As you can read in the 'About the Project' section, we decided to go to North San Juan with only a very short preparation time because Larry had voiced some concerns about Arlo's memory and therefore thought that we should go there as soon as possible. As you can see and hear in the video of 'Arlo in the Driveway', he got much quieter in the last couple of years and is not as active as he used to be. Indeed, Arlo's memory was a problem at times and he told us that he had short-term and long-term memory loss on numerous occasion. He was able to recall some stories in great detail and has therefore told them to us a number of times, others he had great difficulty with and relied on Robyn to jog his memory and help with details that he had forgotten.
When we visited Ana and Jeremy, we stumbled upon a box of old photographs. We took them over to the farmhouse and looked at them with Robyn and Arlo one afternoon, hoping it would help Arlo remember more vividly and that we would hear about subjects and stories we hadn't previously heard about. This is a method called Photo-elicitation and is used in a number of fields such as Oral History, Anthropology and others using qualitative research methods. The session seemed to have a very positive effect on Arlo, he was more talkative, active and more involved in discussions for the rest of the day.
The video above is a compilation of some of the photographs we looked at, describing how Robyn and Arlo met, where they lived prior to their time in North San Juan, how they came to the area, how they built the house and other subjects. You can also hear Aero and Ana contributing their point of view to some of the events talked about in this video.
Looking at Photographs with Arlo and Robyn
This shows the now 'fallen-down' barn and their cow Beauty before the fire.
Before building the house, the family lived in a trailer that was pulled into a feeder-barn.
In 1976 their home, 'The Spartan Royal Mansion' trailer and everything they owned burnt down in a wildfire.
This was taken around 1978 while building the house.