going for broke 2. up north: 1978 - 1980  work & days: a lifetime journal project

The volumes in this section are so messy they can't be read with pleasure, and yet the time recorded was one of the best in my life. My solution has been to provide alternative edited version linked from the pages they shadow. The edits naturally are biased toward the interests of 2011, when they were made.

Have tried to link photos to the time they were taken, but am not always sure.


Up north

I grew up in the Peace River country in northern Alberta. After I left to go to college I had only been back for short visits, but when I am most lost, in 1977 and 1978, I use Trapline to get a production grant to make a film there. I live up north, with interruptions to make money, for three years. The first winter I'm at Gus Olson's place, a Norwegian two-storey woodframe farmhouse on a road northwest of Valhalla Centre, which is just up the road from La Glace, where I grew up. After that I'm at a similar farmhouse on Valhalla Lake, south of the highway and farther from the road. The red and white Tofteland house and its lake and fields evoke a bliss that feels completely native. I work out of this state in the film version of Notes in origin, in the play of the weather and in many of the slides in the multimedia version of Notes.

My parents Mary and Ed Epp are still on the farm in those years, and so they come up in the northern journals, as do Helmer Dolemo, a pioneer neighbour then in his 70s, and Bernice Horneland, the niece who kept house for him in his trailer.