inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #76 of 109: Frako Loden (frako) Wed 23 Nov 11 17:16
    
> 4. Dorothea Lange's granddaughter, Dyanne Taylor, made a TV
documentary of her search for Everett in the Escalante River Basin. 

I don't have the book with me so I can't find its title, but I was
going to ask you about the film treatment of the Everett Ruess story.
You mentioned a few different titles of documentaries like VANISHED!
How are they? I'm also wondering if you have contemplated a dramatic
treatment, and how you'd visualize its being different from, say, 127
HOURS or INTO THE WILD. I think the latter preserved a sense of wonder
about its protagonist, while the former turned the Utah episode into a
lesson for the hero's domestication.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #77 of 109: Andrew Alden (alden) Wed 23 Nov 11 17:23
    
Well, I do know that there are several, not just two species of the noxious
plant. In the right places you can come upon smooth-margin and lobe-margin
Rhus species in the east and the west. They're all nasty, and if I had a say
in genetic engineering of humans, I'd recommend that we all rejigger our
genes to get rid of the allergy.

A shame that Ruess and Rhus conflicted so violently.


I have to say, since we're nearing the end of our scheduled session, that I
miss the prospect of the next Philip Fradkin book. You bring an exemplary
approach to nonfiction, or what I might call personal journalism. Even
something as thinly sourced as the terrifying Lituya Bay -- another place
where people disappear -- you dig out every scrap of data in a literature
search that would do a scientist proud. Then you share your thoughts about
it, unafraid to lay out your uncertainties and private connections. I find
it very effective in presenting a persuasive case, even in situations like
the Ruess story where our preconceptions and necessary myths rear their
heads.

Are you going to miss that immersive, exhaustive process in your life?
Because I'm going to miss the results.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #78 of 109: Andrew Alden (alden) Wed 23 Nov 11 17:25
    
Frako slipped in while I was writing that. By the way I was referring to
your book "Wildest Alaska," a really hair-raising true story.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #79 of 109: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 23 Nov 11 23:10
    

I will have to watch for that one, too.  Are there any others that Philip 
wrote I should be aware of?
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #80 of 109: Sandy Sonnenfelt (sandala) Thu 24 Nov 11 12:54
    
Hello Philip.  My name is Stuart Steinhardt, I'm here courtesy of my
wife's account.  I am about halfway through the book and I appreciate
it all very much.  I have an intimate connection with Everett.  Back in
about 1985 I was contacted by my friend Riley Mitchell, who was then a
ranger at Glen Cyn. Damn.  She was volunteering with SUWA when Waldo
contacted them after discovering Everett's old lino blocks in his
garden shed.  They needed someone to restore and print them.  That
turned out to be me.  I had read Vagabond For Beauty soon after it came
out; and after I had hung out a couple times around Lee's Ferry and
Page and surrounding country with Riley.  Being there before I read the
book gave me the background to appreciate Everett's words more deeply.
 I introduced her to the book and Everett.  I went down to Santa
Barbara and met Tom Carlisle, a printer there who had the room and
equipment for the work and printer's knowledge to guide me.  I also met
Waldo and his wife at their home in Montecito.  I spent months
repairing, recarving, and printing Everett's blocks.  It was an amazing
privilege to do the work and bring the blocks back to life.  
I got my copy of the book from my friend Bob Lippman after you did an
interview with him on his radio show.  I really enjoyed listening to
the interview.  I just want to thank you for the work you did on this
book because I have learned so much more about Everett. 
I still have a few proofs from the SUWA printing I did from Everett's
blocks.  I hope we can meet sometime (I live in Oakland) so I can give
you one to show my appreciation. Ya ta hey.  

stuartsteinhardt@yahoo.com
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #81 of 109: Philip Fradkin (philfrad1) Thu 24 Nov 11 13:28
    
I think there are three remaining unanswered questions.

