5 Guys Take Same Photo For 30 Years





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Published on Jul 29, 2012

article contribution CNN:

(CNN) -- When five teenagers sat down and posed for a picture at Copco Lake in 1982, they didn't plan on making it a tradition. But that's what it became.

Every five years for the past three decades, John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony have been meeting at the California lake and taking the same photo.

The first photograph of the high school friends was just happenstance. Wardlaw, known as Wedge in the group, had a family cabin at the lake where the friends gathered in July 1982.

While hanging out on the deck of the cabin, Dickson, or J.D., set his 35-millimeter camera on self-timer to take a group photo.

"For some reason, we all chose to have dark and mysterious expressions on our faces," said Wardlaw. "I'm sure we all thought we were being really cool."

Is the photo better than the vacation?

Though they tried a couple of poses, the one that would eventually win as the official vacation photo depicts the five teens, three of them shirtless, with shaggy hair typical of the time. They were about 19 years old.

Molony, known in the group as Belves, is pictured holding a Folgers Instant Coffee jar, which contained a cockroach the guys had decided to keep as a pet. They fed their new friend with a piece of butterscotch candy and kept it company with a photograph of Robert Young.

"Priorities were so different back then. All I was really thinking about was summer and girls," said Wardlaw.

As the men went into their college years, they continued to return to the lake every summer. They spent their time fishing and reading and playing roles in homemade movies shot by Wardlaw, who is now a filmmaker.

"We're all very creative people, so we would take all of our creative energy and focus it into a certain direction," said Molony. "It wasn't, 'Let's all get together and get drunk.' It was, 'Let's get together and see who can make the funniest joke or pull off the sneakiest prank.'"

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