Lotus Dickey, a 70-year-old songwriter and semi-retired factory and construction worker from Indiana, will be featured live and on film next weekend. Dickey is one of five old-timers from Orange County in southern Indiana appearing in a 20-minute excerpt from a film-in-progress, "Water From Another Time."
"Dickey, who lives on Grease Gravy Road in the town of Paoli, is one of those characters," says filmmaker Richard Kane, now a Washingtonian. "He lives in a one-room log house that was built in the 1890s. He's a self-styled philosopher and his songs all reflect his experience in living on Grease Gravy Road for 40 years. He's a victim of circumstance but there's also the element of choice; he prefers that kind of life style."
Also featured in the film: Elmer Boyd, an 81-year-old tinkerer who has kept a daily diary since 1922. "In some ways, they're all eccentric old-timers who express themselves creatively," says Kane.
Financed by the Indiana Commission for the Humanities, the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the unfinished film will be shown on Thursday at noon as part of the Library of Congress' free American Folklife Center series in the Whittall Pavilion (Jefferson Building). It will be followed by a conversation between Dickey, Kane and Dillon Bustin, co-producer of the film, and a brief closing performance by Bustin and Dickey, who have "struck up a musical relationship and performed in many places," Kane explains.