Monday, October 19, 2009

TV Show Shoots Holy Rosary in Dillingham, Alaska

By Fr. Scott Joseph Garrett

After following this blog ( for six months, Wes Woodland is in the process of shooting a TV show on Bush Pilots. Wes’s normal day job is working at the, get this, DR. PHIL show in Hollywood!

Specifically, Wes wanted to follow around a flying Alaskan priest, which is a rather rare breed of bush pilot. In fact, I may be the only flying priest around. The 41 year old Wes, after he and his partners proposed their concept to the cable networks, were sent out here to Bristol Bay to do a story on bush pilots. Wes can do it all, shoot, produce, edit, you name it, this guy is super qualified and a great guy.

Saturday, October 17, we flew from Dillingham to Clarks point (to give communion to Louise Gardener), then to Levelock for Mass with Mary Ellen and the Bowden family, then to King Salmon and Naknek. We hit a snow squall along the way and the visibility went down to about two miles and we were at 700 feet...typical weather for around Bristol Bay.

Wes stayed overnight in the Antler Inn at King Salmon. The next morning after the 9:00 AM Mass at Saint Theresa, we headed for the Cherokee Warrior II, which was parked at the East ramp. We flew back to Dillingham for Mass at 12:30 PM. The weather was nearly perfect, something we do not see much of around here.

Here are a few photos I took while we were flying around the Alaskan bush. In the first picture Wes is getting ready for the journey from Dillingham Airport out into the great Alaskan Bush.

After arriving in Levelock Wes is at a loss. Now where is that Camera?

George patiently waits as Wes, after finding the camera, gets ready for the trip on the back of a 4-wheeler to the Bowden house where we will have mass.

Mary Ellen, a teacher in Levelock, Alaska, tells Wess an amazing story about an experience she had living in this small Alaskan Village. Napatie and children Benita and Joanna prepare us a sandwich before we take-off again.

Wes, at the controls, gets the feel of being a real Alaskan Bush Pilot. He piloted the aircraft from around Portage Creek to a couple miles out of Dillingham.

Michael Swaim and Wes discuss shooting wolves and bears with dart guns out of helicopters. What a shoot that would be!

To celebrate Wes's visit, we had a big Potluck after Mass.

Thank you to everyone who was involved with the filming, especially Judy and Louise at Clarks Point, Mary Ellen and the Bowdens at Levelock, and the Catholic communities of Saint Theresa and Holy Rosary.

1 comment:

Wes Woodland said...

Thank you Father Scott. I miss you!