Photographer Publishes collection of 500 Photos
by Charlene Scott
Photographer Troy Robinson has documented a long span of the history of Dodge City in his new book People and Places of Dodge City.
Robinson compiled some 500 photos in his ambitious project. He has photographed everything from national visiting celebrities like Johnny Cash and Gunsmoke's "Miss Kitty" (Amanda Blake) to a bank robber surrendering his gun to a woman detective and police unloading a large airplane in Dodge City loaded with marijuana from Colombia.
Divided into several sections, the book contains panoramic views of Dodge City photographed from atop the Flour Mill, and of St. Mary of the Plains campus and the McKinley Winter Livestock Salebarn taken from an aircraft.
Also featured in the book are various businesses such as the Home Café, which operated for 37 years, and the cow pens of the McKinley Winter Livestock Salebarn on Fort Dodge Road, which sold nearly 200,000 head of steer in 1988.
"I worked for the Dodge City Globe for 20 years, and my dad, Trohman L. Robinson, was there 65 years, serving as general manager from 1948 until 1988," Robinson explained. "I've dedicated the book to him.
"I started at the Globe in 1968, working in circulation and the hot type pressroom. By 1973, the newspaper had changed to offset printing. I learned how to use the graphic arts camera and how to develop and print black and white film. I became the Globe photographer when Art Morenus retired in 1977."
Ramon House, a U.S. Deputy Marshal in Dodge City during the 70s and 80s, stands boldly on the book's cover. Local favorites like former Globe feature writer Evelyn Steimel and Betty Muncy, president of the Globe Publishing Company from 1973 to 1988, also are portrayed in the book's photos.
"Troy was a loyal employee all the years he worked for the Globe Publishing Company," Muncy writes in the book. "His countless pictures enhanced our newspaper and will supply a source of enjoyment for you, the readers of this book!"
One whimsical photo shows a tough Al Capone look-alike (former Mayor Dale Northern), flanked by a couple of dangerous dames (names not included) at the Al Capone Salon in the Village Square Mall. Another smile-provoking photo is a view of Tim Wenzl (former Globe employee, now advertising director of the Southwest Kansas Register) seated on the floor gathering information by phone during Globe remodeling.
Other fun photos depict bullfights staged in Dodge City in 1984, '85 and '87, square dancers at Boot Hill, and can-can dancers at the Long Branch Saloon. Scenes from the 4-H fair, the McCarty Speedway, and the Village Square Mall also are included, as are pictures of cowboys, sports events, windmills, old barns, and local personalities such as physicians, barbers, cobblers, and bank robbers.
Among the most striking photos are those of antelope as they leap from a truck near St. Jacobs Well south of Minneola -- where scores of them were released -- a scenic view of an old farmyard north of Bucklin, and a blind girl, Mandy Smith, 6, learning to use a cane.
"The reporter who wrote the story about the blind girl was so inspired by her that he quit his job at the newspaper and went back to school to learn to teach the blind," Robinson declared. "He recently retired after 30 years in that profession."
The book also contains several stories of Robinson's experiences while photographing the historical moments during his tenure at the Globe.
The book will be for sale at Hastings, Boot Hill Bookstore, the Heritage Center, Flowers by Irene, Out West, and at Troy's Photo Parlor in Dodge City. The Spearville News printed the book.