A Photo that Shall Live in Infamy

I have shot a lot of hard-hitting photos in my career, spanning personal tragedy, death, natural disasters, the human drama of athletic competition, and much more. I have been threatened, called names, yelled at, almost assaulted, run over by athletes on the field, hit by baseballs, etc. Once I even covered my own car crash.

Flattened Armadillo, Oklahoma State Highway 19, c. 1991
Flattened Armadillo, Oklahoma State Highway 19, c. 1991

With all the images over the years, you would imagine that images at scenes that showed life and property being lost would garner the most wrath from a sensitive public. But no. The most offensive image I ever published, at least based on the incredibly hostile reaction of our readers, was this 1991 image of an armadillo that had been squished by traffic, then painted over by the highway department while striping the centerline on state highway 19 west of Ada. One caller to my home phone, who courageously withheld his identity, said I was, “a sick son of a b!tch.”

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