2011 Commemorative Poster
Booches – Since 1884
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Edgar I Ailor III began his photographic career working for his high school yearbook. During the next 43 years, as he pursued his medical career, a camera was always by his side. In 2005 he and his son, Edgar IV, formed Ailor Fine Art Photography (AFAP). Their work has been exhibited both locally and nationally and can be found in many Columbia homes and businesses. AFAP images have been published in Outdoor Magazine, CNN Online and used on book jacket covers. For most of the last five years, the duo has been retracing and photographing William Least Heat-Moon’s nearly 14,000-mile journey through back-roads America. The photos will be used in Blue Highways Revisited – A Photographic Journey Down William Least Heat-Moons Blue Highways, set for publication in the spring of 2012, the thirtieth anniversary of the first publication of Blue Highways.
“When I think of landmarks in and around Columbia one of the many that come to mind is Booches. It first opened at 706 E. Broadway in 1884 and over the next twelve years moved three times. It moved to its current location, 110 S. 9th, in 1926 – eighty-five years ago. Booches was one of the first places I was introduced to for a great burger on arrival in Columbia in 1968. I could never beat a soul at pool but I can always leave a winner after a couple cheeseburgers and a bag of chips. Naturally, it was at the top of my list in selecting an image – it is a Columbia landmark. The combination of a fly swatter in the window and “Closed Sunday: see you in church” on the door were never duplicated in photographing nearly 14,000 miles of Blue Highways. Should Heat-Moon have written about a tavern in Columbia--the starting and ending point of his twenty-eight-state journey--I’m convinced Booches would have been his first stop.” -Edgar I. Ailor, III
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