Hoot, hoot, hoot! These pieces were written at Hoot on the Root, a funky music festival put on by some driftless area friends in celebration of good music & art, and in memory of Mark Kneeskern, who tragically died in late August and otherwise would have been hootin’ with us in person. Now that I’ve partaken in Hoot on the Root (which he co-founded and planned)–where I heard his music, saw his art, hung out with his friends, and picked up his book–I feel like I can call him a friend. If you need a good book for this rainy fall weather, I recommend Mark’s book “The Last American Hitchhiker”–true tales written in a voice that feels very nearby, as though he’s telling these stories out loud to a living room audience, rapt with attention. I’m reminded of people I met, and stories gathered, while traveling somewhat in the same timespan as Mark! I’m devouring this book at the moment–err, will be, again–after I finish this blog post.
The person who asked for this poem wanted nothing in particular, so I just painted a portrait. And Raj Montage (great local band!) and the Root River happened to be in it., as well as the chainsaw artists’s eagle carving.
In honor of Patrick and Mark and everyone WHO made this happen.
Straight ahead is the stage, where the crowd rushed from this fire to hear The Betsies and many other bands. This served as a warming area between sets. Of the three fires on the festival grounds, I was drawn to this one at this moment. It must have been the log in the front with what looks to me like an exaggerated hitchhiker’s hand.
The fence is on the bank of the gorge-ous Root River.
A couple of links for the interested:
Slant Avenue Mercantile, a neat little shop worthy of a roadtrip, owned by Patrick, co-planner of Hoot on the Root: http://slantavenue.com/
Mark Kneeskern’s website with stories, art, and other pieces of the legend: http://www.americaneyeball.com/