The "Night at the Museum" show in East Coulee last Saturday went really well. Over 30 people made the drive out to East Coulee... most from Red Deer, Calgary and other parts of central Alberta. Most had to drive at least an hour to get there, which I thought really showed a great level of support and interest. Rueben showed two of his other short documentary films with our "Forgotten Prairie" show being the feature of the evening. We collected enough donations to cover the cost of renting the venue, and a little extra. I donated all of the refreshments. The evening was very well received and we were all quite pleased with how it turned out. All of those that had taken part in the original trip to film the documentary were able to attend and it was nice to get together again with Chris and Connie, as well as with Rueben and Byron. I was invited to attend another showing of this film in January at the Foothills Camera Club in Calgary and would like to take them up on the invitation. On this night our show wrapped up at about 9:30 and a bunch of us headed over to my shop for the night. We had a lot of beer and refreshments left over so we proceeded to tie into those. Most of those that hung around turned in about 2:00AM, but Rueben and I kept going until a little after 4:00. Needless to say I was pretty tired when I got up around 8:30.
That morning we went back over to the museum and cleaned up everything from the show. This included taking down the screen, putting away the projector, packing up all the display prints, and generally cleaning up. Barb, the director of the museum had offered to show us an old miners house that was behind the museum and down the block a bit. It had once belonged to the family of a miner at the old Atlas Coal Mine. When he and his wife passed away, the surviving children donated the property to the School Museum. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have the budget to relocate or to restore it. The foundation and the floor are slowly collapsing, and the windows and doors deteriorating. The exterior stairway to the upper level is now so rotten that we needed to use a ladder to get in. The home is still fully furnished and it was really cool to see it and to photograph it. We are amongst the last viewers as the Museum staff are planning to clean everything out and preserve what they can before the building further deteriorates. It was really nice of Barb to allow us this opportunity.
It was a great day in the valley on Sunday and the temperature got up to around 20C. After a late lunch we headed out for a hike into the badlands. I knew of another stone house near the Red Deer River and wanted to try to find it. It is reasonably well know with locals but not accessible by road. I had never seen it before, but had seen pictures of it. We hiked in for a couple of miles and eventually found it. We photographed there for a while before eventually hiking back out. By the time I got back to my truck and hit the road for home, it was around 6:00PM. By the time I got back to the city it was a little after 9:00PM.
I didn't take my digital camera with me to the old miners house, or to the stone house, so I have no snapshots to share. I also neglected to take any record shots with my phone. When I process some of the film shots that I took I will post them to my blog. I did take a couple during the showing of the documentary at the museum and have included those below. I have also included a shot of the Atlas Coal Mine. This print was presented at the premiere along with about 15 others of mine.