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1977 Photos and Memories
Staff 77

Front row: Jon Krueger, Rick Anderson, xxx, Bob Fender, Laura Ventresca, Julie Graefe, Brian Graefe, xxx, Kevin Hobbs, Mike McBain, Milt Spathelf, Dann Henseler

Middle row: Jim Currier, Nancy Kendrick, Rob Atkins, xxx, xxx, Jimmy Ellison, Dan Thorson, xxx, Gary Wilberg, Pete Janssen, Dick Pope, Jerry Trehearn, Bob Black, Dottie Runyan, Omer Runyan, Sally Ann Runyan

Back row: Lisa Brandon, Rick Brandon, BJ Johnson, Tom Simpkin, xxx, Carl Stoutamire, Tim Loose, Stu Gentry, xxx, Larry Brennan, Gerry Dashnier, Greg Kloos

Larry Brennan recalls:

"Despite many people associating Wilberg with more recreational activities, he originally came to the Base as staff photographer, replacing Dan Dunst. Here is a view of him in the Photolab.

The Photolab was always hot, humid and generally somewhat noisy. For years we developed and printed all group photographs. Photography requires water- a lot of it- so the sink in the lab was often running constantly as film and prints were washed and chemicals mixed. And dumped. Which is one reason we eventually had to shut down the operation, I think, though this was much later and toward the end of the Base's operations. It was costly, too, what with using 4x5 cut film, paper and chemicals. If we had a big arrival day or a large demand for pictures, the Photographer might be working very late getting all the prints made. This became a real problem when we started doing off-trail pictures. Normally the assistance for the lab came from the Trading Post.

There was a blower going almost all the time to exhaust the heat, moisture and fumes. To enter the lab itself, you had to zig-zag through a light trap of black walls. The photographer could lock the door to keep you out- necessary, as certain steps of the process required total darkness, and even printing could only be done under a safe-light.

When at work, Dunst or Wilberg or Jim Currier did not wear Class A uniform, as Gary is. It was too hot and messy in there. However, the Photographer had to keep the Class A handy, as he would be called upon to take group pictures at intervals during arrival afternoons (Sunday, Tuesday and Friday), and of Voyageur groups (mornings of same days), and in later years, when we offered off-trail pictures as well (Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays). He took pictures around the Base, and was also required when VIPs visited- the Base Committee, for example, or the rare appearance of someone from the Head Shed. (Bill Wadsworth did not count.)

I'd rather Gary went into detail about the Photolab and such procedures. It was nice having the lab available; Dan Dunst taught me how to develop film and print pictures there, and I made use of the skill for years after."

Pete Janssen recalls:

"Many, many fond memories of friendships formed and some life lessons learned. Some ludicrous memories of Omar's 'make work' projects such as digging under the old barracks ( I forget exactly what that was for) and manually breaking up about 1500 square feet of concrete apron on the lake side of the Shop. Clandestine raids/occupation of the walk-in cooler on some of the hotter evenings...of course the Steak Feeds...Sitting in that impossibly clear sunshine on the rock near the Voyageur Training site after taking a dip in Lost Canoe Lake while the voyageurs worked on memorization of the contents of the Trail Pack. The smell of the air while strolling down the trail to Site #12. The PTT swim test where it was so cold that we thought Dick Pope was going to go into lockup mode. I could go on and on. I think, like many of the others who made the Base a part of their life, I have more vivid memories of those 3 short summers than any before or since."