Chapter #268: Edward Abbey - His Spirit Returns - January 8, 2013

Richard Byrd's photo of Edward Abbey, from the audio CD "Ed Abbey: Self Portrait", recorded by Jack Loeffler in 1983 - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)

Edward Abbey - "Has the statute of limitations run out on that?"

In 2006, my first knowledge of Edward Abbey came by reading his 1968 nonfiction book, Desert Solitaire. At that time, I was living in Moab, Utah, near Arches National Park, where Abbey lived while writing the field notes, which later became the book. Among other issues, in Desert Solitaire Abbey wrote about the supposed ongoing destruction of Navajo National Monument, Arizona. In the late 1960s, a paved road reached the newly renovated Sunset Campground there. Even if it brought appreciative visitors to a National Monument, Abbey considered a paved road through any natural landscape abhorrent.

Jack Loeffler, author, aural historian and friend of Edward Abbey, at Moab Confluence Festival 2008 - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)In July 2008, I wrote an article here about Edward Abbey. Even before reading Abbey's writing about Sunset Campground and Navajo National Monument, it was one of my favorite camping spots. Never crowded, and always free, that sacred place features sweeping views and starry nights. Better yet, the long sight-lines brought a strong mobile telephone signal into my
coach. While visiting that hallowed place, I spent a morning walking around and looking at grand views, but also of pre-Puebloan alcove dwellings in remote canyons.

Although Edward Abbey had died in 1989, that morning in 2008 I decided to contact his spirit and, with permission, take it (him?) for a tour of his lamented place. I do not know if any consciousness associated with the man Betatikin Ruin at Navajo National Monument, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Ron Hagg - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)Edward Abbey walked with me there. All I know is that at the end of the walk, I felt peace and appreciation for that wonderful place. If the experience of death releases all worldly cares, I prefer to believe that the death of Edward Abbey cleared his spirit of all the cranky and cantankerous statements he ever made in life.

Soon after that, I became enamored of all things Edward Abbey. Since Moab, Utah represents the physical and emotional center of my own writing; I soon purchased the website www.moababbey.com, followed by www.moabbey.com. MoabAbbey.com contains my collected articles on the man, Edward Abbey. Moabbey.com features my cartoon character, Moabbey the Coyote. Moabbey and his superhero friends are from my online novel at www.jimmcgillis.com.

Filmmaker ML Lincoln with Jack Loeffler, friend of Edward Abbey and narrator of "Wrenched - The Movie" on location - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) In October 2008, I attended and participated in “Confluence: A Celebration of Reading and Writing” in Moab, Utah. Among my teachers, there were Jack Loeffler and Craig Childs. During my session with Jack Loeffler, I learned that he had been good a good friend of Edward Abbey. On January 1, 1983, Jack Loeffler interviewed and made an audio recording of Edward Abbey. Included in our tuition for the course, Jack Loeffler gave each student a copy of the CD, “Ed Abbey: A Self Portrait”.

During that extended interview, Edward Abbey waxed both poetic and profane. A little more than five years after the recording session, Edward Abbey died. Rather than quote his rambling attacks on “the machine”, I prefer to quote Edward Abbey on the subject of music. His words, are edited for brevity.

Ken Sleight, the inspiration for Colorado River Guide "Seldom Seen Smith" in Edward Abbey's novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)Edward Abbey – “I love music, yes indeed. Lately, I’ve been in love with the country music of America… the Blue Grass, the Cowboy Songs, the Blues, and to some extent jazz.

First, there was the beating drum. Then, somebody invented the flute. Maybe we should have stopped there. Drums and flutes – still two of my favorite instruments”.

Today, no one owns Edward Abbey’s thoughts, but many people own examples of his writing. Now, more than thirty years after his death, his former friends and associates have come together to tell us what they remember about Edward Abbey and his legacy. Under the direction of filmmaker ML Lincoln, “Wrenched – The Movie” is now in post-production. After its final funding, the world shall see a filmed reconstruction and illumination of Edward Abbey’s spirit. (Editor's Note in 2019: The film is now available on DVD).

Not surprisingly, Jack Loeffler will narrate “Wrenched – The Movie”. For her part, writer/director ML Lincoln has sought out and interviewed each surviving member of what some might call the Monkey Wrench Gang. When I inquired about the movie, Ms. Kristi Frazier, a member of the post-production staff provided the following statement by Ms. Vicki Day, Post Production Supervisor for the film.

