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Election year photographs track changes to family and The Oklahoman

Gail LoPresto has taken photographs of her children with The Oklahoman after each presidential election for decades. She says the photos have tracked the changes in her family and in the newspaper.
by Ken Raymond Modified: October 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm •  Published: October 23, 2012
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/articleid/3721400/1/pictures/1863790">Photo - Gail LoPresto, a lifelong Oklahoma resident, has taken photos of her children with The Oklahoman after each presidential election for decades. <strong> - Provided</strong>
Gail LoPresto, a lifelong Oklahoma resident, has taken photos of her children with The Oklahoman after each presidential election for decades. - Provided

The 2004 election brought a new photo, showing Tony and Miriam as grown-ups. Bush had been re-elected, and the paper showed a gentler headline: “A season of hope.” The 2008 newspaper took a similar tack, announcing President Barack Obama's victory with a quote: “CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA.”

In a recent conversation, Gail LoPresto said she finds the photos fascinating because they chart two parallel courses.

“Over time, in the pictures I took, you can see that we moved. We have different houses, different sofas, different window treatments,” she said. “It's a timeline thing. But something I find really interesting is how The Oklahoman changed over the years, too. You'd say ‘Bush wins' or ‘Clinton wins,' but then there's a change to the headlines.

“Now they say things like ‘season of hope.' … I like that sort of commentary. It seems to me that there's so much information out there now about everything. You don't have to put the president's name in the headline. People know that if it's ‘change' it's probably Obama.”

Gail LoPresto and her husband Kirby have lived in Oklahoma all their lives. Over the years, they've encouraged many young couples to take similar photographs.

Their children are married now. Tony, 33, is a certified public accountant working for Love's Country Store's corporate office in Oklahoma City. Miriam, 29, whose last name has changed to Conrady, is a middle school teacher in Edmond.

“We have no grandchildren,” Gail LoPresto said, applying a little pressure. “But I hope that we will. Our children haven't been married very long. When they do have children, I still will be taking these pictures.”

She paused.

“Well, they can take them or I can,” she amended, “but I want it to go on.”


Read the rest of the story on Oklahoman.com
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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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