Shirlie was pretty much apolitical ... she either liked the person or didn't. Period. She figured that she couldn't really influence the politicos and that most of them were crooks anyway! When it came to taking photographs, she just did her job ... and did it well.
A story she told me, several times, was when she photographed ex-actor, then US Senator from California, George Murphy. This was in the mid-1960s. Murphy was holding a cigar (or cigarette) when she was ready to take the photo. Shirlie was adament that he should snuff out the smoke for the photo. At first he declined, but she persisted. He had the photo taken sans cigar! She met with him a few years later and he remembered her as "that persistent photographer." (Murphy was diagnosed with throat cancer a few years later and had half of his larynx removed!) I wish I had that photograph.
While I do not have that photo, I do have, in Shirlie's collection, several photos of politicians from both ends of the ideological spectrum -- Eleanor Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.
Mrs. Roosevelt visited San Jose in 1947 as a guest of the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee. A reception in her honor was held at the De Anza Hotel, where Shirlie took these photographs.
|Eleanor Roosevelt at the reception held at the De Anza Hotel 1947 (Shirlie Montgomery)|
|Mrs. Roosevelt and local politicos 1947 (Shirlie Montgomery)|
The top photo is featured in the book Reflections of the Past: An Anthology of San Jose (p.176). It is credited "Courtesy: Tom McEnery." Shirlie actually took the photo ... and still has the negative. John McEnery, Tom McEnery's father, commissioned Shirlie to take photos at the reception, but, even though he received and kept the photographs, never paid Shirlie ... and she never forgot that slight right to the end!
In 1960 then Vice-President Richard Nixon ran for US President against John "JFK" Kennedy. Two years after his loss to Kennedy, he ran for governor of California (which he also lost). Shirlie was called on to photograph Mr. Nixon while he was in San Jose.
|Richard Nixon making the rounds in 1962 (Shirlie Montgomery)|
|Great shot of Nixon 1962 (Shirlie Montgomery)|