Poster from the pre-screening of ML Lincoln's "Wrenched - The Movie" in Flagstaff, Arizona in October 2012 - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)Dear Jim,
I would like to introduce you, and hopefully your readers, to the upcoming feature documentary Wrenched, (www.Wrenched-themovie.com). The film explores how novelist Edward Abbey lit the flame of environmental activism and gave the movement its soul.

Wrenched features Abbey's gang of close friends: many of whom inspired his most memorable characters. Outraged by the degradation of the American Southwest, they pioneered a radical form of environmental activism, a blueprint for "wrenching the system."

Abbey’s writing became a call to action for many conservationists who came of age in the '70s and '80s. Wrenched captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation who will carry Abbey’s legacy into the 21st century.

We are currently in post-production with an amazing team. Producer Kurt Engfehr has worked in all areas of television and film production, known for his work as the main editor and co-producer on two of Michael Moore’s films, Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Emmy-Award-winning Editor Patrick Gambuti, Jr., co-directed and edited At the Edge of the World and co-wrote and edited Greedy Lying Bastards, a documentary that exposes the fossil fuel industry.
Filmmaker ML Lincoln interviews Charles Bowden for the upcoming documentary on novelist Edward Abbey and the ethic of environmental activism he spawned - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)

Wrenched has been accepted into the International Documentary Association’s (“IDA”) prestigious Fiscal Sponsorship Program. If your readers would like to make a donation that is tax deductible, ask them to please send payments directly to “IDA” at the following address and write “WRENCHED” in the memo section of their check:

Craig Childs, ML Lincoln, Ken Sleight, Katie Lee, Ken Sanders, Jack Loeffler and Kim Crumbo outside The Orpheum Theater in Downtown Flagstaff, Arizona arriving for the "Sneak Preview" of scenes from the upcoming documentary "Wrenched." - Click for image of all individuals mentioned (http://jamesmcgillis.com)International Documentary Association
“Fiscal Sponsorship”
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA 90017 USA

In October 2012, ML Lincoln screened selected scenes from “Wrenched – The Movie” at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. In attendance or featured as panelists were many of the individuals who inspired the characters in Edward Abbey’s book, “The Monkey Wrench Gang”. In addition, that evening, Craig Childs joined some of the elder statesmen and women of the environmental activist movement outside the theater for a photo by James Q. Martin, shown here.

Had the original, flesh and blood Edward Abbey been able to attend that screening, I am sure that he would have asked, as he often did, “Has the statute of limitations run out on that yet?”


