December 28, 2015 — Oregon Historical SocietyOHS has opened the doors for us to do some filming there in January, 2016!
Photographer Michael Ramil and I recently spent time in the OHS Research Library getting images to help in the creation of a storyboard for filming.
Many thanks to Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk, and to Geoff Wexler, Director of the Davies Family Research Library, for their time and assistance.
November 2015, Remembrance: Peachie HammWild water rushed through my soul upon learning that tribal elder Annabelle C. “Peachie” Hamm had walked on.
She was our first interview for Green Feathers Documentary, and the time with her was filled with warmth and laughter as she brought her family history of logging to life.
A second interview with her was scheduled – just weeks away – with plans to fill in more of the story.
Invited to celebrate her life, Co-Producer Venus Lucero and I spent the day with the Hamm extended family in Grand Ronde, Oregon. We gratefully joined in a beautiful mass in the community’s historic church.
In the cemetery the wind moved through the trees and grew stronger as if lifting her spirit, with the sky’s light changing as we said goodbye. Prayer drums lead our hearts in a rhythm of love and respect for this magnificent woman!
These stories must be told before the storytellers are gone.
April 30, 2015 — A day with Turner LoggingThis amazing day ended with my hiking boots sitting outside in the garage caked in mud, a souvenir from my time in the forest with Turner Logging. We finally got to join Turner Logging, and came away with more than just great footage, photographs, and muddy boots. We came away with great memories and respect for the hard work that comes with this occupation. The finesse of these individuals is remarkable. There is not a margin for mistakes; wits must be about you at all times. They stay in constant contact with one another via radio. Before walking from one area to another you establish eye contact, always being accounted for. Photo: Solving a cable problem in the yarder, the machine that powers the mainline. With changeable weather fronts moving through, we watched as the logging crews dealt with a cable issue on the yarder. Once the problem was solved, the trees from down below came whizzing up the steep hillside. I felt like a child with eyes wide open — intrigued and excited by the operation going on before us! Belden Jeffers, from a long line of Native American loggers, mentioned that his great-grandfather would definitely think logging with a loader like the one he operates today would be pretty great. (That’s me joining Belden in the loader.) The Green Feathers’ crew on this remarkable adventure were Venus Lucero, Caleb Knezevich, Tom Bauer, and myself. More news coming soon! –Tanner
Traveled south from Beaverton, Oregon this morning and had the pleasure of spending the day filming Reyn Leno, Tribal Council Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and his wonderful granddaughter Cheyenne Fasana.
We set up in his office and were gifted with a soft morning light coming through the window, with beautiful hues of green and blue provided by the forest backdrop. The office revealed much about the man while we set up to shoot. There was a true sense of who we were about to spend time with.
Photo: Reyn Leno,(R.), Cheyenne Fasana, (L.), and Green Feathers team member, Tom Bauer.
Once the interview began, it was hard not to notice Cheyenne’s admiration as she listened to her grandfather speak. Reyn told stories that no one had heard before. We felt privileged, indeed. His answers to my questions led to descriptive and colorful tales. From laughter to moments with tears, the interview took us on a journey from the 1800’s to today, and looking forward.
Cheyenne graced us with her thoughts as a Native youth. She was equally as enchanting as her grandfather and wise beyond her years. She spoke about her pride and desire to be involved in the education system and to bring more Native American history into the classroom. This is a primary goal of Green Feathers Documentary!
We packed up and headed home, pleased with how much of this story we had captured on film, and grateful for how full our hearts were. After a powerful and moving day of filming, I am often silent on the return trip to Portland, co-producer Venus Lucero can attest to this. This day was one of those days!Our crew for the day were Venus Lucero, Tom Bauer, Ray Alner, and myself.
March 14, 2015 — Spring road trip to Grand Ronde!
Reyn Leno and Tanner Givnan in the Tribal Council chambers.
Shout-out to Blooming Hill Vineyard…
Earlier in March, prior to the official launch of our fundraising campaign, we held a small reception to share information and filming with friends and supporters.
Jim and Holly Witte, owners of Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery, donated wine for the event. If you have not enjoyed a visit to this beautiful winery, I recommend it!
Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery, 5195 SW Hergert Road, Cornelius, Oregon 503.992.1196
We are making plans to hold an event there later this spring or early summer.
