Background information: Lake Springfield (in Illinois) was built in the 1930’s. The guy whose influence got the lake built was named Willis Spaulding. Debate in the Springfield city council on Tuesday night centered on developing luxury condominiums on a tract of land on the lake. Tom Shafer, an opponenet of the plan, brought a cotton sheet wrapped around a basketball to represent the ghost of Willis Spaulding (guess you had to be there), as a way of suggesting that Willis Spaulding would be opposed to the project.
A photo in Wednesday’s State Journal-Register has a photo of Shafer, holding his “ghost,” with this caption: Tom Shafer appears with “the ghost of Willis Spaulding,” considered the father of Lake Springfield, to say "Noooooo."
The way that sentence is written seems awkward to me. With the clause “the ghost of Willis Spaulding” immediately followed by the words “considered the father of Lake Springfield,” the sentence almost suggests that the ghost is the father of Lake Springfield, rather than Mr. Spaulding himself. [sub]Yes, I understand that ghosts don’t build lakes. Work with me here.[/sub]
Here’s how I would have written it: “Tom Shafer appears with ‘the ghost of Willis Spaulding’ to say ‘Noooooo.’ Mr. Spaulding is considered the founder of Lake Springfield.” But that’s two sentences, which I understand is to be avoided in newspaper captions.