By James McGillis at 04:49 PM | Environment | Comments (0) | Link

Blog Search

 →  Recent Posts

Snow in Death Valley National Park
The Colorado River's Demise - 2023
The Four Corners Region - Part 5
The Four Corners Region - Part 4
The Four Corners Region - Part 3
The Four Corners Region - Part 2
The Four Corners Region - Part 1
Mammoth Lakes, Summer 2020
Morro Bay, CA - Fire Season 2020
Camping at Panamint Springs, Part 2
Camping at Panamint Springs, Part 1
Camping at Mojave Preserve in 2020
Death Valley Winter Camping 2019
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 5
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 4
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 3
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 2
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 1
Planned Desecration of The Book Cliffs
Thompson Springs, Utah - History
Visit Historic Thompson Springs, Utah
Santa Susana Field Lab Contamination
Classmate Bob Lovejoy (1948 - 2018)
Titus Canyon and Titanothere Canyon
2018 - Is The Future a Mirage?
Return of the Moab Burro Crane
Moab - Desert Rocks Festival 2011
Moab, UT - Negro Bill Canyon Remains
Yosemite High Country Devastation
Furnace Creek - Death Valley, Calif.
Zabriskie Point - Death Valley, Calif.
Crescent Junction, Utah - New History
NTSB Final Report Omits Critical Data
Winter Camping in the Mojave Desert
2017 - Burbank Rose Parade Float
Sarah Thomas - World Record Swim
A Family Visit to Kaua'i, Hawaii in 1988
2016 - Cow Springs, AZ Trading Post
Metrolink - Meager Track Maintenance
'16 Beverly Hills Concours d'Elegance
It's Time to Audit Metrolink Operations
Ventura County - Deadly Rail Collision
Ventura County, CA - Rail Safety 2016
Metrolink Ignores Mismatched Brakes
Agencies Ignore Rail Safety Issues
Nevada - Vote Now to Bring Back Solar
Ventura County Rail Deaths Scandal
Google Pop Car- Rail Safety Plan
BNSF Locomotives on Metrolink Trains
2015 - Time to Phase Out Lake Powell
Navajo Power Plant Heat Island Effect
Of Mudflats and Methane Volcanoes
Metrolink Anti-Derailment Blade Failure
Metrolink to Spend $338 Million
The Glenn Steele Memorial Overpass
5th & Rice - A Deadly Railroad Crossing
The One, the Only - Plush Kokopelli
Metrolink Train Crash, A Personal Story
Moab, Utah - Lions Club Park - Part 2
Moab, Utah - Lions Club Park - Part 1
Deadly Crude Oil Trains Coming Soon
Metrolink Oxnard Train Collision Report
2015 Rare California Rain Barrels Help
So. California Lakes Soon to Disappear
C.Proietto - Cattolica, Cafe Eden Roco
Hollywood: "Violence is the New Sex"
2014 Spanish Valley Vineyards
Durango & Silverton Railroad Story
Is it Too Late to Save Moab, Utah?
BLM & SITLA - URLEA Subterfuge
Moab Pile to be "Moab Pit" - 2029
Moab in Springtime - May 2014
Old Mesquite, NV - Gone For Good
I-15 North - Mojave Desert Tour
Grand Co. Plans to Desecrate Site
Moab - County Plans Fail the Test
2014 - Quantum Leap in ATM Theft
Moab Kiley - Peaceful BLM Protest
Stop The BLM-SITLA Land Swap
Utah Recreational Land Exchange
Burro Cranes - A Complete History
Moab Burro at Seven Mile Canyon
Brightsource Solar's Flawed Design
Trend - Horsepower Mitigation Fees
Moab Rim Campark Sold in 2014
Durango, CO - Engine #478 - 1965
Durango, CO - Engine #476 - 1965
Red Lake Trading Post, Tonalea, AZ
Deconstruction at Cow Springs, AZ
Cow Springs, Navajo Art - 2013
Navajo/Hopi, New Energy Dilemma
Peabody Coal Stripmine Disappears
An Arizona River Dies in the Desert
Black Mesa Coal - Water & Power
2013 - The Great Western Drought
Homolovi State Park, AZ - No Ruins
C.Proietto Paints at Lago Maggiore
American Bison Herd Threatened
I-40, Twin Arrows - Both Old & New
Simi Valley Brush Fire - Air Power
I-40: Highway Tax Dollars At Work
Kristi Frazier - World Citizen Award
Sierra Nevada, CA - 2013 Drought
Desolation Canyon Wilderness Area
The Holbrook Basin Potash Project
Moab - Revisit Seven Mile Canyon
Moab - Greater Canyonlands N.M.
Thomas Kinkade - Yosemite Valley
C.Proietto Paints Lugano, Gandria
Paso Robles, CA - Wine Adventure
Colorado River Dine & Unwind Moab
Kodiak 100 --> Moab Charter Flight
The True Cost of Mineral Extraction
Moab Truck - 1950 Chevy 3100
Disappearance --> Reemergence
Edward Abbey - His Spirit Returns
Edward Abbey - Monkey Wrenching
Edward Abbey - Lake Powell 1965
