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    Sebastian Junger: “The Last Patrol” | Talks at Google
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    Sebastian Junger: “The Last Patrol” | Talks at Google

    August 9, 2019


    SPEAKER 1: Thank you. CARRIE LAURENO: Again, my
    name is Carrie Laureno. I’m the founder of the
    Google Veterans Network. I’m so happy to be here
    tonight, with Sebastian Junger, with Guillermo Cervera,
    and Brendan O’Byrne, who we just saw in
    this incredible film, “The Last Patrol.” Again, wonderful to be
    here with all of you friends from Iraq and
    Afghanistan Veterans of America, Student Veterans
    of America, Team Rubicon, Team Red, White, and Blue,
    Veterans Advantage, and the US Military Academy
    at West Point, as well as many Googlers as well who
    are in this audience. It was an incredible
    film, Sebastian. I’ve seen all three
    of your films. And when I watched “Restrepo”–
    and we screened it on this very stage– for those of us who
    haven’t served in the military, we were able to experience
    what it meant to go to war. “Korengal” gives
    you a feeling of why it’s so hard to
    leave that behind. And now, with “The
    Last Patrol,” you’re giving us an
    opportunity to see what it feels like to come home
    and reconnect with America. And I want to thank
    you for letting us come on this journey with
    you of your own transition. And it’s very clear to
    all of us in this room, and those watching, that
    the transition process for those leaving combat,
    and combat reporting, or combat in general,
    is a very difficult one. That people have
    great expectations when they come home. And sometimes those
    expectations aren’t met. I have to say my favorite
    character was Daisy, far and away. No offense to you guys. At Google, you’re
    allowed to bring your dog to work every day. And we thought last night
    about inviting Daisy. And that would have been fun. Maybe we’ll do
    that another time. But she did a great job. Loved her camera work. What did you say? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: She was
    our best camerawoman. CARRIE LAURENO: I was
    just going to say, she was an excellent
    camerawoman. She did a fantastic job. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    She’s getting more work than I am right now, actually. CARRIE LAURENO: So I took
    away some really big themes from all of this– combat,
    America, fathers, the influence and the impact of
    your relationships with them, addiction of
    different kinds, manhood. There’s some really,
    really big powerful themes that stood out for me. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You forgot
    how to cook in your car engine. CARRIE LAURENO: That’s right. I want that cookbooks. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: It’s
    called “Manifold Destiny.” No, it’s not a joke. It is called “Manifold Destiny.” I tracked it down. It was a classic from the ’70s. CARRIE LAURENO: Oh my gosh. I feel like we
    should get everybody in this audience a copy of that. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Imagine the sales. I mean, they just haven’t
    been sold for years. And then all of a sudden,
    200 copies get sold off. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You can get
    them on Amazon, seriously. CARRIE LAURENO: OK. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: For real. CARRIE LAURENO:
    “Manifold Destiny.” SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    “Manifold Destiny.” CARRIE LAURENO: OK. So of all of those
    themes– and there are many others that
    I didn’t mention– I want to talk about
    purpose, and what your purpose was in doing this. Clearly, you had a goal
    to reconnect with America, and to decompress after war. But why did you really do this? Such an interesting idea. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Originally,
    when I first had the idea, was going to do it with Tim. And it was going to be a
    way to show Tim America and for me to understand
    America in a new way. If you make yourself
    vulnerable and marginal, you have a very different
    relationship with a place than if you’re just
    driving through it. And you’re very marginal
    and vulnerable if you don’t have a place
    to sleep at night. I mean, really, if you want
    to experience being marginal, just walk out your front door,
    and don’t come back at night. Spend one night out. Find a place to curl up. And come back in the morning. And you’ll experience
    what it is to be a vulnerable person
    in this society. And you’ll feel
    vulnerable no matter how much you have in
    your bank account. You just do that, you’ll get it. And I wanted to experience
    America little bit like that. And I thought the railroad
    lines would provide us this sort of view from
    the inside out in America. Highways go around
    towns or whatever. Railroad lines go straight
    through the middle. So that was originally
    what I wanted to do. And then Tim died. And so I had this whole
    thing was struggling with. And I got to know Guillermo
    because of Tim’s death. And we’re great friends. Really, really close. But I wouldn’t have met him
    otherwise, I don’t think. And Brendan and Dave I knew, Tim
    and I knew, from Afghanistan. I just said, OK. Here’s four guys who’ve
    been in a lot of combat. We’re not going to
    go back to war again. And maybe we could also
    have this long conversation. It just seemed like a way
    to– I needed a change. I was 50 years old. A lot had happened in my life
    in the previous few years. I really needed a change. And I just thought if I put
    myself in an extreme place– but with people that I really
    trusted and was connected to– that’s how you change. CARRIE LAURENO: And Guillermo,
    why did you agree to go? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    At the beginning, when we were
    walking, I would use to say, Sebastian, I
    don’t see this story. I don’t understand why
    we have to do this. I was very tired every day. I didn’t like to sleep outside. So I kept going. CARRIE LAURENO: We know what
    you think of the Army poncho. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Most Army products. CARRIE LAURENO: That’s real? AUDIENCE: Yeah. GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    They are very bad. They’re supposed to be
    impermeable, but they are not. Yeah. And when we kept
    going and going, and I was just going because it
    was a great opportunity for me to photograph America
    and be in the movie. So I kept on going. But I kept on saying, Sebastian,
    I don’t see the story. But after a while,
    I start to see. And to see was something more
    than being there photographing in the project. Was more about my inside. What I was experiences. And dealing with three guys. I didn’t know them. And they have kind of the
    same problem that I have. That’s what made me more
    touched with the film. And after all, I learn a lot. CARRIE LAURENO: And Brendan,
    it sounds like you liked it so much that it was
    hard for you to leave. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. I was going through a really
    rough time in my life, also. It was really me
    breaking up all my wife, was the starts of that. I was in bad in drinking. I was drinking a lot. And all those things. It was really nice to
    get away from all that. When staying at my house,
    I couldn’t stop myself from drinking. But being in the middle of the
    woods, I couldn’t get booze. So that was like sure way
    of not drinking for a week. And that’s what I did. And also, my wife
    wasn’t there, so that’s why I really loved it. CARRIE LAURENO: OK. It wasn’t actually about combat. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I
    wasn’t trying to heal. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Different kind of combat. Got it. So on this journey,
    it seemed like you all met some really
    interesting characters. And really, like a slice
    of America that most of us don’t see all of the time. And I wonder what it felt
    like to see that, especially for Brendan, after being
    in combat and coming home, and the people on whose
    behalf you served. Seeing them, hearing what
    they had to say about America. What was that experience like? Meeting people who
    are so disconnected from the experience that
    you went through in the war. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. Meeting America
    was great for me, because it really showed me
    what I fought for, really. And it’s really sad to see what
    state our country’s actually in. There’s a lot upset. A lot of poverty, a lot of drug
    abuse, a lot of alcoholism. And it was sort
    of sobering to see that that’s the place I was
    fighting for is doing really poorly in some places. So it was really good to
    get to see that, and say, all right, well,
    now there’s a battle here at home, also,
    that I could fight. And the disconnect is going
    to happen no matter what, because there’s only 1%
    of our country that’s fighting in the military. So I understood that
    disconnect was going to happen. So that didn’t bother
    me as much as it really bothered me to see how many
    people are living in poverty– and living, actually,
    probably, worse off than I was in
    Afghanistan, in many ways. What really surprised
    me was the fact that when we were walking
    through the bad parts, quote unquote, the
    bad parts of towns, was where we actually
    got the most help. Was where we got the
    most support from people. It wasn’t in richer,
    upper-class areas. They didn’t want to help us. But that the people that
    were low on the totem pole, the people that were
    really just trying to survive, they wanted to help us. And that says a lot
    to me about community. Community’s still alive
    in those small groups, in those places of poverty. And it’s not alive in places
    like upper-class, middle-class areas. It’s just not alive there. And that surprised
    me, because I thought it was going to be the opposite. CARRIE LAURENO:
    And Guillermo, I’m really curious to hear
    your opinions about that. You’re originally from Spain. And you’ve lived here off
    and on for many years. And you’ve been around
    the globe a few times. From the perspective of
    someone who isn’t American, having the chance to walk
    the railways with two Americans or three Americans
    and seeing what you saw, it seemed like there is
    an equal amount of pride that these folks felt, as well
    as a great degree of sadness that came through. And I’m curious, as
    someone who isn’t American, what your impression was about
    the state of our country. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Well,
    America is just fascinate me, because it has a
    lot of weird things. And I like them to photograph. But also rejects me. I see a lot of the people
    insane, and a lot of problems that we don’t see when we are
    in Europe looking at the movies from America. And I had that feeling
    like the people is really– when you walk
    around, you see a lot of pain, a lot of pain in faces. And that happens everywhere. Everywhere you see that problem,
    because it’s a human problem. I see it in
    Afghanistan, everywhere. But the difference, I feel,
    is like in other countries, people help each other more. And here you see a
    lot of individuality and a lot of loneliness. That makes the problem bigger. And that’s my feeling. CARRIE LAURENO: And that’s
    something you’ve seen before? Or this trip brought
    that to life for you? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    Well, I saw it before when I came here
    when I was in college. I came two or three
    years for study. And I live upstate
    in New York, in Troy. And there’s a lot of
    people insane there. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I’m writing an
    article about PTSD right now for “Vanity Fair.” And I just heard about this. They had a really– I
    had this sort of idea that one of the things
    that’s hard for combat vets to come back to is the
    alienation of society. I mean, if you’re in
    a platoon in combat, you’re never further
    way then a few feet from another person for a year. In a very, very close,
    intense, human experience. And then you come
    back to this society, and it’s much more spread
    out, and often alone, right? So that maybe the problem
    with combat trauma isn’t the combat
    trauma, it’s that people are trying to heal
    by themselves. And individual
    therapy, and whatever. The community experience
    is lacking here. So I’ve been talking
    to people about that. They did an experiment
    with lab mice. And you can
    traumatize a lab mouse and give it traumatic
    stress, right? You can give it PTSD,
    just like humans. And those of trauma, you can
    keep those going indefinitely if you keep startling
    the mouse, right? Loud noises, whatever. You can keep those symptoms
    going after the trauma. But only if the
    mouse is by itself. If you put that mouse back
    in a community of my mice, no matter what you do, you
    cannot keep those trauma symptoms at the same level. They decline. I think when you
    talk about people being in pain in this
    country, and alone, I think he’s really right. I think there’s a
    lot of pain here. And it comes from a
    sort of basic loneliness that a lot of people
    feel in suburban– I grew up in the suburbs, the
    loneliest place in the world, I think. CARRIE LAURENO: I
    can’t wait to read it. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. CARRIE LAURENO:
    It’s interesting. Some of the veteran
    service organizations that we partner with here at
    Google– like a Team Rubicon or a Team Red, White, and
    Blue– those organizations get people out into the field. And I believe there’s was
    a article written recently on task and purpose
    about how being downrange together, having
    that camaraderie, is something that these
    organizations are trying to foster for veterans who
    are coming back from these two wars. And it seems very similar
    to the environment that you were replicating
    on this patrol. That’s interesting. What, specifically,
    looking back on it now, was similar about
    the patrol and war? There was a couple things
    that stood out to me. And I remember at one
    point in the film, you are looking out–
    maybe through binoculars– you were looking out for
    cops who were far away. And it was almost like they
    were the enemy in the situation. And you were trying to– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Almost? CARRIE LAURENO: Almost. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: They
    weren’t the enemy. But they were
    definitely a challenge. CARRIE LAURENO: No, I
    remember watching “Restrepo” and thinking, oh, this is like. You’re looking way
    out for the Taliban. Where are these guys? And you’re doing the same thing. You’re taking cover from
    trains that are going by. You’re taking
    cover from bullets. And it felt similar without
    the lens of combat there. What, for you guys, was most
    similar about the experience? GUILLERMO CERVERA: I
    didn’t find any similarity. CARRIE LAURENO: No? GUILLERMO CERVERA: The only
    thing I felt is, as I told you before, after a few
    trips in the patrol, I felt like coming back
    to see these guys to spend more time with them. Because I felt good. And that’s kind of the feeling
    when you go through a war, and you are with
    friends– journalists, in my case– you feel good,
    because you help each other. And you are that
    kind of situation. For me that was the similarity. Maybe for them was
    something different. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. For me, it’s the
    idea that in society, like Sebastian was saying,
    it’s a group of I’s. Everyone is I, me. Inside combat, I only used I
    and me was when I fucked up. When it was my fault. Hey, my bad. That was my fault. And the rest of the
    time, we used we, because that was what we were. And inside of the patrol,
    we had to do the same thing. We had to leave the I
    at home, and use the we. And you could see it. One of the times Guillermo was
    having a hard time walking, and it was really hot. And Sebastian took his pack. I mean, those are the things
    without even– actually, demanded, give me your pack. So those are the things that
    you don’t see in society. I think there was
    a homeless person, or there was someone, I
    think, dead in the street? I can’t remember the exact
    story in New York City. And there was like a few hundred
    people that passed by him and didn’t even help him. And they didn’t know
    he was dead or dying. And that says a lot. That’s lonely, When people
    are walking past you and you’re dying, and
    they don’t help you. In combat, that doesn’t happen. So the similarities were
    that we were all there, and we are all supporting
    each other in every way. And we got shot at one time,
    which was sort of similar. But it wasn’t very accurate, so. CARRIE LAURENO: I’m sure
    there are a lot of people here who have questions. We have some mics
    out in the audience. It would be great if
    anybody has a question, if we could bring a
    mic over to those folks so that their
    questions are audible. AUDIENCE: Hi. Well, I have a question
    about audience. And I’ve seen “Restrepo.” I haven’t seen “Korengal.” But “Restrepo”
    seemed like a film that was designed
    to educate the 99% to see what that’s really like. Here, though, the
    reason I ask this is because one of
    the significant challenges a veteran deals
    with when he comes home is that trust situation. The ability to trust someone
    who hasn’t been there with them. And I happen to work a lot with
    veterans and experience that. And yet while this is still
    educational for civilians, there seems to be
    another– I’m wondering how important the military,
    the veteran audience is. Because on the one
    hand, these may be soldiers that
    are like that, that don’t want to talk to anyone. But yet, although
    you’ve been shot at quite a bit and lost
    one of your best friends, you are a civilian. As are you as well, Guillermo. And there are many stories
    filtering through the film that are all about
    childhood traumas– the dog getting killed. Your example, the mice. Trauma, in many
    cases, feels the same. And I wonder how intentional
    and how important the audience of a veteran is
    for you, in the sense that they can come back and relate
    to people in that way, in terms of empathy
    and the universality of post-traumatic stress. And I wonder if that’s a helpful
    starting point for a veteran. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I absolutely had veterans
    in mind making this film. Not exclusively. But absolutely had
    veterans in mind. I thought of it as an example
    of collaboration and closeness, but back home. So you can do it here, too. And the consequences are
    almost certainly not fatal. So that’s a good thing. But you do get a lot
    of the same closeness. And so, absolutely, I
    thought about veterans. But in some ways,
    I thought civilians could learn about
    veterans with this film. Soldiers could learn
    about journalists. I’m a journalist. Guillermo’s a journalist. It’s all men. I feel like women
    can watch this film and learn something about men. CARRIE LAURENO: I learned a lot. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Did you? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Unfortunate
    truths about men? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. Yeah. The sexes are bizarre and
    frustrating to each other. And here there’s four
    men talking pretty openly about everything, including
    about their feelings about women. Just seemed like that
    might be interesting. And it would allow veterans
    to learn about America. Among other things, we’re
    walking through America. And it’s a much weirder
    country than I quite realized. We all live in our communities
    and we know those communities, but until you walk
    through other communities, you can drive through–
    sorry, it’s not the same. If you walk through,
    and you have to find a place to
    sleep that night, and you have to
    engage with people, you really get to
    know where you are. And as Brendan was
    saying, the communities that were the most
    intimidating to me absolutely were the most welcoming. And the ones where we
    actually really had problems were the wealthy
    communities, like the kind of town I grew up in. Actually a really
    interesting experience. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? AUDIENCE: Hey. So Sebastian and
    Brendan, we kind of share a brother–
    Tanner Steester. I went to basic
    training with that guy. He the forward
    observer that guys might know from his first movie. And really, my
    question is what’s it like to be journalist–
    a civilian– let into that circle? Into that brotherhood? Because I say every day I’m
    a student veteran leader. And I tell people all the
    time, look, we’re all brothers. We’re all sisters. Once you served in
    the military, doesn’t matter if you’re in
    uniform or if you’re out. If you deployed, if you didn’t
    deploy, it doesn’t matter. Once you raise your right hand
    to serve, you’re my brother. And Sebastian, we’ve
    never met before, but after seeing your
    films and knowing who you’re connected
    with, I feel like you’re part of that circle. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Absolutely. AUDIENCE: What’s it
    like to get into that? And have that unique perspective
    as far as a civilian goes? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Well,
    you know, I– thank you, first of all. I think in any group, the
    amount that you’re allowed in is connected to the amount
    that you’re willing to give. If you’re in a group you
    don’t know very well, you’re not really part of it. And you’re probably not willing
    to give very much of yourself up for it, right? But as you get close
    to people– as you learn to connect to
    them, you love them, you’re worried about
    them, whatever– the amount of yourself that
    you’re giving out rises. And likewise in the
    other direction, that connection rises also. And so by the end
    of the deployment that I covered with
