Last Day With Baje Whitethorne Sr.

The Man

Today was the third and final day of the NOH group (Madison Duncan, Danielle Wieczorek, Brett Gustafson and Trina Thomas) interview with Baje Whitethorne Sr. It was a humble moment for the group to get to know the man. The artist is humble, wise, simple and has an amazing heart for his people, life, and culture of the Navajo Nation.

Baje Whitethorne Sr. waits patiently before interview. Photo by Trina Thomas.

The Location

Whitethorne wanted to meet the NOH group at his place of birth located in the mountains by Black Mesa, Arizona and Shonto, Arizona. Whitethorne drove his Dodge Ram dually truck to get to the top of the mountain where the last interview would be conducted. Some of the group members got a ride with Whitethorne in his truck and others walked the hills until they got to the point. The rental van could only make it so far up the hill.

The location overlooked Whitethorne’s family peach orchard and collage of houses and other buildings on his families land. It was a fitting location for the last interview. Magnificent scenery laid before the groups’ eyes.

Nik Strand and Danielle Wieczorek talk about the location as Brett Gustafson and Robbie Christiano help set up equipment. Photo by Trina Thomas.
Madison Duncan asks Strand and Wieczorek a question about the situation at hand. Photo by Trina Thomas.

The Interview 

The interview with Whitethorne did not last long. Danielle Wieczorek handled the interview while Madison Duncan control the video camera, Trina Thomas handled still photography, and Brett Gustafson transcribed what he could from the interview, the rest will be transcribed in post-production.

The group did learn some good lessons. The editor forgot a wind screen for the mic and the group also forgot to check the mic that came along with Canon XA-10 video camera. Thankfully there was a H2 audio recorder to help with the audio and the group will sync up the audio with the video in post-production.

Whitethorne talked about what really he enjoys in life and how much his grandfather meant to him growing up. Wieczorek also got some good B-roll footage for post-production after interviewing Whitethorne.

Danielle Wieczorek talks to Baje Whitethorne Sr. about mic placement before the interview. Photo by Trina Thomas.

The Service Project

After the interview the NOH group helped Whitethorne and his family members dig small trenches around peach trees in the orchard on the family land. It lasted about an hour and the group got to know more of who Baje Whitethorne is and what he means in life. I guess you could say it was bonding time even when it was time to leave.

Robbie Christiano talks to Baje Whitethorne Sr. after interview. Photo by Trina Thomas.
Baje Whitethorne Sr. overlooks his families peach orchard. Photo by Trina Thomas.

The End

After helping Whitethorne in the orchard the NOH group had to say their goodbyes and hold back tears. Each member got a hug from Whitethorne and he thanked us for helping him with the past service projects and current project that the NOH groups helped on. The group hugged him back. It was a moment that no one will forget and will be able to tell their grandchildren of what happened in their life.

Baje Whitethorne Sr. reflects on life after interview. Photo by Trina Thomas.

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