Environmental Activist and Author Katie Lee and her Triple Tizzy

Katie Lee, now 95 years old, may be seeing the edges of her considerable legacy as one of the Southwest’s most outspoken environmental activists and authors. She just returned from Colorado from a screening of award-winning film DamNation.The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing, Katie Lee’s newest book, has just been published by Ken Sanders’ Dream Garden Press. Hance Editions in Flagstaff has just released a special edition of a dozen black and white classic portraits taken by photographer Martin D. Koehler of a nude Katie at 37 years old in the canyons of Glen Canyon that she so loved. No wonder Katie Lee is in a triple tizzy.

Katie Lee near Dandy Crossing

The cover of Katie Lee’s book published in 2014 by Dream Garden Press (Salt Lake, Utah).

May 17, Katie Lee Reading in Sedona, Arizona

Katie Lee will be reading excerpts from her newest book, The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing Saturday, May 17, at Well Red Coyote, 3190 West Hwy. 89A, Sedona, AZ at 2. p.m.  The book is a triple love story: the affair between Katie and a cowboy/miner; the characters that lived in Dandy Crossing before the river rose to drown it; and, the love of the beauty of Glen Canyon that would soon be drowned. www.katydoodit.com.  She is one of the few writers I know whose words can weave us into the magic spell that the canyons of the southwest have.

Sharing the billing will be Diane Sward Rapaport, reading from her newest book, Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City. www.homesweetjerome.net

Glen Canyon Betrayed: Let the Colorado River Run Free

Katie Lee is a remarkable woman. Ever since Glen Canyon was buried by Reservoir Powell, Katie Lee has sung, stomped, photographed, written about, fought to let the Colorado River run free. She has inspired many to reconsider the issue of dams, particularly the ‘deadbeat’ dams that are have become obsolete, and to consider the considerable environmental damage they have spawned. The words “Dam Dams” is the license plate of her Prius.

Katie Lee's book about Glen Canyon.

Cover of Katie Lee’s book Glen Canyon Betrayed

Katie Lee makes audiences cry when she shows her photographs of the old Glen Canyon and describes what was lost. Her book Glen Canyon Betrayed is a paean to a place perhaps more beautiful than the Grand Canyon.

Naked Katie: Classic Portraits

Anyone who has ever hiked or boated with Katie in the wilderness knows she will shed her clothes as quickly as she possibly can, and not put them on again until she gets close to her car. In her words, [I have been]” hiking freely and in tune with nature for at least half of those years. When I met Glen Canyon it was love at first sight— a place far from the inbred taboos of our society— closer to a dreamland than to reality. I have never posed as a model and am not doing so here…only doing what I always did in Glen Canyon— climbing, dancing, walking, touching, talking to the stone, swimming in the river, lying in the shallows, sliding down the falls, crawling through ruins, inching up crevasses, hanging from tree limbs, covering myself with mud, playing, singing, living with the canyon. I can always tell when a model is photographed in a place she’s never seen or experienced before; it’s in body language that can’t be hidden.”A poster of a nude Katie in Glen Canyon hangs in the offices of Patagonia (outdoor clothing). www.patagonia,com 

Katie Lee in Glen Canyon

This is a way to truly be in touch with Mother Earth. I swim the pool with tennies, chimney up the crease to the vulva, throw my tennies into the pool and rest here, ten minutes or more—then Marty clicks the shutter. I wedge half way down and jump into the pool—no way out the top. Photo by Martin D. Koehler

 

The limited edition of black and white portraits of Katie Lee at 37 years old is now available from Hance Editions, http://katie-lee.hanceeditions.com/about-us.

The Films: “DamNation” and “Wrenched”

In 2014, two films show Katie being interviewed and singing about the loss of Glen Canyon—“Wrenched” and “DamNation.“  Both will be shown at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride May 24-27. Check the schedule around May 15. http://www.mountainfilm.org/festival/schedule

DamNation

The film “DamNation” is a documentary about the adverse environmental effects of dams

“DamNation” is about America’s lost and endangered rivers and the dams that block them. Producers Travis Rummel and Matt Stoecker dub Katie Lee“The Grand Dame of Dam Busting.” Stoecker recently wrote Katie Lee a letter: “I just wanted … to say how thankful I am to you for all you do and for being the heart and soul of our film. Every time we show it, folks come up after and are just in awe of you and teary eyed about what happened to Glen Canyon. Your description, humor, and pure joy while immersed in that beautify place is inspiring a lot of people to take up the sledgehammer and get ready for battle.” www.damnationfilm.com

Producer ML Lincoln’s film “Wrenched” is a gut-wrenching documentary about the community of activists that were inspired by the work of Edward Abbey, who wrote so eloquently about the lonesome and beautiful places of the Southwest. www.wrenched-themovie.com.

