Sunday, April 24, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Journey through the Tribute to John Green - Sasquatch Summit
(...con't from yesterday)
Friday, April 8, 2011 Registration seemlessly segues into the Meet & Greet
We're all set up in the upper lobby of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa. It's a classic space probably not used to so many people in black t-shirts with sasquatch designs on the front. An affable group though and therefore, it is a patient line of several dozen people at any given time waiting to check in, register and get their name tags.
(Dr. John Bindernagel with Bob Gimlin at the Meet & Greet on Friday.)
The vending room is open and that leads to the display room. It is an smorgasbord of vending items ranging from native First Nations drums to the whole array of bigfoot books by Hancock House publishing to outstanding t-shirt designs by Brandon Tennant and Falling Rock Productions to the wide array of items on both the Solunac's and Jerry Hein's table. Artist Jeanne LaCasse is there as well with an original coloring book and several items from her Sasquatch International enterprise.
(John Bindernagel views some of the excellent displays of footprint cast evidence.)
For most of us, it's an opportunity to chat with friends, meet someone you have only interacted with over the internet and take some photos.
(Jim Sorensen and John Tarrant meet in the sasquatch evidence display room.)
(Wanja and Martin, Rene Dahinden's widow and son, pose for a photo with Igor Burtsev from Russia and myself.)
At one point we have John Green, Bob Gimlin and Al Hodgson - the three "first generation" sasquatch researchers - take a seat at a table in the manner of book signing so people can more easily obtain their signatures.
(John Green, seated next to Al Hodgson and Bob Gimlin, shares a moment with Joyce Kearney of San Francisco, CA.)
We present John with an orginal collage created by Sybilla Irwin that features a portrait she painted surrounded by smaller images from John's research. Little images of Jerry Crew, Bob Titmus, Patterson & Gimlin, Rene Dahinden along with William Roe's sasquatch and several of John's book covers. It becomes the symbol of the Sasquatch Summit - the reason we're here this weekend - to pay tribute to the lengthy, thorough and dedicated research into this subject by John Green.
(Sybilla Irwin beside me as I show John the "lifetime of sasquatch research" collage print.)
Later that evening we make our way back to the Old Settler Pub with about 40 people to take over their enclosed back porch. Everyone is enjoying the first night at the Sasquatch Summit. Tomorrow is the big day of the conference and Tribute Banquet... much of which is covered in previous posts... scroll down to get the full experience. More thoughts on the weekend to come. (Remember to left click on any photo to see a larger version of it.)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
more photos from the Sasquatch Summit - a Tribute to John Green
My Sasquatch Summit Journal
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - the journey begins.
Depart Pleasanton, California at 6 a.m., destination: Yakima, Washington.
It's a drive I'm very familiar with and have established stops along the 720 mile route. Mostly truck stops for gas and rest areas to stretch my legs.
(a cloud covered Mt. Shasta greets me as we climb the grade along Interstate 5 near Dunsmuir, CA.)
It was very nice all the way past Mt. Shasta on Interstate 5. The majestic peak was covered in clouds this morning. Highway 97 north from Weed, California to Klamath Falls, Oregon into Bend and on to Madras. SNOW! nothing much accumulating on the highway but sideways blowing snow was what I drove through that afternoon in eastern Oregon. Temperature at 4 p.m. in Madras: 39 degrees.
(Driving through snow in Crescent, Oregon along Highway 97 in the mid-afternoon.)
Made it to Yakima. Had dinner with Bob Gimlin and called it a night at the local Quality Inn.
Thursday, April 7, 2011. Yakima to Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.
We packed up Bob's 2007 Cadillac Escalade truck with a ton of stuff I was bringing to the Sasquatch Summit. The framed original portrait by Sybilla Irwin was in a box, and a framed photo of the collage she created was beside it. Two additional suitcases with pre-ordered event t-shirts that Falling Rock Productions in Pocatello, Idaho had shipped to me along with a large cardboard tube containing the wall banner of the Patterson-Gimlin film subject. The event was coming with us. The border crossing was none too pleasant - as it was for most attendees crossing into Canada. We had to stop in the inspection bay to account for the 2 framed portraits. You can bring thousands of dollars in tourism to Canada but there's no free ride across the border. Be prepared for unnecessary intimidation and one of the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of your life! :-)
PHEW! made it into British Columbia and the afternoon was delightful. We cross well east of Vancouver, B.C. from little Sumas, Washington on state highway 9 into Abbottsford, B.C. From there, the Trans-Canada freeway takes you 40 miles east to Chilliwack, B.C. The Fraser River valley is framed by huge, snow-capped mountain ranges and is dotted with rural farms.