Edward Abbey - Desert Solitaire 65
A New Message From AAMikael
C.Proietto Paints Bad Kreuznach
New Jersey - The New Atlantis?
Moab - A Rare Beech B-45 (T-34A)
Howell Mountain, CA - Winemaking
Oakville, CA - Robt. Mondavi Wines
Crescent Junction, UT - in 1955
Craig Childs - Apocalyptic Planet
Mammoth Lakes, CA - 1st. Snowfall
Mesquite, NV - A Disappearing Act
The Mystery of Hovenweep Road
Moab Airport - Canyonlands Field
Moab, UT - Save Ken's Lake Puddle
Jeeps & Downtown Abbey in Moab
Moab Valley vs. Spanish Valley, UT
Moab, Utah - Go Behind the Rocks
Moab Adventure Xstream Race '12
Face on Mars - Is it John Lennon?
C.Proietto - Paints The Dolomites
Moab Tower - The Wireless Story
Brendel, Utah - A History Mystery
C.Proietto - New Mystery Painting
Tsunami Risks Up in Crescent Bays
"Moab Native" Potash Comments
C.Proietto - And The Glory of Rome
L.A. to Australia, by 34-ft. Sailboat
Interstate I-70 East through Utah
Mesquite, NV - Opportunity Lost?
Las Vegas, NV "Drive-by" - I-15N
Ivanpah Valley, CA - Mega-Solar
Pearblossom Hwy. - Palmdale Road
C.Proietto - Venice Sunset, Sunrise
24-Hours of Moab 2012 to Happen
C.Proietto - A Portrait of the Artist
AOL & Yahoo Mail Getting Hacked
ATM Retail Technology - New & Old
C.Proietto - Solving An Art Mystery
Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood - To The Sign & Beyond
Hollywood - Legendary Paul Pink's
Kokopelli Credit Union - New ATM
#1 Google Ranking & How to Get It
C.Proietto - Two New Oil Paintings
LACoFD Truck 8 at Hollywood Bowl
I-405 Golden Crane Air Hazard
Beware: Hoax/Scam Phishing Sites
A Quantum Leap in Super PAC $$$
I-405 Mulholland Bridge Update
Moab Skydiving Video - May 2011
Tonopah Desert, AZ Thunderstorm
Anticline Overlook - Ancient Spirit
ATM Bank Robbery Now Easier Still
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Chaco Canyon - Kin Klizhin Sunset
Chaco Canyon - Kin Klizhin Ruin
Chaco Canyon, Spirit of Lizard Man
Chaco Canyon, NM - Campground
White Mesa, Utah - Uranium Mill
Hidden Costs in Biofuels Revealed
Arches National Park Threatened
Moab Rail - The U. P. Potash Local
Toxic Purple Dust Covers Moab, UT
U.S. Highway 191 in Moab, Utah
Kindle Fire Tablet vs. Nook Tablet
Ken's Lake 2011 Update, Moab, UT
24-Minutes of Moab Kids Bike Race
24-Hrs. of Moab, The Final Sunset?
24-Hours of Moab 2011 Race Start
24-Hrs. of Moab Race Live Webcam
The Long Run - Eagles Tribute Band
Petrified Forest, Going, Going, Gone
Nuclear Dust Storm Hits Moab, UT
Moab Rainbow - August 1, 2011
C.Proietto - The Man From Amalfi
I-405 UCLA Rampage - 11/22/66
Moab Rim RV Campark - 2011
C.Proietto Paints the Amalfi Coast
C.Proietto - Modern Impressionist
I-405 Mulholland Drive Bridge
Moab Pile - Countdown to Disaster
Wigwam Village - Holbrook, AZ
Kathy Hemenway - World Citizen
Desert View Mobil - Needles, CA
Mojave Desert Transit in May 2011
Colorado River Basin At Risk - Ch.4
Holbrook, AZ Water Crisis - Ch. 3
Holbrook Basin, AZ Potash - Ch. 2
Little Colorado River Basin - Ch. 1
Port Orford, Oregon - Tsunami
Hope for Atlantis - Chapter 4
Future of Atlantis - Chapter 3
The New Atlantis - Chapter 2
Atlantis, Myth or Fact? - Chapter 1
Kevin Rutherford - Freightliner RV
WindSong - Ericson 35 Sailboat
Moab Pile - The Mill Tailings Train
Moab Pile - Here Comes the Flood
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - The Race
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - The Start
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - Pre-Race
Moab, Utah - Winter Snowstorms
Happy New Decade - 2011
Save Ken's Lake, Moab, Utah 2010
UPS Air - Moab, Utah Style
Crescent Junction & Brendel, Utah
Green River to Floy, Utah - Video
Moab Ranch - The Movie & Webcam
An Oregon Cascades Range Sunset
The Port at Port Orford, Oregon
Simi Valley, CA Two Live Webcams
Two New MoabLive.com Webcams
Ave. of the Giants, Humboldt, CA
Port Orford, OR - Of Bears & Deer
Goodbye Arizona - We'll Miss You.
Port Orford, OR - A Forest Home
Sun, Moon and the Chakras of Gaia
2010 Super Bowl Advertising
Navajo National Monument Sunset
California Redwoods Elk Herd
A New Decade - The 2010's Begin
Moab - Could Floods Happen Here?
Spanish Valley, UT - Wine & Water
24 Hours of Moab Race - 2009
CA - Rainforest or Dustbowl?
Edward Abbey House, Moab, UT
Kayenta, AZ to Blanding, Utah
