I am Wes Modes, DIY boater and artist. For years I’ve been building DIY boats, often out of trash, and floating down major American rivers. Last year, we put our homemade untested houseboat in the Misssissippi River for a month to gather stories of river people (with my ex-sweetheart at ship’s mate). When we did our AMA last year, we were totally unsure that we weren’t going to our certain doom.
This year, I am spending an entire summer on the river gathering stories of river people from the deck of our recreated 1940s shantyboat.
Secret History of American River People is a journey to discover and collect the lost narratives of people who live and work on the river from the deck of a recreated shantyboat and present these stories through web-based digital archives and a touring art installation.
The project hopes to encourage an awareness of the issues facing current river communities, the long history of people who have lived on and adjacent to the river, and an understanding of river ecology.
I am here with this year’s ship’s mate Jeremiah Daniels and Ship’s hound Hazel.
Ask us anything!
We have a kickstarter going to partly support the project… https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1245766964/a-secret-history-upper-mississippi-expedition
Our website details the journey through daily blog posts, maps and so on… http://peoplesriverhistory.us/about/
UPDATE: No one asked Hazel any questions. If we get more questions, we’ll update throughout the day.
Read the Q& A: https://redd.it/38dryp