David asked if my papers will be available to the public. They
certainly will after they are processed, etc., at Special Collections
in the University of Utah Library. I am holding on to the Ruess and
"The Left Coast" papers in case there are questions, as occurred during
this discussion. The library will have those papers before July 2012.
Probably give them another year and you should have access to what I
generated over the last fifty-one years.

Frako asked me to comment on the Taylor and "Vanished" documentaries.
I think both had deficiencies, although they helped me. Taylor gave me
an idea what a massive amount of rainfall meant to the canyonlands and 
Dianne Orr, who made "Vanished," was invaluable in giving me the clue
to Frances's identity, information on Everett's possible homosexual
orientation, and the whole complex question of Everett's disappearance
through twenty-five hour of outtakes consisting of interviews with
residents of Escalante who are no longer alive. The actor who played
Everett did a poor job; but then who can portray him? I tried to write
a treatment for this book and "Wildest Alaska," determined I was not
capable of such writing, and would certainly like to see someone who
was capable to take this story on and handle it, not in any formulaic
manner, but in a manner that it deserves.

Thank you, Andrew, for those kind words. No, I am not going to miss
that "exhaustive process" because there are too many other things to
discover in the few years remaining for me. I will miss such
understanding readers as yourself. Unfortunately, there were so few of
them that it made all those years an economic drain on my meager
resources. But in all other ways, they were great years. Look at all
the wonderful places I got to go to and the interesting stories to
relate.

At the last moment Sandy Sonnenfelt posted the above comment on
working on Everett's prints for the Southern Utah Wilderness
Association show in the mid 1980s, plugging another hole. There was a
reference to Tom Carlisle, who was a printer in the local junior
college, and someone in Oakland who worked on the prints. I tried to
track Carlisle down through various means, but failed. I didn't have
Sandy's name. The blocks sit unused in the archives of the Utah
Historical Library in Salt Lake City. I looked at them. There is a
prohibition against using them because of their fragility. I wonder if
that could be dealt with and the prints could be made available to the
public. I gave a recent talk at the Autry National Museum in Los
Angeles and suggested they take on that job, as Ruess lived in that
city. I got bogged down in their bureaucratic process, but the head
curator did promise to read my book. How about someone with museum
connections taking up this idea, and giving him a real "resurrection?"

You can reach me by email via my website at www.philipfradkin.com and
at the same time get an idea of my past life and what I have published.
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Time to go out and walk on the
beach.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #82 of 109: David Gans (tnf) Thu 24 Nov 11 13:36
    

Steve Jerman operates a web site that markets some of Everett's work:

<http://everettruess.net/>
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #83 of 109: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Thu 24 Nov 11 13:38
    
I was quite impressed with the block prints reproduced in the book,
and in matters of art I'm not easily impressed.  Very typical of the
period (which happens to be one of my favorites) and yet not only
typical.  They have that spark.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #84 of 109: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 24 Nov 11 14:00
    

Yes, they're gorgeous.

What a cool connection with Stuart!  I do hope that he and Philip can 
connect.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #85 of 109: jelly fish challenged (reet) Thu 24 Nov 11 14:43
    
Philip, it was Stuart, <stuartsteinhardt@yahoo.com> , who worked with the
blocks. Sandy is Stuart's wife, <sandala> here on the well.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #86 of 109: David Gans (tnf) Thu 24 Nov 11 15:06
    
I will send you Stuart's contact info via email.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #87 of 109: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 24 Nov 11 20:03
    
Philip, just read elsewhere on the Well that you had some involvement
with an exhibit I saw a few months ago showing some old pictures of San
Francisco and pictures taken from the same location in present day.
Awesome exhibit! What was your involvement wiht it?
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #88 of 109: Philip Fradkin (philfrad1) Sat 26 Nov 11 11:31
    
I thought I would gracefully retire from this discussion in post #81
at the end of its scheduled run, but I have been asked and agreed to
continue it until Monday.

