Hartell Internship

 

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Why the Hartell Fund?

 

Who was Greg Hartell?  Why a Historic Preservation Internship?

Following a conversation with George and Judy Buckingham and their request for further information about Greg to include in the friends website, I asked Steve Mark, park historian, friend and part of our family, to give his thoughts of Greg and the establishment of an internship in his name.  Here is that commentary.  We thank him for giving you a better understanding of who Greg was and why he was so honored.

Out heartfelt thanks for all those who have contributed to the internship in the past and who continue to support this worthwhile project.

Bev Hartell (Mrs. Greg Hartell)

Jason Hartell

Amy  Hartell

From Steve Mark:

            Greg Hartell chose a life-long association with Crater Lake National Park, but found a calling in historic preservation.  Born on the park’s doorstep at Fort Klamath in 1939, he held his first job after high school on the NPS trail crew.  Greg worked at his last position at the park during 2004-05, as a job superintendent doing contracted restoration of the Superintendent’s Residence, a national historic landmark in Munson Valley.  Over the intervening 48 years, he plied his trade as a journeyman carpenter at Crater Lake several times, but also volunteered time as a charter member of the park’s friends group.

            His death in April 2006 sparked an effort to establish an endowed internship for historic preservation students at the University of Oregon.  It is partly the result of an identified need for help with cultural resources project work, yet allows the National Park Service an opportunity to build a partnership with the only graduate program in historic preservation located west of the Rocky Mountains.  Each student has a core project, though most have also assisted NPS staff with ancillary undertakings, ones that range from archaeological survey to condition assessments of historic structures.  To some extent this reflects the spectrum of abilities of the internship’s namesake, whose skills in construction projects were augmented by being a builder, inspector, and blacksmith, but one whose craft might best be described as making things look as if they had always been there.

            Greg’s way of teaching cannot be described as formal; he conveyed instructions and ideas by examples and sometimes through story, with the latter usually accompanied with a wry sense of humor.  In his absence, the writer can only provide some semblance of Greg by referring the reader to Gary Snyder’s poem called “Riprap” set deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada.  Greg never worked there, but Snyder’s poem makes the point that members of a trail crew must understand the nature of rock and its linkages in order to master the ancient erosional control technique called riprap, otherwise known as “pitching” or stone pavement.  It has been labeled by some with experience in the backcountry as one of the “old ways,” but also a key to knowing the “where,” of who we are.

            Much of what Greg taught operated on the subconscious level, so that people lucky enough to be around him inherently looked in his direction for leadership.  He never had to call himself “boss” or chief of anything, since titles mean nothing to someone who could fashion things from the most rudimentary materials, or for that matter, run a winter trap-line in remote country.  The respect and admiration so often accorded him by others not only stemmed from recognition of his multiple talents, but from kindness and an innate ability to tell a story.  His trade contributed to deafness as he aged, but just when you thought he did not hear the point one attempted to make in conversation, Greg could make everyone laugh with a clever turn of phrase that reflected a mastery of oral tradition.

            “Riprap” is also an analogy for how the mountains and their “old ways” flow along almost subversively, separate and free from technical manuals, bureaucratic dictates, or week-long training sessions.  Greg possessed energy that often defied his age, yet he could also pace himself when on the job, doing chores, or organizing yet another volunteer effort at the park.  Attuned to rural life more than an urban one, part of Greg lived in another century—as his wife Bev and other family members readily recall.  I often think of him crafting a wood strip canoe in his shop, which is located not far from Upper Klamath Lake.  My mind’s eye often still sees Greg dipping his paddle on that vast body of water, sometimes near sunset, when the light is just right.