Re: Fred Rydholm
- Very nice tribute. Good stories!
I never met Mr. Rydholm, but he must have been a great man. All we can do is carry on the tradition of his work and studies because there is a lot more to be done and additional new discoveries to be made. Of that I'm confident.
I myself am going back to the underwater "road" site in NW Wisconsin this summer, only this time with the necessary protections and spirit-being charms. I've long known about them but never took them very seriously.
--- In email@example.com, "ancientwaterpathways" <leepennington@...> wrote:
> This is a piece I wrote as a tribute to Fred Rydholm for Anceint Artifacts Preservation Society (AAPS; formerly AAAPF). I wanted to share it with ancient waterways.
> I am so happy Fred got to see the documentary we did on him (LET ME NOT DROWN ON THE WATERS; FRED RYDHOLM, MICHIGAN'S "MR. COPPER"). At the AAPS conference last October in Marquette, MI, we showed a first cut of the film. Fred was in the audience and got to see the piece. Amazingly, the Holiday Inn, where the conference was held, had furnished a couch for Fred to lie on when he got tired. Fred wanted to attend to whole conferenc and didn't know if he would be physically able to stay up. So the hotel furnished the couch for him where he could lie down anyime he wanted.
> After the film showing, Fred immediately said, "Can we watch it again?"
> What a great sense of humor he had. When he was diagnosed with the cancer last year, his way of telling June was: he opened the door and said to her, "Well, the doctor said I can eat anything I want."
> I hope those who knew Fred and are interested will get behind his dreams of saving that great piece of float copper saved and and having a museum created to house it and the many strange pre-Columbian artifacts now hiding in dresser drawers and cabinets around the country.
> Thanks. Lee
> FRED AND THE RAVENS
> From Lee Pennington, JoLe Productions
> Joy and I had a keen interest in researching the ancient copper mines of the Keweenaw and Isle Royale with the possibility of doing a documentary on the subject of ancient copper mining. In part, our interest had been spurred by the very important research and work already done by Fred Rydholm.
> Soon after we met Fred at an early AAAPF Conference in Big Bay, and after we immediately sensed the great passion Fred had both for life and for his quest of the ancient travelers, we realized that before the ancient copper documentary, there first should be the Mr. Copper piece.
> Over a four-year period we made several trips to the UP where we interviewed and filmed Fred and got some sense of his depth and just how he represented the best of the great lake and land from which he sprang. Always there was that glow, that excitement, and that never-ending humor that made even a good world much better and a bad or mediocre world sheer paradise.
> During the interviews and film sessions and just during our many talking sessions, I literally hung onto every word Fred spoke. I found that if you thought Fred had just said something very important, just hang around a minute; he'd say something even more important. My greatest fear was that if I turned the camera off, I surely would miss something extremely important. Indeed, on a couple of occasions, when the camera was off, that fear proved to be very prophetic. For those times, I now have only my memory to support some amazing things I heard. The good news is when one listened to Fred, memory just seemed to hold on tighter and things weren't lost so easily.
> Always I tried to balance attempting to "capture as much on film as I could" with not wearing Fred down. I tried to let him decide when we needed to take breaks or just stop for the day. After one particularly long session, a very long session, we together decided to quit for the day. How long had we been going anyway? It certainly was several hours. I was worried that I had over-extended Fred with that session. We walked out into the living room where June was, and Fred laughed and said to her as he pointed to me, "I tried to wear him down, but I couldn't."
> Another time at Fred and June's camp in the Yellow Dog Plains, the cameras were rolling, and I lost all track of time. The lighting was awful, but Fred was talking and I didn't want to miss anything, so I let the cameras roll, recording that precious sound, even if I were missing any usable visuals. Every stone, every log, every piece of furniture, every artifact had its story, and Fred knew and remembered every detail. Sitting in a chair below the stairs, Fred told story after story as only he could. It was getting late, far past lunchtime. We had stopped earlier that morning at a Subway in Marquette and bought sandwiches before driving to the camp. Fred finished one story and looked as if he were about to start another one. "I guess," he said, "we'd better eat something before we starve."
> We went to the sunroom, fixed the sandwiches. The stories, however, didn't stop, even then, even there. "That bed, upstairs there," Fred said. "I was born in that bed."
> After eating, we went to the winter quarters down by the small lake. We sat on the front porch and Fred told more stories. Late in the day Fred said, "Before we go, I guess I need to tell you another story, but I can't remember what it is." He laughed.
> On the way back to Marquette that day, Fred told of a man in California calling him and asking if Fred knew where the Kaufman mausoleum was and if Fred would take him there. The man evidently was in charge of the estate. He had been having dreams about this woman who was in the mausoleum; he said she came to him and said she was cold and damp and would he bring a blanket to cover her. Fred took the man to the mausoleum, and a storm came up. As they stood inside, they realized a tile was missing from the roof and water was leaking in and falling on that woman's crypt.
> During the story, I wished I had the camera on; I did not. Just after Fred finished, he asked if we would like to see Granot Loma, and I said we would. We stopped, got out of the car, and Fred told more about the farm and buildings.
> On the way back out the road from Granot Loma, something happened I've never seen before. Three ravens got in front of the car and flew just ahead of us. When they got exhausted, they lit in the road. As the car approached them, the ravens rose and flew again, still just ahead of us. Their tongues were hanging out. They looked angry or exhausted. There were woods on both sides of the road, but the ravens would not fly into the woods. They stayed just in front of the car. I asked Joy to reach me the small camera and as I drove, I filmed them through the windshield as they flew ahead of us,
> "I've been here all my life," Fred said, "and I've never seen anything like this."
> A few days later, Fred and I talked about the experience with the ravens.
> "I think they were trying to tell us something," I said.
> Fred shook his head. "I think you're right." Then, as usual, he punctuated the statement with that wonderful laugh of his.
> The native people believe when raven appears there will be a positive change in the consciousness. After all, raven was the one who brought light into the darkness of the world. A little like Fred, I'd say, when I pause to think about it.