Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 15: Interviewing Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever

The Navajo Oral History project continued Monday (June 18, 2012) with a drive to Haystack, New Mexico, to meet Joe Vandever, a Navajo Code Talker during World War II.

Joe Vandever - photo by Elisenda Xifra Reverter

The project team working on a documentary film about Joe's life includes Shannon Bolte and Joel Farber from Winona State University, and James McKenzie and Shawn Tsosie, Diné College students.

The group interviewed Joe for nearly two hours and enjoyed a nice lunch with him.
(Above 4 photos by Elisenda Xifra Reverter)

(Above six photos by Laura McCormick)

After lunch, the group had their pictures taken with Joe.
The above two photos by Robbie Christiano show a funny moment when Joe Vandever was having his picture taken with WSU student Eli Xifra, who is from Gerona, Spain.  Joe said, "Buenos Tardes, Amiga" and Eli laughed, then he asked when he could visit Spain with her.

Joe Vandever signs Prof. Tom Grier's copy of the Navajo Warriors book. (photo by Laura McCormick)


(Above five photos, featuring Joe Vandever with (in order top to bottom): Shannon Bolte, Liam Krause, Christine Willie, Prof. Miranda Haskie, and Teaching Assistant Robbie Christiano; all by Elisenda Xifra Reverter.)

On the drive back to the Diné College campus in Tsaile, Arizona, the documentary team stopped to shoot some B-Roll video at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, and at the Window Rock Tribal Park.

(Fort Wingate Main Gate, photo by Elisenda Xifra Reverter)

 (Fort Wingate Dispensary, Interview Team shooting B-Roll video; photo by Laura McCormick)

(above two photos by Elisenda Xifra Reverter)

The group will meet with Joe again on Tuesday (June 19) and will also meet with Navajo film actor Roger Willie who was a star in the film "Windtalkers" also starring Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach and Christian Slater.

Vernon and Miranda Haskie know Roger Willie personally and were able to arrange the interview, with Willie talking about the film and the friends he made with Code Talkers as part of his preparation for the film role.

To help the group prepare for the meeting, Vernon and Miranda brought a VCR and television screen to the Diné College dorm, and we watched "Windtalkers."

It was a nice evening.  Everyone is heading to bed early (except your blog editor), so we can be fresh for another day on the road and interviews.

1 comment:

  1. Too Cool. I am glad that each group got to get interviews in, even though one had to wait, I am sure they will still do a great job. I wish you all the best,

    Michael Ruka
    NOH Alum