Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Pilgrimage to Stetson Kennedy's house

Last week-end, while visiting friends in Jacksonville, we made a pilgrimage to Stetson Kennedy's house. Most people haven't heard of Stetson Kennedy, which is a shame. He was a pioneering folklorist, and his most famous protege is perhaps Zora Neale Hurston (who had slipped into obscurity, before the efforts of Alice Walker and others to restore her reputation). Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Klan and unmasked them. He was a tireless Civil Rights worker, as you might expect from someone brave enough to expose the Klan. Woody Guthrie was a friend of Stetson's, and there is a room in this lakeside cabin that has Woody memorabilia.

Here's a view of the side of the cabin--lush beauty!

We saw this in the Woody Guthrie memorabilia room, and it looks like his style, but I can't guarantee it (the signature at the bottom makes me doubt myself, yet Seaman might be a Woody alias from when he served in the Merchant Marine). The rifle is labeled "race hate" and the tag line at the top says, "Now you just pull that trigger . . . "

Here I am, sitting at on the deck railing. I wish I had taken all the bulky stuff out of my pockets, but oh well. So I look like I have strange thighs. I still like the composition.

I love these mosaic birdhouses, which hang in the trees amidst the Spanish moss. Some day, I hope to use these in a poem. Or would this image make a good book cover?

Here's a plaque which commemorates what Woody Guthrie accomplished at Stetson's house.
(all photos taken by Carl Berkey-Abbott)

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