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THE MAKING OF POWER FOR THE PARKINSONS
by Dr. Ephraim K. Smith

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While one would expect that Bill (who gives the impression in the film of being no fool) would have been unlikely to allow strangers to film into his family life without some compensation, there were probably other motivations also at work. Life on a farm involved a lot of routine and drudgery. This new experience of working with a film crew could be an interesting diversion. Indeed, Bip and Ruth, the two youngest Parkinson children, enjoyed the experience so much that they did not want to attend school when shooting was underway. Robert Snyder (in an interview filmed for Power for the Parkinsons) also noted that Bill, like many of those farmers who were among the first to get electricity, was undoubtedly proud of that fact. As an early supporter of rural electrification, he took pride in helping that program along. Yet, while the Parkinsons obviously enjoyed this new experience, their prominence in the final film does not seem to have changed their essentially modest personalities. Life quickly returned to normal for the Parkinsons. With the passage of time, few in the community even remembered that the family had been featured in Power and the Land.



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