Sunday, May 2, 2010

Introducing the Bowie Blade Pic Project

Arnie Miles was the principal photographer for the Bowie Blade from 1973 to '75 (before the Bowie News purchased the Bowie Blade to form the Bowie Blade-News). He photographed anything newsworthy that happened in Bowie those years, including special events, fundraisers, sports, carnivals, celebrations and tragedies - all in black and white. Some of the pictures were published in the Bowie Blade, and some weren't. Arnie maintained a scrapbook containing related stories for some of the pictures, and today he has an ammunition box full of negatives.

What Arnie is lacking, however, is spare time to digitize his old negatives with a scanner. I offered to scan the images in return for access to the pictures for the Bowie Living blog, and Arnie agreed. We also plan to post the pictures on Flickr or a similar site, and we hope to get comments from people to help identify the subjects of the pictures. It should be an interesting project.

Arnie gave me a couple of packets of negatives last week, including a packet labeled "MAY - JUNE 1975." I scanned a few strips of negatives, and I am still experimenting with the scanner settings to get the best quality pictures. Included in the negatives that I scanned are pictures of what Arnie believes is a Vietnamese family who had immigrated to the Bowie area from Vietnam shortly after the fall of Saigon. I hadn't planned on posting any pictures from the project so soon, but since last Friday was the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce the project and post these pictures now.

I'm not sure who the family is. Thanks to some Internet research by Charlie Petruzzo of Bowie, I believe that these pictures were taken in Crofton somewhere near the 2000 block of Aberdeen Drive.

Creative Commons License
Photos of Bowie Maryland 1973 through 1975 by Arnie Miles is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

Other Bowie Blade Pic Project Posts


  1. Mike, thank you so much for taking this project on. When I started working for the Blade I was in Samuel Ogle Junior High School and belonged to the photo club. I had a Russian made Zenit B 35mm camera. I took some photos of a school play, screwed up all the courage I had in me, and presented the photos in person to Rick Thompson, who was Assistant Editor of the Bowie Blade. He gave me $2 for the photo, printed it, and asked me to come in the following week, when he started giving me assignments. My Mom drove me around until I turned 16 and got my license, waiting in the car as I worked. Rick and Editor Bob Reid were always great to me in a grouchy sort of way, and it wasn't long before I was the only regular "stringer" the paper had.

    Back then, the Bowie News was our arch-rival, but that didn't stop me from hanging out with their more professional full-time photographer at sporting events. We'd trade notes and work side by side until we went back to our respective offices.

    It all came to an end when I made the mistake of asking Bob Reid for a raise in front of his wife. Whoops! Ah, well, you live and you learn, and I've carried that lesson with me ever since.

    I'll make notes on pictures as I am able. I remember this shoot, but I can't find any records of it ever being published, so I hope someone recognizes some of the people in it.

    The digital images will be under creative commons license, so people will be able to use them. I'd like an email at if you use it, just so I'll know.

    Arnie Miles

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  5. I am thinking that must be the house on the very short "Lang Drive" in Crofton. I know it because Lang was my maiden name, and people assumed I lived there. I always said "I wish" cause the house was so large in comparison with others. Given it was the only house on that street, I think it is safe to assume the family is named Lang also.