"Wrenched"-the film

Cover of the DVD of ML Lincoln’s film Wrenched.

Abbey fought with his pen to help prevent wilderness desecration from industries that care only for the money they produce. Today, profits from pollution are virtually synonymous with big business.  Katie Lee sings and talks her way right into your heart in that film.

 

 

 

 

ML Lincoln’s Film Wrenched—The Legacy of Edward Abbey

A hundred people came to Jerome AZ’s “Spook Hall” on Thursday, April 17 to view and celebrate director/producer ML Lincoln’s new film Wrenched. (www.Wrenched-themovie.com).

The film Wrenched is about the community of activists that were inspired by the work of Edward Abbey, who wrote so eloquently about the lonesome and beautiful places of the Southwest.

"Wrenched"-the film

Cover of the DVD of ML Lincoln’s film Wrenched.

Abbey fought with his pen to preserve them against the desecration of industries that care only for the money they produce. Today, profits from pollution are virtually synonymous with big business.

Wrenched is an excellent, well-crafted and gut-wrenching documentary. There’s marvelous archival footage of Ed Abbey; interviews with Doug Peacock, Ken Sleight, John De Puy and Ingrid Eisenstadter—people that were the inspiration for Abbey’s book, The Monkey Wrench Gang—and with many others, such as Robert Redford and authors, Katie Lee, Terry Tempest Williams and Charles Bowden.

There are interviews with many younger activists, such as Tim DeChristopher. What connects all of them is their strong passion and unwavering commitment.

Activism Against the Destruction of Natural Edens

Wrenched shows activists against coal mining on Arizona’s Black Mesa and the rape of the aquifer by transporting coal with large slurry pipelines. Against Glen Canyon reservoir (Loch Latrine, as Jeroman Katie Lee calls it) with archival footage of an Earth First rally that dropped a large black plastic crack down the middle of the concrete to symbolize their protest against the dam.

Peaceful protest by Earth First! at Glen Canyon dam

Earth First! protest rally atGlen Canyon dam dropped a symbolic plastic crack on the face of the concrete dam.

Against oil and gas leases adjacent to national parks and other wilderness areas. Against contaminating the skies and waters. Against the felling of old growth trees.

Earth First! became the rallying cry of the activists and civil disobedience and ‘monkey’ wrenching their tools. Their credo: do no harm to people. As the writer Wallace Stegnar said, “Abbey was a red hot moment in the conscience of this country.”

Many people in Jerome and the Verde Valley can sympathize with many of these causes. The area is a hotbed of activism: citizens may not agree with each other, but they will stand up and fight for the issues they feel strongly about. In these times of grave threats from climate change, we must take whatever stand we can in our communities. Watching a film like Wrenched inspires us to get over our apathy and any feeling of being overwhelmed by current events.

A moving part in the film is the old river runner and wilderness guide Ken Sleight making a plea for people to become active and use whatever creative tools they have: talking, educating, drawing, writing, singing, etc.

Police Action Against Environmental Activism

Part of ML Lincoln’s film Wrenched heralds the souls that braved the cudgels of the police, more and more a reality that faces activists. It sheds light on two disgraceful federal actions to shut the activists down.

One was about the two FBI ‘agent provocateurs’, who were caught on tape being told to persuade four activists in Prescott to ‘do anything’ they could be arrested for. After two years, the activists agreed to cut down the power to some irrigation lines near Aguila, Arizona. The feds supplied the encouragement, the tools and the acetylene torch. Two members of the group were arrested at the site; the others in Prescott. The next day, as though by magic, radio, tv and newspapers headlined that the four were terrorists that were attempting to blow up Palo Verde Nuclear Facility, some eighty miles away.  It was a vry large large fabrication.

