Grandpa bought a salmon at Celilo Falls


Every one of my husband’s siblings has one of these little black and white photos. It’s blurry and washed out, but Grandpa Tom Boothby has a salmon in his hand. Whenever my husband sees this photo, he explains how when he was a little kid, Indians used to fish at Celilo falls, but then they put in a dam which flooded the falls and ended the fishing. Apparently from before time began, the Indians fished this way; with plank scaffolds perching them above the falls. But the photo just didn’t show much, so, impressed by his zeal, I always listened to the story but failed to connect. I decided that was not enough. It would be so much better to place grandpa in front of a waterfall that could be seen. And here he is. In the painting,it was rather surprising to see just how much my husband resembles his grandfather; and actually, my husband is about the same age now as his grandfather is depicted in this painting.

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4 thoughts on “Grandpa bought a salmon at Celilo Falls”

  1. Celilo Falls is a very special concept that should be kept alive. My father took me the see the Bonneville Dam when I was 12 year’s old and he talked about the “heroic” fish who throw themselves at the dam trying to get up stream to spawn. The strength of these creatures is amazing.

    We are the only nation in the world who float corn down the Columbia River (in barges from U.S. farms to the world markets) and truck fish. (Fingerlings are trucked down river around the dam in an attempt to save the salmon)

    I am glad your painting brings a personal perspective to this spot and preserves memories. Thank you

  2. Mimi, prima ancora di leggere quello che accompagna il dipinto di
    granpa Tom e appena vista l’immagine mi sono detta e’ preciso a
    Donato!
    poi ho visto anche l’immagine del presidente Obama e le altre
    immagini: devo dire che mi sorprende la tua bravura nei ritratti. in
    questo campo secondo me dai il meglio del tuo lavoro. Ogni lavoro e’
    curato, bello,ma i visi, le espressioni delle persone sono veramente
    sorprendenti, sembra di vedere le persone in carne ed ossa, veramente
    vive davanti a te!

  3. I never knew anything about Grandpa, so thank you for sharing about his hobbies. Having lived in the The Dalles for so many years has made me love the river. The Discovery Center there is a perfect place to look at all the pictures and watch moving video accounts of life there pre-dams. My own father, his oldest son, shared the love of photography and the outdoors. This has been a trip down memory lane, and your rendition of Grandpa is certainly lovely!

  4. Grandpa Boothby was 52 when he died. I’m now 58. I never spoke a word until I was two years old, and Grandpa “Snazzy” was the first person I talked to, or so I’ve been told all my life. Grandpa was an avid photographer and outdoorsman, full of life spirit. You have captured him well, in one of his favorite places.

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