The Bitter Southerner Rides Some Wild Miles with John Ruskey

Writer Boyce Upholt and Photographer Rory Doyle team up for something spectacular

The Bitter Southerner

The Bitter Southerner

By Poor William –

“The wilderness is the window of our souls, and water our smoothest passage through.” — John Ruskey, From “River Gator,” as published in I am Coyote: Readings from the Wild

A timely, online publication started in 2013 called The Bitter Southerner just shared a wonderfully written, spectacularly photographed article about Delta Bohemian friend, John Ruskey, founder of Quapaw Canoe Company.

Boyce Upholt, who has penned two appreciated feature stories about the Delta Bohemian Guest House and Delta Bohemian Back Road Excursions for Delta Magazine, wrote the perspicacious piece bucolically photographed by Rory Doyle, who willingly shares his keen eye and vivid photography of the Delta’s many subjects with its many subjects via, Facebook, Instagram, and other photojournalistic outlets.

Upholt and Doyle understand the Delta, its people, and their relationship to land and overlapping cultures. In addition to their separate ventures, the two have teamed up and formed the cleverly named Upror Media, specializing in high-quality storytelling, in words and images. Check ‘em out!

Southerners and non-Southerners who appreciate and/or despise the South should check out The Bitter Southerner’s every Tuesday story via their online newsletter or website. The lone weekly tale is always well written, prescient in its understanding of Southern complexities and continuities, showing great respect for tradition with an ever-mindful lean toward change.

Bitter Southerner Editor in Chief Chuck Reece defines the journals purpose “to explore, from every angle we can, the duality of the Southern thing.” Reece writes, “You see, the South is a curiosity to people who aren’t from here. Always has been. Open up your copy of Faulkner’s 1936 masterpiece, Absalom, Absalom! Find the spot where Quentin Compson’s puzzled Canadian roommate at Harvard says to him, ‘Tell about the South. What it’s like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.’”

Please enjoy The Bitter Southerner’s informative, flowing piece exactly photographed about one of the finest, respectful men I know and his passion for the river, which connects us all. Thank you John Ruskey! Your carbon footprint may be small but your preservative life influence on those (flora, fauna, and mankind) fortunate enough to briefly share your orb is demonstrable.

Tidbit: Kyle Tibbs Jones, co-founder of The Bitter Southerner, gave birth to her first child in an adjoining labor and delivery room to Magical Madge when she gave birth to her first child. Small world.  😎  😎 

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Friends of the Delta Bohemian®


  1. Thanks, Billy! We loved being on the river and thought John’s story deserved some hard work. We hope it shows!

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