Earth First! cofounder Dave Foreman was also arrested in the same sting on charges of conspiracy. He gave a copy of this book, Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkey Wrenching, to one of the agent provocateurs signing it ‘happy wrenching’. It was enough for his arrest as a ‘co-conspirator.’

It may sound like something out of science fiction, but it cost tens of thousands of dollars to hire lawyers for the court battle that ensued. The first trial ended in stalemate; those arrested plea-bargained the charges to misdemeanors rather than undergo yet another round and another few years tied up in court. The labels “terrorists” still follow all of them around.What is sad is that the plea bargains clamped down on the activities of Earth First! Dave Foreman’s five-year parole stipulated that he not engage in activist activity for five years.

One of the film’s poignant scenes shows Ilse Asplund, one of the young women arrested, talking about her horror at finding that she trusted Ron Fraizer, one of the agent provocateurs to ‘babysit’ her young children.

The other federal action that grabbed major headlines and was featured in Wrenched was the arrest and two-year incarceration of Tim DeChristopher who bid on some of the 116 parcels on oil and gas leases on public lands tjat were being auctioned. Their sale waw approved by former President Bush at the very end of his term, with insufficient environmental and scientific review.

Tim DeChristopher Arrested for Bidding on Oil and Gas Leases

However, DeChristopher’s actions stalled the sale of all leases until Ken Salazar, the new Secretary of the Interior, took office. He took off the bidding block all the leases that Tim DeChristopher bid on, which were adjacent to National Parks. Nevertheless, his actions led to a conviction of a social justice crime and sentenced to two years in a court action that many deemed a travesty of the system.

Tim De Christopher

Tim DeCristopher at a Peaceful Uprising rally to raise awareness about the effects of .climate change

Another poignant moment of the film shows an almost monk-looking DeChristopher filing books in Ken Sanders Rare Books, a Salt Lake City Utah landmark. After 18 months in prison, DeChristopher was given six months of community service with the proviso that he say nothing abut his views or the circumstances that landed him in prison, nor the organization Peaceful Uprising, that he helped found. www.peacefuluprising.org

A DVD will be available for sale May 4 to people who attend film screenings. A fund-raising campaign to procure the rights for broadcast, video and theatrical showings will be held on Indiegogo. Watch for announcement on the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Memorium: Barbara Mauritz of Lamb

 

Full Moon Skateboard Ride for Jerome AZ Daredevils 1991

The first time I even heard about them was a comment from Aaron on the story of the drag race between the Jerome chief of police and Zack (“Jerome’s Secret Indy 500”).

I asked Max, as he was holding his 3-month old baby Mykos is his lap, “Did this really happen?”  “Oh, yeah,” said Max. “We’d park one car in Clarkdale and hiked up road from Jerome with our skateboards. When I got scared, I’d sit on the skateboard and use the soles of my sneakers to slow down. That’s how come I went through so many sneakers.”

I thought it was because he was hiking so much. Among some, my nickname in Jerome was Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms, always so optimistic and cheery, and never suspecting the oh-so-innocent looking Max of his daredevil ways, that are only now coming to light. “Well, how did you get across the cattle guard after you pass Jerome, the one that got Fern on her bike?”

“I used to stop and walk across.  The others jumped it.”

It was a lot of except for this one night. Just as I was cruising into Clarkdale on my skateboard, I saw Aaron and Zach bobbing crazily up and down, like jumping beans, and couldn’t figure out what was going on. I couldn’t stop and then found myself in the middle of a tarantula migration. Hundreds of them trying to cross the road. They were as scare as we were and were jumping on our shirts and jeans tearing at us with their pincers. They weren’t biting, just tearing at us.  We kept brushing them off and kept right on going. There wasn’t anything else to do.  as we were.”

Tarantula

The next day in biology class I asked my teacher about tarantula migrations and told him what we’ve seen.  I just didn’t tell give him too many details. He scoffed —‘oh you boys up there in Jerome most have been on something. There’s no such thing as a tarantula migration.

So I looked it up.  Apparently, durin Fall, male tarantulas go on a march looking for females. http://www.desertusa.com/dusablog/tarantulas-on-the-march