Friday, January 13, 2017

Slight Detour and VIGGO

I'm taking a literal slight detour for a few days.  Details will become evident for Facebook friends as the day unfolds, but this adventure will involve a lot of lifetime "first's" for me and some fun times spent with the world traveler in the family. 

Annie gave me a Christmas gift, an airline ticket.  I had three choices for destinations on this slight detour and picked one which would not involve too much time in the air. 

Bill will stay behind and keep track of all the beloveds in my absence.  No matter the fun that lies ahead, I will miss Bill, the Lovestead and those beloveds who make my day every day. 

So, I thank Bill, and I thank Annie for allowing me this opportunity. 

These slight detours often involve dramatic changes in routine.  And, my morning routine of the past 12-plus years has involved creating and publishing the blog post from 7 a.m.-8 a.m.

So, if the online Slight Detour is off schedule for the next few days, please bear with me. 

I'll do my best, and I'm guessing there will be pictures of something other than beautiful North Idaho. 

So, details are forth coming as is the fun.  Stay tuned.

AND, since I won't be in Sandpoint for the big Viggo happening  at the Panida tonight and tomorrow, I'll leave you with some of the interview notes for a story I wrote about Viggo for Sandpoint Magazine back in 2004.  It was a great honor, to say the least. 

If you see Viggo at the Panida and have a chance to talk with him, give him best wishes from Marianne Love (who wrote his story) and her daughter Annie (to whom he blew a kiss after seeing her "Sandpoint Loves 'Lord of the Rings' sign near the red carpet in Wellington, New Zealand on Dec. 1, 2003).

Here are those interview notes for the Viggo story:  

On living in the Los Angeles area:  

It said in there (Parade Magazine – Feb. 29, 2004) that I hate Los Angeles.  I don’t hate Los Angeles.  You can have good days and bad days as you can anywhere. Would I prefer to be in the woods as to the city?  Yes, but there are interesting things in the city like art. It’s a place I’ve lived and worked and had family.

On North Idaho and its people: 
I like North Idaho because the people mind their own business, and they’re not overly impressed.  People do good work and bad work in anything. The people I tend to respect are those that show up on time, prepared and respect the people they’re working with. People have been really respectful of my family in that area.

On Kiwi Approach to the Environment:
I found it reassuring that New Zealanders . . . they’ve seen in general what has happened where Europeans and North Americans didn’t treat the resources as well as they could by overbuilding and logging and not taking care of the water.  They’re pretty environmentally aware. There’s a healthier balance in New Zealand in use of land for business and natural resources. They’ve  had a big influx of tourism and rising real estate prices,  but they have their act together to protect the environment. 

More people are going to see that beauty of that country, and it won’t be spoiled.  It won’t be hijacked by realtors.  I think New Zealanders, after this first blush of attention, will carry on and protect their place.  They’ll sure shoot more movies. More people will go there, but I think the Dept. of Conservation over there is relatively strong, and the population supports its efforts. You don’t have to be a hippy dippy or a tree hugger--you can strike a balance between being practical use of lands and preservation.

The people in North Idaho are generally that way too. In the Panhandle in particular there’s a reasonable balance.  I think the voices on both sides and in the middle are at least heard and that there can be a healthy debate.  That’s why North Idaho looks like it does.

On his North Idaho Beginnings:
That’s why real estate prices have gone way up as compared to when I came in the early ‘80s.  I’ve always been one who---when I made a little money---would rent, borrow or buy a car and go on a road trip.  North America is full of amazing places.  Idaho was a place I first saw on a road trip in the early ‘80s and figured I’d go back.  I returned there in the mid ‘80s, rented a house and bought a little land. 

I’ve spent a lot of time up there,  and eventually my family came up. My folks from the Northeast think it’s beautiful.  They live near Canada where it’s  similar seasons; there’s a little more variety of wildlife in North Idaho. The Northeast has a lot of deer and moose and waterfalls but North Idaho has more kinds of wildlife. I come to North Idaho every year, and my family comes to see me almost every year.

I like to just be outdoors and it’s a beautiful place, especially with this business.  It’s good to get away, just as it is in California. There’s a lot in California that is not freeway; It’s got forests and desert terrain; it’s like a whole country of its own.  Idaho is like a whole national park; it has the highest percentage of public land, and there will always be a debate about what to do with it.  I think it’s important to preserve it because there’s so much forest land, lots of water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, BUT it is finite.  You can’t assume you can do whatever you want with it.

People are proud of what they’ve got in Idaho, and they want to keep it that way.  Yeah,
there are bad apples who will buy big pieces of land and clear cut it for money to buy some more, and they never even see it. I think any reasonable real estate person will agree there has to be some balance with land use. There seem to be enough reasonable people in this area and a healthy debate. People seem to be able to talk for the most part-----with the different coalitions preserving the Clark Fork and the Pend Oreille. They seem to be able to talk with people interested in exploiting the land. 

As long as there’s dialogue, there’s hope.

I don’t think people anywhere are so dumb that they’re going to believe all that they hear.
If you live in Sandpoint, I think you can see what’s around you.  When you drive from one place to another, you can see what’s happening.  The land between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, for example, has become a shopping corridor compared to the farmland I saw in the ‘80s. People can see the changes and decide what course to follow. 

As an individual I try to take care of the places I go to whether it’s where I live or hide.  It’s a cliche, but leave the place looking better than you found it---pack it in and pack it out.   I try to do that--always. 

I do think organizations like the Clark Fork Coalition have done a good job working along with companies that make money on the resources. There are also lots of individuals who work hard to preserve what is there. . .  they hike it, and they appreciate it. They’re the people on the ground.

On the Sandpoint area’s recent national media attention:  
I think the media attention tends to come and go.  You might get an influx of people from outside, even legislators, tourists, or well-meaning individuals who get involved and do some good.  But, it’s the people who live there who’ll have the best feel for the area.

A forestry person who’s assigned to Idaho will really care. Maybe they’ve had a land-use idea they bring to Idaho which can help.  In New Zealand, there are Americans and Europeans who have brought along their ideas on forest management. There are things you can learn from the outsiders, but I think the people who live there matter most on keeping things nice in their own back yard.

People of North Idaho are good hosts to people who come from other places, and they’ll welcome the business. They have to live there, and they take care of the place. The national magazine attention  will move on. Don’t mess with what’s working; keep the balance.

On Viggo----the person: 
I don’t think we’re the best judges of our own character.  If I have a job to do on a given day, I do my best and treat people with respect.  I don’t have a bad attitude toward the people I respect. I mind my own business.  I’m an amazingly private person; have been pretty much that way all along.  I was quiet in school.

 I’m not someone who can’t sit for five minutes without calling someone or turning on the television set. I can entertain myself.  The people I get along with tend to be the same.
You do have to get over shyness to be in the movie business. Friends and family are important. 

It depends on where I am on that day. I keep an open mind on what the day brings.  I do have to spend time by myself each day, or I get stressed out. That’s what I like about North Idaho and New Zealand.  If I’m not outside and not having to talk at least a little each day, I can handle it, but I’m happier if I get a little time to my own each day.

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