This interview with young Cody Parker was conducted in 2005 on Bobby Parker’s front porch in the Mojave Preserve. Bobby was trenching a new water line with his privately-owned water directly adjacent to his cabin when Ranger Dingman, with the National Park Service arrived with another ranger. Dingman demanded that Bobby stop trenching and pulled his gun out. Bobby’s adopted dad, Leo Spatziani, saw what was happening and went to his pickup truck, pulled out his rifle, held it up in the air and told the rangers to leave. A few days later, Leo was arrested for assaulting a federal officer and ultimately convicted. The then 66 year old spent six months in prison. This is an excerpt from one of the interviews with Cody recalling what had happened. The interview sound bite itself is unedited, so you hear Ms. Catania’s voice in the background.
I’ve wrestled about whether or not to publish this video, but as a journalist, I believe that all sides of a story should be told. So, you be the judge. This was filmed at a public event (Superintendent Mary Martin’s retirement from the Mojave Preserve) with government employees (most from the Park Service) so permission is not needed to publish.
Since 2002, I’ve been traveling the United States of America interviewing people, primarily ranchers and farmers, about their lives, their land, their families. It started out being a film about cowboy poetry, but soon morphed into something else as I learned how difficult it has been for them to keep their businesses alive and prosperous. These interviews are being posted here unedited, just as they were recorded, so you can listen and formulate your own opinion about what is happening in this country. Please come here with love in your heart and a generous spirit. We welcome you!