Photographer Jerry Cooke took the portrait of Ch. Kippax Fearnought which is on our cover this week the morning after the great bulldog had won the best-in-show at the Westminster Kennel Club's 79th competition in New York last February. From a conversation I had with Cooke a few days later I learned that the assignment offered its problems.
"His owner, Dr. John Saylor," Cooke said, "promised that he would bring Fearnought to my studio at 10 in the morning. At 9:30 the doorbell rang. Three men in violent-colored shirts, porkpie hats and long cigars stood in front of a mass of lamps, wires and boxes. Newsreel photographers. A few minutes later another crew appeared, identical down to the last cigar. Television photographers. Then the elevator gave forth with newspaper photographers, a TIME researcher, a lot more equipment and a representative of the electricians' union, whose by now welcome contribution to the growing circus was to say, 'No one here can touch any lights, that's for sure.'
"Before this discouraged anyone enough to leave, Fearnought himself made his entrance at 10 on the dot. He eyed the confusion with sad resignation, stepped onto a platform and promptly fell asleep, snoring with championship vigor. It seems that he had spent the night and early morning on the town, reeling from one round of television shows to another, and had got at the most three hours' sleep.
"While the TIME researcher held Dr. Saylor at bay in one corner with a barrage of questions, everyone else stuck around to make sure Fearnought couldn't get away. My assistant and I managed to rouse Fearnought long enough for eight or nine exposures, although he breathed more heavily by the minute.
July 3, 1955
"Finally, with the pictures done, everyone went downstairs where by now several movie-equipment trucks, patrol cars and a gathering crowd of bystanders had created a genuine Hollywood sidewalk scene. I met a man who claimed I owed him two dollars and, too weak to argue, I paid him.
"The TIME researcher was still making notes as Fearnought left for the noon plane to California. He probably slept all the way.
"As a matter of fact, I went back to bed myself."