(We spot our exit sign along the Trans-Canada highway. Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs - Route 9. Yes! We're close.)
(First view across the Harrison Lake of the snow-capped mountains. "Great to be here!")
We make it to the shore of Harrison Lake around 6 p.m. and get checked into the hot springs resort. There is a lot of activity as Alex is setting up the display room with materials from Christopher Murphy and some he has generated (articles and placards for the displays). Thanks to Gerry Matthews and Thom Steenburg who moved all that material to Harrison for us!!
(Alex setting up the sasquatch evidentiary displays. The conference room next door becomes an impressive traveling museum.)
(Here we are in Harrison Hot Springs! with Sybilla Irwin and Bob Gimlin...)
Friends are already there and we visit into the night with John Tarrant and his son Philip. (Thank you, John, for picking up the event posters in Vancouver and bringing them out! Friends contribute with assistance in many cases with these events... just another example.) Jim is there from Florida; Scott and Todd from Southern California; Jerry from the Bay Area in California; Bruce from Massachusetts and Sybilla from Texas. The excitement is building.
(the "first night group" out for a bite to eat at the Old Settler Pub. Everything is walking distance in Harrison Hot Springs.)
Friday, April 8, 2011Lunch at the Sasquatch Inn, Harrison Mills, B.C. and an impromptu book signing occurs when we visit the Sts'ailes (Chehalis) Store on Morris Valley Road with Bob Gimlin.
(The Sasquatch Inn - a roadhouse, liquor store and small lodge...Harrison Mills, B.C. We're meeting the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club group for lunch.)
(The scene inside the pub with about 30 for lunch...)
(Welcome to Sasquatch Country... The Sts'ailes - or Chehalis - First Nations band has an eco lodge and a small country store & gas station here in their traditional lands along the Chehalis River about 20 miles from Harrison Hot Springs.)
(The Chehalis Store and Gas Station - a "must see" destination for sasquatch enthusiasts visiting this part of British Columbia.)
(Local residents are introduced to Bob Gimlin and want his signature in the bigfoot books they sell there. It was an impromptu book signing of sorts. Very cool.)
(back to the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Registration begins at 4 p.m. - the Meet & Greet will happen after that... there is a buzz in the air as many attendees are "in the house" at this point.)
(To Be Continued...)
Friday, April 15, 2011
Sasquatch Summit - a Tribute to John Green : photos from the Tribute Banquet
One aspect of this conference weekend that distinguished it from your typical bigfoot symposium was the Tribute Banquet. Over 200 participants were seated in 4 contiguous banquet halls and dined on a sumptuous dinner buffet. We were treated to a welcome dance and several other dances and songs from a local Sts'ailes (Chehalis) First Nations group - Sasquatch Tours. They even performed a special Sesqec dance for us - their word for the sasquatch.
After dinner, we began the Tribute to John Green. I opened the event with the tribute song I wrote about John Green back in 2005, "The Ballad of John Green." I was accompanied by Mary-Anne McTrowe on the ukulele. We then heard from John's son, Jim and then from his daughter, Marian. Along with another son, Raymond, and his family, we had 10 immediate family members in attendance, as well as 5 members of the late Rene Dahinden's family.
Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Dr. John Bindernagel gave testimonials following the Green family members. Rene Dahinden's widow, Wanja Twan read from some letters she had from Rene that spoke directly about John's views on what the two of them (Rene and John) were up to at that time. (1959)
Al Hodgson had a special award from the Willow Creek-China Flat Museum for John (photo in previous post). Bob Gimlin then gave his tribute. John Kirk, Adrian Erickson, Loren Coleman, David Hancock, Christopher Murphy, a former Harrison Hot Springs Mayor and Thomas Steenburg rounded out the tributes.
We then called John Green to the stage to present him with two gifts to remember this occasion. An original oil painting done by artist Sybilla Irwin based on one of John's well-known photographs - and a First Nations "talking stick" created by Doug LaFortuen, a famous First Nations carver on Vancouver Island.
John took the microphone at the end to express his gratitude and appreciation to all in attendance. He seemed truly moved by the weekend's events.
(Lesley Solunac begins the Tribute to John Green by thanking all who helped with the event. I'm in the background waiting my turn.)
(Alex Solunac introduces the testimonials with a word on John's influence on many of the people in attendance.)
(Getting ready to perform "The Ballad of John Green" to open the Tribute...Mary-Anne McTrowe to the right.)
(John Green's son, Raymond, addresses the banquet with memories of growing up with sasquatch research going on all around him at the Green residence.)
(John's daughter, Marian, the eldest of 5 children, speaks about assisting her father in his quest to transfer his sasquatch sighting files to computer - a daunting task at the time.)
You can find the database at www.sasquatchdatabase.com .