U.S. Highway 89 N. to Navajoland
Quartzsite - Black Canyon City, AZ
Simi Valley, CA to Quartzsite, AZ
Phoenix, Moab, The Grand Canyon
Colorado River - A New Challenge
Moab, Utah - The Shafer Trail
2009 - Moab Live Webcam Update
Moab, Utah - Potash Road, Part 2
Moab, Utah - Potash Road, Part 1
SITLA Deal Threatens Uintah Basin
Moab Wildfire Near Pack Creek, UT
Moab Ranch - Plasma Flow Event
Mill Creek Canyon Hike - Part Two
Mill Creek Canyon Hike - Part One
Memorial Day 2009, Burbank, CA
A Happy Ending for the Moab Pile?
The Old Spanish Trail - New Again
Mesquite, Nevada - Boom or Bust
Larry L. Maxam - An American Hero
Winter Camping in the Desert 2009
Theory of Everything - Part Four
Theory of Everything - Part Three
Theory of Everything - Part Two
Theory of Everything - Part One
Canyonlands Field, Moab, Utah
Access New Energy Now - 2008
The Four Corners States - Part 5
The Four Corners States - Part 4
The Four Corners States - Part 3
The Four Corners States - Part 2
The Four Corners States - Part 1
BC Buckaroos in Panama
Elton John T-shirt, Now Available
Arches National Park Threatened
BC Buckaroos Are Heading South
San Francisco, A New Energy City?
Seven Mile Canyon, Craig Childs
Matheson Wetlands Fire, Moab, UT
24-Hours of Moab Bike Race Finish
24-Hours at Moab Bike Race, Start
New York - The New Atlantis
Translate to Any Language Now
Marina del Rey, Summer Weekend
Seattle Shines in the Summertime
Oregon Battles With Itself - 2008
The Motor Yacht, Princess Mariana
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
The Mojave National Preserve, CA
Navajo National Monument, AZ
La Sal Mountains Loop Road, UT
The Moab Rim, Above and Below
Colorado Riverway Recreation, UT
Hovenweep - Twin Towers Standing
Aztec, New Mexico - Ancient Ruins
Kin Klizhin Ruin at Chaco Canyon
The Spirit of Pueblo Bonito, NM
Chaco Canyon, NM Sand and Rain
Homolovi Ruins State Park, AZ
ATM Bank Robbery Made Easy
Outstanding World Citizens, Fiji
Planning an Archetype Party
Sir Elton John - The Lost Concert
Start Writing Your Own Blog
My Unification Theory - 2008
Frito-Lay Beach-Trash Explosion
The Great Attractor, Revealed
Vibrational Thought & String Theory
The Long Run - Eagles Tribute Band
2006 Midterm Elections, Revisited
The Lost Murals of Denis O'Connor
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 10
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 9
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 8
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 7
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 6
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 5
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 4
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 3
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 2
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 1
Save Natewa Bay, Fiji Islands
The Fiji Islands - Paradise Lost?
Face on Mars
How Water Helped Make The West
Yahoo! - Fighting Its Last Battle?
Helium Gas, Neither Earth nor Mars
Megatrend vs. Meganiche - 2007
German Hydrogen Bomb Ready
Passing The $100,000 Bill
Google Wins - Microsoft Withdraws
A.Word.A.Day, You Ought to Know
San Fernando Valley Winemaking
Divine Inspiration, Or Nearly So
Japanese Win The Space Race
2007 eCommerce - Made Easy
Discovering The Great Reflector
Navajo National Monument, Arizona
Moab, Utah Memories - 2007
Fall Color, Silverton, Colorado
Autumn Equinox in the Rockies
Hasta la Vista, Taos, New Mexico
Megatrends 2010 - The Book
The Quantum Leap, New Mexico
Chaco Canyon Memories 2007
Flame-Out in Phoenix, Arizona
Annals of Homeland Security '07
Quartzsite, AZ - RV Camping
The Quantum Leap Celebration
Welcome to my new weblog 2007!

Colorado River
Current Events
Fine Art
Moab, Utah
Mojave Desert
Personal Articles
Railroad Safety
South Pacific

‹‹ March 2024 ››
Wk M T W T F S S
9 1 2 3
10 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
12 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
13 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Please visit our other sites in the MoabLive network.


© 2007 JamesMcGillis.com - All rights reserved. | Contact Me | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | RSS | Atom | Admin | Design: Nicholas Savalas | Author | Publisher | Top