Roger Naylor Book: Kolb Brothers

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Travel writer Roger Naylor has a new book,”The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon,” which tells the story of Ellsworth and Emery Kolb’s 80 years of photographing the Grand Canyon. We’ll hear from Naylor about his new book.

TED SIMONS: ROGER NAYLOR SAYS HE'S A
TRAVEL WRITER WHO HATES TO
TRAVEL ANYWHERE OUTSIDE THE
SOUTHWEST.
HIS NEW BOOK IS TITLED, "THE
AMAZING KOLB BROTHERS OF THE
GRAND CANYON," WHICH TELLS THE
STORY OF PIONEERING
PHOTOGRAPHERS ELLSWORTH AND
EMERY KOLB AND THEIR 80-YEARS OF
PHOTOGRAPHING THE CANYON.
HERE NOW IS, ROGER NAYLOR.
WELCOME BACK TO ARIZONA
"HORIZON."


ROGER NAYLOR: WELL, THANK YOU.
IT IS MY PLEASURE AS ALWAYS.


TED SIMONS: HAD YOU ON FOR YOUR
PREVIOUS BOOKS.
WHO WERE THE KOLB BROTHERS WHO
THEY WERE THEY AMAZING?


ROGER NAYLOR: THEY WERE THE LAST OF THE
GRAND CANYON PIONEERS.
ELDER WAS THE LAST WHO LEFT WITH
$200 IN HIS POCKET AND MANNED A
SNOWPLOW ON PIKES PEEK AND GOT
TO SAN FRANCISCO AND WAS ABOUT
TO CHIP OUT ON A FREIGHTER TO
CHINA AND DECIDED HE WANTED TO
GO LOOK AT THIS HOLE IN THE
GROUND HE HEARD ABOUT IN
ARIZONA.
MADE HIS WAY BACK TO THE GRAND
CANYON WHICH WASN'T EASY BACK
THEN.
HE ARRIVED JUST AS THE FIRST
TRAIN IN 190 REACHED FROM
WILLIAM DO IS THE GRAND CANYON.
THINGS WERE ABOUT THE CHANGE AT
THE CANYON.
HE FELL IN LOVE, FOUND A JOB AND
STARTED WORKING AND
CORRESPONDING WITH HIS YOUNGER
BROTHER, EMERY WHO JUST STARTED
TAKING OUT PHOTOGRAPHY AND HE
SAID KEEP AN EYE PEALED FOR GOOD
PHOTOGRAPHY SITUATIONS AND HE IS
SAYING, I THINK I HAVE GOT ONE.


TED SIMONS: THEY NOT ONLY TOOK
PHOTOGRAPHS.
THEY LOOK LIKE THE FLYING
WALENDA'S OUT HERE.
THEY TOOK BIG-TIME RISKS.
DID THEY DO IT FOR THE
PHOTOGRAPHS OR THE RISKS?


ROGER NAYLOR: I THINK A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH
ESPECIALLY ELSWORTH.
HE WAS THE ADVENTURE PERSON.
EMERY WAS TOO BUT HE WAS A
LITTLE MORE CAUTIOUS.
THEY STARTED TAKING PICTURE OF
MULE TRAINS.
THIS WAS THEIR BUSINESS PLAN.
THEY WOULD TAKE A PHOTO AT THE
HEAD OF THE BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL
AND LOAD THESE GLASS PLATES IN
THEIR PACK, GO RUNNING PAST THE
MULE RIDERS, DOWN THE GRAND
CANYON, 4.6 MILES DOWN 3,000
FEET TO THE SPRINGS AT INDIAN
GARDEN BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE
THERE WAS CLEAR WATER.
THEY WOULD WATCH EACH PLATE
TWICE OR THREE TIMES AND BE
WAITING UP TOP FOR THE NEW RIDER
AND SELL THEIR PHOTOS.
THEY WOULD DO THAT TWICE,
SOMETIMES THREE, TIMES A DAY.


TED SIMONS: YOU KNOW, NATURE LOVERS OR
THE NEXT, YOU KNOW, TRAVEL RIDE.
THESE FOLKS WERE THERE TO MAKE A
BUCK.


ROGER NAYLOR: IT WAS A BUSINESS.
EVERYBODY'S IS TRYING TO SORT OF
FIGURE OUT A WAY DO THAT.
EVERYBODY AT THE GRAND CANYON
BEFORE WERE PROSSPECTERS TRYING
TO FIND MINERAL WEALTH AND IT
NEVER PANNED OUT.
ONCE THE TRAIN ARRIVED AND
PEOPLE AND TOURISTS STARTED
COMING TO SEE THE CANYON IN
GREAT NUMBERS THAT IS WHEN THE
SHIFT CHANGED SO ELSWORTH AND
EMERY WERE THERE AT THE
BEGINNING OF THAT.
THEIR PHOTOS WENT OUT ALL OVER
THE WORLD.
THEY STARTED EXPLORING DIFFERENT
PARTS OF THE CANYON AND SEEKING
OUT PLACES IN THE CANYON AND
OPENED THAT WORLD UP TO A LOT OF
PEOPLE.


TED SIMONS: THEY WERE GOOD
PHOTOGRAPHS AS WELL.
NOT JUST DARE DEVILS.
I THINK WE HAVE SHOTS OF THE
ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHS THEY TOOK.
THIS IS RIDICULOUS.


ROGER NAYLOR: THAT IS EMERY.
THEY WERE ON THEIR WAY -- HE IS
A NEW GRAND DAD AT THE TIME AND
THEY WANTED TO DISCOVER THE
SOURCE OF THE TALLEST WATER FALL
IN THE GRAND CANYON SO THEY HAD
TO CLIMB DOWN THIS MASSIVE CAVE.
IT TOOK DAYS AND DAYS.


