“The Covered Wagon” is a 1923 silent film. BCM and the Boulder Symphony are collaborating on a new soundtrack that retells the stereotypical cowboys and Indians movie with a tribal perspective featuring the Northern Arapaho Eagle Drum and Singers.
Boulder Community Media (BCM) had great success in 2022 and wants to keep it up through 2023. BCM was awarded a highly competitive $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for “The Arapaho Covered Wagon Redux,” four years in the making.
BCM is seeking matching funds to record a contemporary soundtrack for the 1923 epic “Covered Wagon” silent film. The original score compiled by Anne Guzzo will be performed by the Boulder Symphony led by Devin Hughes in remembrance of the 160th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. Most of the funds will pay musicians and the Northern Arapaho Eagle Drum. For information, watch the trailer.
When “The Covered Wagon” screened, tribal members appeared before the audience while casting directors Ed Farlow and Tim McCoy provided information about why they hired 500 Native Americans, mostly Northern Arapaho to perform in the film. Ironically, the realism they wanted to purvey added to tribal stereotypes.
Your tax deductible contribution will make an impact by undoing old stereotypes whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. We previously raised $500 for the project.
BCM is a 501c3 production company dedicated to make media in all their forms accessible to all.
If you’re a facebook user, BCM has a year-end fundraiser happening through the end of 2022.
The book is Alan’s story about growing up and living in Wyoming after World War II. He recounts the subtle and overt racism he and his family had to endure. His family was spared from living in a War Relocation Center because Japanese individuals who resided in the U.S. interior were deemed as being interned in place.
I wrote a new book that was just released by Boulder Community Media entitled, On the Trail: Wyoming Electric Vehicle Adventures. It was written in real-time between May 16th to July 2nd on three road trips totaling 2,600 miles around the vast sparseness of Wyoming.
Here’s the third person blurb from the back cover:
On the Trail is a memoir recounting author and risk-taker Alan O’Hashi’s reflections on his experiences with the automobile over the years and how his life evolved along with those vehicle choices. Now in his twilight years, he trekked 2,600 miles around Wyoming in a 2021 Nissan Leaf SV Plus electric vehicle (EV) 62 kWh at a time (that’s the battery size).
If you’re curious about EVs, he explains some about the different kinds of vehicles in the marketplace, but more about how to overcome “range anxiety” when there is no charging station nearby and the battery is about empty. He explains, in lay terms, about charging station subtleties, general details about battery efficiency, and the pitfalls drivers may encounter on short trips around town and longer drives over, say, 100 miles, including confusion around the three levels of charging stations and different types of plugs.
Alan was not the first driver to embark on a long-haul EV road trip but was a pioneer in navigating the road in the sparsest state in the Lower 48, having to figure out how to keep moving forward despite numerous setbacks including snow and 30-degrees.
His sojourns weren’t as arduous and rustic as they would have been in a covered wagon or a handcart but navigated gravel roads and isolated ribbons of highways in search of 50-amp power at campgrounds, motels, and businesses with external electrical outlets.
Joining the EV movement meant a big lifestyle change, mostly around slowing down
the pace of his life. “Maybe there’d be less road rage if traffic moved slower and drivers put less pressure on themselves to get from place to place,” he said. “I’ve been reimaging ‘Superman’s American Way” and changing my material consumption habits.”
The cover photo is of Alan’s Leaf charging at the Indian Campground in Buffalo,
Wyoming. He found that campgrounds consistently offer 50-amp power in the hook-up pedestals. Plan to stay someplace overnight and wake up with a full charge.
May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Beyond Heart Mountain author and filmmaker Alan O’Hashi will be on the road showing his documentary and speaking about his memoir. The program is entitled, Civility, Culture, Community, All times Mountain Daylight Time. To schedule an event, please send us an email.
Two one-of-a-kind versions of the “Nishigawa Neighborhood” coffee table book is now available as NFTs on the opensea.io blockchain. If you want a true collectible, one or both of these have premium value because they are unique with colorized covers.
