The first Sunday of NFL strike games presented an unusual logistical challenge for deputy picture editor Catherine Mather. It was her job to make sure SI had photographic coverage both inside and outside the 13 stadiums where the so-called scab games were played. With characteristic efficiency, she set up and coordinated a network of free-lancers and staffers from New England to Los Angeles. You can find the results starting on page 38.
"Cathy is our point person on the tough stuff," says picture editor pro tern Heinz Kluetmeier. "In February we needed a cover shot of President Reagan with America's Cup skipper Dennis Conner, who was visiting the White House. She arranged it in five minutes." Mather also supervises the pictures for our special projects. Most recently, she oversaw the pictorial essay on sports in Southern California in our Sept. 7 issue, and she'll do the same for our Year-in-Sports issue in December and our extensive previews and coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics in 1988.
Born in Toledo, Mather, 41, earned a degree in art history at NYU in 1969. She started work soon after as a researcher in the Time-Life Picture Collection and, during the summer and fall of '69, formed an attachment to the Miracle Mets. She became assistant head of the Picture Collection in 1974, but when her daughter, Sarah, was born two years later, Cathy and her husband, Buzz, then a Wall Street bond trader, decided a change was in order. They moved to the wide-open spaces of Guerneville, in Sonoma County, Calif., where he ran a house painting company and she hand-mixed healing products at an herbal tea company, Traditional Medicinals. Mather has since passed on her knowledge of herbal balms and salves to her colleagues at SI. Ramiro Fernandez, one of our picture editors, insists that Mather's poultice of comfrey leaves in a gum paste speeded the healing of a cracked fibula he suffered in a bicycle accident two years ago.
In 1983, shortly after the Mathers returned to New York, Cathy came to SI—and immediately felt at home with our subject. While growing up, she had played basketball, lacrosse, field hockey and ice hockey. Nowadays she runs regularly, roller-skates occasionally with Sarah, now a fifth-grader at PS. 3 in Greenwich Village, and follows the fortunes of the Mets as faithfully as ever. "I believed they could make it, right to the end," she said after the team was eliminated last week. It was a tough week for Mets fans, but thanks to Mather, not so tough for SI.
Mather and Sarah: a couple of good skates.