Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Possum Dolly in Full Color

My good bud over at Bayberry Roost found this video on Vimeo.com. It's the Dolly Freed documentary filmed and narrated by Nancy Schreiber following publication of Dolly's book, Possum Living.


Dolly Freed in Possum Living from Tin House Books on Vimeo.



My favorite part of the film ('though I really just liked it all - seeing the "person" of Dolly was really just very cool) was when Dolly was in "make-up" prior to her appearance on the Merv Griffith Show. The make-up artist says, in effect, that this appearance will vault her into celebrity status and that her life will change. She says, "Nope." She let him know that she had no interest in the California Life, and she was just anxious to get back home to her "chickens and rabbits."

I loved the point she made about work, too. I think it should be noted that she and her father weren't slackers. They didn't lay about allowing someone else to take care of them, and she makes a point of stressing that they do not accept welfare or government hand-outs, that what little money they require they earn through odd jobs, but for the most part, they are able to meet most of their daily needs on their own.

Dolly spends a few minutes talking about the nature of "work" and questions if what they do can even be classified as such. She says, "They say, work is what we're doing when we'd rather be doing anything else, but if I like gardening, is it work or is it recreation?"

Neither Dolly nor her father were lazy. They were, however, very industrious and mostly self-sufficient, and they really weren't working hard at not working. I think a lot of people might confuse Dolly with Pa Kettle, and that would be an unfortunate and horribly incorrect assumption. Dolly didn't scorn doing things. She was just unwilling to sell her soul to the gods of consumerism so that she could have a car and a television, when she knew full well that life without those things was pretty damned good.

Her point is that we don't have to struggle to "make ends meet", and I think as we slide more deeply into this economic chasm that her message will need to be louder so that more of us can hear - access to money does not equal happiness.

With great thanks to my bud, Bayberry, for posting the video (your figs look awesome, by the way :). I loved the book. I loved the film ... and I hope Dolly is still out there somewhere and still living like a possum ....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the video. I'd read the book but never even heard about the film. Wasn't she incredibly wise for 20 years old? I wish I'd had her clear vision, self-confidence, mastery, and sense at that age. I do wonder what she's up to these days.

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