Harry Smith at 101!

Harry Smith at 101!

Above: three nights of celebratory events marking Harry Smith's 101st birthday occur this weekend in Portland, Oregon.


There are events all weekend long in Portland, Oregon to celebrate Harry Smith's 101st birthday. Harry Smith was the film maker, archivist artist and archivist born in Portland, Oregon May 29, 1923; his family lived in Estacada, OR at the time. They soon moved north to Bellingham and Anacortes, Washington, where Harry lived until he began studying at the University of Washington.

Bret Lunsford, Director of the Anacortes History Museum and author of a Harry Smith biography concentration on his years in Washington, Sounding for Harry Smith (Knw-Yr-Own), will participate in a conversation with Darrin Daniel, author of Think of the Self Speaking: Selected Interviews of Harry Smith as part of the weekend celebration. According to Lunsford, "We'll discuss his Pacific Northwest roots, and perceptions on how he began to be creative and continued being so throughout his life." This takes place Sunday afternoon at Turn! Turn! Turn! Their conversation is followed by jazz musician-scholars Tim Duroche and Andrew Oliver, and poets Katherine Factor, Laurence Lilvik, and Christopher Luna.

Says Lunsford, "Darrin was a friend of Harry's who wrote an early NW chapbook Fragments of a NW Life. That was my introduction to Harry Smith. Hugh Holden (The Lowdown, Whysp) was reading a book in which Harry Smith  talks about living in Anacortes. Hugh asked me about him, I realized I was very uninformed." That was way back, when many of Harry Smith's classmates were still living in the Anacortes area. Bret was able to conduct a series of video interviews, the start of what became Sounding for Harry Smith. Since the books publication, "I've met a lot of people who are interested in Harry's work. Most seem to appreciate the contribution that I made with Sounding for Harry Smith to that body of scholarship. I've gotten to know some great people. I look forward to continuing the conversation on Sunday, and for years to come."

Above:  Sounding for Harry Smith (Knw-Yr-Own), a biography of Harry Smith's boyhood in the Pacific Northwest by Bret Lunsford is now available from The K Mail Order Dept.