The Baltimore Sun features a story today about two unlikely friends who met as rookies at the Baltimore Colts training camp in 1955: Raymond Berry, who would win Super Bowls with the Colts and later coach the Patriots to one in 1985, and Leroy Vaughn, who would leave football after a season and become best known as the father of a baseball MVP, Mo Vaughn. They reconnected after 50 years when Berry rediscovered the photo in his belongings. They had taken the photo during their rookie year in the league.
Back then, racism was still rampant in America. Had the picture been taken in the deep South — had a white man and a black man entered a coin-operated photo booth, shared the single stool and closed the curtain — there would have been hell to pay.
But it was during a road trip to Chicago or New York that two first-year players stepped into a Woolworth’s, spent a quarter and forged their friendship on a wallet-sized keepsake.
The photograph featured in the article is definitely a Photomatic, looking at its tell-tale frame, with Berry appearing slightly out of focus for sitting too close to the lens. It’s a great, evocative photo, even if we had no idea who the men were or what their story was.
Last year, when Berry finally tracked him down, Vaughn was stunned to hear his voice.
I was tickled to death to get the call,” Vaughn said from his home in Virginia. “We’re going to get together [soon] this summer, to sit around and reminisce.”
Berry, for one, can’t wait.
“It’s been a long, long time,” he said. “I think we’ll probably laugh a lot.”
Surely they will record their friendship again.
Said Vaughn: “We’ll find one of those old photo booths and have another picture taken — 53 years later.”
Well, gentlemen, you know where to come to find your nearest “old photo booth” location, so good luck!
Photomatic photo, Raymond Berry and baltimoresun.com