Archive for the ‘Oysterville Schoolhouse Lectures’ Category

Whoops! Sorry, Diane!

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Captain Fletcher’s View

A promise is a promise.  That’s what I grew up believing.  “Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep,” I was told.  “Don’t make promise lightly,” I was admonished.  No one said anything about an overactive forgetter or warned me about that aging mind thing.  “Don’t make excuses.”   Period.

So, instead, this is an apology to the amazing Diane Buttrell, Organizer Extraordinaire, to whom I made a promise – to write up the Oysterville School Lectures for the paper.  The final one in the series is scheduled for April 26th – time enough to get an announcement in next week’s paper but too late for the day-after-tomorrow edition.  Diane likes to have the information ‘out there’ a week ahead.  Gives people a little advanced notice.  Time to plan.  I hope she doesn’t fire me.

Oysterville Schoolhouse

The speaker will be Brian Fletcher, a Port Captain with the Tidewater Company.  What is a Port Captain?” you may ask.  “And, by the way, what is the Tidewater Company?”  Those are some of the questions Captain Fletcher will be answering a week from Thursday at the Schoolhouse.  I hope you mark your calendar.  Thursday, April 26th, 10 o’clock!  It will be the final talk in the Spring Series that has featured the Columbia River.  See you then!

Right In Our Midst: Another Unsung Hero!

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Tucker at the Schoolhouse, October 2015 (in front, not behind the camera)

To my great relief, the schoolhouse was filled to capacity for Robin Cody’s talk yesterday morning.  Apparently, the word got out that the Observer article (written by yours truly) had the wrong time and things began at ten as was intended.  Robin was terrific.  His stories about his 82-day paddle down the Columbia were filled with humor, a bit of pathos, and with a great deal of unexpected information about the river.  Like the rest of the audience, I was enthralled.

Once or twice, though, I have to confess that I turned in my seat to see how Tucker was doing.  For several years now, he has been manning the video camera which is placed on a tripod toward the back of the room.  The recording (along with the official permission slip signed by the subject, in this case Robin) goes to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and eventually ends up online on YouTube.  Usually, I don’t give the cameraman a thought (sorry, Tucker!).  Though he is clearly visible, he has a knack for fading into the background while he does his job – which is as it should be and the way he wants it.

Robin Cody – Not A Sit-Still Kinda Guy

But, as we all listened to Robin yesterday, I realized that Tucker might be experiencing a bit of a challenge.  Robin is not one of those passive-sit-still-while-he-talks storytellers.  He stood, he paced, he turned this way and that establishing eye contact with his audience. I couldn’t help but wonder if Tucker was able to keep up with him.

After the questions and clapping were over, I went back and asked cameraman Tucker how it went from his perspective.  He laughed and admitted that keeping Robin in the camera’s eye was a bit of work.  “Once I glanced at my watch – just glanced! – and when I looked back through the lens, I couldn’t find Robin!  I don’t know how the video will look.”  As we chatted, he said that he never had taken time to see his ‘finished products’ so he couldn’t be sure of how this one might look to the viewer.

From CPHM Video: Mary Garvey, Cate Gable, 2017

I had to admit that I had never taken a look, either.  So yesterday afternoon, as I was preparing to write about the next speaker, I went to the Heritage Museum’s website and took a look at the April 2017 recording of Mary Garvey and Cate Gable.  OMG!  There was just a clip – one song; one glorious song – but the site directed me to YouTube for the complete video!  I highly recommend that you take a look!  Especially you, Tucker!  I’m not an expert but I have been known to be critical of what I see.  In my opinion, the video is pretty darned close to professional quality!!!

See for yourself.  Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KngMOgMMJWo.  You can skip the introduction part (me)… cut to the main speakers/singers!  Wonderful record of a stellar event – with Tucker the unseen and unsung hero!