Viewer's photos celebrate #ThrowbackThursday in Columbia
COLUMBIA — Patrick Totten has been making memories in Columbia for almost three decades.
He lived in Columbia since the fall of ’89, when he attended the University of Missouri and worked as a photographer for the student newspaper, The Maneater. Totten continued to live in town after he got married in 1991, and he raised two children here.
When KOMU 8 posted a #ThrowbackThursday Facebook post with historic Columbia photos, Totten said he had just been going through his attic and stumbled upon a bunch of photo negatives.
“It was heavily on my high school class, because I was one of the yearbook photographers, but that followed me up here with a little bit of the Maneater work that I did,” Totten said.
He wanted to work at the Maneater because, “at the time journalism was the thing to do,” but he pursued a nursing degree instead.
Looking back, he said the school has stayed largely the same over the years, but he hasn’t been on the campus as often as he was when he was a student.
“I know Greek Life is still there, I know the Quad is still there, and everything is still there, so I maybe can say it hasn’t changed a whole lot,” Totten said.
He has shared his pictures with his son, who currently attends the university studying organic chemistry. Totten said his son is able to compare events traditional to MU, like Marching Mizzou and Greek rushes.
He said Greek life hasn’t changed that much, except for the clothing styles. He said when his daughter saw those, she was “horrified.”
Totten still has a good chunk of the photos he’s taken for the Maneater, but the four pictures he shared on KOMU 8 News' Facebook were most memorable to him. They include: a Tri-Delta Sorority rush, Marching Mizzou, a ‘Save the Quad’ promotion at the university’s 150th anniversary, and a picture of a student studying at the columns.
“It was a big deal back then, because it took 15 seconds to walk around the quad, and that campaign was in ’89. ’89 was also the 150th anniversary for the university, so that was big publicity back then,” Totten said. “And the girl on the pillars, that was a chance occurrence, and I remember her name, Dina Sanders of the Kappa Delta Sorority.”
Totten said he loves taking pictures of crowd shots, because there’s a lot of people in them.
“The Tri-Delta House I put on there because it had someone in the street directing the crowd of singers, so that’s what caught my eye on that,” he said.
He said he hopes some of them appeal to current students.
“Who knows, if that gets over to their house in their historical department, they can hang it up on the wall or something.”
Totten said Columbia has evolved and that's overall a good thing because there are now new businesses and it helps money flow around downtown.
He also said the remodeling that has been done also helps Columbia keep current for both tourists and students. But he said he doesn’t remember there being so much crime reported 27 years ago.
Totten still does a little photography, but he said the difference in the quality of the pictures has changed dramatically.
“What the difference is, with these black and white pictures, is that it’s photo film then I scan them onto SD cards and get them digitally enhanced so they look really good,” Totten said. “And I don’t think a digital camera can catch the quality of what I’ve been putting on the internet.”
He’s also been working on restoring his old pictures to post on his class’ high school Facebook page.
“That’s been immensely popular on my class page because there were literally 800-1,000 pictures I had. And some were in my high school year book, and some were not, but the whole class really liked it. It was a real throwback to the old days,” Totten said.
He said he’s been enjoying the reactions he’s gotten for posting old pictures on the internet and hopes to continue sharing some of the memories he’s made.
“I just found these old pictures and I thought someone in the community would like them, it might be part of the university or town history, or someone might recognize a familiar face,” Totten said. “I just wanted to give something back to the community and be part of the discussion.”