The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75754 Message #1334151
Posted By: Joybell
20-Nov-04 - 10:33 PM
Thread Name: tales of Pat Dunford
Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
hildebrand here. I remember Pat fondly. Somebody -- probably Joe Hickerson -- brought him to our place in Bloomington around 1963. Pat at that time was living in Indianapolis with his mother. Pat was in his mid teens, but already going on collecting trips down south. Too young to drive, he traveled by bus, and carried a spray-bottle of alcohol and ammonia to disinfect southern toilet seats. As Pat grew older he became a great fan of Jonathon Winters, and had his whole crowd of cronies doing Winters impressions all the time. In the mid 60s, a lot of us were getting the new Japanese motorcycles, and Pat bought himself a Honda 350. One day he said to me, "How come everybody else's bike sounds like a freight train, and mine sounds like a sewing machine?" Of course I got The Morning of 1845 from Pat, but I don't think he really liked my rendition. It sounded too modern to his ears. But Pat's purpose was to communicate a living folk culture to the world, and mine wasn't.
Pat was on that Honda when he rode in front of a truck in 1967. He was blind drunk and could never remember it happening. The girl riding pillion suffered multiple fractures of the legs, and Pat lost one of his own legs. He made a joke of his missing leg, and worked on a comic routine where he played the "helpless cripple". I lost contact with him -- and lots of other friends -- when I returned to Europe in 1969, and it wasn't until I came to Australia 7 years later that I learned -- from a magazine story -- that he had died.
Good to hear from you, Art. All the best, Hildebrand