    Tim– before the end, but as it went by–
    I felt completely part of that platoon. And I think they thought
    of me that way, too. And one of the
    things that I really liked about the patrol,
    the last patrol, was that we kind of did
    that with each other. And I think we all had to
    learn to think about the group more than about how we
    individually were feeling. So when I took
    Guillermo’s pack, I was sort of putting
    him ahead of me. And I know that in
    another circumstance he would have done that for me. And once you’re in that
    kind of relationship with a number of other
    people, you’re home free. That’s, I think, where
    we all want to be. And I think in
    this society, it’s hard to find circumstances that
    require that or even permit it. I’d like to ask
    you, though– have you been embedded with
    US forces in Iraq? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yes, I was. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I’d love
    to know what– I mean, I’m an American with
    American forces. As a foreigner with
    American forces, how did you feel with them? How did they think of you? I’m just curious. What was your experience? GUILLERMO CERVERA: I think
    the beginning is hard, because they don’t know you. And it’s hard for
    them to trust you. But at the end is very
    similar than being embed with the Afghans
    in this example. At the end, all make a group. They accept you. And they treat you really well. And they protect you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Great. GUILLERMO CERVERA: And I think
    it’s more a matter of humanity. They take care of
    each other as a group. As the thing that happen
    with us in patrol. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Guillermo, did
    they pull pranks on you, also? Because we harassed Sebastian
    quite a bit out there. And that’s when
    we really told him that he was part
    of the group, was where we started pulling
    really bad pranks on him. We found out he was
    afraid of spiders, so. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: If
    you’re ever embedded, don’t tell them you’re
    scared of spiders. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Or anything. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Or scared
    of anything, for that matter. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Or
    your mother’s name. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Or
    your mother’s name. Definitely not
    your sister’s name. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Important information. Write it down. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? This side of the room. Do we have mics over here? AUDIENCE: I got you right here. I actually have two questions. First question is how’s Dave? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: He’s good. I think he’s over– No, SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He’s back. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: He’s back. AUDIENCE: He’s back now. Good. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I can
    answer that real quickly, just add to that. He went over with
    a private outfit, but working with the military. And then he finally
    came back again. I just sent him an email
    and said, hey, man. How you doing? What are you up to? And he said he just got a
    place in central Wisconsin. Way out in the
    woods, like 80 acres. And he said he’s been splitting
    wood and hunting a lot. And so, like, OK,
    you’re probably good. AUDIENCE: That sounds good. awesome. OK. So second question. And this one kind of hits
    me both from “Restrepo” and from “The Last Patrol.” For me personally, in
    the same situation– and for a lot of folks that I
    know in my current position who haven’t been in that
    same situation– for me, it’s all about control. When you’re with your friends
    and you’re with your brothers and sisters, you don’t have
    to worry about yourself. Somebody’s got your
    back all the time. Somebody’s telling
    you what to do. You’re telling somebody
    else what to do. And it’s kind of
    this big circle. But as soon as you get back,
    you kind of lose all that. And you have to figure out how
    to have control of yourself again. And what I found
    myself a lot is trying to find somebody to
    take control over me. Tell me what to do. Tell me where to go. And there’s constant
    inner struggle. I want to take
    control of myself. But also, I want
    that same feeling where when times are
    tough, I want somebody to tell me what to
    do and where to go. And I got that same
    feeling from both movies. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I think, actually, strangely,
    it’s a really good feeling to be in a group
    where you have a job. Where you’re being given
    a job, sometimes, and told to do something. Because it means that
    a, you’re trusted. But b, that you’re also
    being taken care of. Guillermo, you probably–
    I was with Brendan and Dave in Afghanistan in a platoon. But your experience more
    has been a little bit more independent, right? So the patrol was probably
    a little different for you in terms of cooperating
    with some other people. So what was that transit? Did you resist, if I told
    you, go do something, did you resist it at first? Was there a transition
    where you accepted that? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Oh, yeah. Yeah. At the beginning I didn’t
    want to help anyone. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I
    noticed that, actually. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: No way! GUILLERMO CERVERA: I just
    wanted to take pictures. I didn’t have that experience
    of being protected. When I travel around,
    I am by myself. And no one protects me. It’s kind of tricky. So for me, being in the patrol
    was completely different. I was protected by three guys. And I felt like nothing. I don’t have anything to do. Just being here
    and take pictures. It was great. It was a great feeling. Because at the
    beginning I didn’t want to get involved in the
    group, but after a while, I learned how to be
    involved with them. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: What changed? Why did it change? When did it change? How did that work? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    Because if I don’t change, I have to keep fighting
    all the time with my brain. And that’s why I had to
    change and just relax. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    How long did it take? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    It took a while. Yeah. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: One
    of things I found is that when you’re actually
    giving of to a group, that feels really good. I think that’s what– Team
    Rubicon, where are they at? They do the same thing. They give back to America. And of course, that feels good. It feels really good. So finding something like
    that to give back to, even if it’s not a
    group of close friends, even if it’s your
    country, that’s going to make you feel
    really, really great. And I think that that’s one
    of the things that saved me. Because that’s what I do. I try to give back as much as
    I can to the veteran community. And that makes me feel
    better about being alone inside society. GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    But I think it says a lot about relationship
    between men and women. That sometimes they
    are keeping fighting, and they don’t
    relax, because they want to keep in control
    of their own lives. And not give the
    control to the other. And I think that’s
    a thing in the movie shows a lot about relations. CARRIE LAURENO: Brendan, I
    want to really applaud you for what you just said
    about giving back. Because I think the most
    important leadership role that– we don’t know each
    other all that well, but I feel like I know you, because
    you’re a movie star. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I’ve
    never been in a movie. CARRIE LAURENO: But
    I want to apply you for being so open about sharing
    your story and your experiences having served in the military. The only way that
    people like us, who care about veterans at
    Google and other companies, are able to do our
    jobs is because there are people like you who are
    willing to tell your story. And you’re a really
    expressive, soulful guy. And it makes all the difference
    in setting a leadership example for other veterans to be able
    to follow in your footsteps and share so that the
    rest of us can learn. And we can heal as a community. Service members go home to
    communities– communities that want to embrace them,
    and don’t know how. And it’s not easy, as a
    civilian, to go up to someone and say, thank you
    for your service. And I know you in particular
    don’t particularly like that phrase. But it’s not easy for anybody. And the work that you’re
    doing is helping all of us. So I think we need to all
    applaud this guy for that. [APPLAUSE] BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Thank you very much. I think that when I
    talk about my service, I talk about we’re
    service members. We join the military to
    serve our country, right? So when we go to war, and when
    we go to combat, the things that we see and we do
    there, they’re not ours. They’re not ours. They’re our country’s. So I really think
    this is the only way to come home, is to
    share these stories. Because it is our
    country’s stories. It’s not our stories. For veterans that are, oh,
    you can’t hear my story, because you won’t
    understand– of course, they’re not going understand. They’re not going to
    understand until we speak up and talk about this stuff. And once we start speaking
    up and talk about this stuff, our country’s growing
    up in two parts– it’s civilians and veterans. And if we don’t bridge that
    gap, if we don’t somehow bridge that gap– 22 veterans
    a day kill themselves. Why you think that is? We have to bridge that gap. The only way to bridge that gap
    is to be telling our stories. And telling our
    stories accurately. Not patting ourselves on the
    back like these Navy SEALs do. [LAUGHTER] But just honestly. What we actually experienced. What we actually saw. The things that we experienced
    over there is going to help. If we start talking to
    civilians about these things, it’s going to help
    the civilians, and it’s definitely
    going to help us. So I put that out to
    every veteran here, and every one that’s going
    to serve in the military– tell your damn story. It’s not yours. It’s not yours. So open up. [APPLAUSE] CARRIE LAURENO: Awesome. We have a question over here. AUDIENCE: My first
    question is for Sebastian. Did you remember to
    brush your teeth today? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: It’s Vietnam. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    I did, actually. Special event, so. AUDIENCE: My real question. It’s mentioned in
    the documentary that veterans who come home from
    war that have personal issues typically have those personal
    issues prior to going to war. Do you think it’s those
    personal issues that draw them to war to begin with? SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    That’s a good question. I know it’s been
    studied, obviously. It’s not absolute correlation. But one of the indicators of
    combat trauma after combat is if you’ve had personal trauma
    in your life before combat. And there’s some connection. Some connection. Which is really
    important to understand. The Israeli military
    has a PTSD rate of 1%. And one of the reasons–
    there’s a number of reasons. I think it’s a more
    cohesive community. Everyone serves. Everybody serves. You don’t come back
    and feel like an alien. You’re coming back
    to a society that understands what you went
    through, because everyone is involved in the
    military to some degree. And it helps a lot. But also they screen. They screen for vulnerability
    to combat trauma. And they keep people
    who are vulnerable because of prior trauma, they
    keep them out of those units. It’s really, really smart. So yeah, I think actually
    it’s an important issue. And your first question actually
    made me think of a quick story. At one point, we’d been on
    the road for a good week. As you saw, we got pretty
    dirty pretty quickly out there. And after like a week, we
    were along the Juniata River. It was right before the
    last scene in the film. And it was a nice,
    warm April day. And I thought, oh, none of us
    has touched a drop of water for a whole week. Maybe let’s bathe
    before we end this trip. And I said, hey. I think I’m going to bathe. Jump in the river. Soap down. Rinse off. Feel good. And I said, who’s got soap? And we looked around. Four guys, right? We all know we’re
    going to be out there for a good week in the woods. Not one of us even
    thought to bring soap. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: And
    that didn’t actually correct the problem later. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. The next trip, no one
    brought soap, either. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Next
    week we didn’t– No. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? AUDIENCE: Hey, guys. Thanks for doing this. So I wanted to ask,
    actually, about the folks that you met along the way. It seemed to me that through
    the first half the movie, you were asking folks,
    what’s dividing us? What’s wrong with the
    American identity right now? And then somewhere
    along the way, it switched to what do
    you love about America? Why those questions? And more so, how
    do those questions connect to the veterans’
    identity and the veterans’ narrative that you’re trying
    to punch through here? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. It’s a good question. So what I was
    thinking is that when I was with those
    guys in the Korengal, they do something called
    movement to contact. And they walk down a
    valley in a patrol. And, basically,
    contact would mean talking to people who
    were willing to talk to them in the villages. Or, occasionally,
    contact meant firefight. Right? But when they were
    able to talk to people, basically, they’d
    say, how are things? How are you doing? What’s going on? Do you need anything? Whatever. That kind of assessment
    of the needs of civilians. In a very, very poor place,
    it’s a smart thing to do. Hearts and minds, right? A smart idea. And I don’t know if they
    got honest answers or not, but it was a good idea. So I just thought, OK. The country’s coming
    out of two wars. Someone should do a movement
    to contact in this country. And ask people,
    how are you doing? What do you need? What are you worried about? The same kind of thing,
    but in this country. It was a good idea. But the problem with it is that
    I found that the answers wound up being basically soundbites
    that I’d heard in the media. We’re turning into
    a socialist country. Or we’ve drifted too far
    away from God, or whatever. That’s just not a
    helpful analysis of where we’re at as a nation. And furthermore, you’re
    upset, but you’re not thinking with your own brain. You’re borrowing someone else’s
    ideas and just repeating them. You’re not really thinking. I’m asking you a real question,
    and you’re using someone else’s– some pundit on
    TV, using their ideas. It wasn’t interesting. So I thought maybe
    if I asked, what’s the best thing
    about this country, no one goes on TV
    to talk about what the best thing in this
    country is, right? So there aren’t any
    soundbites for that. CARRIE LAURENO: Apparently
    you can Google it, though. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah, right. Right. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: That’s
    my favorite answer. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Thank you for that. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    And so we started to get something that was
    a little more interesting. There was one guy– there
    were amazing people that didn’t make it into the film. And it’s the heartbreak
    of making documentaries. Stuff gets left out
    that just beautiful. And in Baltimore
    we ran into a guy, young African American
    guy– actually, young African guy who
    was now American– and he’d grown up in Liberia. And I was in Liberia
    during the civil war. And one of the things that
    stopped that civil war was the arrival of American
    forces in Monrovia– and also other African
    forces in Monrovia– to enforce a peace between
    the rebels and the government. And he was just a kid
    when that happened, right? That was like 11 years ago. So he was a young boy. And so he had this memory
    of that America had actually come to his country and done
    something really, really good. And they didn’t fire
    a shot, by the way. And so he had a very
    positive idea of America. But then he came here, and
    he was not only experiencing he was glad to be here,
    but he was very, very poor. And he was an immigrant. And he was very
    upset at the attitude that he was encountering
    about immigrants. He’s like, look, you came to
    Liberia to help my country. Now here I am. I’m trying to get an education
    to do good in the world. And I’m an immigrant,
    and you don’t like me. That doesn’t make sense. And he just said this
    very powerful thing. He’s like, look. We’re all immigrants. Except for the American Indians,
    all of us are immigrants. It’s a whole country
    of immigrants. So who is it to stand up and
    say that one group’s immigrants, and we’re not. It’s stupid. And so there were people
    that were very, very upset about things. And he was one of the
    few who really was not using soundbites. He was really using his brain. And it was incredible,
    incredible moment. You remember that guy, right? Yeah. So, anyway. Long answer, but. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yeah. But when you ask what the
    best thing about America, all say freedom of
    speech, or freedom. And I really don’t have
    that sense of America. When you travel around,
    you see what’s freedom. Here it’s freedom, but
    a different freedom. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Right. Well, there’s economic
    freedom, right? And political freedom. And I think we are very,
    very free in this country to say what we feel. What we think. Absolutely. You can stand on a
    street corner and scream that you hate the president. And most of the
    countries in the world, you get put in prison for that. But not here. It’s amazing. I know a lot of people who grew
    up in the Eastern Bloc, right? Those societies,
    as flawed as they are in terms of
    political freedom, economically, people
    are way more equal. I mean the gap between
    rich and poor is not large. It’s small. And so do we have
    economic freedom here? A lot of us do, but
    a lot of us do not. And that was not true of
    the Eastern Bloc, as poor as it was. AUDIENCE: Hi. Brendan, I noticed in
    a scene in the movie you had an EOD t-shirt. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I didn’t
    have any clean shirts. Dave lent it to me. So you’ve got to talk
    to Dave about that. AUDIENCE: The next
    round’s on you. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. AUDIENCE: This isn’t a
    question, but more of a comment. I honestly, from the
    bottom of my heart, and behalf of my
    family and my wife, thank you for making this. Thank you for making the
    films that you’ve made. Not from an
    entertainment aspect, but more as perspective. There are those of us that
    have experienced certain things that we might not have
    the words to talk about. You mentioned, Brendan,
    that this isn’t our story. You’re absolutely right. These are stories that
    people here need to know. People that watch this
    movie need to know. But we don’t have the words. And sometimes we don’t
    have the capabilities. We’re going through our own
    things, myself included. These films offer a
    glimpse into our own minds. And something that I may not be
    able to tell my wife that I’m going through, but she
    can watch this movie. And there were certain
    times during the portion of this movie that she’s
    sitting there shaking her head. I think there were a couple
    times where it really clicked with her. Same thing with
    “Restrepo.” and I can’t thank you enough for that. It really means a lot to a lot
    of people that you can do this. And we talked about
    bridging the gap. You’re doing it. Thank you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Real fast. When Sebastian
    wrote the book, one of things I first
    said to him was, you’re explaining us to us. Thank you. And that’s what I told him. And it was one of
    the first times that I was being
    explained to me. And that’s what really helped
    me get to where I am right now and be able to speak about this. Because he’s helped
    me along this way. And to tell me, dude, you’re
    messed up because of this. Or you’re messed up–
    or not messed up. He never said that. Yeah, he implied it. For sure. Said get your life together. Why? Life is going great. But yeah. He’s explained a lot. A lot of us, he has
    led the path in this. And it’s thank you
    from this side, too. GUILLERMO CERVERA: And I
    went to also thank you. Rudy who was there,
    the cameraman– we don’t see him in the movie. But at the beginning, I was
    all the time telling him, I hate this. I hate this. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You were
    complaining to the cameraman? really? GUILLERMO CERVERA: He
    was really supporting me. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Did he hate it, too? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yes. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He did, right? The guys who carried the least
    weight hated it the most. That’s weird. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Weird. GUILLERMO CERVERA: I know. CARRIE LAURENO: A
    couple other questions. AUDIENCE: Now, just real quick. As far as being
    noncombatants in that role and being combatants
    in that role, despite being on American soil
    and being relatively safe, like a knee-jerk
    reaction– whether it be in the middle of
