Pamplin Media Group – BACK IN TIME: 1912

1997: A local resident shares what it was like to have Kevin Costner camping on his property

110 years ago

May 2, 1912

The White Star Titanic, the world’s largest, fastest and most luxurious ship, struck an iceberg 600 miles off Cape Sable on its maiden voyage and sank in less than two and a half hours . Of the 2,181 passengers and crew, only 705 were rescued, having been picked up by the Cunard liner Carpathia after drifting for hours in open boats. John Jacob Astor and Major A. W. Butt, the President’s aide, were among the notables who perished. Captain Smith sank with his ship. A Senate committee met with the Carpathia upon arrival in New York and opened an investigation into the cause of the sinking. J. Bruce Ismay, head of the International Mercantile Marine, who was a passenger on the Titanic and led her maiden voyage, was the primary witness.

75 years ago

May 1, 1947

Fred Hudspeth was elected president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce at the meeting held Wednesday night, along with the women’s auxiliary meeting with the Jaycees.

Douglas Kemper was named first vice-president; Omar Harris, second vice president; Ed Tussing, secretary, and Russell Vernon. JD Seymour was elected State Director and Mac Sinclair, Willis Mahlin, Frank Burr, Dr. James Dreher and James Blake were appointed to the board.

The ladies served a buffet snack after the meeting.

50 years ago

On May 4, 1972, Crook County voters narrowly approved taking $1,267,328 outside the 6% limit in Monday’s school budget election. The measure was approved by a disappointing 51 votes, although 1,519 ballots were cast; more than 5,000 people registered to vote. The vote was 785 yes, 734 no.

With the levy approved, the Crook County School District will operate this year on a budget of $2,531,263, an increase of $311,527 from the current figure.

In the election, two school board seats and several school committee positions were also decided.

In Zone 3, William McCormack was overwhelmingly elected despite an election campaign by Dan Severence. McCormack, appointed to the school board last fall, garnered 1,019 votes to Severence’s 150.

25 years ago

May 1, 1997

How does it feel to have Kevin Costner camping in your backyard for 18 days? Well, according to Dr. Gene Nance, it’s “interesting.”

Nance, owner of the Ochoco Small Animal Clinic in Prineville, welcomed the filmmakers, literally, to his front yard. Nance’s 80-acre thoroughbred horse ranch on a dead end road overlooking Smith Rock State Park was a natural site for home base of Kevin Costner’s film crews and hundreds of support staff that accompany the making of a major film.

It was also educational. About 25 to 30 acres of his land was converted into a small town occupied almost daily by several hundred people, a helicopter, trucks, a huge food service and a service tent where they were all fed, a fleet of pickup trucks which carried people from one set to another, a herd of horses and a chain of mules and almost a troop of lions.

Given the presence of movie stars and lions, security was heightened and tourism was discouraged. Cameras on set were strictly taboo, even for visiting reporters.

For the Nance family, the one benefit that comes with being hosts, however, was the free movement of the set. One afternoon, as filming in the Smith Rock area was winding down, Nance took me on a tour.

Activities this afternoon, in short, included having lunch with the camera crews, touring the set while Costner stabbed the same guy about 30 times in about 30 takes of the final seconds of a fight scene – seconds conversation with Tiger Woods who was visiting the set with a few friends – and watching Costner’s stuntman take a 200ft drop from a suspension bridge hanging over the Crooked River Gorge.


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