Kiwanis travelogue series begins

October 17, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Six cinematographers will narrate films of their travels from Louisiana to Morocco during the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown's 30th annual Travel and Adventure Film Series at South Hagerstown High School.

The series starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, with Dale Johnson's travelogue, "Yellowstone: High Country Treasure."

A Kentucky resident who lived for years in Alaska, Johnson has traveled the globe as a cinematographer for nearly four decades. His work includes the production of documentaries for NASA and National Geographic and travelogues about Sweden, Italy, Alaska, the Caribbean and the Grand Canyon. Johnson, who often partners with cinematographer Bob Landis, edits the pair's work and adds musical accompaniment.

"My favorite place on earth is probably Yellowstone. I just love that mountain country," Johnson said. "Once you get a hundred yards or so off the road, you're in a true wilderness. It's easy to imagine being one of the first mountain men that came to the park."


Johnson especially loves the abundance of wildlife at Yellowstone National Park, which covers more than 2.2 million acres in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The cinematographer has filmed grizzly and black bears, bighorn sheep, otters, badgers, elk and myriad other animals at the park, he said.

Johnson and Landis shot footage in Yellowstone from April through November and returned in the dead of winter to film again.

"Some of the closing sequences were shot when it was 30 below zero," Johnson said.

He'll narrate his four-season Yellowstone journey to educate viewers about the park's unique features and foster appreciation for Yellowstone's scenery, wildlife and people. The film explores the workings of geysers such as Old Faithful, the spring rebirth of the park's flora and fauna, the log construction of the mammoth Old Faithful Lodge, and a day in the life of a park ranger - whose primary duties involve helping visitors out of scrapes such as locking keys in vehicles, Johnson said.

Other visits include:

· It's off to kilt country in November, when Fran Reidelberger presents his film about Scotland - a place he calls the "wild and woolly side of Great Britain." Reidelberger will take viewers from abbeys to peat bogs, along the Royal Mile, inside Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, to the Shetland Islands and Loch Ness.

· In January, Willis H. Moore turns up the heat with "Pacific Odyssey: Islands of Polynesia & Micronesia." The cinematographer takes viewers aboard traditional sailing vessels of the South Seas to visit Pacific Islanders at home, in church, at work and play. Willis says today's islanders are relearning ancient navigational methods to reconnect such far-flung islands as Easter Island, the Marquesas and Hawaii.

· The series heads back to the continental United States in February, when Sandy Mortimer presents her travelogue about Louisiana. Mortimer travels from the state's northern Bible Belt to the Cajun swamps along the Gulf of Mexico, giving viewers an inside glimpse at Mardi Gras, "haunted" plantations, Cajun crawfishing and deep-sea fishing.

· In March, cinematographer Hal McClure narrates "Casablanca: Travels in Morocco." The closest Muslim country to Europe and the farthest Arab country from the Middle East, Morocco boasts sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains and vast stretches of Sahara desert sand. McClure guides viewers through visits to King Mohammed VI's royal capital, Casablanca, Tangier and the walled city of Fez.

· Buddy Hatton rounds out the travel series in April with his film about Bali and the Spice Islands. Viewers will learn about the religious beliefs, traditions, respect for nature and quest for peace of residents of the "Island of the Gods."

Proceeds from the film series benefit the Kiwanis Club's community service work.

If you go ...

"Yellowstone: High Country Treasure" by Dale Johnson

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20

South Hagerstown High School

1001 S. Potomac St.

Single tickets cost $8 for adults and $3 for students. Season tickets for six shows cost $25 for adults and $10 for students. Make checks payable to Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown and mail to Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown, 13015 Blue Ridge Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

For more information, call 301-739-1981.

Other travelogue shows are on Wednesdays and include:

· "Scotland" by Fran Reidelberger on Nov. 17

· "Pacific Odyssey: Islands of Polynesia and Micronesia" by Willis H. Moore on Jan. 19

· "Legends of Louisiana" by Sandy Mortimer on Feb. 23

· "Casablanca: Travels in Morocco" by Hal McClure on March 16

· "Bali and the Spice Islands" by Buddy Hatton on April 6

All presentations are about 80 minutes long.

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