    the night, or something like that– did you find
    yourself wishing you almost had a weapon on you to
    feel more comfortable, or that your combatant
    had a weapon on you? Again, just whether
    it be a train going by, or seeing the
    helicopters in a situation like that. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. We really did get shot at once. And we were in the
    middle of Pennsylvania. And it was actually outstanding. That sounded weird. AUDIENCE: It’s not that weird. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: But
    we had bear mace, which is, like, bears
    get stopped by that. Grizzlies. So crackheads definitely
    get stopped by it. And we also had a machete. And we had a dog. So some of the close-range
    stuff we weren’t really too concerned about. But when we got shot at,
    it was the funniest thing. We were underneath a bridge. That’s how normally
    you get shot at. You start out with being
    underneath a bridge. And so we hear these two shots. And Sebastian grabs the
    machete and runs off. And I run, going around
    the hill to flank this guy. And I’m right up the
    wall trying to see where they were
    shooting us from. It was just the weirdest
    thing, because I really did want a gun at that point. But I’m glad I didn’t. It would’ve been
    a weird situation. Sebastian got into a firefight
    in the middle of Pennsylvania. The news wouldn’t have, I don’t
    think, would have liked that. But it was this reaction. Immediately. Didn’t even think about it. We didn’t talk about it. He ran just one way. I went up this way. And we’re about to
    assault whatever the person was up there. And yeah. But it felt very
    vulnerable at that moment, because we didn’t have weapons. And we were going
    to handle whatever we were going to handle. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. We both immediately
    thought– I mean, I thought– we need
    to do something. We didn’t communicate, either. It was real instantaneous. But I thought, we’ve
    got to do the thing that this guy least
    expects us to do. And for Brendan, that meant
    climbing this rock wall. It’s about 15 feet high. And peeking over the edge of it. And for me, it meant
    grabbing the machete and trying to run around
    so I could get behind him. And so deal with him that way. And it was instantaneous. But what motivated me,
    and, I think, Brendan, was just I was
    absolutely indignant that someone would try
    to harm these guys. It was such an
    instantaneous reaction. And it was the only moment,
    I think, on the patrol that I felt a little
    Afghan, or something. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. It was cool. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: It was cool. The footage wasn’t good
    enough to put it in the film, so we had to leave
    it as a story. Yeah? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: No, no. He stopped shooting. He just fired a few rounds. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: The
    Amish mafia, definitely. It was the Amish mafia. They got us. CARRIE LAURENO: Yes. Go ahead. Front row. Ma’am? Hi. Yes. AUDIENCE: You talked a
    lot about relationships you have with your wives. Or, Brendan, your wife. [INAUDIBLE] women? Sorry. You talked about
    the relationships you had with your fathers. That came up. But I never heard you say
    anything about your mothers. Did you discuss the relationship
    you had with your mothers? And did you edit that out? Or was it just something
    that never really was important enough to have– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I know
    this is going to sound weird, because we walked
    350 miles together, but I don’t think any
    of us ever mentioned either the marriages we
    were in or our mothers. I don’t know why. Did we? Did we talk about
    the relationships– BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Only
    when we were asked, like, what does your
    wife do for you? And I’m like, she
    keeps me in line. That was the only time that– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: No,
    the question there was what do you like
    best about women? Is actually what
    the question was. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Oh. CARRIE LAURENO: Guillermo, yeah. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: So that was the
    only time I brought up my wife. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Guillermo said, everything. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Everything, yeah, right. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Is that a
    good answer or a bad answer, by the way. As a woman, what would you say? AUDIENCE: I don’t know. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I think
    what Sebastian wanted to do, for a man, it’s the relationship
    with his father’s important. And what he becomes in life. And also with the
    mother, of course. But I think we wanted to
    talk about our fathers, only because it
    affected us greatly. And my dad had a
    huge effect on me. My mom had a huge
    effect on me, too. But my dad shot me. So it was a little bit of a
    different impact on my life. And I think that that was the
    same thing with Sebastian. Sebastian had a
    tough relationship. And Guillermo also had a
    pretty tough relationship with his father. So I think those things–
    our mothers were much– AUDIENCE: Nicer? BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Sometimes, yeah. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yeah. Your mother is always with you. For me, my mother is an angel. And she died three years? Two years before the patrol. And she was always there. So I didn’t have
    to talk about her. Yeah. CARRIE LAURENO: Microphone? AUDIENCE: Really
    enjoyed the movie. Thank you so much
    for doing that. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. AUDIENCE: But the timing
    with the last question. So I actually had two questions. But my first one is
    what about the role of women in the military
    in light of your movie, in light of the reflections
    you just talked about? What about in the
    case of America, women entering the tip
    of the spear combat arms– infantry and
    armor– starting in 2016. What is the message
    that you have for the American population? And service members
    that are women that might want to enter the
    combat arms tip of the spear roles? And my second question. The only establishment
    that we saw you ever enter throughout the whole
    journey was a church. Why is that? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I mean,
    we would go into diners and have a meal or
    whatever sometimes. It just wasn’t always
    that interesting. Churches were interesting to me. A, and particularly for me as
    an atheist– well, you saw. I really had never
    been to church. So I was sort of
    fascinated by them. On to the incredibly complicated
    question, your first question. I feel like the army
    has figured out how to turn front-line
    soldiers, how to turn young people into ideal
    front-line soldiers, right? But where their chances
    of survival are maximized. And I think for women
    to be in that position, they have to turn into
    the exact same thing. And so I think anyone has to
    turn into the exact same thing. I’m a civilian, right? I had to sort of turn into that. I just didn’t have a gun. I think in some ways
    if women can learn– and obviously,
    they can– if they can learn to think and
    react and act exactly like men in that
    situation, they’ll be fine. AUDIENCE: Brendan, I just
    wanted to add something to what the gentleman said
    over there about the EOD joke, about the t-shirt. I’m a Marine vet. Please don’t, like– I know
    I’m surrounded by soldiers, so I’ll watch what I say. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    You’re outnumbered. AUDIENCE: You’re not
    just bridging a gap. You’re not just
    telling your story. You’re saving lives. The stuff you guys went
    through over there. I can’t remember what I did with
    my Marines because of my TBI. And Marines don’t usually
    get this emotional. I’m sorry. But watching “Restrepo”
    and “Korengal” reminds me of what I lost. And when I want to end it
    all, that’s what I watch. So thank you. Thank you from the bottom
    of my fucking heart. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Thank you, man. Thank you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. [APPLAUSE] CARRIE LAURENO: One last
    question, if there is one. AUDIENCE: I want to how
    we can help– Brendan, maybe you can answer this
    question– when you come back. I work for the VA. And what I see– this is
    my personal experience– is that we want to help, but
    the veteran says they want help, and they already don’t follow
    through with the action that we can offer. Not all veterans. I’m not saying that
    every single veteran. But some isolate themselves. We call them. We want them to come in. We even have programs where
    we actually go to their house. What can, not the
    VA, but anybody, do to a veteran who’s
    trying to seek assistance? Or even if they’re not
    trying to seek assistance, what can somebody do? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: That’s a
    really awesome question. And I’ve given that
    a lot of thought. There’s a lot of things. I’m an alcoholic, you know. And I go to AA every
    single morning. Because if I don’t
    go to AA, I drink. And alcoholism, you
    can’t have willpower. It’s not willpower. It’s not anything that
    saves you from alcoholism. It’s talking with
    other alcoholics on how they got sober. And something happens inside of
    AA that keeps me from drinking. I’ve had a year. I haven’t had a year
    since I was fucking 12. [APPLAUSE] Not even in combat. So something works inside AA. And I think– not comparing
    alcoholism to veterans, but– when you’re talking
    about serving in combat, I think the most important
    thing is, when you come home, is meeting up with
    other veterans. Other veterans. I’m never going to get
    better from alcoholism by seeking a shrink. That’s not going to help me. What’s going to help me is
    talking with other alcoholics. Same thing with veterans. Veterans aren’t going
    to have– there’s going to be certain things
    that you can get from a shrink, but the real healing is
    talking with another veteran. Saying, hey, what do
    you feel about this? And getting that honest answer. I think that is what’s going
    to save a lot of lives. And VA needs to start
    setting that up. Not even a counselor
    inside that setting. Just letting a
    veteran run group. Be a veteran-run group. Those are really
    important things. And then there’s also
    things like Outward Bound for veterans. Outward Bound for veterans. Has anyone heard of that? It’s an extremely
    cool organization. And you go a week-long
    trip with other veterans. And you get to go sailing. You get to go hiking. You get to dog sled, if
    you want to dog sled. You get to white water rafting. We went on white water rafting,
    me and 15 of my buddies I served with. And that was so good for me. And it’s completely
    free for the veteran through donations
    the country gives. So if you donate to this,
    you’re giving back to veterans. And it’s just this
    really great program. So I think things like that are
    going to help get veterans home and to connect with
    other veterans. I think that’s the key. I think that’s what’s
    going to save lives. It’s not going to
    be what the VA does. It’s going to be what veterans
    are doing for each other. If I saw– and I
    don’t care if it was a person I didn’t know–
    if there was a soldier wounded in front of me,
    inside combat, I would go in the middle of
    firefight and try to pull that person out. Because that’s
    what you do, right? So when you have someone
    inside your community that’s a veteran that’s
    having a hard time, and you’re a veteran, reach out. You would be doing it in combat,
    so what’s the difference here in the United States? There’s no difference. So I think that
    that reaching out is going to be the key
    to saving veterans. CARRIE LAURENO: What does that
    mean for civilians, right, like this gentleman and
    myself, and others who are here tonight, who want to do
    something to help and make it better? What role can we play? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Supporting
    that stuff I’m talking about. CARRIE LAURENO:
    That environment. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. CARRIE LAURENO: Where you
    guys can come together. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Because you’re not going to– civilians,
    as much as you’re going to do to help
    welcome us home, you’re not going to help
    us with the deep trauma. Deep trauma, you’re going to
    talk with other veterans about. I could talk to
    you all day about how it felt to lose Restrepo. But until I talk to another
    veteran that has lost his best friend, it’s not
    going to matter. It’s going to matter. It’s going to feel
    great to talk about it. But that understanding
    is what’s key. Understanding and
    being understood is what’s healing
    about with trauma. CARRIE LAURENO: Which is why
    the last patrol was helpful. GUILLERMO CERVERA: That
    sharing with the people who have the same problem. Exactly what he had said. CARRIE LAURENO: Are you
    going to do it again? BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    We keep doing it. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: We can’t stop. We keep going out there. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: We’re just
    not filming it any more. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Now we
    bring– there’ no camera and there’s no funding,
    but we just keep going. CARRIE LAURENO: Can girls come? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. We brought a woman. CARRIE LAURENO: Oh, you did. I have two final– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: And
    she brought the soap. Finally we had soap on a patrol. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I had this
    one real funny thing real fast. We were walking down the–
    this is the funniest story. We were walking
    down in Wilmington, and we’re getting into
    the middle of the city. And this car pulls up. And this guy looks
    out of the window. And he’s like, hey,
    what are you guys doing? We’re like, oh,
    we’re walking to– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He’s
    with his girlfriend. He’s with his girlfriend. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. He’s with his girlfriend. And she’s driving. And he’s in the passenger seat. And we’re like, yeah, we’re
    walking to– at that point, we were walking
    to New York still. I was like, do you want to come? And he didn’t have anything. He didn’t have a
    backpack, nothing. And he starts getting
    out of the car. The girlfriend
    pulls him back in. So it’s appealing, I
    think, to a lot of people. CARRIE LAURENO: I have
    two final questions. Brendan, you had something,
    a piece of advice to share with the
    cadets as they embark on their military careers. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yes, yes. One second. [INAUDIBLE] Yes. Money. That will help. I know there’s a few
    things that my leaders did that made them successful. And one of the main things
    that my lieutenants did that was really
    successful was that they listened to their sergeants. And I know that that’s
    drilled into cadets and drilled into cadets,
    but it’s so important. So when you go out
    into your units, listen to your sergeants. They know what to do. They will help you. They will be the ones
    that let you succeed. And also, the more I see
    the army and the military, I think it’s the more
    it’s becoming political. And it kind of upsets me. And sometimes lieutenants
    and leaders sometimes make the decision
    best for their career rather than for their soldiers. And I think it’s very
    important to realize that true leadership means
    that you put yourself second. You put everything in your life
    second to your men or women. And that is what leadership is. So when you’re put in a
    situation where it’s hard, and you figure, what’s
    the right answer? It’s always going to be
    soldiers underneath you, or the people underneath you. What is the best thing for them? I wish I could say
    that to the president. I wish I could say that to
    every leader in the world. Because true leadership means
    putting yourself second. So that’s the two things
    I really, really wanted to talk to you about. CARRIE LAURENO: Thank you. [APPLAUSE] As sad as it is, the
    reason that the four of us are actually on
    the stage tonight is because we are united
    by the death of our friends or the trauma of
    combat, and how it’s affected us in different ways. And as you know, I lost
    a loved one to the war in Afghanistan, which is how
    I got involved in supporting this community,
    when I previously had no ties whatsoever. You lost a friend. You guys deployed together,
    were embedded together. You lost a very close
    friend, and then met Sebastian, who was
    so close with Tim. And Sebastian loves you for
    being the person you are and the person
    you were with him, you must have been in that
    moment when he passed. So these silver linings
    become very, very clear and bright to me– that
    the reason all of us there are here tonight having
    this wonderful experience ahead of Veterans’ Day at
    Google is because of those traumatic and
    difficult situations. And so I just wanted
    to close by asking about Tim Hetherington,
    your dear friend. And all three of you
    knew him and loved him. The last time I was on
    this stage with Sebastian was when we screened
    “Restrepo” here. And Tim was in one of
    these chairs right here. And I wonder what he would say. What would he think about
    tonight and this conversation? And what would he say? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I
    think about that a lot. I went on to make a film about
    him and his death and his work. And then I went back into
    the “Restrepo” material and made “Korengal.” And I had him in my mind. He shot a lot of that
    footage, obviously. And “The Last Patrol,”
    it happened in the form that it did partly because he
    was alive, and we were friends, and we had ideas together. And one of the
    ideas that popped up within our professional
    relationship was this idea. But it took this
    form because he died, and I was with these other guys. And I just have to
    think that he would be tremendous– If he
    somehow could know, right, somehow know that
    this trip happened as it did, and this evening was happening,
    he’d be a little puzzled. But I have to think he
    would be really incredibly affected by it. We’re all affecting– all of
    us, with or without our deaths– we’re all affecting so
    many people all the time. Hopefully in pretty good ways. And there aren’t
    many good things that come from people’s deaths. Obviously, we all know that. But this is, I think,
    maybe one of the very most powerful things that
    I’ve ever seen personally come from a tragedy, was this
    experience the four of us. And it’s weird. You don’t even know what to
    be grateful for, grateful to. But it’s tremendous, I think. CARRIE LAURENO: Guillermo? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Well,
    I met Tim in Libya. I was not really
    good friend of him. And I met him there. But we become, like, tight. These few days together. And I remember when he
    died, a rebel leader who was in the house where we were
    staying, he say, many times, this guy was a gentleman. This guy was a gentleman. And he was a gentleman. He act like a gentleman. He was a really nice person. You could see him
    deal with the people. He was a nice guy. I don’t know how he will have
    felt in front of America. But, of course, he will
    have made amazing pictures. I know. Because America
    is a place to get pictures, to get feelings,
    to get a lot of things out, good and bad. And when I finished my work
    of America with pictures, I was really surprised, because
    it’s one of my best works in all my career. Even I was in Afghanistan,
    all these crazy places. The work I can see
    more feelings is the one I made here in America. So I’m sure Tim will have
    done something similar. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: When I
    first got home, like I said, I was a really bad place. I was trying to get sober. And I was trying to get help. Tim offered up his place
    for me in Brooklyn. And he said, the one thing
    that I want you to do is not to drink. And within a week, I was drunk. And I realized at that moment
    that I really cared for Tim, and I couldn’t even hold
    that promise up to Tim. And it was like
    the first sign that to me, my whole entire
    life falling apart, that I had a serious
    alcohol problem. And I don’t know how he
    would feel about the film. But I know he would look at
    me and say, right on, man. You got a year. Awesome. And I think that he’d
    be very proud of us for doing what we did. CARRIE LAURENO: Thank you for
    sharing about your friend. This is wonderful. I’ve dad said it to
    you a hundred times, but I’m so grateful to you. We’re all so grateful to
    you for the work you’re doing to help us get
    these stories out as well. And for the healing
    that it’s given to all of us who are
    touched by any trauma that we’ve been
    through, whether we’ve gone to war or otherwise,
    being able to talk about it and share it with other people. And the example that you
    are setting by doing that is a true form of leadership. And we’re very, very
    grateful to all of you. Thank you for
    being here tonight. All of you. We wish you a happy
    early Veterans’ Day. Please come back and visit
    us at Google at any time. We love you guys. We love you gals. And we’re here to help,
    whether we served or not. There’s a whole bunch of us who
    have and a whole bunch of us who haven’t. But we’re figuring
    it out together. And you’re welcome
    here any time. Thanks, everybody. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Thank you everybody. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Thank you.