Will update you soon on that! —Tanner
October 24, 2014 — Fall is here!Is there more filming to do? You bet! But now, Mother Nature has taken charge of scheduling. We keep the faith that she will cooperate. Recently, I drove to Buxton, Oregon, about 20 miles west of Portland, and met with Diane Turner, a member of the Turner Logging family. Beldon Jeffers and his son Johnny, who are featured prominently in the documentary, are valued members of their crew. Diane is very enthusiastic about the project and shared some wonderful photos of the Turner logging crew and the Turner family. Our film crew will be joining Turner Logging in the Tillamook State Forest to capture the process of logging today. Mark Turner, President of Turner Logging, will share some of the history of logging as well as insights into where he thinks the industry is headed.
Early October, 2014Another adventure in logging history includes a day earlier this month in Vernonia, Oregon with Venus Lucero, our co-producer.
Vernonia was the home of the Oregon-American Lumber Company that was in operation from the mid-1920’s to 1957, and was one of the largest in Oregon.
What was their office is now the Vernonia Pioneer Museum — a treasure for history lovers.
Been there. Done that. Have the logging suspenders and cap to prove it!
Just a few minutes from the museum is Lake Vernonia, which was the old mill pond for the logging operation. This is where logs were off-loaded from railroad cars and stored until they could be processed and trucked to market. Today, it’s a scenic recreation spot, renowned for great fishing!
This abandoned fuel bunker is the only building from Oregon-American Lumber Company that still stands.
A number of small trees grow inside its graffiti covered walls. I had a great time capturing these images.
When I am not chasing down old photographs or interviewees I find myself reviewing the footage that we’ve captured so far, thinking about what’s ahead, and beginning preliminary editing.
It’s a time-consuming and satisfying effort. Each time my eyes pass over the footage, I see something new. Then, I smile and keep moving forward, coffee in hand.
You can help us tell this story of survival, adaptation, and success. Even small donation amounts are greatly appreciated. Each tax-deductible contribution helps us to move closer to our goal of bringing the story of Native American logging into the forefront of Oregon history.
Another great way to support Green Feathers is to share our process with friends and associates. You never know which connection might be The One that will push us across the finish line!
Wishing you the best.
July 24, 2014
With the wind blowing and the wildlife settling down for the evening, or not, we headed out of the forest, only to discover that we had been blessed with a flat tire. I say this tongue in cheek, of course, but seriously, I could not pick a more beautiful place to have a flat tire.
Tanner Givnan and Beldon Jeffers come to terms with a flat tire.
Thank you to Randy Sellars, our Director of Photography, and his capable assistant, Travis Stanton, and to my co-producer Venus Lucero. Though the challenges of the day seemed to hit like waves on the beach, we left with excellent footage and wonderful memories.
Randy Sellars, Tanner Givnan, and Travis Stanton in Chachalu Museum.
Dr. David Lewis, Tribal Historian for The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde at the Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center, sharing tribal history and his thoughts on the future.
July 6, 2014
It was our great pleasure to spend time with 93-year-old Ivan Jeffers while filming on location. Mr. Jeffers began his career in logging at 2:00 a.m. the morning after his high school graduation, and in his lifetime owned three logging companies. We had the pleasure of meeting his great-granddaughter Jolene that day, who also contributed to the story.
Mr. Ivan Jeffers
It wasn’t easy pulling this day of filming together, but once done it went smoothly. We left with soulful treasures and great footage! Every time I am on location I come away feeling honored to share time with these individuals and even more determined to share their history.
Thanks so much to Caleb Knezevich, boom in hand as thunder filled the air, and to Tom Bauer, our cameraman who were steadfast in their commitment to the day’s filming.
Coming up in July
We will overlap the history of logging with the ancestry of two or more family lines from the 1800′s to today. These are proud families still active in the logging industry. They have relied on oral history handed down through generations to honor and preserve the past.
One such family is the Jeffers family. This month we will spend time with Ivan Jeffers, age 93. The majority of his life was spent in the logging industry and is carried on today by his son Beldon, and Beldon’s son, Johnny. We also will be visiting logging sites outside of Eugene steeped in his family history.
Oregon’s Trail of Tears:
At the end of the month, we plan to head down to Table Rock in Southern Oregon with Dr David Lewis, who will talk to us about the little-known history of the Oregon Trail of Tears. The year was 1856. It was a journey of 263 miles to the newly formed Grand Ronde reservation, after diverse tribes had been forced by the government to cede their ancestral land.
Much more on this in the coming weeks.
One of several logging images from the Jeffers family collection.
Writer | Producer | Director