Both include unlockable assets that can be downloaded by the successful buyer. Both NFTs are watermarked with March 17, 2022, the publication date. The first is a one-of-a-kind digital version. The second is an MP4 movie of the 84 pages tracked by original music compiled by author Alan O’Hashi. If you want an autographed copy of the hardcover book, they areavailable from the author.
Buy Beyond Heart Mountain memoirpublished by Winter Goose Publishing. It is available as a printed book and ebook. Signed copies can be purchased from the author. The book was released February 27th. That week coincided with the 80th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 that sent 120,000 Japanese to 10 war relocation camps, that included Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming.
Boulder Community Media (BCM) produced a documentary that aired on PBS that aired in December 2021. The Nishigawa Neighborhood is a coffee table book that will soon be released.
During World War II, Cheyenne native Alan O’Hashi’s family avoided life in internment camps such as Heart Mountain.
As a Baby Boomer, Alan documents the overt and quiet racism pervasive in Wyoming and throughout the United States during and following World War II. He relates his experiences to current violence towards Asians and the issue of civility within society.
The backdrop to Alan’s account is the history of the once vibrant Japanese community in the 400 and 500 blocks of West 17th Street in the downtown area of my hometown, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“My grandmother and grandfather Ohashi and their large family lived in worked in that neighborhood where I spent quite a bit of time between elementary and high school. Having been away from Cheyenne for many years, I stashed those two blocks in the back of my mind until I learned that two classmates of mine were planning to build a housing development at 509 W. 17th St. The biggest obstacle was obtaining permission to tear down an old building. It was the last structure in the Japanese neighborhood. It was the site of a rooming house operated by Mrs. Yoshio Shuto.”
Buy the Beyond Heart Mountain DVD is mainly about the West 17th Street Japanese community history and a general overview of Executive Order 9066 that President Franklin Roosevelt signed that relocated 120,000 Japanese into 10 internment camps, including Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming.
I interviewed four childhood friends for the documentary. Robert Walters formerly worked at the City Cafe. He still lives in Cheyenne, where he practices law.
Terie Miyamoto and her family-owned Baker’s Bar. It was the only racially-integrated bar in Cheyenne at the time. She now lives in the Denver Metro area.
Brian Matsuyama now lives in Seattle, Washington. He resided in Cheyenne during his childhood. His family owned the California Fish Market. Carol Lou Kishiyama-Hough is in Cheyenne. She and her family purchased the Fish Market from the Matsuyamas.
Mrs. Shuto’s tenants were mainly Japanese residents who made their way to Cheyenne. She later opened the City Cafe across the street which became a gathering place for the Japanese in town.
My grandmother was a cook at the City Cafe. Next door, my grandfather was the third owner of a pool hall.
Whenever we went out to eat, the restaurant of choice was the City Cafe. It was a gathering place for the Japanese in Cheyenne. My friends enlisted me to do a cultural and historical survey of the Japanese residents who lived and worked there from the 1920s through the 1970s.
“Beyond Heart Mountain” is a documentary memoir by Alan O’Hashi based on the book of the same title. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of 10 camps established after President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memoir-documentary is available for rent or streaming for a small donation.
The U.S. government rounded up 120,000 Japanese, mostly on the west coast. After they were sorted out at 15 assembly centers, trainloads of evacuees were transported by train as far east as Arkansas.
Japanese American Baby Boomer, filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi relates his personal experiences. He reclaims his heritage after once being part of a culturally thriving community.
The businesses and residents vanished following World War II because of racial injustice out in the middle of nowhere in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming
The story is told through the eyes of filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi. He interviewed four of his contemporaries who had ties to the once-vibrant Japanese community in West Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Robert Walters worked at the City Cafe, the neighborhood anchor.
Brian Matsuyama’s family owned the California Fish Market before selling it to Carol Lou Kishiyama and her family.
Terie Miyamoto’s family owned the only racially-integrated bar in the Japanese community, Baker’s Place.
My grandmother worked as a cook at the City Cafe and my grandfather owned the pool hall next to the City Cafe.