    Toy Trains in 1 Gauge at the Hamburg Model Railroad Museum
    Articles, Blog

    Toy Trains in 1 Gauge at the Hamburg Model Railroad Museum

    August 9, 2019


    [Music]. Today, we are visiting the large model railway
    layout inside the Museum of Hamburg History, Germany. Most people – in the context of Hamburg and
    model railway – are thinking about the great Miniature Wonderland, the largest model railway
    of the world. But many years before, a very large model
    railroad has been built in Hamburg. This model railroad wants to appear anything
    but commercial, but to present the railway history of Hamburg in an educational way. It is the 1 gauge railroad layout built by
    Germany’s first model railroad association in 1949. Let me tell you something about the history
    of this model train layout: The origin of this beautiful layout dates
    back in 1944, when the Director of the Museum of Hamburg History had the idea to establish
    an exhibition of Hamburg’s railway history. In order to show Hamburg’s railway history,
    a large exhibition hall inside the museum was chosen. And, a few years later, the idea of building
    a model railway layout came into reality. The members of Hamburg’s railroad association began to work. But note, this happened immediately after
    the Second World War. And, Germany was destroyed in ruins. Therefore, it is not a surprise that model
    railway friends from Sweden organized nearly 250 square meters of wood panels for the construction
    of the model railroad. After two years of construction, on October, 1949, the first layout of Hamburg’s model railroad was finished. However, over the years, there have been a
    number of smaller and even larger problems, but the analogue railway system was running for more than 40 years without a technical failure. In 1995, many parts of the first layout had
    failures. Locomotives and the rolling stock were also
    affected and had to be modernized. This is not surprising, because the rolling
    stock had travelled almost 6,000 kilometers along the model railway tracks. Anyway, the members of the railroad association
    were able to solve these problems successfully. But there was another big problem: The entire
    cabling of the model railroad had to be modernized. This problem was a disaster, because anyone,
    who builds model railroads, knows that there are numerous electrical cables and power connections
    that have to be installed along the tracks. It is a laborious work to fulfill this electrical
    installation. And, it was even more difficult to modernize
    the old electrical installation completely. But the members of the railroad association
    went to work again to restore the old railway layout. Old tracks were replaced by new tracks. The three-wire alternating power operation
    was switched to the two-wire DC operation. As a result, of course, all locomotives, passenger
    wagons and freight cars had to be retrofitted. Furthermore, the analogue model railroad control
    had to be exchanged. A full digital solution, which we know on
    the market today, was not used at that time, because hundreds or thousands of decoders
    had to be installed inside the rolling stock. But a very good solution was offered at that
    time by the computer-aided model railroad control of the company Gahler & Ringstmeier
    from Germany. With the Gahler & Ringstmeier system defined
    routes are stored for each model train. And, the current position of all available
    model trains is also monitored. However, in December 1996, this mammoth work
    was completed. Years later, the modernization of the railroad
    layout could be continued. New sections, new landscapes, and new railway
    stations were installed. And, the catenary was modernized, too. Finally, today’s concept of the modernized
    and expanded railroad layout, is to present 100 years of railway history in Hamburg, Germany. This includes all trains of passenger and
    freight transport, from Prussian wagons to the new ICE high-speed train. Today, visitors of the Museum of Hamburg History
    enjoy 115 vehicles, including 60 steam locomotives, 13 electric locomotives, 26 diesel locomotives,
    4 electric tramways as well as 12 diesel railcars, and much more. There are 185 passenger cars, and 380 freight
    cars. Since the opening of the model railroad layout
    in October 1949, this model train show was built by members of Hamburg’s model railroad
    association, and today it is still supervised by members of Hamburg’s railroad association. The exhibition takes 600 square meters. The model railway layout itself, has a size
    of 250 square meters. With a track length of more than 1,200 meters,
    there is a lot to discover on the left and right of the railway lines. Please, enjoy these toy trains, and visit
    www.pilentum.org for more information. Thank you.

    Did Tom and Jerry Kill Themselves?
    Articles, Blog

    Did Tom and Jerry Kill Themselves?

    August 9, 2019


    Helloooo, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. Yeah, I remember it, so you don’t have to. A while ago, an article appeared online, making the very grim claim that in the last episode of Tom and Jerry, they apparently commited suicide. If you search the Internet even more, you’d find there’s actually a lot of articles claiming the same thing. That in the last animated short by Hanna-Barbera, the episode grimly ends with them sitting on the railroad tracks waiting for death to take them. This couldn’t possibly be true, could it? But upon more research, you’d find that some channels have banned the episode and, even to this day, it gets few, if any, showings on American TV. Holy shit! This might actually be legit! Did the world’s most hilariously violent team-up end their days in the most disturbing way possible? I mean, we all know we’d see them in other projects and even some where we *wish* they were dead, but did the original creators, Hanna-Barbera, really do this to them? Did Hanna-Barbera really do something so terrible to two of their most famous icons? Sort of. There’s a bit more to the story. The episode in question is called “Blue Cat Blues”. And yes, it does open up with Tom sitting on the railroad tracks, waiting to be run over. Jerry watches, shaking his head, and, through inner monologue, gives us the story. Apparently, Tom and Jerry used to be the best of friends – but don’t worry, they still get smashed up pretty good – until a female comes into their lives and ruins everything. Tom falls in love, pushing Jerry aside, but then she falls in love with another cat. Tom does everything to try and win her back – even selling an arm and a leg for her – but absolutely nothing works. Eventually, she ends up getting married to the other cat, resulting in Tom being so beaten and torn that he lays himself on the tracks. Jerry, of course, justifies what a perfect relationship he’s got, only to find out his girlfriend as well ran off with someone else. Resulting in him asking Tom if he can scoot over a bit. Uhm… dem dames, eh?! Bros before… animalised, kind of humanistic hoes? Okay, so there’s a few angles to come at this from. One: Tom and Jerry have been squashed, smashed, beaten, hit with every object you can imagine. I think it’s more than likely they would survive the train. But then again, a flexible reality can go both ways. The Addams Family, for example, have done a lot that would obviously kill them but a bullet from the gun or threat of electrocution apparently are fatal blows. You could also make the argument that their acceptance of their doom is what suddenly launches them into reality. Grey area, to be sure, but there’s also the fact that Tom and Jerry’s timeline doesn’t follow that much continuity. Every episode is a little different. The house looks a little different, the owner is a little different… Hell, Jerry’s adopted son Nibbles is left on his doorstep God knows how many times. What, does he just keep sending him back after every adventure? That’s kinda douchey. So, again, kind of a flexible reality. Most importantly, though, well, this is one of the final episodes. It’s not THE final episode. The final episode is actually called “Tot Watchers”. And they don’t commit suicide, they look after a baby. A fucking baby! A touch less depressing, don’t you think? In fact, Hanna-Barbera still had two years of cartoons that came out after the supposed last episode. So it’s pretty obvious this was meant not to be the end for our depressed duo. So, then, why the controversy of their banning from other channels? Well, because Tom and Jerry ending their lives is kind of a f**king downer. People’s sensitivities have changed over time to race, gender, and yes, even some forms of violence. Now, that’s not to say people haven’t also died from shootings and falling off high places and so forth, but the tone is still kept pretty upbeat, and in a different reality. This, though still the punchline of the joke, is pretty heavy to watch for two main characters we know and love so much. Though again, I argue not quite as hard to watch as this. Rated G, by ass! It should be NC-17! I remember seeing this episode when I was a little kid and I wasn’t at all disturbed by it. I got the joke. Jerry thinks he’s being above it all, and that could never happen to him, and when it does happen to him, he comedically does the exact same thing. But, as much as I love grim humour, not every little kid is going to get it and could easily take it too seriously. Hell, if the Internet has shown us anything is that even *adults* can take it too seriously! So, did Tom and Jerry commit suicide in the last episode? Not really. We never see them get axed off, they survive much worse, it’s obviously the punchline of the joke and, most importantly, they had about a dozen cartoons after this one! If this demonstrates anything is that we’ve grown more sensitive to certain jokes in connection with certain characters. A suicide joke in an episode of Louie wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but in Tom and Jerry, eehh, many people can get uncomfortable. But, in turns of any grand shocking ending people are looking for, it’s certainly not here. It’s a funny little episode with what they thought at the time was a funny little ending. In the end, it’s not as epic or gothic as many would suspect, it’s just a silly joke about obsessing over romance. And really, when is anything related to romance in the media ever caused anybody to commit suicide? Don’t you believe it!

    Railroad Track – Willy Moon (Nightcore)
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad Track – Willy Moon (Nightcore)

    August 9, 2019


    Well everybody come along with me
    I’ll take you to a place you never did seen
    You gotta rhythm with the two left feet
    and a big man’s band on a rolling street yeah He’s got a rhythm and it’s all you need
    So everybody come and rock your thing
    Take you down to the early days
    when the champagne flow like a river stream yeah Yeah ’cause Imma go down on a railroad track
    and I ain’t going back and no I ain’t coming back
    ‘Cause Imma leaving town and I ain’t coming back no more So everybody come along with me
    Go down the river and wash your feet
    To where the people live a life that’s sweet
    and a place that’s ripe with the jungle heat yeah Yeah well Imma go down on a railroad track
    and I ain’t going back an’ no I coming back
    ’cause Imma leaving town and I ain’t coming back no more Yeah ’cause Imma go down on a railroad track
    and I ain’t going back and no I ain’t coming back
    ’cause Imma leaving town and I ain’t coming back no more

    Great Railway Journeys of the World: Coast to Coast – Golden Spike Sequence
    Articles, Blog

    Great Railway Journeys of the World: Coast to Coast – Golden Spike Sequence

    August 9, 2019


    Ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the officials of both railroads, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, I bid you welcome. We are met today to commemorate
    the completion of a project which is a remarkable example of the vision, the determination, and the labor
    of thousands of men in a union which this day shall be consummated forever. We are assembled here
    to link the ends of the earth, to complete a new and shorter route
    between Europe and the Orient, and to join the raw riches of the American West with the finished products of our industrial East. It’s also noteworthy that the Pacific Railroad
    was completed six years ahead of the time allotted for its construction.
    How ’bout that, yeah! The brains, the sweat, and the muscle of
    thousands of men have joined in this great venture under the guidance of Almighty God. But it is with profound sorrow that we remember and pay homage to the hundreds of men who, in completion of the Pacific Railroad, gave their lives. I should like to draw to your attention this spike. On three of the sides are the
    names of railroad officials and on the fourth side is this sentence: “May God continue the unity of our country as this railroad unites
    the two great oceans of the world.”

    Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad

    August 9, 2019


    Particularly appreciate the reference you made earlier to the The Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act which makes clear that RRIF funding thirty five thirty billion dollars of it is available to community railroads. So my question is Mr. Reyes, did you say earlier that New Jersey Transit’s gonna meet the 2018 deadline? We’ve met with New Jersey Transit as we have met with all the other commuter railroads in the country We were informed by New Jersey Transit that they believe they can meet the December 31st 2018 deadline however You mean the condition for extending that deadline or the deadline? No the deadline that is required. Have they accessed the RRIF financing Don’t believe they have have they? Has New Jersey Transit accessed any Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Fund financing to accomplish PTC implementation, and if not how that how they’re gonna do it? But I believe New Jersey Transit has has applied and obtained funds I could get back to you on the exact amount I have a breakdown of some of the other railroads But not particular to New Jersey Transit. On those other railroads because my time is limited because votes have been called What’s the status of Long Island Railroad and Metro North? They did access, MTA did access a billion dollars of RRIF financing right what’s the story there? So okay, so MTA which is Long Island Railroad Metro North they applied for and obtained a RRIF loan of nine hundred sixty seven million dollars They are working diligently on and they did come in Also as as New Jersey Transit came in they have not said that they they have not asked for any extension the railroads especially the commuters we’re having them come back in even though we saw them in the in the first place because we’re working with them every month I mean we sometimes we have two and three railroads come in a day four hours of – for meetings of two hours or more and we’re trying to push them to Mr. Reyes are they gonna meet the deadline or not? This is February of 2018 right now we they’ve presented a plan that they say they will be able to make the deadlines. Do you believe that plan? I’m working with them. I’m not willing to give up on any railroad and we’ll push them to meet the deadlines. You’re not willing to give up on them does that mean you think they’re gonna meet the deadline or not? all the railroads that have come in to meet with us have told us they’re looking to meet the deadline we’re gonna work with them and do everything possible. Right next time you have one of those meetings you should mention the name Jimmy Lovell Whose a guy who got killed in Spuyten Duyvil on December 1st 2013. He got on the train in Cold Spring New York that morning to go work on the lighting at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree I know that because his wife works for me for years. His kids Jack and Hudson and Finn go to school with my kids. He doesn’t come home anymore because that preventable accident happened that day and that was four and a half years ago, and we’re ten years into this and we provided the financing. That’s why we take this seriously because we represent people who are losing their lives 300 deaths in the last few decades right? Thirty well sixty-eight hundred injuries and so sir It’s your job to make sure these railroads meet these deadlines We have provided the financing we have provided grants, so we are watching this really closely But we’re counting on you not to not give up on him but to hold their feet to the fire Do you understand why we’re a little impatient on this? 2017 was the first year that fines were assessed against the railroads that was a shot across the bow To the railroad to tell them we’re serious and we want them and we were going to push them to get this implemented And that’s why secretary Chow in December 27th 2017 issued a letter saying that we’re very serious about this And this is something that needs to happen And that’s why we’ve met with every single railroad 41 railroads and 45 days to tell them this is something that needs to happen now. All right well we appreciate your diligence on that. In the time I have left this the subject of grade crossing accidents came up It’s particularly interesting to me that that we don’t use that there’s no conversation of motion-activated cameras or sensors at grade crossings particularly in the conversation of PTC as important as PTC is right You know it’s not gonna do anything about a grade crossing accident. If there’s an object in the train. My Republican colleagues went through a horrific accident Just a few days ago an example of where you got a vehicle on the tracks. Is there any conversation about why we don’t use Inexpensive motion-activated camera technology. I mean my god operators of trains could have an app on their phone You can look at the weather on most high schools in America and see the camera It’s a it’s a free app you can access it on your phone the cameras are inexpensive Why on earth wouldn’t we maybe in conjunction with weather stations have have simple Digital camera technology maybe linked to motion detection? Which by the way you can put in your home for a hundred bucks or a ring you know Doorbell why wouldn’t we why wouldn’t we give operators the ability to To on their own phones Access that video as a way to see what’s ahead of them on the track so they can stop in time? Has anybody talked about that maybe Mr. Skoutelis? I’d ask for a quick response I’m sorry. I’ve not heard that discussion at all. I mean the typical Protection is a four way crossing gates to to Try to avert that kind of damage and an accident, but what you’re describing it No, I’m not familiar with that Thank You Mr. Chairman

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing & Spur
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing & Spur

    August 9, 2019


    Hey guys, this is an abandoned railroad spur, abandoned CSX railroad spur. It used to be a former SCL in Miami, Florida. NW 10th Ave. and 22nd ST. Off to our left there, we’re going to see the stop dismount sign. And I’m going to continue to walk on the spur to show you guys where it led I don’t recall ever seeing a train here, if you guys seen a train coming thru here or rail cars or anything please comment below the last time you saw activity on this track I’d love to know. If it was a long time ago, if it was sometime recent, please comment. I’m going to continue walking here. You can see some cross ties, some wooden cross ties from the SCL days. The warehouse to my right is still operational. But yeah, these rails are pretty old. I’m looking for a date on them, but I don’t see one. And Right now I’m walking North, Sorry South… Southwest! And I’m coming up on NW 21st ST. there. This crossing had no lights, bells, or gates. It was just the wood and the cross bucks. If you guys log on to Historicaerials.com you can see where this spur originally led into. An option where you can see aerial views from different decades in the past. So here you go guys. Here is the last of the rails. as you can see they paved over where the rails met the the street. And I don’t see any cross bucks or any crossing gates or anything of the sort. They just made that loading dock there; the concrete looks fresh. So I’m guessing this didn’t go out of service for sometime in the not that long ago. in the distant past. So yeah, this would be looking back North of where we came walking through. Alright guys, please subscribe, like, or share. And thank you for viewing. Take care, over and out.