There is an assessment of Everett's art work in the book. I talked to
artists and curators who were familiar with it and the general
assessment was that his block prints carved out of linoleum were his
most powerful and evocative art work. Those prints seem to fit within
the modernistic movement of the 1930s. His watercolors and oils were
rated amateur, although they are so scattered I doubt if enough have
been seen to assess as a whole,. As a photographer myself I don't think
Everett ever got out of the snapshot class, but again there is not
enough available in one place. That is why, along with his unique
story, I believe that some museum should mount a major
show/retrospective about Everett Ruess.

Someone asked about the book "After the Ruins, 1906 and 2006:
Rephotographing the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire." I wrote a book
titled "The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906: How San Francisco
Destroyed Itself." At the same time I was a consultant to the Bancroft
Library at the University of California, Berkeley, in charge of finding
documents and images for a website on the earthquake. The images were
so powerful that I thought they should go in a book and have a major
show at a San Francisco museum. I knew of the rephotography work of
Mark Klett, a regents professor and photographer at Arizona State
University. I got in touch with him. He came to San Francisco and we
met with the editors at the University of California Press and the
curators at the Legion of Honor, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San
Francisco. It was an instantaneous done deal, my first one. Mark took
the photos and Rebecca Solnit and I supplied two essays. It was a
pleasure working with both of them. It turns out that Mark took the
photographs for the 1999 article on Everett Ruess that ran with David
Roberts's story in National Geographic Adventure. His 2009 article
contained the claim he had bound Ruess's bones, and Mark had no part in
that misadventure.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #89 of 109: Frako Loden (frako) Sat 26 Nov 11 12:38
    
I would love to buy a copy of Ruess's block print "Wild Coastline" (fig. 11
in your book), or "Granite & Cypress," but I guess I'll have to be satisfied
with what's available at the EverettRuess.net site?
(<http://everettruess.net/posters.html>) I'd love to get one of his
renderings of Point Lobos, which in 1930 he said "is really the one place I
have seen which I prefer to all others"--I have to agree with that!
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #90 of 109: Philip Fradkin (philfrad1) Sat 26 Nov 11 12:42
    
For those who are interested, I found additional information on
Everett’s block prints In my files. Most of it comes from material
generated for the 1987 show in the Atrium Gallery at the Salt Lake City
Library that benefited the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA). 

The alliance asked Everett’s brother Waldo, who lived in Santa
Barbara, if it could use the print of Everett and his two burros as a
logo. In 1986 members of the alliance then visited Waldo and made “an
extraordinary discovery. Waldo recalled that he had once stored some of
this brother’s old linoleum blocks in his backyard in a lattice garden
shed. Many had not been touched or seen for up to twenty years. Under
red clay pots and rusty tools lay a moldy cardboard box. Inside the
box, warped and cracked, we found the original Ruess blocks. . . . This
was all Everett’s printmaking that was still in the Ruess family’s
possession.” (If I am not mistaken, Bud Rusho and Gibbs Smith
"discovered" the prints a few years before the alliance members and
used them in their "Vagabond" book.)

“Through luck and happenstance two fine California craftsmen, Thomas
Carlyle, a graphic artist, and Stuart Steinhardt, a banjo maker, became
interested in the project. Over several months the blocks were
painstakingly and slowly restored and finally printed by hand.” 

Technically, the prints are called linocuts. Either Everett or his
mother would carve them from Everett’s sketches. Linoleum was less
expensive and easier to work and used for illustrations in “poor man’s
books,” according to a handout from the Utah Historical Society, which
has physical possession of the blocks at present.

Twenty-five blocks were printed and sold to benefit the alliance. The
alliance made over $100,000 from the sale. The price list stated that
for the set of 25, the cost was $2,200, unframed. The most costly
single print was “Lone Juniper,” $140 unframed. 

I am going to let you folks check eBay and Craig’s list for what these
prints are selling for now. Maybe you can let us know the results.

