The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34222   Message #460617
Posted By: GUEST,harpgirl
11-May-01 - 03:43 PM
Thread Name: John Hartford - Update
Subject: RE: John Hartford - Update
Thanks for the update, BB....thanks for posting that song, Pat I'm gonna sing it a few times tonight when I get off work, along with a few others...and cry

I've traveled all over to watch John perform over the years. As I may have mentioned before, one of my favorite performances of his was in the Mark Twain National Forest near Salem, Missouri, when the Dillards held their family reunion and "Real People" came to film the concerts. I was living and teaching in Arkansas. I drove up to visit with Bryan Bowers and to spend the weekend camped on the river there.

I think it was the Elk River, if I am not mistaken. There is a natural stone bridge over the river that forms a long grotto. Bruce Kaplan and Bryan and I swam through it. Bryan had a panic attack and Bruce and I had to...well that's another story...

anyway, John was scheduled to go on before sunset but he waited until the moon was full to come out. He and Homer Dillard played fiddles and danced. The stage was a gazebo, the moon was full. He told how Homer had taught him to dance and play at the same time. Homer was short and he was in his 70's then. He had his cowboy hat and his pointy cowboy boots on. John was in a bowler.

It was my thirtieth birthday and I remember it as one of the best. I had spent the weekend camping, swimming, playing autoharp, and drinking beer and telling jokes with Byron Berline. Bryan tried to introduce me to John that weekend but I ran off. I wanted him to be a mystery. We have never actually met. Now he is "headin' down into the mystery below"...not really down below though I'm sure, just across the river. He brought so much joy to so many people. I'm one of those folks...a sad harpgirl