    The Knowledge Exchange – Quilts of the Underground Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    The Knowledge Exchange – Quilts of the Underground Railroad

    August 9, 2019


    I’m a novice quilter. I have been learning under
    a fabulous woman named Eloise Canzeta. I call her my master quilter– my mentor. And I have been traveling with
    her over the last six years assisting her as she gives
    this Underground Railroad quilt presentation. She’s a young woman
    of 77, and she has a fabulous sense of humor. And she had the
    audacity to tell me that she was moving to
    Birmingham, Alabama, and she’s going back
    with her relatives so that she could teach
    them a thing or two. So she’s left me here, and now
    I am taking over where she off. So again, I’m asking
    for prayer and I’m asking you to be patient
    with me, all right? Anyway, my name is
    Regina Abernathy, and I want you to welcome– I want to welcome you to Quilts
    and the Underground Railroad. They had hidden messages
    and hidden codes. This is a new part of
    African-American history. And I want you to bear
    with me and you can see how nervous I am, can’t you? All right, well,
    let’s just begin. Quilts and the
    Underground Railroad– hidden messages, hidden codes. It’s very interesting how
    the Underground Railroad received its name. As you know, the
    Underground Railroad was a complicated network
    of interconnecting routes that allowed the slaves
    to escape their masters. And one day, the
    story goes, there was this slave who had
    escaped the plantation and his master was
    closely pursuing him. And he jumped into the
    Ohio River and disappeared. Now the master, he pursued
    him and he looked around. He was frantic because he didn’t
    want him to drown, all right? So he looked and he looked and
    he looked and the slave just disappeared. And it was said
    that the master said to those who were
    with him, it was as if he was taken away by a
    train that ran under ground. And from that moment on,
    this wonderful thing was called the Underground
    Railroad, all right? Now, what will you learn
    in this session today? You will learn things that you
    may not have ever heard before. But you will learn that
    Ohio, in particular, played a very, very important
    part of the Underground Railroad. And it was important
    that you understand that there are ways that
    people speak to each other– even today, whereby we can be
    in their presence and people having communications
    with one another, and if you are not in the
    loop as the young folks say, you don’t even know that
    they are communicating. And that’s what’s going on with
    the quilts of the Underground Railroad. They are messages and
    conversations going on, and people didn’t even know
    that they were communicating. Before we go on, are there
    any quilters in the audience? There’s a quilter! All right. And may I ask you,
    do any of your quilts have any significance? They do. They do. Give me an example of just one. I’ve made some baby quilts and
    I always think of the child that I’m making
    for when I’m making them– the design and colors. All right, and that’s very
    important to understand– that quilters always have a
    reason for making a quilt– always. And not only that, even after
    years and years and years, when that quote is used
    or if it’s passed on, that reason stays
    with the quilt. And that is one of
    the reasons I want people who are
    non-quilters to understand that when we’re talking about
    quilts of the Underground Railroad, they had meaning. And the meaning for the people
    who knew the meaning, and they had meaning for the slaves– those who ran away
    and those who did not. All right, now how many
    of you have heard anything about the Underground Railroad? OK. Then at least we are
    on the same track here. And what names come to mind when
    you think about the Underground Railroad? Anybody? Harriet Tubman. Anybody else? John Brown. John Brown. OK. And the abolitionists have
    to come to mind, all right? There were the abolitionists. Let us continue. Now what I’m going
    to show you is that there are 10
    major quilt patterns that we’re going to discuss. There were others, but these
    were the major ones, all right? We’re only going to discuss 10. I am asking you to help me
    spend no more than five minutes per square, all right? Because of course people
    do have to go back to their jobs and whatever. But help me spend five minutes. Don’t let me keep rambling. All right, thank you very much. Now when we look
    at this, we have to remember that the big
    picture is we’re talking about escaping from slavery. There was always a
    desire to escape. Now many people will
    say, well, you know, if you had a good master,
    that was all right. Well, you know,
    not necessarily so. There is this innate desire
    for everybody to be free. Everybody wants to have
    their own autonomy. Everybody wants to
    do it their way. Now think about having children. They have to grow
    up, don’t they? We still want them
    to do it our way. And what happens? They have to sooner or
    later tell us, excuse me, I’m going on to
    live my life my way. That’s that in
    grained something that lets you know that everybody
    wants, or has a desire, to be free. Now the plan for escape included
    many, many, many methods. The most used method was
    just an opportune time. If an opportune time– a circumstance occurred– where
    someone saw, I can leave– that was when they
    left, all right? Most people didn’t wait for
    the Underground Railroad. Whenever the circumstances
    were correct, they left. However, many of
    them remembered what they learned from the quilts
    and talking to one another about how to escape. All right. Now the quilting used
    as a method for escape was orchestrated by
    the house slaves. And when you study
    black history, many people will try
    to tell you that there was some type of jealousy
    going on between the house slave and the field hand because
    people assume that the house slave had it much easier. The house slave was the
    individual who made sure that she made the quilts. She made everything
    in the house, all right– the
    dresses, the curtains, everything you can think of. But she also made the
    quilts, all right? And therefore, the
    house slaves came up with a method of creating quilts
    that would be hung out to air. Now you and I know that when you
    have quilts or anything else, there was a time we used to
    hang things out on the line and beat them. Praise the Lord, all
    that has passed, OK? And we used to do that. But right now,
    well, back then they used to hang the
    quilts out to air. And for those people
    who aren’t quilters, what they would
    do is look around for a common household or
    common things that they would– pictures that they
    would make into quilts, so that everybody would
    understand what they were talking about, all right? So they use common items to
    use as messages in the quilts. And each quilt– there
    were 10 of them– were hung at the plantation. So I’m trying to be clear
    that these quilts weren’t seen as they traveled on
    the Underground Railroad. All these quilts were hung
    out in sequential order so that the slaves would
    learn them and memorize what the messages were
    so that once they left, they had to remember what they
    had learned from the quilts and use that as a way to escape. All right. Now– oral history. Does anybody know
    what oral history is? What’s oral history? It is passing down information
    from one generation to the next just by telling them
    what has happened. That’s what we do in
    our families, don’t we? We tell them about great
    grandpa and great aunt whoever, and we pass that
    down from generation to generation to generation. African-American history has
    always been oral history, mainly because most
    people in America thought we didn’t
    have any history. So we just tell
    ourselves our history. Now unfortunately, or
    fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it– because there’s always
    two sides to every story and there’s always the good
    and the bad to every story, all right? But most Americans respect
    written history, all right? African-American history was
    collected, written, documented, and published in
    textbooks at the beginning of the 20th century. However, it hasn’t been
    until the last quarter of the 20th century
    that these published books have been
    allowed to even be in our schools or our colleges. But what you have
    to understand is some of the history
    of African-Americans is still oral. Now what I am going
    to tell you is a lot of it is oral, all right? Now I also need you
    understand that there are other people in
    America who are still practicing oral history. Can anybody give me one example? Yes? What about the
    immigrants who are just coming to the United States. Definitely. The immigrants who are
    just coming to this country are passing along oral
    history to their children. Anyone else? Native Americans? The Native Americans are still
    passing along oral history. Now just because
    we don’t know it doesn’t mean it’s not history. All right. This is a quilt square. Now I’m only showing
    you a square, but what I want
    you to recognize is this will be an entire quilt
    made of all of these squares. And this is the picture
    of a monkey wrench. A monkey wrench was
    used to repair wagons or to make wagons. And so when the house
    slave hung this quilt out, it was telling all of
    the slaves to get ready. We are preparing to get ready. You have to decide who among you
    wants to go on the Underground Railroad. Now one of the reasons they’re
    telling them to get ready is because everybody can’t go. Some people are ill. You get run away if you’re ill. Some people are old. You can’t run away
    if you’re old. Some people are afraid. You don’t need to do this if
    you’re going to be too afraid. Some people are too young. Some people don’t want
    to leave their parents. But what you need to know
    is you have to decide– are you mentally prepared and
    physically prepared to travel? Because the
    Underground Railroad– someone is coming from
    the Underground Railroad to get you. So now is your time
    to sit and think, do you want to prepare to go
    onto this wonderful journey? Now what you have to understand
    is everything is mental. Even when we want to go to
    college, it’s a mental thing. You know, I had to tell
    one of my young folk, I cried all the way
    through grad school, OK? It has to be mental. You have to fight
    your way through. And this is what they are
    telling these slaves– get ready to travel on
    the Underground Railroad. This is hanging out to be dried. Now you have to also understand
    that it’s hanging out, and so when the people
    went to the field, they began to sing, all right? Let us break bread together. Anybody know that song? Sing it with me. I can do this aloud because
    my brain just went out. Let us break bread
    together on our knee. Come on– let us break
    bread together on our knee. All right, now what is happening
    is, when they are singing, that’s for those people
    who did not see the quilt. It’s for those people
    who didn’t see the quilt so they will know
    that the quilt is out and we’re getting
    ready to leave and you need to tell somebody else. And then, of course, when the
    house slave will go into town and they see someone else’s
    slave from another plantation, they might start singing so
    that other slave would know– from another plantation–
    to go back and sing, we’re about to leave on
    the Underground Railroad. See who wants to go. So that’s how the
    message was spread in plain view of everybody– by the monkey wrench. Get ready. Get yourself ready
    mentally and physically. All right, come on. There we go. The next thing is they would
    put the second quilt out. And the second quilt is
    called the wagon wheel, which means we are going to leave
    probably by wagon, all right? Probably by wagon. Now you have to understand that
    when the slaves were brought from Africa, they
    became artisans– they were blacksmiths, they were
    carpenters, they were bakers, they were coach builders,
    they were seamstress. They had jobs. The coach builder,
    however, or the person who would build the
    wagon would have to make sure that he built
    a wagon, whereby where the individuals would sit– there would be a hidden
    compartment under the seat. And the hidden
    compartment was where they would hide some of the slaves. And so when they would
    hide these slaves under the hidden
    compartment, then they would take whatever
    they were going to transport–
    logs or bags of hay or whatever– you know I
    don’t know what I’m talking about when I say bags of hay. Anyway, they would put these
    up against the compartment that was hiding the slave. So even the master was sitting
    above his slave, all right? And that was one of
    the ways that they would transport slaves away
    from the plantation, all right? So here we have a
    wagon wheel letting them know that we will
    probably be leaving by wagon. Or if you are not
    leaving by wagon, recognize the time
    is getting closer to when we will have
    someone come and lead you on the Underground Railroad. This is the wagon wheel. So remember, outside
    we have one quilt– it is the monkey wrench. And it is hung for a while
    because we’re not talking about one day after the next day. You’ve got to give
    time for people to get the message from
    one plantation to the next, all right? So weeks would go by and then
    she’d hang out the wagon wheel, all right? And also, another
    song would be sung. And see if my brain
    will get there– all right, it’s not
    got there right now because I am so nervous. But anyway, the wagon
    wheel is out there. And so they have to know
    that this means traveling is about to take place. Who has made up their mind? Traveling is about
    to take place. Who has made up their mind? Now that’s hung out for a
    few weeks also, all right? And now we have to
    tell you, once you’re out there, what are
    you going to do? Remember, you’re
    leaving with nothing. You have the clothes
    on your back, and maybe a few pieces of fruit. And you are about
    to be out there. Some of you will be out there
    with two and three and four people. But sometimes only one
    person is going to leave. You’re going to be
    out there alone. What are you going to do? You must follow
    the bear’s tracks. So this is a pattern
    that bear’s claw. And they say, why the bear? Because the bear knows where
    the food is, all right? And the bears– they
    travel up above the people, and then they come down
    where the water is. They know where
    water is and they know where berries
    are and they know where things are that you can
    find to eat as you go along your way. So follow the
    tracks of the bear. And so, remember, while
    these are out, the slave who is going to run away– he, of course, is thinking
    and trying to memorize– this is what I have to do. I have to try to find
    out where is the bear– this is another issue– where is the bear’s path? And one of the things
    that they were doing is following the
    trails of the Indians. And see, the
    American Indians were very helpful to the
    African-American slaves. So they would also let
    them follow their trails. So again, they’re
    following the bear’s trail because the bear’s
    trail leads to food and the bear’s trail
    leads to water, all right? Any questions before
    we go forward? All right. This is called the
    drunkard’s path. This is called the
    drunkards path. It’s hard to see on my computer. And I know you said
    you just left the– and so, I brought you
    one to pass around. This is the drunkard’s path. Would you pass
    that around please? And what happens
    here is you will note that people are saying,
    have you ever watched a drunk walk? Anybody ever watch a drunk walk? You and I know that
    a drunk is stumbling and he is moving one way and
    then he goes another way. And there’s never
    a straight path, but he gets to where he wants to
    go unless he falls down, right? So that is what they’re saying,
    look at how a drunkard behaves. He doesn’t go on
    a straight path. Now remember, common sense
    teaches us the best way to get anywhere is what–
    through a straight path. That’s the easiest way to go. But if you do that, guess
    what’s going to happen? You’re going to be caught. So what they are
    telling the slaves is think like a drunkard. Go this way and
    that way and make sure you do not go
    in a straight path. Make sure that
    you are traveling. And sometimes you’re going to
    go backwards and up and around. You’re trying to confuse
    the individual who is following you. So the message here is don’t
    walk in a straight path. Zag along the path, all right? Go in to the water, all right? Make sure that you’re walking
    in the water an awful lot because you are going
    to have to make sure that the dogs can’t
    track you because you have a scent on you, all right? So you have to make sure
    you get to the water. You have to make sure
    you go under the water because you have to
    get rid of your scent. Then you have to make
    sure that you zig and you zag and
    you come back and– but whatever you do, do
    not follow a straight path. So this quilt is hung
    out for weeks also. I need you to hear
    my point of the weeks because we are
    giving people time. And you know and I know it
    takes time to walk this trail. This is a trail that
    people have to walk. Now I have to talk about myself. I’m gaining weight because
    I don’t want to walk, OK? Just think about us. We get to a place like Lakeland. And I was complaining
    this morning– I had to walk this far? OK. These individuals are walking. And that’s another
    reason why we have to understand that they
    have to ask themselves, are they physically
    able to walk this path? All right, let us continue. Then there’s the bow tie– the bow tie. Now when you see the bow tie,
    it looks like something else. Can anybody tell me
    what else might you see when you see a bow tie? Hourglass? The hourglass. Now they don’t call it the
    hourglass– why, I do not know. I would have called
    it the hourglass because it’s talking
    about the hour. You have to use your time wisely
    if you’re going to travel. They have places,
    the safe houses, approximately 12 hours apart. Approximately 12 hours
    apart because that is about how much time
    it’s going to take an average healthy man– I didn’t say an
    average healthy woman– an average healthy man to walk
    from one place to the other without being totally tired– without being totally
    dehydrated or needing some help. So safe houses are
    placed 12 hours apart. So they’re telling
    these individuals you have to watch
    your time because you need to get to the safe houses. Now remember, on this
    journey, there are conductors. Now the conductors
    are people who are going to lead the slaves
    from one place to the other. And these conductors are
    usually slaves or former slaves because people forget that some
    slaves who were still slaves helped other people who
    were trying to escape. And of course, they
    were the individuals who would take them
    along the route. All right. Then there were the passengers. And these passengers on
    this Underground Railroad, of course, are the
    fugitive slaves. And they were hid in barns
    and boxes and cellars, inside walls, and under the
    floors of the safe house owner’s houses. Now these were the
    abolitionists who were really putting their lives on– more or less, they were
    putting themselves in danger by helping slaves. But they were
    building houses that would allow them to put
    slaves in cellars or slaves in the walls or slaves in
    their hidden compartment. They were even building– they
    were helping with the wagons, OK, so that they could
    have hidden compartment in the wagons. So all of these
    things were happening. And when they got to the
    safe houses, of course, these fugitives or
    these runaway slaves would received fresh
    clothing and food and they would receive
    a place to sleep. They slept during the day
    and they ran at night. And that’s very
    important to understand. So we have all of these
    people helping out. And so you have to understand
    that these people are waiting for you so you have
    to use your time wisely. You have to keep your
    eyes open and you have to keep your
