Hey there Campers;
Well what a historic time we had at the Greenwood Culture Center. We venture on to the Woody Guthrie Center. Imagine the lady on the front desk is from Santa Rosa, CA. She has lived in Tulsa 4 years. Yep you got it. She would love to go home but her husband got a wonderful transfer here so she is learning to live with hot and cold.
He was born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie after the president in 1912. He only wanted to be called Woody. The reason the center is able to exist is because his 2nd wife Marjorie Mazia Guthrie held on to everything. Woody met her when she was with a New York dance troop. Woody was a carefree guy. He only worried about his music and paintings. He had 3 wives and 4 kids. She must have really loved him since she was the one taking care of him when he died.
Woody was one of America's greatest folksingers and most influential songwriters. Although he was born in Okemah, OK he felt like his true home was all of America. Woody's song celebrate the beauty and bounty of America. He wanted to seek the truth about our country and its people. He turned complex ideas about democracy, human rights and economic equality into simple songs that all Americans could embrace. He spoke for those who carried a heavy burden or had come upon hard times. His words gave a voice to their struggle, and his songs gave them hope and strength.
He wrote songs about the Dust Bowl. Did you know the dust bowl was a man made problem? I always thought it was just the drought. It was the worst ecological disaster in the US in the 20th century. The government was paying the farmers to produce. The farmers got greedy and over planted and not rotating the crops. So dust storms from the Dakotas blew dirt.. As most know, the Midwest is mainly flat. Large acres of land became a dust bowl. This unfortunately happen at the same time as the Great Depression. On April 14, 1935 the dust storms were so bad that by noon everything was dark. It was the worst day of the dust bowl. People could not see or breath. It really broke the spirit of many folks. Thousands of families pulled up stakes and left their dusty farms. Many headed west to California. They were hoping for a new at the American dream. Wood was one of those Okies that hit the road and leave the hard time behind. I cannot imagine constant dirt in everything. If you want more info on the dust bowl, get the Ken Burns documentary.
Woody kept a scrapbook of his writing. He was an unusual songwriter. He would write the lyrics but would sing them to a current song.
The center is very interactive On the map of the US, you can touch the icons to tell you what Woody's thoughts were on a issue.
Woody headed to Cally by hitchhiking, hopped on freight trains, and walking. You got to do what you got to do to get ahead.
He met many people in his travels. He would always right a song about issues he saw.
He wrote songs for films.
He also has awards for his music.
Woody was a restless person and was always looking for new adventures.
He had health issues as he suffered from Huntington Disease. This is a hereditary disease. He knew his mother had a disease but he chose not to know if he had it or not. He just kept running from it until it just over took him. He was diagnosed in the early 1950's. However his final years were spent battling the disease.
He had many people who admired him. Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Kingston Trio just to name a few.
Woody played many guitars. But this one found in a thrift store in Seattle proved to be one of his.
As you go through the center they have interactive sections of Woody's life.
Many followed in Woody's steps
This Land is Your Land was one of Woody's most popular songs. The pavilion in the middle of the center has a recording of many who have sang this song. Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello, Joan Baez, Crosby & Nash, Smothers Bros.,
Woody was a talented visual artist. He started out as a sign painter in Pampa, TX and a cartoonist in LA & NYC. His style varied from traditional landscapes to portraits and experimental multi-media pieces. On the outside of This Land room are all Woody's drawings made out of tin.
Huddie Ledbetter was one of the people Woody use to love to sing and perform with. It did not matter to Woody that he was black. Wood spelled his name as Lead Belly and that is how the world knew him. He played the blues, folk songs, gospels and Negro spirituals. Many people sang his song. Creedence Clearwater Revivals, Led Zeppelin, Little Richard, Frank Sinatra and many more.
The center also had a traveling Bob Marley display. Marley was a activists in his only right. He died at a early age of 36 since he got cancer and due to his religion he did not seek treatment.
Across from the center is Guthrie Green. During the summer they have something the park on most nights. They were setting up for a Jazz concert for tonight. People bring their own chairs and a picnic lunch.. The music is free.
I am a Hard Rock member so yesterday I had to sign up for a rewards card through this Hard Rock because the Hard Rock is leasing the Indians their name. So I get a players card and they even put $10 on it for free. Here is the catch you got to use the $10 bucks in 24 hours. So while standing in the buffet line, and believe me the line is long because everyone wants the deal of the day, I decided to get rid of the $10 bucks on one of casinos machine. Now ya'll know I do not gamble. The helpful attendant who is deaf, Yes I said she was deaf, was trying to help me. She kept rubbing her fingers together like I needed to put money in the machine. I looked at her like what the heck. I told her I want to use the casinos money on the card. So I think she thought I was crazy so she writes on a piece of paper for me in insert a $1. I looked at her and said that is ok. I pull out my players card and go to the buffet with Lo. When we get to the cashier she said we needed a ticket to pay for dinner. She tells us where we can get this ticket. So I get out of line go find the place for the ticket and come back. We finally get seated. Again the casino lays out a nice spread with the top of line of food. After dinner I decide to try that card again. This time I flag a helper down who can hear what I am saying. ( I think the deaf lady was right on, it was me who did not know what I was doing.)The attendant tells me what I needed to do. I did have to put my $1 in to start the play. Bottom line is I walked away with $6 of the casinos money. I am good. Gambling over.
Question of the Day:
Which did dance group Marjorie Mazia Guthrie dance for?
What is one of the names of Woody's kids?
Hint: One is more famous they all of them.
Well, until next time Campers
Lo & Bren