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Eye witness to camp history

Fuzzy Swayze must be in his 90’s. I did learn that he graduated from Tivy High in 1937,

Fuzzy, top left, from a high school photo.

Fuzzy, top left, from a high school photo.

which means his 75th reunion would be this fall, except he might have to have that one in front of a mirror; says he believes he is the lone survivor of the Tivy Class of ’37. At least it will be easy to organize.

When Bunny Wilson Shackelford scanned and sent me copies of so many of her Heart O’ the Hills Camp photos from 1961-64, I noticed that many of them bore the Swayze Studio stamp. Fuzzy long had a studio in downtown Kerrville, and Fuzzy and Nell go to church with me; such a delightful couple! Been married 66 years.Fuzzy and Nell

I saw Fuzzy recently, and mentioned these camp pictures. Back in the day, he would pose each tribe, the officers, the chieftains, the counselors, the entire camp, and groups of girls from each city, which were called “publicity shots”.

Fuzzy recalled immediately that he had bought the panorama camera he used for the large groups from Fred Foster, owned it for 20 years, and sold it to a fellow down in Mexico.

In the photos, everyone stood on risers. Fuzzy said the risers were his own, and he carried them on a trailer every Tuesday and Sunday, when he came to the West Kerr County camps for photo shoots. Besides The Heart, he routinely provided photography services for Camps Stewart, Rio Vista, LaJunta, and some at Camp Mystic.

Here is the link to a story on the Swayze family done in the West Kerr Current.

Here is one of Fuzzy's panoramas, taken 1st Term 1964.

Here is one of Fuzzy’s panoramas, taken 1st Term 1964.

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.


  1. I remember doing panoramic pictures when I was in the high school band. We’d have to stand there with smiles plastered on our face as we waited for the camera to sloooowly swing around from one side to the other. The photographer would have a running monologue of “I’m starting the camera. Ready? Go! Now smile, great, keep it up, that camera’s coming! Don’t look away! Smile! Don’t blink now, smile! Great!…etc…OK, that’s a wrap!”. My band director said that one of his fellow band directors used to stand on the left side of the risers where the camera started its sweep and after it started, he’d slip behind the risers, run like crazy, and then pop up on the other side, looking just as crisp. The resulting picture would, of course, have him standing at both ends, apparently at once! 🙂

    Well, gotta get Grace to fill out those HOH forms – ain’t gonna fill themselves! 🙂

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