Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday Open House
open from 1-5pm
July 14 1:00 pm
“Some day people are going to wake up to the fact that Woody Guthrie and the 10,000 songs that leap and tumble off the strings of his music box are a national possession, like Yellowstone or Yosemite, and part of the best stuff this country has to show the world.”
You are invited to celebrate & learn about Woody at an open house on his 100th birthday—Saturday, July 14. The open house features performances by cast members from Woody Guthrie’s American Song, musician Evo Blustein (folklorist Gene Bluestein’s son), and a discussion on Woody with Peter Glazer, the director & author of Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Running concurrently with the show is the first public exhibit of The Kids Write to Woody . . . Woody Writes Back, letters Woody Guthrie wrote in the summer of 1955 when he was bed-ridden with Huntington’s disease at Brooklyn State Hospital. A few dozen children attending a summer camp outside St. Louis had sent post cards to Guthrie, and he answered each one individually. Here’s a sample:
“Makes me feel lots better already as I trot my eyes up and down your good, fine letter here about This Land, which I’ve always been awful partial to in my own deepest heart and soul. Glad to see that you wrote to me on our own good day called the Fourth of July . . . Write more.”
The musical director of the summer camp was renowned folk artist and folklorist, the late Gene Bluestein, who went on to become an English professor at Fresno State University and an occasional Freight performer. His family provided copies of the letters for the exhibit.