The photo known as the "Editorial Without Words" is
probably one of the best recognized symbols of
Shriners Hospitals, yet it was taken almost by
accident. Randy Dieter, the photographer, recalled
that in 1970, he had been on assignment covering
Hadi Temple's annual outing for handicapped children
at the now-defunct Mesker Amusement Park in
"I was taking shots of the midway and was using my
telephoto lens," Dieter said. "I saw a local Shriner
walking by carrying a little girl in one hand and
her crutches in the other. My camera wouldn't fire.
Then they were too close for my lens. I ran past
them, but the camera jammed. I had to take my last
shot as they walked by. It was the end of the roll.
If I had to think about it, I wouldn't have come up
with something like that. Fate guides you."
"It still seems unreal," said Bobbi Jo Wright, the
little girl in the photo. "I have many wonderful
memories of the years I was a patient at the St.
Louis Shriners Hospital and remember all the fun
activities. I was born with cerebral palsy, which
resulted in many orthopedic problems that made
walking difficult. I had many surgeries at the St.
Louis Hospital. They greatly improved my ability to
Bobbi Jo received her B.A. in English from Anderson
University. She is active in her church and teaches
Sunday School. "I use a cane when I go shopping,"
she said. "If I'm walking on grassy areas, I use
Today, the famous photo is an integral part of the
Shriners Hospitals logo, and has been reproduced on
stained-glass windows, mosaics, tie tacs, pins, and
in statues. A larger-than-life replica of the
"Editorial Without Words" stands outside the
International Shrine Headquarters building in Tampa.
Photographer Randy Dieter presently serves as
graphics editor for the Kentucky Post.
NOTE: Noble Albert Lanier Hortman, the man in
the photo carrying Bobbi Jo, passed away on December
6, 2009, two months shy of his 81st birthday. He
lived a full life and was one of the fortunate ones
to make a place in history that will live in time
immemorial. You can read Noble Albert Lanier
Hortman's complete obituary here: