settings captured that remind us how blessed we are to call this area our home.
Each and every photo reminds us that towns can have amazing assets, but its spirit will always come from the people of the community and the stories they bring.
It would take thousands of photos, and a book too large to carry to capture the spirit of Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville.
But on one sunny fall weekend, S.I.U. students and professionals from across the country shared their talents with us, and managed to bottle up the wonderful spirit of our towns in the form of this book. Thank you students, job well done!
Read more about the Tri-C area: