Driftwood Johnnie – aka Delta Bohemian John Ruskey – is featured in the Oxford American SoLost: Flood Zen


A wild pig running across the only remaining sand in 300 miles of river -- see the splash in the middle of the silhouettes. Photo by Delta Bohemian John Ruskey

A wild pig running across the only remaining sand in 300 miles of river — see the splash in the middle of the silhouettes. Photo by Delta Bohemian John Ruskey

Delta Bohemian Driftwood Johnnie is featured in the The Oxford American

– F l o o d Z e n –


The Oxford American’s Dave Anderson published a video of Delta Bohemian and Quapaw Canoe Company owner John Ruskey canoeing on the Mississippi River during it’s recent historical crest. Take a trip with Johnnie via Video and then REALLY take a trip with Johnnie with your very own Quapaw Canoe Company Excursion. You’ll be glad you did.

Read with interest Ruskey’s preface before viewing the video. Enjoy!

Dave,  I love the flow of your film, Flood Zen, the sounds of water flowing throughout, the flow of the images and the Twain excerpts, its like a slow blues, very lyrical & full of contrasts between light & dark, the early morning light on the open channel is magical, everything is suffused with a glowing that seems to come from within (some inner spirit) rather than without (the sun & the river reflections) which you so adeptly recorded and shared.

This experience is unique to the crest when the river swells to its fullness, everything seems to rejoice in the water or at least be enthralled by it, the trees especially and the birds.  Again, thank you for bringing the river some balanced attention for the world to see —  the river has been getting so much bad press lately, reading the papers or watching the news — it makes you want to go out & build a levee!  — and wall the river more from the places its accustomed to spreading out in.

Of course, this is the very source of most of the high water is that we have walled the river off from the wetlands & low places it used to flood into and be absorbed into.  New Orleans used to be protected by a 3-foot levee.  Most press makes it sound like a war zone out there with an evil tidal wave intent on wrecking the civilization of the Deep South.

In reality the flood was mostly scenes of serene beauty and quiet submission which you let flow in your Flood Zen. Thousands of humans lost their homes, and are temporarily laid off.  That’s a challenge for sure.  But if there is any real tragedy its in the animal kingdom — the animals got the worst of it — millions of animals lost their homes, deer, beaver, coyotes, wild pigs, turtles, everything got swept away and it will take years to recover.

by Driftwood Johnnie (aka John Ruskey)

Enjoy reading Dave Anderson’s Light Headed blog currently featuring his FLOOD ZEN post.


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  1. thanks for sharing that with us. i might not have seen it without your website.

    thanks to dave and john.


  2. Ditto, Jimbo.

  3. Incredible man, incredible river, incredible photography, incredible video! Thank you Driftwood Johnnie, you have added so much to the understanding and research of an enigmatic and unknown important part of America’s existence and sustenance! Poor William

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