Monthly Archives: October 2004

October 28,2004 Valentine, Nebraska

29 October 2004
Valentine, Nebraska

Still here! Spent yesterday roaming the plains of Rosebud (reservation). Such a beautiful place, with distinct landscapes. Small river valleys and pine trees break up the rolling Plains. Spent a few hours with Elva Thompson and Harold White Horse. Have known Elva for years from my days at Crow Dogs Sundance. Harold and Elva run the White Horse Trading Post in downtown Mission, South Dakota. If you’re ever out this way it’ s a great little store with lots of locally made Lakota art along with a good selection of beads, music and herbs. A must stop on the Rosebud. Ended up at their home outside White River, South Dakota and spent a great afternoon. Harold has offered to take me around tomorrow and show me some of his special places, weather permitting. Tonight it’s cold and looks like rain.
Spent today traveling south down HWY 97 looking for more waterfalls on the North Loup. Ended up in the town of Mullen, Nebraska. In Valentine we were told to look up
Mitch Glidden at the Sandhill Motel in Mullen. Turns out he runs Glidden Canoe Tours. For sure he’d know but he was out of town so I got directed over to Big Red’s Café and Bar. Had a great hamburger and lots of help from the 10 or so folks hanging around the bar. This was a local bar full of locals. Back in the 60’s I would have been in serious trouble in this place. Even today I felt a bit uneasy and excused myself to go to the bathroom.  Turns out the waterfalls we were looken for were the Carrier Falls and everyone had been there fishing most of their lives until the property fell into the hands of The Turner Ranch. As in… Ted Turner. Seems the land is now off limits and they do not allow anyone on the property. I’ve got calls into the Turner Headquarters to see if we can get permission the make photographs, but everyone seems to feel it’s useless.
Due to weather and prior commitments I’ll have to leave the area Sunday heading west again to hook up with the film crew in Rapid City or Denver. Unsure as to where yet. Do plan to return in the spring and do more work here. The land and the people here have a strong pull on my heart.

The Times they are a changing

Painting Wounded Knee S.D.

Alva and DMK at the White Horse Trading Post Mission S.D.

DMK shooting the Little White River

DMK Shooting HWY 97 Nebraska

North Loup River

October 26, 2004 Valentine, Nebraska

October 26, 2004
Valentine Nebraska

Quite a day. Out of Valentine down Hwy 97 toward the Snake, North Loup and Dismal River. Arrived at the Snake River and a great water fall. While setting up the camera the screw from the tripod to the camera broke. Now this tripod had a $350.00 “magic ball” head made by Novoflex on it and one would think a few things. 1. the screw would not break being made of strong metal. Wrong, the inside metal of the screw is soft and it broke with very little pressure applied. 2. You could get a replacement screw. Wrong again, after calls to our suppliers no one had any idea about replacement parts. So it looked like a new head and a few headaches trying to get it shipped to the middle of nowhere. And of course it all had to be over-nighted as I could not shoot until we had the tripod up and running. One ray of hope- on the horizon we saw a Fed-x truck coming down the highway. So here we are in the middle of nowhere; the truck, airstream, Henry and me by the side of the road, with no one around for miles totally clear weather about 1pm in the afternoon, flagging down the Fed-x truck to find out were to get the head shipped. But the Fed-x truck just whizzed by. Perhaps he just didn’t see us? I’ve noticed that Fed-x service and customer care has been declining lately. ……

I headed back to Valentine in the hopes of finding a hardware store or a Fed-x office. Not that I had much hope of finding either. I pulled into the Bomgaars Hardware store in downtown Valentine. I had taken the head apart and found numerous custom parts that no hardware store, not even in New York City would stock. As I walked into the store with all these parts and the camera Carl Fernau came up and asked me if he could help. After studying the problem trying numerous ideas and an hour in the back room where I was allowed to use their tools we were able to fix the head with a 39-cent screw and a drill. Drilling out a $350.00 anything is a bit scary but when we’d finished we had not only fixed it but improved on the design of the head. If the screw ever breaks again it can be repaired with a screwdriver and a stop at any hardware store that carries a ¼ by 1-inch flat head screw.

DMK on the cell trying to find parts

Fixed tripod DMK and Carl Fernau

DMK shooting Snake Falls

Henry at Snake Falls

Trees HWY 97 Nebraska

Elk Niobrara Wildlife Refuge Nebraska

Sunset HWY 97

Trailer Merritt Reservoir Nebraska

October 25, 2004 Valentine, Nedbraska

October 25, 2004
Valentine, Nebraska

Time just flew by in Omaha. Left Omaha yesterday up highway 75 – great two-lane road heading north. Cut west just below the South Dakota border on highway 12 and have been running west since then. Now traveling through the Niobrara River Valley. Amazing rivers here, The Niobrara, The Snake and the North Loup. Hope to spend a few days in the area working with the rivers. Amazing to see the waterfalls and rivers among the rolling Plains. We are just south of the Rosebud (reservation). I’ve spent a good bit of time there but have never been in North Western Nebraska and it is fantastic country.