    ears open and you have to know who you’re looking
    for and who’s looking for you. All right. Anyway, the stations
    or the safe houses were located in many
    states, however few were located in the
    south because there were few sympathizers in the south– in the deep south. All right. Now remember that the
    slaves are sleeping during the day at a safe house,
    and they are walking at night. And so, the quilter makes
    a quilt of the North Star. And they remind them that you
    must follow the North Star. You’re going to be
    afraid and you’re going to find yourself
    out here alone, but look up and
    find the North Star and follow that North Star. Now they had a song, called
    Follow the Drinking Gourd. And they would sing
    that on the plantation. The drinking gourd
    is another way of saying follow the North Star. So here we have
    these individuals walking around the plantation,
    singing these songs, making sure that they’re singing
    and telling other individuals at other plantations
    that next you need to follow the North Star. Now remember, this individual
    who’s making these quilts– she’s asking permission
    to hang these quilts out. She has to go and
    ask her mistress, OK, it’s time to make sure
    I hang some more quilts. Is it OK that I
    hang this one out. And of course, her mistress
    is saying, sure, go ahead. And so again, we have
    a conversation going on between people and they don’t
    know what the conversation is. But again, here we have make
    sure you follow the North Star. And the people are told the
    North Star hangs over Canada because there is a destination,
    and the destination is Canada. And why not Ohio? Because we know that as
    you cross the Ohio River, you’ve entered
    Cincinnati, you’ve entered the Northwest Territory,
    you’ve entered free territory. However, the Fugitive
    Slave Act was passed. And therefore, even though
    you had gotten across to the state of Ohio,
    if a slave master wanted to catch you or pay
    someone else to catch you– a bounty hunter– and bring
    you back to the slave state– that was legal. So you weren’t
    really safe in Ohio. So therefore, they began to
    tell the slaves that the North Star hangs over Canada. If you do not want to always
    be looking over your shoulder, get to Canada. All right. Now another thing that I would
    like to bring up, I think, is the log cabin. The log cabin. The log cabin usually
    had a piece of red fabric in the middle. And the piece of red
    fabric was an indication that you’re going to
    look for a safe house. You’re going to look
    for a safe house. And they use this quilt
    pattern of the log cabin because most of the time slaves
    were living in log houses. And that was to remind
    them that there was someone who’s going to help you. And what we have to
    remember when we’re talking about the Underground
    Railroad is we have a collection of people
    who are helping one another– who are helping the slaves. And so they’re looking
    for a safe house. And what they’re looking for
    is not necessarily a red door, they’re looking for a light– a light that’s going to shine. And if there’s a light shining
    in the middle of the morning or in the middle of the night,
    and it’s coming from a house, that meant that
    was a safe house. Now one of the greatest
    stories is the safe house that you can still see today
    across the river from Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. There was a gentleman
    named Rankin, and he had a house that he
    built on the top of a hill. And if you go there
    today, you have to climb the steps to
    the top of this hill. And on this hill
    sits this house. And what he would do is he would
    put a lantern in the window and it would burn
    all night long. Now most people thought that
    you had to climb all those steps to get to that ladder– I mean, to get to that house,
    because it was so high. But what he had done is
    build a tunnel to his house, so that when they
    came across the river, they knew to go
    into this tunnel. How they knew– I
    cannot tell you. But they would get
    to his house, and he would have clothing for
    them and food for them. And there was a very, very
    well-run abolitionist movement in Cincinnati, Ohio. And they would show
    the individuals how to get to the next
    safe house in Ohio and how to get to the
    next safe house in Ohio. And they would more
    or less assist them on their route on the
    Underground Railroad. And here in Rankin’s house, of
    course they would receive food and they would receive
    clothing and they would receive instruction, all right? Now therefore, again,
    they’re looking for the log cabin,
    which is a safe house ran by abolitionists. Another thing– while they
    are looking in the air– and they have to look
    for the North Star. And when the morning comes, they
    have to look to the animals. Notice we’ve looked to the bear. We’ve looked in the
    air for the North Star. Now they are told
    look at the geese. Always go in the direction
    of the flying geese. Now they have left– usually they are leaving at the
    beginning of spring, all right? So the geese are
    returning to Ohio and they are returning
    to the north. They’re saying, watch the geese. Follow the geese. Make sure that
    you know that they migrate in a northerly pattern. So if you’re in the south, and
    you don’t know where you are, just look to see where
    the geese are going. Now isn’t it amazing that
    our cultures long ago understood the animals? They understood that the
    animals gave messages. And it’s one of the things
    that we’ve kind of lost in this modern culture of ours. But when we study our
    culture from long ago, we will note that every
    culture understood the animals. And so, here they are told
    look for the flying geese, and they will lead you north
    along with the North Star. Now mind you, these again– I have to say this– these quilts are hanging
    on the plantation. They are not off the plantation. It’s something that–
    this message– you have to remember once you leave. You will not see
    these quilts again on the Underground Railroad. All right. And then they hang out a
    quilt called the crossroads. Guess where the crossroad is? People looking at me
    like you do not know. The crossroad is
    Cleveland, Ohio. Now the crossroad means you
    have to make a real decision. Anybody been at a
    crossroad in their life where you have to make a
    real decision– should I do this or shouldn’t I do this? Do I want to go
    to another level? Or will this other
    level mean something that I know nothing about? Well, Cleveland
    was the crossroad. Cleveland was the
    crossroad because it meant that you had reached
    the farthest end of America. Do you really want
    to leave America? Can you just stay in Cleveland
    and dodge the bounty hunters? Or are you going to go across
    Lake Erie and go to Canada? This was the crossroad– Cleveland, Ohio. It gave you access to Canada. And there are people here in
    Cleveland on the Underground Railroad who are willing to
    ferry you over to Canada. Now you have to understand,
    for those people who have been
    downtown Cleveland, there’s the old stone church. The old stone church used
    to be that black church. They cleaned it. I liked it when it was black. They cleaned it. But the old stone church
    used to be a place that harbored fugitive slaves. And they would ring the
    bell when you could come. And then they
    would give you food and they would feed you
    and allow you to rest up. And they would
    prepare you to find someone who would ferry
    you across to Canada if you wanted to go. Now if you didn’t
    want to go, they would find you someone in
    the Cleveland area, which would allow you to
    get on your feet and begin making a
    living in Cleveland. So here we have people at the
    crossroads of their lives. If you go to Canada,
    will you ever be able to come back
    and see your family? If you go to Canada, you just
    had to start a whole new life and maybe never look back. If you stay in Ohio, maybe
    someone else will come up and you can help them. It’s a whole new life. So this is the quilt which
    lets people understand, you’re going to look to get
    to Cleveland– if you get that far, because remember,
    some people stayed in Cincinnati, all right? Some people went to
    Springfield, Ohio. Some people stopped in Columbus. So the idea is how
    far do you want to go? Now you think about it. My children are going
    all over the world– one’s in Portland. I’m saying, Portland? You know? And the other one’s in DC. And I’m saying, DC? I’m trying to keep my
    daughter right here. Don’t go, don’t go. It’s a crossroads. Everybody has to
    come to a crossroad. Even the slaves had
    to make decisions. Because once you
    make this decision, you may never be
    able to come back. Because at this
    time in history– and I’ll say at this
    time in history– because again, history
    is still in the making and we don’t know it all. We don’t know of
    African-Americans who came back from Canada. So here we have people
    in Cleveland, Ohio. And it’s important
    to know Cleveland played a very, very important
    role in the Underground Railroad. The abolitionists here, and
    the former runaway slaves here, played a very important role
    in the Underground Railroad. OK, the tumbling blocks. Now you can’t see this
    one very well either. Now watch, I can’t find it. Here it is. When you look at
    the tumbling block, you have to look
    at it carefully, because there’s a
    block at the top. There’s a block at
    the top, all right? I’m going to pass
    this one around also. There’s a block at the top. And it looks like
    baby blocks, but it’s called the tumbling block. Because remember, you’re
    still on the plantation, and more or less,
    this is the quilt that’s going to be– this
    is the last quilt, almost, that’s going to be aired out. And it’s a signal
    that it’s time. You have to tumble
    out of your bed or tumble out of your life or
    it’s time to just roll on out because it’s time. Can you leave? Now you know and
    I know, when you tumble you don’t know
    where you’re going or how you’re going
    to end up or when you’re going to stop rolling. And so this is to let you
    know, this is not easy. It is not going to be
    something that you can say, whoo, wasn’t that fun? Because you’ve tumble before. Thank god you’ve gotten up, OK? But more or less, tumbling is
    like falling down and rolling over. And so they say, here we go. It’s about time, but
    you’re going to tumble, you’re going to fall,
    you’re going to roll over, you’re going to cry, you’re
    going to miss people. This is the time,
    but we’re leaving. This is not an easy journey. The tumbling block. It’s put out for
    people as a signal that it’s time to escape. And either Harriet
    Tubman is here or someone from the Underground
    Railroad is in this vicinity. Are you ready to tumble
    out of this into something new and different and hard? Now think about that because
    I want you to understand that all while these quilts
    are out, people are thinking, people are anxious,
    people are wondering. Slaves are saying,
    can I do this? The Underground Railroad
    is not something that was an easy thing for anybody. It wasn’t easy for
    the abolitionists, it wasn’t easy for the slaves
    who were helping along the way, and it wasn’t easy
    for the runaway. So when you’re
    looking at this, you have to understand
    that these were also called– this tumbling block
    is also called baby blocks. But this is the time. It’s aired out to let them
    know it’s time to escape. Harriet Tubman is here
    or someone else is here. You have to get ready. All right, this is the
    last quilt that’s put out. Now there were only
    10 quilts, all right? We started with
    the monkey wrench, we went to the wagon wheel, the
    bear’s paw, the drunkards path, the bow tie or the hourglass,
    the North Star, the log cabin, the flying geese, the
    crossroads, the tumbling block, and now we’re at the shoe fly. The shoe fly is– it has two meanings– the
    shoe fly is Harriet Tubman or someone of that caliber. This is the individual
    who is going to show you how to get where you’re going. The shoe fly is Harriet Tubman. You are to meet her. Now I have to go back and
    allow you to understand that in the evenings, when people
    were supposed to be asleep, the slaves would gather
    at the slave graveyard and discuss all of this– who’s leaving, how
    you need to be quiet, how you need to pretend
    like you know nothing. When someone says,
    where is John? I don’t know. He was sleeping. I went to sleep and I
    woke up and I don’t know. Didn’t he go to the field? So they have met time and time
    again at the slave graveyard, and they discussed
    all of these things. So the idea is, even
    when you were a child, you were learning to be quiet. You know when we were younger,
    we used to have these sayings– and that they’ve taken it to
    Las Vegas– but it used to be, whatever happens in my
    house stays in my house. You don’t go to school and tell
    the teacher everything, right? That used to be what we taught
    our children, all right? Now even when we are
    discussing history, when they went to
    the graveyards, they were taught
    how to be quiet– to pretend like
    you know nothing. But they were also
    taught from a young age what these quilts meant. So when they were
    hung out, everybody’s getting the message. So here we have the shoe fly. It means that Tubman
    or someone is here. We’re leaving now. You will meet them. And they’ve been told
    where they will meet them. This also has a second meaning. It means that once
    you cross Lake Erie, and you are in Canada, you are
    free to do things that you were never allowed to do in America. And one of the things that many
    slaves look forward to doing is having the right
    to have a wife, to have their own children,
    and their own home. So one of the things
    people did was they made sure that they
    got themselves a wife and they went to the
    church and got married. So shoe fly meant
    that they were going to be able to be married like
    everybody else in America, all right? So these were the 10
    quilts that were hung out on the plantation. And these were the
    codes that were taught to those who
    were going to escape and to those who were
    not going to escape. And we have to understand
    that those who did not escape did their part by
    going to the meetings and deciding who could escape
    and keeping the secret– keeping the secret. And now we know that
    there are codes– quilts were used as codes
    to help people escape on the Underground Railroad. And I’m going to give you
    some suggested reading if you are interested. Right now, the one that I really
    would like for you to read is Hidden In Plain
    View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the
    Underground Railroad by J Tobin and R. Dobard. That is the one I
    truly recommend. But as I finish, I would
    like for you to also note– and I’m going to
    pass it around– that the Underground Railroad
    had many, many, many avenues throughout Ohio. I want you to just
    look at how many ways people were traveling to
    get through to Canada. And these places
    in Ohio show you that there are trails
    all throughout Ohio. Ohio was really known as
    a place that was assisting on the Underground Railroad. Cincinnati was very
    important, Yellow Springs was very important, and
    Cleveland was very important on the Underground Railroad. And with that, I’d
    just like to thank you for being so patient with me. And I was nervous. On behalf of the
    Knowledge Exchange, I just want to say
    thank you for coming. We really enjoyed this. If you have questions for
    her at this time, please– would you have a few minutes to
    take questions from the group? OK, wonderful. Yes? Do you have an idea of
    how many slaves actually used the Underground Railroad
    and how many did not? Well, they are saying that
    approximately 300,000 slaves got to Canada. And so, that is
    one of the reasons that they are saying
    that the Civil War began. There were just so many
    escaping to Canada. OK, if there were
    300,000, some of those were able to get free without
    the Underground Railroad. Definitely. So about what percent used
    the Underground Railroad? To be honest, I can’t
    be sure and I don’t want to say anything wrong, OK? But what they are
    saying is that many of the slaves who did escape– they escaped–
    especially in the south, they went into the
    Indian territory and they began to
    live with the Indians. Some of the slaves that
    had escaped actually went back to help others escape. Is that right? Definitely. Definitely. Any other questions? Did any of the slaves
    make any attempt to take families with
    them after they escaped? Well, Harriet Tubman
    is the only one that we really
    know– she came back for all of her family and more. That is the one
    that’s documented. But I’m sure there are others. OK? Any other questions? Yes? How large were the
    groups usually? Were they all different
    sizes when they did leave? They were all different
    sizes because it was a decision you had to make. And, you know,
    Harriet Tubman was known as an individual
    who would shoot you if you decided to go back, all right? So that became part
    of her reputation. If you’re going, you have
    to make sure that you are– and that’s why
    they’re saying, you have to make sure you
    are mentally prepared. Because if you go back,
    you can tell the secret of the Underground Railroad. Any other questions? Yes? Have you been to the National
    Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, and do they
    have. a quilt exhibit? Well, you know, the day
    I went they were closed. And I had someone here from
    Alabama who was dying to go. And we rode down and they forgot
    to tell quite a few people at that time. But I’m going. I can’t speak about
    the quilting part. Yes? I was interested in what
    you said about the bounty hunters looking for the slaves. Were there a lot of
    African-Americans here or did they really stand
    out making them easier to spot as they came north? Well, as you know,
    there were free blacks and then there were
    runaway slaves. And free blacks
    would always have to have their papers
    on them, all right? So the idea that there weren’t
    many African-Americans– and you have to also understand
    that one of the reasons we became slaves– and
    other people did not– because if you
    will go back in history, the beginning of slavery
    began with Europeans. Europeans were sent here
    as indentured servants. And what would happen
    is, after seven years, they were supposed
    to be let free. But some owners would not
    own up to their agreements. So the indentured slaves– European Americans–
    would walk away and they could blend
    into another situation. And then they tried to
    enslave the Native Americans. The Native Americans
    sat down and died. Now that’s a story that
    really needs to be told. Some of them refused to work. They would die first. So the last group were
    the African-Americans because when they ran away,
    if you were from Africa, you stood out. Where could you run? You couldn’t blend in anywhere. So that is one of the reasons
    we became the slaves of America. It was hard to blend in. Any other questions? Yes? Were these quilts made locally? I can’t hear you. Were these quilts made locally? These are my quilts. I’m working to learn. I had a mentor. She has the audacity to be
    leaving me going to Alabama. She’s 77 years young. And these are my
    quilts and they’re made from African fabric. And what we’re doing– or
    I’m doing more or less– is just quilts for
    my family, all right? And the first one in
    black and white is– she goes to the market. And it’s the– the
    fabric is from Ghana. And the second one
    is a collection of fabric from Ghana,
    and more or less, is all different
    types of symbols. And I wanted to put the symbols
    from Africa on my daughter’s quilt. She took it to
    college and she told me, bring her quilt back. This is my daughter’s quilt. And
    she went to Harvard University and liked the blue, so I got
    blue and purple and yellow and put it all in there. And I have a couple of other
    quilts behind those two, but there was no
    where to hang them. But more or less, I’m a
    novice at quilt making. And hopefully I’ll get better. OK, any other questions? Well, I thank you, and I
    just appreciate you coming.