(Dr. John Bindernagel pays tribute to the sasquatch research of John Green.)
(Dr. Jeff Meldrum recites an eloquent testimonial that he composed for the Commemorative Program.)
(Wanja Twan, Rene Dahinden's widow, provides a particularly moving moment as she reads from personal letters about the early experiences of John and Rene in their quest for sasquatch evidence.)
(Al Hodgson speaks to the audience about some local bigfoot sighting reports in and around Willow Creek, California.)
(Al gives John the award from the Willow Creek museum. These are "first generation" sasquatch researchers in North America - in the "modern era"
(Bob Gimlin, an historic figure in bigfoot research for his unrivaled achievement in filming a bigfoot with Roger Patterson in 1967, speaks to John's tenacity and endurance.)
(John Kirk, President of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, astutely reminds the audience of John Green's contributions to sasquatch research and, more importantly, to his community and British Columbia.)
(John Green and others at the head table listening to the testimonials.)
(Wildlife biologist, publisher and friend of John Green, David Hancock recalls the early days of his research and John's influence on his life and career.)
(Christopher Murphy speaking to John's influence on his sasquatch research.)
(Thomas Steenburg speaking at the tribute.)
(Loren Coleman enthralls the packed house with his tribute - and his raucous one liners!)
(Artist Sybilla Irwin has a few words of appreciation for her involvement in the tribute as we present the original portrait to John Green.)
(John Green, holding the First Nations talking stick in left hand, expresses his appreciation to all in attendance. A touching end to a memorable day.)
(Close-up photo of the sasquatch talking stick.)
Find out more about Doug LaFortune Sr. and his wife Kathleen and see other examples of their aboriginal art at this website:
Link to the website for Doug LaFortune, Sr.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sasquatch Summit - a Tribute to John Green : Photo Essay Pt. 1
(Sasquatch Summit organizers Alex Solunac, Tom Yamarone and Lesley Solunac enjoy a moment to smile on Monday morning after a successful tribute weekend.)
The Sasquatch Summit - a Tribute to John Green - took place last weekend in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. The event drew 200 friends, colleagues and sasquatch enthusiasts to the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa for a conference and tribute banquet held on Saturday, April 9, 2011.
It was a weekend to remember as we gathered to honor the legacy and research of John Green in his hometown. Every aspect of the event was a success and the positive commentary could only be summed up by this simple phrase uttered at the end of the night by our guest of honor: "As I look back on my life in the years to come, this will certainly be a highlight."
There will be a more thorough recounting of the weekend's activities forthcoming, but for now here are some photographs that capture the essence of the Sasquatch Summit.
(John Green enjoying the moment during his Question & Answer session at the conference. all photos by Tom Yamarone. Left click on photos for a larger version. Then back arrow to return to post.)
(a view of the conference room as John Green addresses the audience.)
(Bob Gimlin and Jeff Meldrum during a break between presentations.)
(John Bindernagel addressing the Sasquatch Summit. What will it take for science to take a closer look at the available evidence? Dr. Bindernagel explains this during his talk and in his new book, "The Discovery of the Sasquatch.")
(Al Hodgson of Willow Creek, California with an award presented to John Green for his role in establishing the Bigfoot Wing of the Willow Creek-China Flat Museum.)
(I present John Green with an original portrait collage honoring his "lifetime of sasquatch research" created by artist Sybilla Irwin.)
(Bill Gundlach, yours truly, Scott McClean and Ken Steigers in the sasquatch evidence display room. All contributed to the success of the Sasquatch Summit.)
(Jeff Meldrum explaining the possible bone structure of a sasquatch foot.)
(Rene Dahinden's son Martin and his widow Wanja Twan pose with Alex and me in the lobby outside the conference hall.)
(I performed "The Ballad of Albert O." to bring everyone back from lunch for the afternoon conference session - and to allow John Green time to get back for his Queston & Answer session.)
(another photo of John Green taking questions from the audience.)
(Al Hodgson, John Bindernagel and John Green in the resort lobby during the lunch break.)
(Loren Coleman speaks at the Sasquatch Summit - his presentaton focused on John Green's legacy outside the Pacific Northwest.)
(Craig Flipy, yours truly, Cliff Barackman and Terry Smith - friends getting together at the Sasquatch Summit.)
(David Walsh and Bob Gimlin enjoying the Sasquatch Summit.)
(with John Green and Al Hodgson during the Meet & Greet on Friday evening.)
(British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club President John Kirk, his lovely wife Paula and Bob Gimlin. John and the BCSCC were invaluable in their support and sponsorship of the Sasquatch Summit.)
(playing music in the lobby late on Friday night - David, Mary-Anne & Tom.)