Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

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Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby some seeing eye » Wed May 30, 2012 4:04 pm

The story of the Tuna Guys camp is Burning Man legend.

As many of you know, Capt. Jim Peterson, founder of the camp, was lost at sea last year. He went down with his ship, but kept her steady so the other two crew where able to be rescued.

The Tuna Guys camp is making a memorial boat to Capt. Jim to be burned at Burning Man this year. You can become involved at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605 ... n?ref=live and can keep in touch as the memorial is built on the Facebook page. And of course, if you are on the playa, share your memories at the memorial burn!


From Jessica Bruder, author of Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, from http://www.smithmag.net/2007/08/21/an-i ... ning-book/

"But my favorite Burning Man story is a quieter one.

It began in 1998, when an Oregon fisherman showed up in the desert with 1,300 pounds of tuna loins. That was a bad year for fishermen in the Pacific Northwest; a global glut made tuna all but worthless. So 63-year-old “Cap’n” Jim Peterson from Coos Bay packed his entire catch in a U-Haul with ice and drove it out to Nevada. He figured he’d sell it to the revelers at Burning Man.

Jim had seen some pictures from the festival the year before. These were wild scenes, folks slathered from head to toe in mud, cavorting gleefully as if they’d never been in the middle of such a delightful mess. He figured all that running around must work up an appetite. Even mud-people have to eat. Maybe they would buy his tuna?

Jim drove 450 miles to Burning Man, only to learn that vending is against the rules there (and bad etiquette, too). So he started a marathon barbecue session. He served his tuna to everyone in sight. He ended up giving it all away.

Now, every year at Burning Man, Jim and his friends—nicknamed “The Tuna Guys”—bring hundreds of pounds of fish to cook and share with everyone. And it’s not easy for them; they’ve had their share of misadventures. Their rattletrap pickups and Volkswagens always seem to break down on the long drive to the festival. And the Nevada health department has hounded them so much, their camp has practically become a seafood speakeasy.

I love his story, because it offers insight about the kind of dedication and generosity the festival seems to bring out in some people. These days, the mere mention of Burning Man conjures up visions of tech-savvy hipsters baying at the moon and gyrating around the desert in hot pink fake-fur loincloths. That stuff bores me. And that’s why I love the Tuna Guys’ story—it’s less about the Burning Man stereotype, more about the potluck style of participation that makes the event so fascinating."
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby ChefDave » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:14 am

Thanks for posting this...Everyone remember our Kickstarter fundraiser helps to make Black Rock City a happier place!!1 Donate!!! :-)












)
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:57 pm

Thanks for posting, though it's worth adding that much of the myth surrounding their health department headaches had more to do with them not even trying to register. The health department process is far less scary or expensive than had been imagined, and according to one of the speakers at the Theme Camp Summit inFebruary, Tuna Guys are planning to 'go legit' on the health dept. permit this year.

Hooray for this tribute to Cap'n Jim, and hooray for everything the Tuna Guys camp does.
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby lemur » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:20 pm

yes the health dept isnt so scary... but.. they do expect you to have applied for a permit before the event, when it is paid for... they arent exactly set up to give permits at the event... they do inspections at the event...

if youve not applied beforehand theyll probably not want you serving things as your pre-event application gives them notice of what youll be serving...and its likely part of the payments go to knowing how many resources the dept needs to devote to the event

once you HAVE applied for a permit pre-event.. the inspection process is simple.. and they arent there to shut you down.. they are there to keep you open and safe.. theyll do what they can to make you able to serve..

my experience with the health dept is that theyll go out of their way to make sure you can serve food safely

..with that in mind i dont really get the whole off-the-radar hiding from the health dept thing... and when i was listening to the theme camp forum I was glad to hear the tuna guys going 'legit' in 2012..perhaps that might be an example for others to do it

if it wasnt for having to pay the money... im not sure why anyone wouldnt be proud to show the health dept that yep.. they are doing it right and serving food safely
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:44 pm

While you can't apply for a permit on-playa, you can pick up the permit (that you registered for in advance) on playa. Registered camps stay tuned for more info on getting a permit from a placement team email, evrybody else stay tuned for info that will be posted to JRS as well as ePlaya.
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby ChefDave » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:15 am

No disrespect here to anyone...but I am kinda sorry to see a discussion about trying to fundraise for Jims memorial turn into a discussion about our relationship with the board of health. Moderator: feel free to delete any of these posts.

