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Randy Brown, Interview 1
Randy Brown

Randy Brown was interviewed on October 28, 1991 by Dan O'Neill in the audio studio at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was enrolled in classes and maintained a busy schedule. On the day of the interview, he had only one hour free. Consequently, the scope of the interview is abbreviated, but he agreed to continue the discussions at a planned second interview during the holiday break. In this first interview of a set of two interviews, Randy talks about living a subsistence lifestyle on the Kandik River in the late 1970s. He discusses his decision to move out there, how he learned to survive and relied upon trapping, hunting and fishing, building sleds, and tells the story of a previous fellow who starved to death when trying to live out in the country.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-42

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Oct 28, 1991
Narrator(s): Randy Brown
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Personal background

2) What made him decide to move out into the bush

3) How he ended up at Eagle and his initial plans for settlement

4) Moving out to the Kandik River

5) Getting supplies at Eagle and heading back up the Kandik River for the winter trapping season, and food and clothing he had

6) Tanning hides, making clothing items from the skins of caribou and other animals, and good attributes of caribou clothing

7) More on trapping, building, and traveling in the Kandik country

8) Toboggans and sleds, and their construction

9) The experience of being relatively inexperienced when he jumped off into the country

10) A story about a fellow who starved to death in the winter of 1978-79

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Section 1: Brown, Randy\ Arlington, Virginia\ Santa Fe, New Mexico\ Alaska - opportunity for lifestyle\ Brown, Bill|

Section 2: Brown, Randy\ The Big Sky\ lifestyles - rationale\ self-sufficiency - philosophy\ land - intangible values\ exploration - aesthetic\ subsistence - ethics|

Section 3: Eagle - access to Yukon\ Eagle - roads\ Brown, Randy\ Tatonduk River\ Cook, Dick\ land - concept of space\ subsistence - acreage requirements\ fire fighting - BLM\ Eagle\ Gaudio, Little John\ Potts, Mike\ Fortymile River|

Section 4: Brown, Randy\ cabins - Kandik River\ Gaudio, Little John\ Gelvin, Ed\ caribou - Kandik River\ airplanes - Porcupine River\ Porcupine River - human activity\ lining canoes - description\ poling canoes - description\ Indian Grave Creek\ cabin construction - Indian Grave Creek\ traveling - maps\ maps - reliability\ dogs - lining canoes\ dogs - freighting|

Section 5: Brown, Randy\ Gaudio, Little John\ subsistence - supplies\ dogs - food\ trapping - food supplies\ bush living - foods\ food preservation\ foods - fat requirements\ bush living - nutrition\ moose - human nutrition\ caribou - human nutrition\ Porcupine caribou herd\ bears - human nutrition|

Section 6: clothing - skins\ tanning - brain tanning\ caribou skin - attributes\ caribou - dependence on|

Section 7: Gaudio, Little John\ Brown, Randy\ food processing - butchering\ cabins - Indian Grave Creek\ cabins - Canyon\ trail - construction\ river people - visiting\ winter travel\ trails - Wolf Creek\ trails - route selection\ trapping - partners\ trapping - selling furs\ trapping - income\ trapping - marten\ trapline - distance|

Section 8: toboggans - Grinnell, Willard\ Gaudio, Little John\ Grinnell, Willard "Sleepy"\ toboggans - construction\ toboggans - handlebars|

Section 9: Brown, Randy\ bush living - requirements\ wilderness - hazards\ subsistence lifestyle - challenges\ subsistence - impossibility of regulation\ Lynch, Mark|

Section 10: starvation - story\ Waller, Sarge - cabin\ cabins - Judge Creek\ Brown, Randy\ snowshoes - story|