There were 3 questions to set the outline of the interview.
Bruce asked "What are you doing?" (to follow some video of me running in the forest)
My answer was to describe my Grandfather Marshall's involvement in the Walking Purchase and how it was part of a land deal between the Pennsylvania government and the Indians. The answer included how I learned of all of this and went on to research and plan my retracing.
Bruce then asked "What was retracing it like as a run?"
My answer described the distance and the terrain involved as well as the difficulty of running for 12 hours one day and 6 hours the following day. It was also an opportunity to contrast my run with the original by Edward Marshall in terms of gear and apparel, running surface, logistical support.
Bruce asked "Having retraced his run, what do you think of Edward Marshall and his accomplishment?"
I answered with my admiration of his athletic achievement to cover 65 miles in those conditions. And I related my opinion that he was used by people in power to accomplish their own objectives. He did not receive the rewards or payments that were promised. I admire his attempt to run as far as possible to gain something that would benefit his family. This helped motivate me going up the last mountain during my run to retrace it. And when it ended up costing him the lives of some family members, he went on with life and did the best he could in the circumstances. He even testified in a later inquiry that the Indians were cheated by the government.
Go here to read my post about the Walking Purchase
They said the goal is to finish production before year end. I'm pretty sure my little part will be just a minute or so, since there is lots to tell about Thomson for a one hour program. They said they will send a DVD copy to me.
In late February we found a message on our phone answering machine. A British sounding man gave his name as Bruce Clark and said he was calling from Northern Ireland. He wanted to talk to me and hopefully interview me about my Walking Purchase run for a BBC documentary about Charles Thomson. My first thought was that this must be some kind of prank, since my Walking Purchase story couldn’t be of interest to someone in Northern Ireland.
A couple weeks later Kathryn Baird called, also leaving a message, but then called back and spoke to Rose. And then she called back to talk with me. There followed several dozen emails exchanged to cover all the details about my little part in the project. Program overview, interview content, meet up place, filming location.
The filming location was the toughest detail to settle on as they wanted some place that would look like the forested mountain in 1737 where Edward Marshall finished the “Walk”. And it was important to be able to secure permission for filming there. The location decided upon was on the outskirts of Jim Thorpe PA on property adjacent to Mauch Chunk Rod and Gun Club, that is owned by the Jim Thorpe Water Company. We would be guided/accompanied by Drew Benyo who is the Cross Country coach for Jim Thorpe High School. The high school XC course uses the same area.
|Filming the interview with Bruce Clark (in blue blazer). Also from left Mal Marken producer/director/cameraman, Kathryn Baird producer, Sam sound tech, Blane Scott cameraman|
Benyo, Clark, Baird meeting
Their overview of the documentary: