“It’s never encouraging to be awoken in a tent by headlights. I wanted to play possum–roll over, and pretend to sleep until they left,” writes David Hanson. “But this was exactly why I was here, a few hundred miles into a 500-mile canoe float down Georgia’s Chattahoochee. I came here to see the river, but I really came here to see its people. And here they were.”

Today, we bring you David’s story of discovering a culture at once foreign and strangely familiar–and all within a day’s drive of the place where he grew up.

David recently returned to the Chattahoochee to create a documentary, Who Owns Water, that chronicles a tri-state water war that threatens the river and the communities that depend on it.

Music: Requiem for Radio by The Cassettes   •   Flat Black by Drop Top Lincoln   •   Plantation by Jason Shaw   •   Baby, Please Don’t Go by Big Bill Broonzy   •   Road to Godavari by Denise Casey

 Music provided by Mevio’s Music Alley, Free Music Archive and Diaries’ Listener Denise Casey.

Shinin' Boys

John and Patricia


Catfish from Ocheesee Landing



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