A nice girl in Blocksburg

Through the glory that is Facebook, I found out yesterday that my friend, Kristin Windbigler, is, among other wondrous and creative things, a filmmaker. Kristin is a Humboldt County girl who, like me, went off to other places as soon as she could, but was eventually lured back home by a force that can only be understood by those who’ve experienced it. She made this fantastic short film about returning to Blocksburg (that’s a tiny little town southeast of Bridgeville, which is another tiny little town southeast of Fortuna) and its notorious reputation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Kristin also maintains a website about Blocksburg and helped to write a book about growing up there called Children From Our One-Room Schools.

Her films have been featured at the Western Folklife Center. You can also see more of them on her blog. I highly recommend Story Machines, which is a fascinating tale of her grandfather who was a logger and owned a machine called a Phonacord that created records, and how he used it to record her family’s history. The film features old footage from Washington State and Mount Shasta, as well as from Humboldt County.


14 responses to “A nice girl in Blocksburg

  1. Wow, what a great film from a wonderful filmmaker. I played music in that building with the porch and railing a couple of times over the years. And my Grandfather and Great Uncles drove turkeys out in that region at the turn of the century. Her Mother's Blocksburg website is a good one.


  2. I can't imagine growing up somewhere like this. They have paved over my home town. I still remember orange groves and strawberry fields forever and it is all gone now. I have no reason to revisit where I grew up in the O.C. other than family. They don't know how bad they have it. They are like frogs in warm water that is getting hotter. They won't jump out of the pot because to them the change is gradual and not that bad.
    I hope Humboldt can keep the way of life I moved up here for.
    Growth brings opportunity but the less we have, the better the landscape.
    Maybe movies are our future. (in the future that would be written "May B movies R, R Future), it's a text thing.

  3. Thank you Kristin! It made me a little emotional sitting in this office in SF with no windows or fresh air…

  4. Hi Kristin,
    No, I don't have any photos of the Rowley family turkey drives. I have seen other photographs of the turkey drives from other ranches, though. I'm not sure where.

    Really good job on the film!

    -Ross Rowley (Ekovox)

  5. Kristin, yes it sounds like my cousin Mike was releated to you folks. Uncle Ed and his entire family lived up in those neck of the woods.

    But, behold!!! I found a photo of my grandmother Lina Lipscomb driving turkeys. Just found it the other day. Mary Angelina (Lina) Lipscomb's son Oscar married Daisy Powell. It's a dang small world

    Ross Rowley
    Email me at RossRowley@live.com

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