Local 8 WVLT Knoxville
by Alan Williams
Knoxville, Tenn It’s a hot summer day on Knoxville’s Volunteer Landing and an old mountain shack rolls up to the dock. Right out of the Beverly Hillbillies.
“Yea, it’s super Clampett”, said owner Wes Modes.
His shanty boat as he calls it is named Dotty after his grandmother.
For four months at a time, Modes, Benzy and Bubba travel up and down America’s waterways collecting stories of those who live on America’s rivers.
He’s helped by private donations, a few grants and his own savings.
“Dotty” is a story on it’s own. Much of the boat is made from reclaimed and recycled materials from a 100 year old chicken coop to the tin from an outhouse.
But it does have the comforts of home.
“It has an extensive library, a full kitchen, a work table, a sleeping loft up above”, said Modes.
This traveling shanty on the water will be out for the next four months, then transported back to his home state of California.
Their goal, travel on all of the nation’s rivers, and that could take a while.