COPCO LAKE, Calif. — Five friends from Santa Barbara High School in California have been taking the same photo in the same pose on the same cabin bench every five years for the past 35 years.
From left to right, as is the tradition, John “Wedge” Wardlaw, Mark Rumer-Cleary, Dallas Burney, John Molony and John Dickson gazed at the camera on Saturday in the remote serenity of Copco Lake on the California-Oregon border to capture their eighth entry into the photo collection that took the internet by storm five years ago.
“It blows my mind 35 years later we’re recreating that 1982 photo,” Dickson said.
Wardlaw, who took the photo, believes it’s one of their best.
“I used a Nikon D800 and video and think we came the closest we ever have to the original photo,” he said.
In the years that have passed since their last shot in 2012, the five have checked some empty boxes in their personal columns.
Three of the five — Rumer-Cleary, Burney and Dickson — got married, and there’s finally a child descending from the quintet.
“It’s been great. I wanted to become a father for a long time,” said Dickson, who entered parenthood at 51 after getting married for the first time at 49.
Dickson, 54, and his wife, Sharon, celebrated the birth of son Jimmy two years ago. Someday, Jimmy might play a role in the longstanding photo tradition, but we’re getting a little ahead of this fishing tale.