This is the very first part of a story on war vets who take up farming for a myriad of reasons upon returning from conflict... Matthew McCue is a 26 year old war vet, who now works as the foreman at French Garden Farms. He's been a farmer for seven months. \ I had … Continue reading Matthew McCue and French Garden Farms
Sadly, today was the last day of the semester for First Exposures, until next fall. It crept up so fast! Since I'm going to be in NYC by August, it was the last time I'm probably going to see most of the youth in the program- that is, unless some of the younger kids are … Continue reading Last Day of First Exposures
Whew, OK, the heartache is starting to fade, helped by the presence of a kind distraction. This week I've been in the land of audio editing, which means lots of possibly unwarranted facetime with my computer screen and Final Cut Pro. The interviews from Short Creek are long and unwieldy, and it's been a bit … Continue reading Back Up & Running
because of heartbreak.
The lead photo in Random Notes, in Rolling Stone- the current newsstand issue. Also check out my lady wrestlers in the "End Notes" section of the latest issue of Make/Shift magazine!
I just heard really exciting news from Melissa Hope Ditmore, who with the Network of Sex Work Projects was my co-producer on the video project Taking the Pledge that I shot, edited, and helped produce with the the Urban Justice Project. On blip.tv, the short has been viewed 16,345 times! It's been online for about a year, … Continue reading Taking the Pledge
I really don't want to be here. I'm dying to follow all the leads back in Short Creek, wanting to talk to more folks.... I think I'll be going back in a few weeks. In the meantime, I'm going to rewatch Banking On Heaven, the documentary that made me think I was undertaking mission impossible … Continue reading Back in Cali… too soon.
On my last day in town, I focused on FLDS children, no small task given that the kids are trained to run away from anyone outside the Priesthood.
Today I spent my morning interviewing Ross Chatwin and his wife, Laurie, about growing up in the Church and their current excommunicated status. At a special annual event in St. George, there were all-day training sessions on polygamy, followed by an evening Town Hall meeting with both the Attorneys General of Utah and Arizona. My … Continue reading Ross & Laurie, and the annual Town Hall Meeting
What was supposed to be an hour long interview morphed into a day spent with the Wylers. This is Marvin, and his second of four wives, Charlotte. The family has 34 children and over 100 grandchildren. Marvin's story, like many excommunicated FDLS members, is long and tangled. Though almost everything he told me was on … Continue reading The Wylers
Short Creek is the old name for the sister cities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. As seen below, members of the Priesthood (alos known as the FLDS) were instructed by their prophet, Warren Jeffs, to erect fences around their homes. The purpose of the fence is twofold: to both keep "outsider" eyes out, … Continue reading Short Creek
The Colorado City historian, his wife Annie, and one of his 50 grandchildren at home. For this story, I started out by talking to Ben, who knows and is related to pretty much everyone. He was a sweet guy, and I know I'll be back to talk to him some more after I finish his … Continue reading Ben Bistline
Well, I arrived in Salt Lake tonight, and drove as far as Nephi before having to pull over and pass out in a Super 8. Unfortunately, I'm so excited about taking this story on that I barely slept.
Tomorrow I'm heading to Utah and Arizona to try and shoot a story that's pretty much impossible to gain access to. Despite lacking interior contacts, I've decided to just head in with crossed fingers, my gear, a rented car, a sleeping bag, and hope. Lots of hope.