The situation with the BOH is, in my mind, very unfortunate. I personally will be dealing with them this year and making sure that all involved are satisfied that we are doing thing in accordance with the requirements of BMORG and the Nevada BOH. Anyone wants to msg me pvt and I will explain why this has not happened in the past, but I don't feel that a public forum is an appropriate place to air dirty laundry. Suffice to say that we are making positive changes for the benefit of everyone involved and we will again be the favorite bastard stepchild of the Burning man organization.

The point here is that Jim's generosity has fed so many people over these years and this years tragic event should demonstrate what the Tuns Guys really do to bring our brand of fun to the Playa.... risk Death.

I'll bet the tea guy doesn't risk his life to bring teabags to the Playa, nor do 99% of BM participants. What the Tuna Guys do is extraordinary. But we don't stand around gathering praise. Jim's humility coupled with his generosity have created an extraordinary environment at BM and we would not trade that for the world.

We will need help this year to bring Tuna Camp to the Playa. Our Kickstarter fundraiser will determine out level of participation not just for this years event, but for everything that happens henceforth. There was talk of ending Tuna Camp after Jim passed, especially after our camp got 9% of the tickets we needed, but that has changed and we are looking positively forward to burning a boat and throwing Tuna at the crowd as we have for so many years. At this writing, I am a bit disappointed that donations haven't come in faster. Literally tens of thousands of people have feasted at Tuna Camp over these 14 years, if each person eho ever ate at Tuna Camp donated a buck...we'd be golden.

We absolutely appreciate everything our BM brothers and sisters do for us and I hope we reach our goal this year to build a memorial to Jim and get to greet all of our friends as they visit us at Tuna Camp (if they can find us).

BUT...if it's possible, please make a donation to Jim's memory and help us do our thing on the Playa. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605 ... n?ref=live

Thanks again for everyone's help.And thanks for your input, guys. Tuna Guys love you.
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:18 am

I have to second ChefDave on this. That article I mentioned was written in 2007 and things with the health dept. are much changed.

This thread could be a chance to share some experiences with the Tuna Guys.

I have so many memories of trying to find the camp. They were never on the charts! It gives you an idea of the challenges of sea navigation in the old days! They also often had some crazy twisty back way into the camp. Sometimes they flew a pirate flag, so once you found the general area, that's how you navigated. Then there was trying to figure out when they would be cooking - on playa time! (#burningmanproblem)

They build a huge personal network of camps and friends over the years by generosity and being themselves.
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby trilobyte » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:32 am

So true…. in fact, I've never actually made it to their camp. One year I came close - they were camped near where my camp was located I spent most of the week swamped in a struggling project, and my free time/meal time never seemed to coincide with what they were doing. But my gf and I are happy to have contributed, and are hopeful that you guys are on track to meet or exceed your goal. And hopefully the timing works out that we'll be able make it to the potluck as well :-)
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby KVELDULFSSON » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:41 pm

I was fortunate enough to land in Tuna Camp the first time I came to the playa. The guys & gals of Tuna Camp are the most wonderful characters I have had the opportunity to meet. The amount of generosity present within this group is just about beyond belief. Last year there were only a couple of the fishermen in the group who were able to come, but they brought a huge cooler of tuna, and a second-year campmate kicked in with another cooler full to help us make it an unforgettable time, once again.
This past December our Captain went down with his fishing boat while heading out on a crab trip. To comemorate this extraordinary person who started our camp and brought us all together the whole group has decided to pull together and make a memorial to him that we can share with all of you, and in the spirit of participation we are asking everyone who can to help us with our kickstarter campaign so we can make it as great an event as possible. We are itching to burn something!
I contributed to the kickstarter fund once and I may up my contribution if I'm able to. I would encourage everyone who is able to contribute as soon as possible and pass this request on to any interested parties. It only runs for 23 more days and we have some really interesting rewards for our backers! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605458513/remembering-capn-jim-at-burningman?ref=live
Cheers!
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:20 am

