For decades, Gail LoPresto has had a presidential election tradition: She snaps photos of her children holding the next day's Oklahoman.
She got the idea from “Look” or “Life” magazine; it's been so long she can't remember which one for sure. She recalls what the magazine did, though.
“It had the same type of pictures I have, plus a little commentary on what the kids were doing in the different pictures,” said LoPresto, a longtime Putnam City school board member. “I had the opportunity to do it because my son was born between elections.”
LoPresto began the project in 1980, when her son was 1 year old. Given his age, it's no wonder Tony LoPresto looks disinterested. He sits, bleary-eyed, on the couch with a newspaper in his lap. The front page screams: “REAGAN SCORES LANDSLIDE.”
He looks perkier four years later, smiling in his pajamas on a different couch. This time the headline is quieter: “Reagan Sweeps to Victory.”
His sister Miriam, who was just a baby when President Ronald Reagan was re-elected, joins Tony in the 1988 photo. She holds the newspaper tucked beneath her chin. The headline is nearly as large as she is: “BUSH WINS.”
In 1992, Tony sports glasses for the first time in the photo series. His sister has the same bob hairdo as before. They both hold onto a newspaper that shouts: “CLINTON WINS.”
The headline stayed the same four years later, when President Bill Clinton won re-election. In the photo, though, the children look much more mature. You can see the adults they will become peeking through their juvenile faces.
In 2000, Gail LoPresto had to wait awhile before taking a photo. That was the year George W. Bush and Al Gore vied for the presidency in a hotly contested race that came down to recounts. Her photo shows Tony holding the Nov. 8 newspaper, headlined “TOO CLOSE TO CALL.” Miriam holds the Dec. 14 edition, headlined “Finally …;” a day earlier, Gore had conceded defeat.