Watch for the book version that will be published by Winter Goose Publishing.
The Wind River VR Pilot Project introduced virtual reality as a new medium to tell traditional Northern Arapaho stories in a more relevant way to tribal youth.
BCM collaborated with Makerspace 307 in Fort Washakie, Wyoming who recruited four tribal youth to participate.
VR trainer, Glenn Reese, worked with the students in basic camera operation.
Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martines talks about tribal tradition.
Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez discussed with the students the importance of passing tribal traditions to future generations.
Robert worked with the youth as they drew pictures illustrating an Arapaho folk tale, “The Fox and the Wood Tick,” as told by tribal elder Merle Haas.
Alison Sage is a singer member of the Northern Arapaho Eagle Society. He explained how tribal stories and experiences are preserved through song and drumming and worked with the students with expressing themselves through music.
The Wyoming Arts Council funded Phase I
The crew then traveled to the nearby Arapaho Ranch to integrate flat art and original music with virtual reality.
A virtual reality camera was set up and students displayed their art work. An original music soundtrack was improvised on the grand piano in the ranch house.
Arapaho elder Gary Collins, BCM VR trainer Glenn Reese and Alan O’Hashi pose with Arapaho storyteller Merle Haas.
Merle Haas read The Fox and the Wood Tick in the Arapaho language. The virtual reality footage of the students with their art work was set to the Arapaho language narration and the student-composed music.
Over time, classrooms will be moving away from “learning” a subject to “feeling” the content through immersion.
To this end, the BVR Phase III project is underway. A third small grant was received from the city of Boulder Arts Commission.
A marker designates the Fort Chambers site.
That project adds virtual reality to telling the story of a Fort Chambers, which was constructed on the outskirts of Boulder.
The sod fort no longer stands, but was the training facility for the 3rd Volunteer Cavalry who killed Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal members at the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.
The BAC funded the Phase III Fort Chambers VR project.
Students will be creating a virtual Fort Chambers that the viewer and walk through, to the narration of Arapaho tribal members who recount the stories told of the massacre by their ancestors.
The BVR is an engagement tool that in Phase III will teach students the use of a software called Tilt Brush and a program called Unity which will allow a student to explore, experience or be involved as if they are actually present in that environment or place.
A Boulder, CO shaker and mover named David Nichols in 1864 recruited 100 local volunteer militiamen to train at Fort Chambers located just east of town to kill Indians at Sand Creek.
Flash forward to 2018 when the city of Boulder government purchased the fort location as open space and a group of citizens called Right Relationship Boulder (RRB) is working to repatriate that land, in some form, back to the Arapaho people.
This is a story about a chapter in Boulder’s cultural history told from the perspectives of the Arapaho people. Arapaho cultural traditions are oral ones.
Documenting Arapaho voices preserves tribal members’ Sand Creek Massacre experiences that have been orally passed down from generation-to-generation.
RRB is a group of Native and non-Native Boulder-area residents who work with local governments and organizations to help all residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically, and who live here today.
RRB is also the lead organizer of Boulder Indigenous People’s Day that happens in October.
The city of Boulder purchased the Chambers property east of Boulder.
The Chambers property includes a home and pasture land along Boulder Creek at Valmont and 61st east of town.
Stay tuned, for project updates. BCM is also seeking contributions of any amount towards the project to match the Boulder Arts Commission grant.
Contributors will be included in the movie credits.
It’s not just about the demise of the once vibrant Japanese community in a small town in Wyoming that thrived from the 1920s through the 1960s, but about how downtown areas can be revived by adding new life to them with people.
The story is a historical memoir told through the eyes of the author, a Sansei generation Baby Boomer Cheyenne native, Alan O’Hashi.
The 1st edition 50 page picture book is a short run 8×11″ hard cover book with a dust jacket. The price is $58.99, preview the book by opening the YouTube link. Download a pdf copy of the Beyond Heart Mountain preface.
Pre-orders are being accepted. The release date is the “Day of Remembrance” on February 19th, which commemorates 77 years since President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that required internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry.