During his last visit with us, over the 2009-2010 holiday season, Mary and I shot approximately 30 hours of footage of Joe. I've edited this footage into a documentary approximately 80 minutes long called JOE. In the documentary, Joe talks about his life, from childhood through World War II, meeting and falling in love with his future wife Joan, their three daughters, four grandchildren, Joan's death, and his life after Joan died. The documentary also includes rare family photos and film footage.
The entire documentary is now available online, for free. I've divided it into six parts and uploaded it to YouTube. The six parts are arranged in chronological order. Each part is approximately 15 minutes long, except for the final, sixth, part, which is a bit shorter.
To view the documentary, click on the arrow in the middle of each image, below. The documentary will begin playing. After each part is finished, you can return to this page and click on the next part.
If you wish to watch a larger image of the movie, once the movie starts, move your mouse to the lower right of the screen, where you'll see different symbols. Click on the right-most symbol, which looks like a square. Clicking the square will expand the size of the movie's image. If at any point you want to return to the smaller size, hit the Esc key on your keyboard.
As I said, the footage we took of Joe was edited down to 80 minutes (Joe told us he felt the ideal length would be about an hour.) Because of this paring, there is a great amount of material that is not covered, or only briefly covered, in the documentary. For example, there is very little mention in the film of Joe's years at AeroJet. This footage will later be edited into a separate mini-movie. Because of our time constraints, we wanted the documentary to be primarily about Joe's early life, and his family life.
In addition to the six-part documentary, we're also including a large number of separate, shorter films of Joe talking about his life, including a film Joe shot himself, in his home in Wauwautosa, Wisconsin. These bonus videos are located right below the six documentary sections.Part 1
Part 1 covers Joe's early childhood, the death of his father at an early age, his teenage years, the start of his lifelong friendship with Buster and Bud, and the beginnings of World War II.
Part 2 opens with Joe talking about what it was like to be in the Navy during the war, then covers how Joe, after the war, met Joan, fell in love, married her, and moved with her to California.
Part 3 is devoted to Joe talking about his three daughters. The segment includes rare family film footage shot during the sixties.
In Part 4, Joe discusses his four grandchildren. Includes a number of stories about each grandchild.
Part 5 is a filming session we did on the last full day of his visit, in which Joe talks about Joan's death. Includes rare family footage from the eighties.
Part 6 winds up the documentary. Joe reads one of Joan's poems from her website, and talks about his life after Joan. Ends with the credits for the film, interspersed with bloopers from the footage we shot.
With a natural born raconteur such as Joe, there were of course hours of footage that couldn't be fitted into the documentary itself, but were still worth seeing. I've been creating mini-movies of these outtakes, and posting them on YouTube. I'll probably be adding more as time goes by. All the clips were directed and edited by me, except the final film, of Joe in his home in Milwaukee, which was directed by Joe, and edited by me.
This first video was shot Christmas Day, 2009, in our home in Texas. Joe's wife Joan used to bake a bread in the shape of a Christmas tree, with red and green cherries at the end of each bough. After Joan's death, once Joe started spending his holidays with us, Mary continued the tradition in Texas, using Joan's original recipe.
This is an outtake from the Joe documentary. Here he's talking about a Jaguar he and Joan bought while their three daughters were still quite young.
In this video, Joe discusses his life-long love of photography.
Joe grew up during the Great Depression, and prohibition. In this outtake, he talks about a speakeasy his family used to visit.
"Joe goes AWOL"
During World War Two, Joe developed appendicitis while on the battleship Epping Forest. After his onboard appendectomy, he was transferred to a critical care tent hospital on Guadalcanal. Once he recovered, he went AWOL, wandering through the jungle, trying to get back to his ship.
This is a story Joe told us several times over the years. He always indicated he thought it was an important moment in his life, and as we were filming the documentary, he asked that it be included with the documentary materials.
We're happy to add it now.
We're adding a brand new Joe video, "Joe in Algeria".
During Joe's years of working at AeroJet, he frequently had to travel around the world to attend different rocket launches. The Algerian launch was one of his favorites, even though he did get into a run-in with the French Foreign Legion over a practical joke.
We hope you enjoy it.
This final video is one Joe shot himself, when he returned to his home in Wauwatosa after his 2009-2010 stay with us in Texas. I took the raw footage he shot and edited it into this short film. I hope you enjoy it.
To see tributes to Joe written by those who knew and loved him, please go here.