TED SIMONS: AND THERE IS SOMEONE TO
TAKE A PICTURE.


ROGER NAYLOR: ELSWORTH IS THERE FOR THE
PHOTOS.
THEY MADE A BIG NAME FOR
THEMSELVES WHEN THEY DECIDED TO
RUN THE COLORADO RIVER.


TED SIMONS: WERE THEY AMONG THE
EARLY WHITE WATER RAFTERS?


ROGER NAYLOR: THEY WERE.
THIS IS 1911 AND THEY HAD BEEN
PLANNING IT A WHILE.
ONLY ABOUT TWO DOZEN PEOPLE
SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATED THE GRAND
CANYON AND MANY DIED FOR THE
THILL.
ELSWORTH WANTED TO DO IT BUT
EMERY WAS MARRIED AND WANTED
MORE STABILITY BUT ONCE ELSWORTH
SAID LET'S SHOOT A MOVIE.
IT TOOK THEM A WHILE TO TRACK
DOWN A CAMERA BUT FINALLY DID
AND WENT FROM WYOMING ALL THE
WAW THROUGH THE GRAND CANYON,
365 RAPIDS, 1100 MILES, TOOK
ALMOST FOUR MONTHS TO DO IT AND
THEY FILMED IT.
DID A MOVIE.
THEY STARTED SHOWING AT THEIR
STUDY AND T WAS THE LONGEST
CONTINUOUS FILM IN AMERICAN
HISTORY TO BE SHOWN.


TED SIMONS: YOU WRITE THEY PERHAPS
INVENTED THE SELFIE?


ROGER NAYLOR: THEY WERE DOING THE KIND OF
STUFF WE DO TODAY.
THEY WERE AHEAD OF THEIR TIME BY
A CENTURY.
THERE WERE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS
THAT TOOK A SELF-PORTRAIT NOW
AND AGAIN BUT THESE TWO MADE IT
PART OF THEIR CHARACTER, THEIR
IDENTITY.
THEY WANTED TO NOT JUST SHOW THE
CANYON BUT SAY HERE IS WHAT WE
ARE DOING TO GET YOU THESE
PHOTOS.


TED SIMONS: AND RUNNING BACK AND
FORTH FROM THE WATER MADE THEM
ALMOST INVENTING TRAIL RUNNING.
THESE GUYS WERE THE FIRST IN
LINE FOR EVERYTHING AND DID IT
FOR 80 YEARS.
JUST ABOUT -- DID THEY HAVE
FAMILY?
DID THEY RAISE CHILDREN?
GET MARRIED?


ROGER NAYLOR: EMERY DID.
ELSWORTH MARRIED BUT IT WAS
SHORT LIVED.
HE LEFT THE CANYON IN HIS 20s
BUT CAME BACK SEVERAL TIMES FOR
OTHER ADVENTURES.
EMERY, ONCE HE GOT THERE HE
STAYED PUT FROM 1902 UNTIL HIS
DEATH IN 1976 AT THE AGE OF 95.


TED SIMONS: I KNOW THEY ARE TRYING
TO RENOVATE THAT HOUSE.


ROGER NAYLOR: THE STUDIO THEY STARTED OUT
WITH WAS A TWO-ROOM AND THE
FOREST SERVICE HATED IT AND
EVERYBODY WAS TRYING TO GET RID
OF THEM FOR DECADES AND EMERY
FOUGHT THEM TOOTH AND NAIL UNTIL
IT FINALLY BECAME AN ICON.
NOW IT HAS BEEN RENOVATED BY THE
GRAND CANYON ASSOCIATION.


TED SIMONS: WE HAD THEM ON TO TALK
ABOUT IT.


ROGER NAYLOR: IT IS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT SHOT
AND STUDIO WHERE THEY USED TO
SHOW THE MOVIE, THE OLD
AUDITORIUM, IS NOW A WONDERFUL
KOLB EXHIBIT.
THE RESIDENTS IS THERE, A LOT
OF THE OLD FURNITURE IS THERE.
8,000 SQUARE FEET, FIVE STORIES,
23 ROOMS.
MOST OF IT WAS BUILT BY THESE
TWO BROTHERS, TOO.
IT IS ALL ANCHORED IN THE CANYON
AND THEY HAVE, I WILL TELL YOU
THIS, THEY HAVE THE GREATEST
FRONT PORCH IN THE WORLD.
WHEN YOU GET IN THAT ROOM AND
STAND THERE AND GO OH, YEAH, I
CAN SEE THIS.


TED SIMONS: WE HAVE NOT GOT MUCH
TIME LEFT.
TED SIMONS: 30 SECONDS OR SO.
YOU WRITE THESE GUYS WERE QUOTE
UTTER KNUCKLE HEADS.


ROGER NAYLOR: AND I SAY THAT WITH A THE
GREATEST AFFECTION.
THEY INSPIRE ME.
I WROTE THIS TO LET PEOPLE KNOW
YOU CAN CHASE YOUR OWN DREAMS
AND FIND A WAY.
THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS
TOURISM PHOTOGRAPHY WHEN THEY
STARTED.
THEY INVENTED THIS AND MADE
THEIR WAY.


TED SIMONS: THE AMAZING KOLB
BROTHERS OF THE GRAND CANYON.
ROGER, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE
LOOK.

Roger Naylor: Author of "The Amazing Kolb Brothers of the Grand Canyon"

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