Tag Archives: San Francisco Examiner

Beauty In An 11×14

Recently I wrote about Ray “Scotty” Morris, a photographer a few years back for the San Francisco Examiner, who took a photo of his then-girlfriend Vicki Ross at the old Cow Palace, with several San Francisco Seals from the professional Western Hockey League spraying snow on the poor lass. It was a photo judged by the Associate Press as one of the best hockey photos of 1965, something Scotty didn’t know about until he discovered my story on these pages.

The stories can be seen here – Who Is This Man, and the first one – Best From Then.

Scot and I have chatted often recently through the wonders of email, he’s a really interesting and friendly guy, and the other day a beautiful 11×14 print showed up from him, one which I’ll get framed soon. Just a really nice gesture on his part.

He also tells me he covered the Beatles during their visit to San Francisco in 1966, and with me being such a lifelong fan of the Fab Four (I saw them in Toronto that same summer, their final tour), I can only shake my head in awe.


Who Is This Man?

He’s Raymond “Scotty” Morris, who took the award-winning hockey photo judged by Associated Press as one of the top hockey photos for 1965. Scotty was a photographer for the San Francisco Examiner at the time and recently he discovered the story I had done about this last June Best From Back Then and phoned me from his home near San Francisco.

It was a shot of a group of San Francisco Seals players from the old Western Hockey League spraying a lovely lady with snow, and Mr. Morris, in his eighties now, said he was delighted to come across this because he had no idea until now that his photo had been selected.

“I give a lot of talks at luncheons and such,” he said in his phone call and later in an email, “and I always say I’ve won 29 awards. Now I can say 30.”

Scotty and I have kept in touch, and here’s an email he sent to me the other day.

“Yes the picture was taken at the Cow Palace. Remember, this is back in 1965 so maybe a little memory loss. I use to cover the Seals from time to time, (next to soccer, my favorite sport.)  I knew the practice drill days for the team so when I was asked to go and get a hot weather picture, (it must have been a hot day), I dreamed up that picture.

“I was dating Vicki Ross at time, who was a stewardess with Pacific Airlines. I guess I called the public relations for the Seals and arranged things. Anyway I had a few players slide in on her in goal. I wanted a shower of ice, that picture was the first try, and I wasn’t happy with the ice shower but thought it was a little dangerous for Vicki so I settled for one picture. I took the puck for a souvenir, still have it, and will send a picture next week of me holding puck close to my face.

“I always thought that in the ten years on the Examiner I had won 29 awards in photography, now after all that time I can add one more. Thanks
to you it is now 30.”

Two Best Hockey Photos From Back Then

I don’t know if it’s still done, but for years, four or so literary judges would get together and decide on the best American sports stories and photographs of the year. Prizes would be awarded first place, second, third and so on, and writers would be the best of the best, like Red Smith at the New York Herald Tribune, Dick Young of the New York Daily News, and Gay Talese from Esquire, to name three of dozens involved.

These, in the minds of the judges, are the two top hockey photos of 1964.

The first was taken by Ray Scotty Morris of the San Francisco Examiner of a bunch of San Francisco Seals of the old Western Hockey League spraying snow on a lovely lady named Vicki Ross. I didn’t think it was all that gentlemanly, but it was a prize winner. And what’s the guy on the left looking at?

The second was from Paul McGuire of the Boston Globe, with a shot of the Red Wings in front of the net trying to block Boston’s Murray Oliver from getting a shot on Terry Sawchuk. Looks like there’s a good chance that Bill Gadsby, kneeling, could be getting a puck in the face in about one second.

Morenz And Joliat Probably Weren’t Invited. (But Maybe They Were)

We’re in Santa Maria, population 90,000 and home of Robin Williams and Kathy Bates, because we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara, another hour down the road.

And the reason we didn’t make it to Santa Barbara is because we spent hours at the Hearst Castle north of here at San Simeon.

Did you know that some people just have way too much money? William Randolph Hearst certainly did, because he built this big honkin’ castle that took 26 years to almost complete, with 60 bedrooms and pools indoor and out that I’m sure rival any pools Julius Caesar dipped his toes in.

This guy makes Scott Gomez look like a homeless pauper.

Hearst was the founder and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, and also dabbled in the movie business. Friends who came to stay at this place included Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Hedda Hopper, Joe Kennedy (father of JFK), and anyone else who had any clout and pockets full of dough in the roaring twenties and dirty thirties.

President Calvin Coolidge’s wife got stuck in the private elevator for hours when they visited.

Hearst also asked married couples staying at his place not to have sex, although he had bedrooms for his wife and also for his mistress, Hollywood starlet Marion Davies.

I thought about asking the tour guide if Hearst was a Habs fan and did Howie Morenz and Aurele Joliat ever come over for martinis but I decided against it. I’m sure Howie and Aurele were much too busy scoring on the ice to have time to score in the pool.

One more note; On the grounds outside the castle, workers were setting up gazebos and music equipment for a party this evening. A party which would include tycoons and Hollywood stars, and it was only costing each person $10,000. I asked Luciena if she thought we should go and she said yes, of course, are you kidding? But we opted for Santa Maria instead.

Tomorrow will be a big day. Hollywood, baby. But I’m worried that if I’m discovered by a movie producer or director for a leading role opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones or Julia Roberts, who’s going to feed my cat back home? (Forget about the Frankenstein and hideous monster remarks. And no, that’s not me in the photo at the top. Very funny.)