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The Mississippi Corpse - CyberCorpse 12

From: "David and Judith Rozelle" <rozelle@mhtc.net>

Ah, yes, a documentary on the Great Brown Siren. It's a great idea, I think, to come at this god-like subject from the Corpse's quirky, vivifying points of view.

I do have someone in mind worthy of your effort. Her name is Florence Bird, a late-middle-aged sculptress who has, it seems, been seduced mightily by the Big Brown One. Ms. Bird, working in her drafty barn studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin, has gone so far as to sculpt mock-ups of perhaps two dozen figures (now clay figurines) of historical and prehistorically personages attached to the lore of the river. Her dream -- and at this point it is a dream -- is to gather the permission and the funding to string these sculptures, in bronze, along the river as a sort of offering to its gods.

Ms. Bird is quite serious about her project (I've seen, by the way, her earthen-red dwarfs rendezvoused on a sprawling studio table). For one thing, she is an accomplished sculptress with a resume of finished works and art instruction, principally in Oakland, California. For another, she's agitating step-by-step for the realization of her project as if time were the stream she goes sculpting in. Next week she's speaking to the city fathers and mothers of Prairie du Chin, Wisconsin, to win approval for the placing of some of her sculptures on an island which once served as the estate of the legendary fur magnet, Hercules Dousman. And the money for this undertaking, Ms. Bird? Like the river, time, ladies and gentlemen, will provide.

And finally, I am convinced that Florence Bird's desire to do this gargantuan, quixotic project springs from the purest places within her artistic persona. Disarmingly diminutive, shy and soft-spoken, she obviously is not courting fame or money or the politically correct... Hernando deSoto coverts on her table with nameless native Americans. She is what she is... an artist in late life smitten by a gargantuan river and the gargoyles who swim in its concupiscent currents.

Florence Bird's e-mail address is florence@florencebird.com. She's worth your time, Andre... a nice little old lady with a formidable crush on the Mississippi... plus the talent and grit to make it work.

Yours in your flow,

David Rozelle

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