Jan 21, 2008

Talk about getting forked!

This past Saturday did not go as I had hoped, in oh so many ways. We were returning home from California after a short trip down to see the folks. We had to leave a little earlier than I'd have liked that morning because I had to be in Ridgefield, a town a little north of Portland, in the afternoon to shoot the winter gathering of the Chinook Indian tribe at the traditional plankhouse they built on a wildlife refuge a few years ago. For those who follow the Observer, I've always liked shooting activities of the tribe, and I think my interest and enthusiasm has led to me being invited to many events that media usually aren't.

Anyway, we were supposed to leave town about 8:30, but instead it was almost 10 before we were actually on the highway. I thought as long as I was there by like 4 o'clock I'd be fine, as I was told that the event would likely last until 6 or maybe 7. Despite making more stops than I'd have liked we were hitting Portland around 3:30, which put me in good shape for getting there by 4. But this is where it all went to hell.

There was a misunderstanding in plans between and my wife, who was driving at the time. She had to stop off at her mom's in east Portland. I thought O'd be dropping them off and taking the car, returning when I was done. Instead she had the exact opposite idea and drove me to Ridgefield and dropped me off. Upon arriving I hunted down Ray Gardner, the tribal leader of the Chinooks. He soon informed me that the event would likely be ending at 5, as that was when the electronic metal gate at the entrance of the refuge closed for the night.

Wow, this left me with only about a half hour to shoot. By this time, the events of the day were winding down. I caught the last two drum songs that the tribe performed and then the packing up. This lead to me getting nowhere near what I wanted from the shoot. I feel bad because I feel like I've let my paper down, the tribe down, and myself. I also had to call Vinessa and tell her to drive back 20 minutes after she dropped me off.

Here's essentially the only pix I got. They're not great, but they're what I got.

We finally got home at about 11:30 that night and went straight to bed. The next morning as I was opening the curtains in the living room I saw an unusual sight. Our front yard was covered with plastic forks stuck all over the lawn. Someone had also drawn various things on my wife's car windows. Ness thought it was funny and went out and picked them all up. I was a bit more suspicious, but one of our friends suggested that since there was no damage done that it was likely one of our friends pulling a prank.

This turned out to be the case as our friend Lieghanna and a girl that she is mentoring from the high school were cruising around that night and decided to pull some pranks. I give her points for creativity for sure. So much for the case of the mysterious plastic utensils.


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