First coating in trailer

First prints hanging to dry in trailer

October 19, 2004 Omaha, Nebraska Update on SISTER REDDIE

October 19,2004 Omaha, Nebraska

Been in Omaha working since, well a long time ago, hitting the road again this weekend and will post what’s happened since August in the next few days but I wanted to share this with you all. It was writen by Marjorie Wooley, Sister Reddie Harper’s daughter for her 90’th birthday.Remember I photographed and wrote about Sister Reddie back in early July.

When Marjorie sent this to me she said: I am attaching a little piece that I wrote for her birthday. Since you met her, you can relate to what I say. Most people don’t believe things that I could tell them about her.and it’s so very true!!!
People never ask me how it was to be raised by Mother, they just say something like, “Boy it must have been something to be raised by your mother!” Well, “Something” is not the word.I decided to find the word and it took about a millisecond. The word is “ABUNDANCE.”We had everything in abundance. (Except money.) We didn’t have any money, but we had an abundance of food, and abundance of people, and an abundance of activities.I actually thought bologna sandwiches and potato chips were foods that only the well-to-do ate, because we never had them. We never had much of anything that came out a store. We only had biscuits, cornbread, chicken, pork chops, steak and gravy, rice, peas, corn, butter beans, banana pudding, lemon icebox pie, and strawberries and with real whipped cream. Sometimes all in the same meal!Mother never just killed a chicken for Sunday dinner. When she killed chickens, we had the whole yard full of flopping chickens with their necks broken. She usually had a lot of help, but if she didn’t, she just scaled, plucked and clean them quicker than any chicken cleaning machine.I don’t mean to say that Daddy didn’t contribute to the abundance, but mother made it happen. He didn’t exactly move as fast as she did.I don’t actually remember sitting down to a family meal with just the six of us. We always had so many people there that we often ate in shifts. The really nice thing was that the children got to eat first. Mother had a lot of disdain for adults that ate before the children.We had an abundance of people there all the time. I don’t remember having a particular bed to sleep when I was young. I generally slept wherever there was room. Often on the cedar chest, or on the floor on a pallet of very thick heavy quits. (She had an abundance of heavy quilts too.) We had so many people there, that she converted two chicken houses into bunkhouses. I don’t remember having to sleep in the chicken house, but I do remember that James quite often had to sleep out there with the boys, when the house was too full.People actually took their vacations at our house. Strangers were always welcome. I don’t know the times I came in from school to a room full of people that I had never seen. The people who came to visit, would always return with new people. We had an abundance of activity. The people who came for vacations were not exactly setting on the front porch in the swing. They cooked, sewed, and shelled peas. They also sang, prayed and went swimming in the creek. And the kids got to dig for buried treasure.I don’t know how many people have visited and eaten there, but it is not a childhood exaggeration to say there have been hundreds.She managed this on almost no cash. I don’t every remember going into a grocery store, pushing a cart, and picking things up from the shelf. Daddy brought home a few things like flour, sugar coffee, and maybe pork and beans from Ms. Terronova store in Lake Charles, on Saturdays. Another thing that comes to mind when I think about my childhood is how safe I felt. I always say that I lived on Miracle Mile. I had Mother on one end and Aunt Corene Tyler on the other end, so I didn’t have to worry about anything. I was sure they weren’t afraid of anything or anybody. They were on first name basis with God, and the Devil certainly wasn’t going to tangle with either of them.All of the people who came left many memories. I am using these notes not to remember what to say, but to keep me from trying to mention all of the stories that come to mind.LaJuan and Rodney, I remember your mother’s hot chocolate, and Aunt Corene’s teacakes,Linda, Judy and Joyce, I remember your mother singing in her yard, and Ms. Hanchey’s mayhaw jelly cakes. I know you got to call her Big Mama, but I always called her Mrs. Hanchey.Melba, Your grandmother introduced me to the best steak and gravy I every tasted. She would say to me “Sha, go out there and pick me a handfull of those peppers.” and she would chop the whole handfull and put them in the gravy. She also made the most delicious ice cream from canned milk. I remember the Labby family coming up with your family and barbequing on the creek. It was through your grandparents that I fell in love with Cajun food long before it became popular.Jean Evelyn, when you came, Mother always wanted everything to be special. She made sure I got out the best napkins and silverware. And..she also wanted me to make sure that I did not leave any lemon seeds in the lemon icebox pie.My one regret today it that Daddy, Johnny, Thomas and Reba can’t be here with us. I will end with a few lines from this little poem.Just Because you are my Mother.Just because you are my Mother,I know how it feels to have my skin scrubbed clean, My hair French braided …tight, andTo sleep warm on the coldest winter night.Mother, I know that my childhood was so incredible and unique that most children could not have dreamed of all the things I thought were totally normal, JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE MY MOHTER!

Written for Reiddie Harper on her 90th birthday. August 22, 2003, by Marjorie Wooley