Tag Archives: arizona

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 + #daveo50 musings

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / cover

In my #daveo50 “personal archaeology“ project, there are over 160 posts pre-scheduled (before baby), however there are at least another 100 in draft form and then still shelves and boxes filled with treasures…

Ergo: The other day I popped out to holy barn studio for the first time since the baby came home and randomly picked up this notebook and it’s pure gold… a log diary from a road trip with my grandpa through UT, AZ, NM, Mexico etc / with no agenda, no school, many motels, every national & state park & monument, endless diners (incl his flirting with waitresses). i’m posting it here as an “placeholder“ reminder to myself that this project can continue on all year and beyond beyond… so much evidence, so many oddities, such documentation.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / final page detail

I also remember that Douglas Coupland exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery included a display of his notebooks telling me that “the work is the art“ and in this case, this humble $.35 spiral-bound notebook with a mix of my scribbles and my grandpa’s delicious cursive is “the #art” the rest is ancillary.

“So it is written, so it is done”

PS: This note posted elsewhere regarding this “discovery” of personal archeology: 

…My heart stopped so many times while opening up all these archives… I’ve moved so many times and been through so much uncertainty and so much turmoil and chaos in my life that the fact these things survived is truly miraculous and each shred of paper and scribble of handwriting is cherished. My grandpa was a colossal character, a real “big Fish“ type… I’m still not to his country count on my travels or to his level of charm so to see his handwriting and remember that trip is really quite splendid.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 (final page detail)

See more: artifacts from this trip at: Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and mission somewhere in New Mexico

Sometime in early 1988 (I think), (update: 1989) living in Orem Utah, recently dropped out of high school and floating along with classes at the community college, recovering from an epic car crash, my Grandpa rolled up in his old Chevy citation and suggested a road trip. Original thoughts for a few days but extended into much longer as we drifted  down into Mexico.

With his “golden eagles” (or something to that effect), National Park pass, and affinity for small highways and no agendas plus his usual travelling style which included switching off driving responsibilities every two hours regardless of situation, choosing  quirky / classic motels and diners on the fly, flirting with waitresses and continuous cigarette smoking and diary-keeping within the car, it was a most excellent journey.

I was studying photography at the time and took a heavy Japanese-made but Swiss-branded “Alpa” 35mm camera and black-and-white film, and a tripod and set up various shots along the way.

As usual, more evidence exists (including self-timer’d shots – often nekkid) and a photo essay of Petrified Forest) including a small spiral notebook chronicling where we stayed, various mileage and other ephemeral information about fuel efficiency, parks visited and what not, but for now, here are three of my favourite shots from the journey which I developed and processed myself in the dark room at the old ” Utah Technical College” Provo campus dark room.

The locations are unclear at this point but along the way, we visited every State / National Park/ Monuments anywhere near us, plus Tombstone Arizona, Four Corners, various places in Baja and mainland Mexico (in which I crossed the border with nothing but my old expired high school ID card or something… It’s all a bit hazy) I also recall buying a comically huge terra-cotta pot and huge woven basket in Mexico which was really a poor decision as we were taking turns resting in the back of the vehicle and well, space was at a premium.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and other cacti in (iirc) Saguaro National Park/Monument, AZ

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / Gramps and I in the cacti. rip Robert Louis Stevenson #bigfish

Katie Lee: the Desert Goddess, Renegade Folksinger and Glen Canyon Activist #tribute

Adding to the variety of artifacts (including my recently re-surfacing essay “Damn the Dam”) about Glen Canyon, which turned into the “home” of Lake Powell, comes this tribute, link assortment and film preview featuring legendary Ms. Katie Lee, the famed model/singer/activist environmentalist who made a noteworthy trip into the canyons – many of which were never documented/explored – with photographers, shortly before the destruction, dam building and subsequent flooding.

Ms. Lee passed away in Nov. 2017 at 98 years old and remained a fiery personality advocating for the wildness of lands until the end.

As such, I’ve assembled a round-up of links about her extraordinary life which follows this film preview and blurb – consider reading all to learn of this exceptionally beautiful renegade.

#hero

Continue reading Katie Lee: the Desert Goddess, Renegade Folksinger and Glen Canyon Activist #tribute

Arizona with Ole Gramps – Postcard #57

Pod cover - Postcards - Arizona Ole Gramps

While summertime camping alongside Owl Creek and charging the recorder with the rays of the sun, Dave reads a short story written while on the road with ole dead Grandpa called “So the Legends Go” – a portrait of life one morning in Navajo Nation in 1987 – accompanied by adolescent observations and musings. Accompanied by Dan Funboy on guitar and solar-powered vaporizer.

Hit the road to Arizona with Ole Gramps – Postcard #57 (128k mp3, 9:40, 9MB)

Continue reading Arizona with Ole Gramps – Postcard #57