With Everett, it’s appropriate to end this tidbit with a touch of
mystery. Steve Jermain of Salt Lake handles the sale of Everett’s
prints, T-shirts, coffee cups, etc. for the Ruess estate. Jermain
emailed an employee of the Utah State Historical Society in 2008
commenting on the original deal. It’s not clear if he was referring to
Waldo and SUWA or SUWA and the State. In any case it is tantalizing: 

“To make matters seem worse the gentleman who put the deal together is
a wealthy white collar criminal. He was convicted of multi-million
dollars fraud and is now in federal prison.”

Amazing what my files contain that didn’t get into the book. Does
anyone out there know anything about this?
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #91 of 109: Andrew Alden (alden) Sat 26 Nov 11 14:44
    
Every author I've ever heard of complains about how much had to be left out.
Of course, nowadays they have an outlet: blogs. Perhaps UC Press is behind
the times, or maybe you've looked at and discarded the idea already. But one
author's experience began with resisting and belittling the idea of a blog
after his book "Sand: The Never-Ending Story" came out. Once he started, he
really took to it, and three years later he's still going at
<http://throughthesandglass.typepad.com/>

You often hear blogging called "recreational typing," but for someone who
has stopped writing for money, there's something to be said in favor of
blogging for pleasure. And a Philip Fradkin blog would never lack for
material, I'm sure.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #92 of 109: David Gans (tnf) Sat 26 Nov 11 17:03
    

Correction: Jerman, not Jermain.

And Stuart Steinhardt is not a banjo maker, although he plays the banjo.  He
posted above under his wife's userid, Sandy Sonnenfelt.  He did the
restoration work on the lino blocks.

I'll ask Stu to take another look at this discussion.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #93 of 109: Frako Loden (frako) Sun 27 Nov 11 14:54
    
Steve Jerman, who handles the Ruess products, referred me to Sam Weller
Bookstore in Salt Lake City. From them I ordered a $30 print of "Granite and
Cypress," which I'll have framed and give to my husband for Christmas. He
loves Point Lobos like crazy.

<http://www.samwellers.com/index.php?user_id=714255456437009&affiliate=none
>
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #94 of 109: Philip Fradkin (philfrad1) Mon 28 Nov 11 08:44
    
Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City is another source for Ruess
block prints.

http://www.kensandersbooks.com/shop/rarebooks/contact.html
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #95 of 109: Frako Loden (frako) Mon 28 Nov 11 13:02
    
Wow, Ken Sanders sells prints for $600.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #96 of 109: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Mon 28 Nov 11 20:43
    
I want to thank Philip Fradkin for a really interesting conversation
over the past two weeks and for sticking around for a few extra days.

As always, this topic will remain open indefinitely for further
comments and discussiom.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #97 of 109: David Gans (tnf) Tue 29 Nov 11 09:34
    

Philip, I hope youll stick around a bit and enjoy the WELL.  We have a
northbay.> conference that includes a lot of West Marin residents (and lovers
of the area), a <rockies.> conference where Utah, four corners, and other
such topics are discussed, a <sriters.> conference,a nd lots more.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #98 of 109: David Gans (tnf) Tue 29 Nov 11 09:34
    
oops.  <writers.> that is!
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #99 of 109: Philip Fradkin (philfrad1) Tue 29 Nov 11 10:10
    
Sure, I'll be around for awhile as long as my guest status remains in
effect, which I think is one month from about three weeks ago. 

On the cost of Ken Sander's prints versus those sold by Sam Weller (or
Zion) Book Store, it may be that Ken's are originals taken from
Everett's linocuts while the latter are reproductions. I bought a print
of "Tomales Bay, Fishing Shack" for around $30 in Escalante. It is a
satisfactory reproduction.
  
inkwell.vue.426 : Philip Fradkin, "Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death and Astonishing Afterlife," Nov 10-24
permalink #100 of 109: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 29 Nov 11 12:29
    
Thanks for the visit, Phillip.  This has been a lot of fun.
  

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