I have always met some of the greatest people at the Tuna Guys camp. While standing in line and chatting with them, the Tuna Guys put us to work - they added a ginger teriyaki sauce to zip loc bags with about a pound each of just thawing albacore and we passed the bags from one to another massaging them. Albacore sashimi. Let's just say it was the tastiest thing I've ever had on the playa!

So head on over to the Kickstarter and find out mor about the project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605 ... n?ref=live

And pass the word on to your other burner friends!
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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:24 am

Another great memory of the Tuna Guys camp was that they attracted top notch professional guest chefs. So every year, I'd bring a variety of unusual sauces and marinades, which better cooks than I could incorporate with the fish. And of course a bottle fine spirits for the Captain to share with the crew!

Take a look here http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605 ... n?ref=live The descriptions of the payoffs for contributing are pretty funny!
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Tuna Guys Kickstarter Fundraiser

Postby ChefDave » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:15 am

You probably don't know me. But chances are better that you know US...The Tuna Guys. We are doing a Kickstarter fundraiser for our Burning Boat project at Burning Man this year called "Remembering Cap'n Jim.

I hope my Black Rock brothers and sisters and close friends understand that this is my fundraiser for a good friend who lost his life last December. This isn't an invitation to a party. I'm finding that some people think it is just that and haven't even read it. Cap'n Jim was very good to me and to so many people around him who have become part of my life.

Losing a good friend is just part of life, I will lose you all, and you all will lose me, but knowing this doesn't make things any easier to deal with. This is just the sadness of life.

I live far away from my good Tuna Guy Friends, I can't just stop over someones place and cry with them or express the emptiness I feel over this stupid accident, so I have to do whatever I can for everyone who shares this loss so we can all grieve when we are together again for a few days once a year.

My journey through life has brought me to this moment of expression and I have chosen to express myself by building this memorial to a friend of everyone who has ever attended Burning Man, and a good friend of ours, The Tuna Guys.

But we need help. We need cash donations to achieve our goal of creating a memorial that will live for a very long time in the hearts and minds of so many who have shared Jims generosity and unselfishness over these years.

Please, my friends, help me and help my friends The Tuna Guys make this a successful endeavor. Please help us reach our goal as this fast approaching deadline looms.

Every dollar counts, It all adds up. We NEED to be successful with this, *I* need to be successful with this. Please help me (us) here and donate whatever you can. A small sacrifice on your part will bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. Be as generous as you can and I will make it up to you if I need to.

It is very possible that this memorial is the biggest and most meaningful thing that I have done so far in my life...help me do it.

Love and Kisses....

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Re: Memorial For Capt. Jim of the Tuna Guys at 2012 Burn

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:55 pm

Hey I know eplaya commenters are not the wealthiest. But I have to say, that fisher peeps are not either. But they bring us food.

Here is the story. A crazy guy connected to BM by accident, and learned he could gift fresh fish he and his crew caught in the ocean. The seas are a risk, serious risk. He drowned last year when his ship went down but saving his crew. http://theworldlink.com/news/local/article_3af7ae92-b206-5d47-8490-b7901f44a665.html Not too many BM projects can claim that heritage or 10 years of contributing!

So if you want to send some participation to this project, of true proven givers to the event over more years most peeps have attended, you have a short time. Plus their rewards are epic!

I know many readers are allergic to KS, but this is more a heart centered project in the true BM spirit.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/605 ... n?ref=live
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