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A Trip in the Way-Back Machine

Hamilton, Ohio – No memory of the moment exists.

But a memory of the Hamilton Journal-News photo of the moment? That lingered.

“That picture,” Matt Lunsford said. “I don’t remember taking it. I don’t remember being here for it. But I remember seeing that picture when I was a kid. My mom had it around the house.”

Granted, Lunsford was only 2 when the newspaper captured the image. It showed a bright-eyed tot in a red shirt, sleeves rolled up, arms around a balloon string, hands cupped to hold a ball of modeling clay in the pottery studio at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

“Matthew Lunsford, 2 of Hamilton, had fun making clay sculpture during the Fitton Center's Great Miami Arts Jam Sunday afternoon,” the cutline read. “Music, arts and crafts, and demonstrations were available to the center's visitors.”

While the Great Miami Arts Jam disappeared in 2006, the picture recently resurfaced in a Journal-News online photo gallery, along with dozens of others depicting life in Hamilton in May, 2002.

Lunsford - now 22 - returned to the Fitton Center 20 years later to recreate the shot.

Not that it was his first time back in two decades. Or the only time he made photographs at the Fitton Center.

“We did our homecoming pictures here,” the 2018 Hamilton High School graduate said, looking out the pottery studio window. “Maybe prom, too. But for sure we did our homecoming pictures right out there under the arbor.”

Still, it took some persuasion to pose again after the Fitton Center got in touch via social media.

“I was a little confused,” Lunsford admitted. “With all the scams out there, I was wondering why somebody I didn’t know was reaching out. But I checked it out. I told my mom about it. She said I should do it. She thought it would be nice.”

(Editor’s note: Thanks, Mom.)

Nowadays Lunsford drives for FedEx, routinely running to and from Louisville, Ky. He may travel a lot, but he has no plans to leave.

“It’s family and it feels like home to me,” Lunsford said. “I like the environment and everything people are doing to make Hamilton even better.”

Up to and including some time travel.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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