[Jeanie of Alaska – original reel 2]
Constance Helmericks Papers collection
Bud Helmericks (Filmmaker)Constance Helmericks (Filmmaker)
This film features an airplane in flight from underneath, showing the floats; the word HELP written on the ground at remote Anaktuvuk Pass in the Brooks Range; Chandler Lake people, dressed in summer parkas, are worried about a very sick baby (Bud flies the baby to the nearest hospital at Point Barrow - not shown); a view of landing on Takahula Lake; the family examines a new electric generator weighing 800 pounds which was flown in 100 miles from the trading post; painting the big yellow canoe; Jeanie crawling over an ancient mastodon tusk on the lake shore; Bud motoring up the Alatna River in the big yellow canoe; caribou and sheep; Bud felling a giant spruce tree; Bud hoisting an enormous eight foot log on his shoulders and carrying it; Bud filling a 20 gallon water tank inside the house; Connie at her twin aluminum sinks inside the cabin with piped water; Jeanie sampling the pie dough; Bud cutting moose steak from a moose Connie shot in the fall; Connie, author of books on the northern wilderness, at her typewriter inside the cabin; the cabin at treeline is used as a base for northern explorations as much as for a home; Jean sleeping in her little sleeping bag; outside, the first snow of winter begins to fall; barricading the cabin and lying a plank with spikes in front of the door to ward off bears; Bud and an unidentified man at Hughes, the trading post, pulling a plane from the Koyukuk River by tractor; ice cakes running in the Koyukuk; flying through Anaktuvuk Pass over the Brooks Range once more to the Arctic Ocean to meet with commercial fishing partners and friends, George and Nannie; landing on sand beach of the Colville River delta and waiting for the Arctic Ocean to freeze for ice fishing; friends looking at the power generator brought for them; their old house and a view of their new frame house (lumber was ocean-freighted from Point Barrow, 240 miles to the west); Connie pulling 12-year-old Lydia and Jeanie on a sled across the new ice of the Colville River channels; Apiak, the oldest son, pulling another sled; George, the father, using an ice chisel to work at a fishing hole; sculpins, or “Irish Lords,” inhabit all the oceans and are a great nuisance to fishermen - they are worthless, covered with spines, and it takes valuable time to disentangle them from nets; tossing fish into the sled lined with a caribou skin to hold them; skinloads of fish are upset onto the ice, making piles of frozen fish all over the river delta to be picked up at will; Jean with George and Nannie, her “Eskimo grandparents,” inside the new frame house - looking at the Sears catalog is a popular pastime; Nannie and her sewing machine; grace, taught by Presbyterian missionaries at Point Barrow, is said before a meal with all participants seated on the floor; Bud draining the oil out of the “Arctic Tern” when the temperature turns 30 below zero; Jean and Lydia in their warm caribou parkas playing house in the discarded airplane cowling as Bud works; Bud’s tool kit - he must do all work on the airplane and make all checks himself without the benefit of a CAA inspector, for the nearest repairs or authorities are 520 air miles away in Fairbanks; Jean scrambling about in her double parkas - the outside parka she wears over caribou is of fancy grey rabbit – she also wears caribou pants, caribou stockings, and caribou booties; the instrument panel upon which the lonely pilot depends; the airfield at Barrow is marked by two lines of empty oil drums on the snow; scenes at Point Barrow: a tractor is used to haul Arctic Ocean ice (fresh) for drinking water for the village - lakes can’t be used because they are too distant and are tainted with salt from the ocean - but ocean ice “turns” fresh when it is over one year old; a sign for Barrow Theater - there are three motion picture houses in Barrow at this time, all owned and operated by an Eskimo businesswoman - the theaters run 24 hours a day, and fresh films are flown in daily from the U.S.; a panorama of Barrow shows a city without sidewalks or streetlights - garbage and sewage disposal is by truck and sled, carrying the city’s refuse out on the Arctic ice to be carried away - permanently frozen sub-soil makes a flush system impossible; Barrow Post Office and children getting mail; polar bear cubs in Barrow await shipment to some zoo; Ice blocks are stacked for the year’s water supply beside the school; a panorama shot of Barrow village, ending with the white framed Presbyterian church whose diocese covers an area the size of England and the British Isles; an Eskimo businessman who owns much stock in the cooperative Native Store enterprise; an American flag; Connie, Jean, and Bud walking through the snow in full winter dress consisting of two parkas; and The End (written in the snow).
16mm film; color; silent
AirplanesMountainsHides & skinsLakes & pondsTusksCanoesCabinsIce fishingBeachesSleds & sleighsFishAir travelAirportsDog teamsSnow
AlaskaInterior AlaskaNorthern Alaska
Alaska Film Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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