    Brotherhood of the Broadaxe
    Articles, Blog

    Brotherhood of the Broadaxe

    August 9, 2019


    – [Voiceover] Your
    support helps us bring you programs you love. Go to wyomingpbs.org,
    click on Support, and become a sustaining
    member or an annual member. It’s easy and secure. Thank you! – [Voiceover]
    Basically, they were young men when they left
    the Scandinavian area, hoping to earn their
    fortune in America. – [Voiceover] You
    learn to get along with other people that
    you had to work with, and you learn to work. – [Voiceover] The most difficult
    part of that whole drive, was getting that 15 miles
    to what we call the canyon. – [Voiceover] Just
    think of the people, to see all them ties
    stacked down to Riverton. There wasn’t any trucks
    or anything then. How’d they get
    there? (chuckling) – [Voiceover] It was
    one of the better jobs, you know, an experience
    of a lifetime. (majestic orchestral music) – Hello. I’m Joe Brandl. Around the turn of the century, when Americans were
    still pushing west into the open spaces, a vast new network of railroads moved people and commerce
    across the continent. To lay the tracks
    and maintain them, you needed wooden ties
    to support the rails. Millions of them. Wherever the railroads went, the builders sought
    pine and cypress, and other big trees
    in the nearby forest. The southern Appalachians,
    the Mississippi Valley, and in the west, where
    the rails inched across the treeless plains, they looked to Wyoming’s mountainous forest. They looked to the rivers
    to bring the hewn timbers down on huge
    springtime tie drives. Beginning in 1868,
    they brought ties from Sherman Mountain,
    down the Laramie River, and then further west, down
    the Medicine Bow River. Before long, tie camps were
    springing up across the state. Encampment, Saratoga. To the west, below
    Evanston, and as far north as Sheridan. But the biggest production would
    come from the high country, of the Absaroka and
    Wind River Mountains. It was here, between
    in 1914 and 1946, that tie hacks produced
    over 10 million ties. The railroads were binding
    the young nation together, and the work was being
    done by newcomers. And the job fell to the
    Wyoming Tie and Timber Company. – [Voiceover] Mike
    Olson, who was the superintendent
    of the company, he came from Norway,
    where he had his start in a lumber, or
    timber, operation. He obviously had to have been one of the smartest
    men in the world, as far as I can tell, to have thought
    up and figured out how to get those ties
    out of the woods. – [Brandl] Olson and his men
    faced two important tasks, transforming the green
    timber into railroad ties, and then, getting those
    ties out of the wilderness and downstream to the railroad. For the first part of that job, the company built
    its headquarters high in the Wind
    River Mountains. Then they brought
    in skilled woodsman from the old country. Men who could live
    in rugged conditions, work through the harsh winter, and hand hew ties
    with a broadax. Modern machinery
    has replaced the men who cut the trees in those days. But 100 years ago,
    swinging a broadax was both a skill and an art. Often, they worked
    from daylight to dark. They were paid by the piece. The more ties you made,
    the more wages you earned. It was just that simple. How hard was the work? Let’s watch Ken Miller. This looks like it
    would be a good tree. We can several good
    ties out of this one. (ax chopping) (lively fiddle music) (ax chopping) (metallic sawing) Timber! (ax chopping) Next thing we have to do is
    score the log on both sides. I’ll be hitting the top
    with the first swing, underneath with
    the second swing, so when I come with the broadax, I can use that
    exactly perpendicular to make as smooth a
    surface as possible. So, on the top. On the bottom. Move forward four to six inches, top, bottom. (ax chopping) As you move toward
    the base of the tree, you have to go deeper, so when you’re done,
    the tie is still a little over
    seven inches thick. Now, if you did it all
    the time in one shape, you could go one side
    and come back the other, without having to stop and breathe. On a broadax, one
    side is completely, is completely flat. There’s no angles,
    no arcs, no anything. It’s completely flat. That’s the side that
    goes to the tree, to make the shape of it
    as smooth as possible. The other side, you can
    see, it’s wedged out, and as it goes in
    behind all these little chips that
    are hanging on there, where it was scored, then, it just pops those off. Sometimes it just takes
    off a little bit at a time. Sometimes it goes quite a ways. Now, this is where you
    have to be careful, where your toe sticks out. Like if the toe’s
    stuck out here, and you have five,
    six, seven pounds come against it with some force, off goes the end of your
    shoes and your toes. That’s where three-toe
    Ol’ E came in. (lively fiddle music) (ax chopping) (wood splitting) The next step after both
    sides are, pretty much, smoothed out, is
    to peel the bark off the top and the bottom. We’ll start with the top, and this is a tool
    called a spud, which is just an extra
    large wood chisel, is what it is. With this being a green tree, the bark peels off. If you get right under the
    bark it peels off real easy. (wood snapping) (tool scraping) The next step will be
    to measure off the ties to eight foot lengths,
    and then cut ’em with this one-man saw. (lively fiddle music) (wood sawing) The next step is to
    roll the tie over, so we can peel the other side. Once you’ve cut the
    eight foot lengths, it’s not so hard to do that. The tool I’m using here
    is called a cant hook. (tool scraping) – The tie hacks usually
    worked all winter. Shoveling snow. Shovel out around the trees to get ’em sawed down. We really had to work
    hard for the wages. – [Voiceover] I would guess 150 ax men around, not counting the teamsters. I helped Andy Kruzik. He was a teamster but he didn’t have any haulin’, so he went to choppin’. And by gosh, that guy, he never stopped. He just was felling, and limbing,
    and scoring them trees. I worked behind him,
    peeling, sawing, and I think we got 48, 48 ties, with me helping. Which was a hell of a good day. – If it was myself,
    if I got eight ties, or ten ties, I was
    doing pretty good, cause I was fairly young
    then, and learning. But most of ’em, they cut between 20
    and 30 ties a day. Anywhere from 21 cents for the smallest tie, which is a nine inch top, to 30 or 31 cents a piece, if I remember right. – But I think some of ’em made eight, ten dollars a day, maybe. Which, hell, that was
    pretty good money, by gosh, in them days. ‘Cause when I started workin’, I was workin’ for a dollar a day on a ranch for a
    number of years. Alfred Olson, he was a tie inspector, well, he graded all the ties. He went round from
    strip to strip. And they knew, he knew
    who’s strip that was. He counted them ties
    out to that fella that had that strip. Turned that into Trigo. They marked whatever
    ties he had for that, usually every month. So, when a guy wanted to go to town, have some money,
    he went to Trigo, and got whatever he wanted. Fifteen, 20, or 50
    dollars or what. The teamsters were
    usually company men. The teamsters had
    two or three teams of these 1200, 1400,
    1600 pound horses. That’s the way
    they moved the ties down to the landing, where
    they was going to drive them. Which up there, Big
    Warren, was all the way up from the head of the flume, way up there toward
    South Fork there, them ties were lined. You can see pictures of ’em. – The story of the
    Wyoming tie hack is an important part
    of our Wyoming history, and because of Wyoming’s
    public television’s commitment to local programming,
    you’re able to watch and enjoy this program. So, I hope you’ll take a moment, and call in your
    pledge of support to Wyoming public television. Help us continue the tradition of great local programming. – [Brandl] Many of the tie
    hacks had come from Europe, and come to stay, along
    with their families, who joined them in
    the high country. – [Voiceover] It was at
    a time of immigration into the United States. – [Stork] Many of them
    had come to this country, leaving their wife
    or a child overseas, and they were all trying
    to save enough money to send for their families. My dad had come when
    I was just a baby. He came to an aunt
    in North Dakota, and he was thinking life
    would be much easier in this country,
    because the Depression had started in Norway. But when he came here, the depression went full force also. So, it took him 10
    years to save money to bring us over here. So, as far as meeting my dad, he was a stranger. – [Voiceover] I remember
    Ingabourg telling me that when she and
    her mother arrived, they couldn’t
    understand their father. He had learned to speak
    English, in the meantime, and it was sort of a mixture
    of English and Norwegian, and he didn’t speak
    the whole language as much as they remembered. – [Stork] We came
    by boat to New York. We entered the
    Statue of Liberty. We had name tags on our coats, saying who we were and
    where we were going. They put us on a train
    to go to Chicago, where we were met by my dad, and then, we came to
    Riverton by train, and we drove up to the tie camp. Dad had made arrangements
    for me to board out during the week,
    to go to school, because they were living
    in the logging camp. So, I boarded with
    them, with some people, and went to school. I did not know a
    word of English, so it was quite an experience. When I’d come home, my
    mother would want to know what words did you learn
    in English this week. She was very
    interested in learning how to speak and understand
    the English language. – [Clayton] Those
    years on the mountain, we were snowed in. We would have had to ski
    off, or be sledded off. Once in a while, they
    could keep the roads open with a bulldozer. – [Stork] They usually
    kept a car or two at the bottom of the hill, in case there was an emergency, if someone had to
    go to the hospital in Riverton or Lander. – [Clayton] But you had to
    ski to school in the winter, cause we lived
    down by the river, and you had to go up this hill, and you’d have to ski because the snow was
    too deep to walk. Then you had all these books,
    so you couldn’t use poles, you had to pack them books,
    you didn’t have backpacks and all that in those days. – For a woman, it
    was plain hard work. One of the stories
    I tell in my book, from Shirley Daniels, of raising a baby
    out in the woods. She was in one of
    the outlying camps. And the baby waking up in
    the middle of the night, and she’d have to get up, and chip the ice
    to get enough water to heat the formula
    for the baby. You know? That’s pretty rough. Those were hard days. There’s no doubt about that. – [Brandl] With
    so many tie hacks and their families
    living in such isolation, there had to be
    a support system. – [Turner] At one
    time, they had used the big cookhouse
    in headquarters, when the men lived
    in the bunkhouse, when they were first
    cutting near there. But then, as the years went on, they moved the cutting, the cutting was
    all farther away, it was too far away for the men to live in headquarters. So there’d be outlying
    camps all around, and there was always a
    cookhouse in each of the camps. And the men could
    bunk by themselves if they wanted to, and cook, but most of them preferred
    to eat in the cookhouse. – [Clayton] You know,
    you made your own fun. You didn’t have a car,
    or anything like that. You were a hundred
    miles from Riverton. We didn’t go to
    doctors or anything. You just got well or died. You didn’t have radio,
    or television, or
    any of that stuff, you didn’t know what was
    going on in the world. That was nice. – But we played games
    in the schoolyard, and in the wintertime,
    you skied to school. We called it going to school. Now they call it
    cross-country skiing. At recess, we outside
    and skied on the hill. At noon, we went home and
    had lunch and skied back. Then recess again,
    and then after school it was take our
    stuff home, ski home, and then go out and ski. – You didn’t have a car to drive whenever you wanted
    to go two miles, or a mile, so it was nice. One thing, you learned to work. You had to work
    for what you got. You had to saw the wood by hand, and cut it, and pack it in, and all that sort of stuff. And everybody was poor. There wasn’t anybody that
    had more than the other, so you didn’t have
    to worry about keeping up with the
    Joneses or anything. It was nice to live up there, and
    everybody was friendly. Anybody in need, everybody
    pitched in and helped. It was just
    altogether different. Then they had this store,
    it had quarters, you know. They had this, they called it an icehouse, and they had ice in
    there that kept the meat, and they had those big
    rings of sausages and stuff. They had sawdust on the floor. That guy, the old butcher, or the man that was
    running the store, I know when we were kids,
    he’d take us in there, and he’d slice a piece
    of that good salami, and give you a piece of that, and cheeses and things. That’s the way they had it, and then people could
    come and buy in the store. And, you know, the bananas
    came on a big rack, and you didn’t have a
    lot of fruit or anything. You got oranges or
    apples once in awhile, that was a big treat. – And when the holidays
    came, they were appreciated. All the hard work,
    all the hard weather, all the distance between
    Wyoming and the old country, gave way to joyous
    celebrations and traditions, still remembered fondly. – [Turner] They did a lot of
    dancing in the old cookhouse. So, that was the gathering place for all of the parties
    and the dances. They’d come of out of the woods, out of their camps to come down for the big Christmas parties. – At the end of the dinner, they would push the
    tables and the benches back by the wall, and
    the Matson brothers both played accordions. They played for
    everybody to dance. They danced till the wee
    hours of the morning, and it was daylight by the
    time we went back home. And I thought, this is different than any Christmas
    I have ever spent. But we had a wonderful time. – One of the things
    I remember the most about the school
    Christmas party, almost always the
    kids gave a play for the community
    or, what, 20 people, whatever we had,
    at the cookhouse. Then the Wyoming Tie
    and Timber company gave every employee’s kid a wonderful box. And I remember this huge, big, huge box, full of presents. Lydia Olson and, I probably assume,
    Louise Van Meter did it too, shopped for
    gifts for each of the kids, individual gifts for each
    of the kids, ahead of time. And that was our wonderful
    Christmas present every year. – [Brandl] Spring arrived, but
    the job was only half done. The next phase involved
    an extraordinary journey. – Well, the way it worked, the full year-round tie hacks were working up there
    all winter long. They would both hew them
    with their broadaxes, and then they, later on,
    put up portable sawmills where they went up into
    the woods above Dunior, and up Warm Springs Creek, and prepared all these
    ties and stacked them right along the edge
    of the tributaries to the Big Wind River. Mainly little Warm
    Springs and Dunior. Then, when it came
    time for the drive, that’s when they
    beefed up their crew. Hired maybe 40, 45, 50 men more, went in there, and that’s
    when the drive started. – There were no
    roads, no trucks, and no rails in
    the high country. So the ties were assembled
    in the high valley in the Wind River Range,
    and pushed into a stream. They were funneled by flumes
    down the steepest part of the canyon, and then,
    to the Big Wind River. Which took them to the
    treatment plant in Riverton. There were really two drives. – [Goodman] The first one was up on Warm
    Springs Canyon Creek. That’s where all the ties
    were brought to one location. There were flumes,
    and smaller flumes, during the high water, and that whole
    Warm Springs Valley was literally filled with ties. So, the first day,
    you had to work on the front of that
    great big pile of ties that went up the river
    probably three or four miles, and start pulling the
    ties out of that big jam, and into the river. It was usually just the hard
    work of pulling the ties off of that big pile,
    into that little creek, Warm Springs Creek, and
    sending down the flume. That was day after day for about almost three weeks, it took for that drive. – [Seipt] We lined ’em
    up to enter the flume so that they were spaced, and not riding up
    on one another, so they’d fly out of the flume. Fifty cents an hour,
    nine hours a day, seven days a week, as good a food
    that could be had. As long as you’re young
    and stupid, it was great. – Setting up camp first, up on the upper Warm Springs Creek, that was cold there. Nights especially. So, we had tepees we set up, on poles so they could
    raise them with poles, and usually had a
    couple of stakes outside to hang your boots
    on upside-down, so they would dry at
    night, and so forth, and put our socks in. So, we camped along the
    River all the way down. – [Seipt] You furnished
    your own boots. The boots were dry boots. Heavy thick soles,
    heavy thick uppers, came about half way up
    the calf of your leg. They were lace boots. Most of them had,
    what do you call ’em, hobnails, or corks, or whatever. They were stuck in the
    bottom of the sole, and they stuck out a
    quarter of an inch, as a gripper, like chains. – One river drive, I
    didn’t have a tepee, so I just rolled a bedroll
    right on the ground. I didn’t care too much
    about how rough it was, because after working
    nine hours on the river, we were tired, and I
    slept through the night without waking up regardless
    of any rocks or anything else. That was our camping
    and sleeping situation. – [Seipt] A typical
    day started early. Started with taking
    down your tepee and poles, and rolling it up, taking it over to where
    they’d load down the trucks to move to the next camp. Breakfast, and then exactly at 8 o’clock, Alfred Olson would holler, “Oh”, and everybody got in the
    trucks and went to work. If the campsite was
    available at noon, we came in at noon for lunch. Sometimes it was remote, and lunch was
    brought down by boat. – I always wanted to
    be on a tie drive, but I thought I was a
    little bit too little. I only weighed about 120 pounds, but I was determined to try. So, I drove all the
    way from Riverton, up to Martin Olson’s cabin, and when I drove
    up to the cabin, he came out on the
    porch and said, “Who do you want?” It kind of scared me. I thought he go gruff. Anyway, he looked me
    up and down, and said, “Well, you’re awful little, but you’re young enough, maybe you’ll do, go and sign up. So, I was happy that I finally
    got onto the tie drive, after many years of
    looking forward to it. The year was 1937. – The year I was on, in 1942, was the early years
    of World War II, and there were three kinds
    of people on the tie drive. There was a
    contingent of Indians, that had been on the drive
    before, and some first timers. Then there was a group
    of Scandinavians, the tie hacks themselves,
    who really knew how to work the ties
    and handle them. Then, to fill out the crew, McLaughlin, Martin,
    and Alfred Olson hired a bunch of us. I was a recent high
    school graduate, and there were a few
    college kids there, they probably hired
    on about 20 of us schoolboys, so to speak,
    to beef up the crew. The arrivin’ up there, we, uh floated down 350,000 ties, which was medium size tie drive, and I remember, first
    thing, we’d get up there just about dark, and the first
    thing they told me to do, was to go out back
    of this little cabin, and they had pike poles,
    as they were called. – They showed us a pile
    of spruce saplings, with the bark on, and they were
    only eight to ten feet long. They had a pike, which
    consisted of a point and a hook, like
    this, hand-forged, and three rings. So, you took the
    pikes and those rings, and you made your own pike pole. – As you can see, this hook here is so
    you could push the ties, and this hook here, is such that you could hook them
    and pull them toward you. – Don’t go away. We’ll have more of
    the tie hack story in just a few minutes. But right now, I hope
    you’ll take a moment to call in your support to
    Wyoming public television, so that more local
    programming can be produced, for Wyoming audiences. – [Brandl] The
    journey that began in the Warm Springs Valley, continued through
    a steep canyon. To do that, a flume
    was constructed that was as tall and twisting as a Coney Island
    roller coaster. It was a key link in the system, that brought the ties
    off the mountain. – Of course, they
    had the big flume along the side of Warm
    Springs Creek there, and that was one of
    the engineering marvels of the state. – The flume was a V-shaped, made of boards, waterway. Olson and Van Meter supervised the
    building of the flume, from the head of the
    flume near the bridge, through the big Warm Springs
    Canyon natural bridge, down to and into the river, at the Nobarison place. – The flume was several
    years old by 1942, and the planks had
    shrunk as they dried out. So, there was a crack
    in two or three places about an inch or
    half-inch thick. So, they had some of us
    try to seal those cracks by shoveling dirt in the flume, and they were hoping the
    mud would seal it off. My job, at the upper
    end of the flume, was to hook the ties as
    they started to pile up into the flume,
    with my pike pole, and run along the catwalk, encouraging them to
    go on down the creek. Then they dumped out into
    the pool in Warm Springs, and then went on
    down into the river. It was quite a feat. – I think it was unique. Where it was necessary, it hung from the
    walls of the canyon. Where it could be
    it was on trestles. The curves were such that the ties didn’t build up momentum, and
    fly out, and it worked. The flume went through
    the natural bridge. It was kind of hairy, because there wasn’t
    room to stand upright. Nor was there room
    for a catwalk, so when you went
    through the flume, you kind of monkey walked, a hand and foot on one side, and a hand and
    foot on the other, for a distance to where
    there was room enough again. About two miles up from
    the river end of it, was a flume camp, with three or four guys in it, who monitored the
    ties coming down. They kept track, if
    there was a space, obviously there was
    some problem upstream, and they notified the head end, so they stopped feeding ties in. The biggest problem, and that wasn’t really
    a difficult problem, once in a while, a
    light tie would ride up on the tie ahead of it, and then when it went
    around the corner, the momentum would throw
    it out of the flume. But, that was 100 or 200
    ties in a drive. It wasn’t a big problem. But there was a crew monitoring the flow of ties. – Now it was time
    for the most dramatic part of the process. Hundreds of thousands of ties, over 600,000 in 1925, all poised to take a wild
    ride down the Wind River. The water churned,
    the ties rolled, and the men guided them down, poking, pulling, and dancing. 100, 200 men, and a big
    piece of the forest, floating down the stream. It was a nine mile
    journey by flume. It ended where the Warm
    Springs joins the Wind River. About nine miles
    upstream from Dubois. It was July now. Quite a change of season
    from the cold winter days, when the men were out in
    the woods, cutting trees. As the ties came into the river
    from the Warm Springs flume, another batch from the
    Absaroka Mountains, floated down Dunior
    Creek from the east. Stacked along the
    bank of the river were more ties, cut
    a lower elevations. – [Voiceover] It may have
    went on down as a tributary of the Big Wind, and
    all merging together to come down the stream. – Second phase
    after all the ties were dumped in by the
    flume into the Wind River, about nine miles above Dubois, then we started the
    main river drive, and most of the
    ties, at that time, were hung up on the sides, on the banks, or on
    the rocks, or trees. And our job was to keep
    standing in the water, pulling them back
    into the river, day after day. That was the upper part of
    the river was easier to go, but after you got
    down below Dubois, in the canyon, it
    was very difficult to get through that canyon. – The most dramatic thing, which I’m sure you encountered
    in some of the movies, was when you get a jam, and the ties will start
    backing up for miles. And have tens of thousands
    of ties all piled up and not moving. – They had a special crew of
    people who were agile and knew how to handle it, who broke up the jams. Generally, the jams
    occurred in Fish Canyon. There’s some boulders
    in there, it’s narrow, and it’s fast water, that they had a crew
    of four, five guys that were the jam pullers
    that kept that open. You just simply, as a matter of keeping the ties moving downstream, you either worked
    in the back eddies, pulled them back
    into the main stream, or if they were piled up, you pulled them in, herding ties downstream. – [Brandl] They
    worked a nine hour day on the ice cold snow melt river, wrestling with heavy
    ties that got heavier, as they soaked up the water. Amazingly, in 30
    years of tie drives, no one was killed, but
    boy, they did get hungry. – The food is the thing
    that stayed in my mind as being the best thing. That was a three-times-a-day
    experience. And that kept us going,
    and I think I remember that probably more than
    any other thing. The cook was Adolph Solomon, and he was noted to be,
    probably the best outdoor cook in maybe the whole world,
    as far as I’m concerned. In the morning, breakfast
    consisted of pancakes. The pancakes were mixed
    up in a big washtub, they took, 15 dozen eggs were put in first, and there were
    other ingredients, flour and so forth, and they’re
    always light and fluffy, put on a big grill over
    the fire, open fire, and we had some of
    the best pancakes. Then, they always had
    a whole Dutch oven full of bacon, fried just right, another Dutch oven full
    of sausages, link sausage. Then there were a
    couple of Dutch ovens full of scrambled eggs. And anything else
    that went with it, the syrup and everything
    that went with it, so we had the fabulous
    breakfast everyday. Never failed, all the way down. The breakfasts were
    especially good. They gave us a good start,
    and we needed a good start, because it was from
    6 and 7 o’clock until noon before
    we’d eat again. When we were down
    at the red rocks, where the camp was
    visible to tourists, some people would stop in to see what’s all that about? Adolph always fed them. When your tie drivers
    were through eating, there was plenty
    of food left over, and you can eat all you want. – Team from Riverton was
    going up the 35 miles to Diversion Dam,
    and sort of welcoming the tie hacks coming
    down the creek. That was another popular place to go see the ties
    coming down the river, cause they were all jammed up behind Diversion Dam. It also was a nice
    place to set up the iron kettles, and you got a free meal
    off Wyoming Tie and Timber. – It was never a smooth
    ride down the river. There were twists and
    turns, rocks and boulders. The tie hacks made it
    through Fish Canyon, a natural obstacle. Then they encounter
    Diversion Dam. Erected in 1921 to divert water from the Wind River, into
    the irrigation system. This, of course, reduced
    the amount of flow into the river, which
    exposed rocks, sandbars, cottonwood snags. This slowed down the tie drive. – Most of the water
    from Diversion Dam is being diverted down
    the winding canal. So, at tie drive time, the water going over the dam might be only an
    inch or two deep over the dam, and, or course,
    the ties would come down, and they wouldn’t clear the dam. So they had a whole string of us stationed at the
    dam with pike poles, big long poles like I was
    telling you about here. You would just lift the
    front end of the tie enough to start it over the dam, and then it would go
    ahead over the dam, and go on down the river. But the Diversion Dam was
    a full-blown obstacle, and all 350,000, a few of
    them might have gone over, but they all had to be
    lifted an inch or two to clear the dam, so they
    could go on downriver. – Getting them over
    the Diversion Dam was quite a problem. The ties were backed up
    in that basin for miles. And I thought, “How in
    the world they ever get that over that dam.” I found out that basin
    pretty well filled with silt. So, we were about
    ankle deep in silt, and the water was about
    up to our armpits. And we’re able to walk
    along in that silt, and push these ties ahead of us and gradually push
    ’em over the dam, feeling along with
    our feet and so forth. And I guess that’s the thing
    that I remember the most, because it probably was one of
    the most challenging things. After we got down
    below Diversion Dam, where the river spread out, we had to carry ties as
    much as two or three blocks away from the river. One day, we spent all
    day, nearly 100 men, all day carrying one big pile
    of ties on our shoulders, back to the river again. – You worked in crews where two guys loaded, and about three other
    crews of two carried. The loaders would
    lift the ties up and put ’em on your shoulder, and you walked
    lock-stepped to the river and dumped ’em in, and
    came back for another load. That was hard work. It was difficult work. – The closest call I had was coming within a
    breath of drowning. A big tree had fallen down
    across the river, was right out into the stream, and as the ties came down, there had been a
    whirlpool created by this tree out into the river, and there was a
    whole bunch of ties, 100 or so were stuck out there. I decided I would ride
    out into this whirlpool, and pull these ties out
    into the main stream, and get ’em on down the river. Well, I got out there and in the milling around there I fell out my little
    homemade tie boat, and I was hangin’
    onto a tie out there, and getting more and more tired. One of the fellows on the drive, Victor Montoya, saw my plight, and I could still remember him wading out into the water, and it was deep there
    in that whirlpool, he was just about
    up to his chin, and he stuck out his pike pole, which I got a hold of and pulled me over to the shore. Otherwise, I might have been
    a casualty of the drive. – As it dropped down
    from the mountains to the high plain, the Wind
    River slowed and meandered. Soon the railroad
    bridge was in sight. The tie hacks had been
    weeks on the river, travelling over 100 miles. Now came some of the
    hardest work of all, getting the ties
    out of the river, and stacking them
    at the tie plant. Billy McLaughlin
    was in charge of the tie yards. He’d built an ingenious
    boom of logs on cables that was angled into the river, and the ties would go
    cross-ways cross those. And the ties jammed some three or
    four miles up the river. But the ties were funneled
    down two channels, side-by-side, so the two
    different conveyor belts, two levels, would
    pick up these ties, and take ’em up
    on conveyor belts. – It would take ’em up
    one behind the other, and then as they
    got up to the height of the conveyor going down to where the tie yards were, they’d turn, and they
    had a guy helping them make that turn there. But the ties were
    stacked 14 ties high, and as they came along,
    wherever you were working, they had a little deal
    that kicked them off, so they would jump off
    this conveyor belt, and then your job was to stack three piles, one, two, three, away
    from the conveyor belt. – The two of us
    would have to pile 360 ties in one hour. That meant a tie had to be
    handled every 10 seconds. Then you had to be out of the
    way and get them straight. – One day when I was
    totally exhausted, pretty late in the afternoon, after I’d worked all day, I was hitting a tie
    just at the moment Gene Law put his boot out there. So, I pinned him to the tie, but luck was with me. The pickaroon tooth
    went right between his big toe and his next toe. He didn’t even bleed. A lucky miss on my part there. – From there, they dried and they were loaded
    onto dinky cars, pulled by a little dinky engine, and put into a huge retort and treated with creosote to
    make them last longer. – The rest of the crew, well,
    they headed into Riverton. To celebrate, and spend
    their hard-earned money. – Of course, the end of
    tie drive in Riverton, was a time of great
    celebration for the tie hacks. They looked forward to the
    end of their year cycle. A big celebration. The saloons and the
    entertainment houses were ready for them of course, and sometimes they
    would come to the end of their week of time there, all their money gone, happy
    cause they had a great time, and go back and start
    the cycle over again. – Riverton had a
    house of ill-repute, which was a very
    popular stopping place for the tie hacks. We’d been there all winter long, and now we’re coming
    down the river. Some of the ladies, and the
    mothers of the community thought that was a
    pretty nice thing because these wild tie hacks
    wouldn’t be out there pursuing their daughters,
    or their sisters, or their aunts, or
    whatever it was. I’m sure that the Little
    Yellow House, as it was called, did quite a booming business after the tie hacks came to town after months in the woods
    and weeks on the river. – The local office is
    where the Elks Club is now. There was free beer, and that night there was a dance up above the office. Went up and down the
    street honking their horns, the trucks they hauled us in. When they were broke,
    they put ’em on the wagon and took ’em back
    up to the woods, and they prepared for
    another trip to Riverton. – The men were
    part of the family, and so, whatever was needed, the company took care of. It was particularly
    noticable in the waning years of the Wyoming Tie
    and Timber company, because by then we had
    a lot of old timers, old time tie hacks, who couldn’t
    do much out in the woods. But there was one camp we
    called the old man’s camp, and that’s where the ones
    who would really be retired could live for as long
    as they wanted to. And if they wanted to go
    out and chop down a tie, they could do that, chop down a tree and make a tie. But they didn’t have to. They weren’t expected to. – [Brandl]
    Mechanization replaced many of the woodsman’s skills. The winters in 1940
    were much more severe. It got harder to find men willing to live and work so
    much of the year in the woods. In 1947, less than
    100,000 ties were cut, and they were
    loaded onto trucks, not floated down the river. For one generation,
    the broadax sang and carved with precision, and then it was over. (pensive orchestral music)

    Abandoned Railroad Near Downtown Miami
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Near Downtown Miami

    August 9, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen today. We have another abandoned railroad here where just a block north of North West 20th Street on Northwest 12th Avenue here, we see the Metro rail there we see facing West at the track leads into that produce place and It’s are no longer active you can see the cars parking on it. You can see the crossing and then here We see the actual spur Or what’s left of it? This is an old CSX spur. Perhaps dating back to the SCL days Where the cars used to load the old wooden cross ties over here how beautiful Yep over there. We see some guys planting some trees So we’re walking East right now, and yeah, I got with the bulldozer right there. There’s no more rails there there’s oh That’s where they end. Here it’s barely noticeable. So yeah, and then let me give you a walk West from where we originally began filming See if we can see a date on the rail. 1924 there it is. I don’t know if you guys can see it? Backlight 1924 the rail says 1924 on it. Wow! See the Tie plate you can’t see a date on it Yeah, this is a old, this is SAL it not even a SCL. Seaboard Airline. Alright guys and we’re back. This is the spot I originally began filming Do not stop on Tracks very important, please subscribe or like. Thank you very much for viewing.