By Ryan Kaczmarski
The owners of Bay Village’s Thomas & Thomas Photography, Amy Laing Nahra and Sarah Edelman, recently had shoot for the ages. Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Robert E. Jackson had his first-born grandson, Luke Robert Jackson, photographed at the studio inside the familiar orange football helmet he wore many a Sunday on the banks of Lake Erie.
“(Jackson) is our all-time favorite Browns player,” Laing Nahra said in an e-mail. “Sarah Edelman and have Browns season tickets with our husbands and are huge supporters of ‘our’ team.
“My father has owned season tickets for more than 40 years, and only missed three games in that time,” she added. “My dad started a rule: You don’t leave the game until it’s completely over, no matter what, and we must abide.”
Jackson and his wife Linda, and their son Drew Jackson, and his wife, Melissa, and sister Stacey are longtime friends of Laing Nahra.
“It was such an honor to be part of this special event,” Laing Nahra stated. “Sarah, Drew, Stacey and I are all Bay High School graduates. We have Browns and Ohio State helmets here from Ridell that we do a lot of newborn photo shoots in, but neither of them are quite as special as this one. My favorite part about these photos are the scratches and dents on the helmet that are from Browns history.
“(The shoot) reminds us why we love the team so much. So many (of the former and current players) are part of our wonderful community for life.”
Robert E. Jackson, from Duke University, wasn’t picked in the 1975 NFL draft. He made the Browns as a free agent, though, making a strong impression on then- head coach Forrest Gregg with his work ethic.
He started seven games during his rookie season, 118 of the Browns 133 games over the next nine seasons (spanning the Kardiac Kids years) and one game during his final season, 1985, when he played in 14 other games as a backup.
In Jackson’s final season, Gary Danielson and a rookie named Bernie Kosar were the Browns quarterbacks. Mike Phipps had been the starter during most of Jackson’s rookie campaign, and Phipps held the job until he was injured in the 1976 season opener, prompting Brian Sipe’s takeover, thus leading the franchise back into prominence.
For more information about Thomas & Thomas Photography, call 440-835-4707 or go to www.ttwss.com.