Yosemite Field Trip ’73

Forty years is quite a long time…at least I used to think so.

Joseph LeConte¬†was an early conservationist and a professor at UC Berkeley in the 1800’s. My friends and I went to a junior high school in Hollywood that carries his name. A group of us was given a chance to take a week-long field trip to Yosemite Valley. The school bought a super-8 movie camera and let me use it for the week. I shot five or six rolls of film during the trip, which I edited at home. The camera was able to shoot in slow motion, fade in and out and do cross-fades internally.

Although I spent most of my time shooting film, I make a couple of cameo appearances in this movie. Some of us decided to go swimming in a very cold, wide stream. I’m the one who does a flip into the water. Some kids don’t have a lot of sense.

It was great fun making this movie and showing it to various groups of students and parents. Back in the early 70’s it was quite uncommon for teenagers to make movies. These days we’re all accustomed to shooting HD movies with sound with our phones. Today’s kids are growing up with a vast personal archive of their personal experiences and moments. Older folks are not used to seeing moving pictures of themselves as kids.

So friends, here is your chance to take a trip back in time to May, 1973. Our group even pays a visit to Yosemite Valley’s monument to Joseph LeConte, the Sierra Club’s LeConte Memorial Lodge, the first permanent visitor center in Yosemite Valley. Maybe you’ll see yourself or perhaps look in on one of your parents when they were 14.

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