This week telegrams from all over the world are pouring into the lap of the chatty and ceaselessly curious man shown above. C. A. Bach, founder in 1924 of the first photo-journalism course in the country, is retiring after 35 years at Los Angeles' John C. Fremont High School.
Bach ran his classes as if he were directing an operating news service. One of the results was a new approach to sports photography. Assigning a student crew to a basketball game, Bach would order them not to bring back a single picture with the basket in it, but to look for the unexpected. Using Los Angeles' sports arenas as his studio, he drilled into his graduates the fine, fast sense of timing that put many of them into the ranks of the world's great news and sports photographers (and 146 of them into the services as wartime photographers). All have their personal recollections. The Los Angeles Times' Art Rogers remembers the German camera Bach somehow wangled for him during the Depression. LIFE'S Mark Kauffman recalls the sensational day a picture Bach assigned him to take made the cover of LIFE. Says SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S John G. Zimmerman: "He was a marvelous teacher and a wonderful friend." But all C. A. will admit is that "a lot of talented kids found out here what they wanted."