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Title Oral History of Gary Yost
Collection Oral History
Scope & Content In this oral history, filmmaker and visual storyteller Gary Yost recounts a life of openness to the opportunities that arise, devotion to Mount Tamalpais as his spiritual home and creative muse, and commitment to a place-based though temporally-extended sense of community. Born in 1959 in Bergen County, New Jersey, Gary left the East Coast at the age of 19, driven westward by an especially intense winter spent in Boston. He settled in San Francisco, where in 1978 he met his wife, Sondra. In this oral history he recalls the first time they came over together to Marin to go hiking on Mt. Tam and the paradise he felt that he had found. Gary describes how he got interested in microcomputing in the early 1980s and became a successful graphics software designer. After selling his company in 1997, he and Sondra moved over to Mill Valley, and Gary began a three-year period of heavy hiking on Mt. Tam that led to his volunteering as a fire lookout on the East Peak. Gary recounts how he got back into photography — the passion of his youth — when daughter Ruby started kindergarten at Greenwood School, and how by the late 2000s he was yearning to make a film expressing his love for Mt. Tam. He discusses in-depth the making of his first film A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout as well as Invisible Peak and Song of the Last Place from his West Peak trilogy. Throughout this oral history Gary shares his wisdom on being present to life, the experiences of individual finitude and deep-time, the mystery and joy of creativity, and the value of family and community.
Audio and Transcript Click here to hear recording.
Click here to read the transcript.
Dates of Creation 2016-05-25
Narrator's name Yost, Gary
Interviewer Schwartz, Debra
Extent and Medium Transcript: 36pp
Recording: 02:10:25
Search Terms A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout
Computer-aided designs
Coyote, Peter
Dillon, Jimmy
Filmmakers - Marin County
Greenwood School
Hirshfield, Jane
Mt. Tamalpais
One Tam
Swezy, Mike
Tamalpais Lands Collaborative
The Invisible Peak
Webb, Sky Road
Yost, Sondra
Object ID 2016.042.001
Object Name Recording
Copyrights Transcript and recording copyright Mill Valley Public Library, 2016. Materials are made available for research purposes only; all rights are reserved to the Mill Valley Public Library. Requests for permission to quote for publication or for any other usage must be obtained from the Library.