Mississippi River Great Books Seminar Openings

Quapaw Canoe Company & Search for the Healthy City team up with Huck & Jim

Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey ©2011 The Delta Bohemian®

Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey ©2011 The Delta Bohemian®

By POOR WILLIAM

Clarksdale, Mississippi

Have you been searching for a salubrious, multi-day adventure in the Mississippi Delta that includes Socratic discussion of seminal Western literature, camping and canoeing on the Mississippi River in a 30-foot-long cypress canoe, and a stay in the oldest extant home in Clarksdale, Mississippi, all during the Tennessee Williams Festival? Well, have ya? If so, there is a Delta deal for you…I ain’ lyin’!

Talk about intriguing! The Huck “n” Jim Mississippi River Great Books Seminar is off-the-modern-day chain. Mark Twain and Herman Melville would show up in corporeal form if they could, but they will be with us in spirit and in word.

The Great Books Program at St. John's College comes to Mississippi

The Great Books Program at St. John’s College comes to Mississippi

Seriously, what an incredible, paradoxical manifestation of bucolic intrigue is before you. Quapaw Canoe Company and something called Search for the Healthy City will be co-laboring on alluvial sands with time-tested literature focusing on individual and collective health. All this will serendipitously happen the first week of October 2014 during the Tennessee Williams Festival in downtown Clarksdale, typically a beautiful time of year in the Mississippi Delta.

(CLICK HERE for Itinerary and Registration Form)

There will be canoeing, camping, dancing, voluntary singing, reading, pontificating and discussion on the very river where Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer and Jim drew physical, emotional and aesthetic sustenance.

Your guides will all be St. John’s College alums. St. John’s College was founded in 1696 and has campuses in Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM. It’s Great Books Program offers a four-year, non-elective program in which students read, discuss, and write about the seminal works that have shaped the world in which we live.

Clarksdale-based Quapaw Canoe Company’s John Ruskey, river rat, Renaissance man, rugged-yet-sublimely-gentle individualist, will be one of your fearless moderators along with fellow St. John’s graduates Jim Bailey, Healthy City president, who teaches doctors-in-training how to improve health systems and Paul Cooley, assistant to the Dean at St. John’s College in Santa Fe and a graduate of its master of arts Eastern Classics Program.

Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey on the Mississippi River

Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey on the Mississippi River

Teaser: A couple of years ago another erstwhile friend of Ruskey and St. John’s graduate stayed at the Clark House for a couple of days. Intrigued about the college (I lived in New Mexico for 12 years) and about the enigmatic Clarksdale icon, Driftwood Johnnie Ruskey, I asked him what John was like in college. He said as soon as class let out for the week John would just take off running into the desert for the weekend. I asked this fella what he did for amenities. He said, “John creates his own amenities!”

You just can’t get this in New York City! This is a not-to-be-missed trip. Check it out! They have a few slots left. Go to Huck “n” Jim Mississippi River Great Books Seminar and tell ‘em Poor William sent ya! I hope to be on the excursion and for sure will be greeting you as you check in at the Clark House Residential Inn prior to the Tennessee Williams festival reception. Cheers and may the river be with you! Come on!

Lower Mississippi River Trail painting by John Ruskey

Lower Mississippi River Trail painting by John Ruskey

Mr. Lil John, Driftwood Johnnie and Poor William swimming in the Mississippi River

Mr. Lil John, Driftwood Johnnie and Poor William swimming in the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River in the Mississippi Delta. Photo by Delta Bohemian

The Mississippi River in the Mississippi Delta. Photo by Delta Bohemian

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Comments

  1. Thanks Billy for this heartfull writing for “Huck n Jim!” The conversation will sure be spiced up by your passion and involvement… Sorry I didn’t talk more at the Juan WIlliams book talk, I had just sat on Ms. Rhymes glass of fruit punch and had a mess to clean up!!!

  2. What a great story Billy! Thank you for spreading the word about the exciting plans of “Huckleberry” John Ruskey, this old Jim, and our good friends gathering on the river for a wild adventure. A wonderful group of people from all over the country are converging on Clarksdale to see what we can learn from Huck and Jim and the great Mississippi River to foster good living along the way. Look forward to seeing you there.

  3. Juanito, no worries, John McKee and I have made a lifelong habit of spilling every single thing we touch on a daily basis! 🙂

    Jim, can’t wait to meet you and the crew! Gonna be a blast! Cheers! Billy 🙂

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