Have you ever thought of making a film? Putting your thoughts down in a way that would be interesting and enteratining to others is a unique talent. Our Club was honored to have Robert Lee Grant, an award-winning documentary film maker come and give us a glimpse into his next film, "Gold Rush Generation."
"Gold Rush Generation" is Robert's second major film project. His first film entitled "Nourishing The Kids of Katrina" won four awards and was screened in over 22 film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival, where his film received a runner-up distinction.
For Gold Rush Generation he has spent over two and a half years researching background information on the five people spotlighted in this documentary. James Beckwith, Lola Montez, Mark Twain, John Sutter and Ina Coolbrith are the five people spotlighted. We were fortunate that Robert put together a brief 20-minute film clip on three of the five people.
James Pierson Beckwith or Beckwourth, depending upon how accurately you want to be, was an amazing individual in the mid 1800's. He was born into slavery in Virginia in 1798 and was freed by his father (and master) and apprenticed to a blacksmith. He was an American mountain man, fur trader and explorer. He is credited with the discovery of Beckwourth Pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains between present-day Reno, Nevada and Portola, California.
Lola Montez (whatever Lola wants, Lola gets) was an exotic dancer who became known as the "Spanish dancer." She was born in Ireland in 1821. She was the mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria who made her Countess of Landsfeld. She used her influence to institute liberal reforms. She came to California in 1853 and later married Patrick Hull, a local newspaperman and moved to Grass Valley.
You will just have to wait for the film to find out about the others. Robert signed a library book at the conclusion of his talk. The book will be donated in his name.
Our next meeting will be a South Sacramento Rotary Foundation talk, where we will hear the current state of our foundation and we will recognize some of our founding members and major donors.