What the Mississippi River Means to Me
I left the Mississippi as an adult, but it never left me.
“Heaven on Earth”: Shantyboats Go to Hollywood Again
Film director Russell Mack’s Heaven on Earth (Universal Studios, December 1, 1931), based on Ben Lucien Burman’s 1929 novel, Mississippi, reintroduced American moviegoers to the world of the Mississippi River poor. The movie was released eleven years after King Vidor’s silent shantyboat film, The Jack-Knife Man. When Mack scouted filming locations, Harry Pollard, director of…
Shantyboats and Roustabouts Author Interviewed on Bookmarked, Jan. 3, 2023
On January 3, 2023, I appeared on Priscilla Vance Leder’s Bookmarked program on KZSM Radio in San Marcos, Texas. We covered a wide range of engaging issues raised by my new book, Shantyboats and Roustabouts: The River Poor of St. Louis, 1875-1930. Click on the start button if you’d like to listen to the conversation.
My New Book Is Out
It’s now official. In a nice surprise at the mailbox today, I received an advance copy of my new book from LSU Press. Thanks for your support and interest in those who lived and labored on the Mississippi River and its tributaries in the era of Mark Twain and beyond. I believe their voices and…
Shantyboats in Early Hollywood: The Jack Knife Man
“I’ll be decent. I’ll go straight from now on.”
Shantyboat Standoff Against Anheuser-Busch
“This is my home and I intend to defend it. All that it contains is the toil of years. If anyone attempts to pull my houseboat off without due process of law, I’ll kill the one who attempts it.”
Abortion on Four Mile Island
“If your wife will listen to Ida you folks won’t have any more children.”
A Kentucky Shantyboat Baby
“From the shack he and mother moved to the shanty boat, so that he could make a living fishing. . . He was a Cherokee Indian and my mother was half-Seminole and half-black.”
Rose Mosenthein was a pioneer in women’s competitive rowing and aquatic sports at a time when rowing clubs denied membership to women.
Shantyboat River Fiddler
“The children love the old man. They become his friends in whatever cove he lands; in every floating village, he is ‘grandpa.’ He plays for them and tells them wonderful tales of the river—the great wonderful river which they live on but know little about.”