We lived in New York City / We had agreed to follow different stars

I’ve written a fair amount recently about my All-American tendencies (apple picking and Robert Frost, as well as Jesus, pie, and JFK, to name a few).  If I need to display any more evidence, I can tell you that yesterday I not only went to the Statue of Liberty, but also a baseball game.  My uncle Dennis is in town this week for a visit, and last night we took the 7 train out to Citi Field to watch his beloved Detroit Tigers take on the Mets.  About as American a day as I can imagine, unless I were to also recite the Gettysburg address while eating a cheeseburger.

Which is why it seems all the more appropriate to switch gears and share with you the edited interview of my friend Shawn Kemp.  Shawn and I met at the age of 16 at Eastern Michigan University, as part of what we now affectionately refer to as smart kids camp.  No matter how All-American I may be, I do seem to wear a pair of vagabond shoes.  Shawn is much the same.  She grew up in Michigan but now lives in Germany, where she teaches on the faculty of Tuebingen University. When I had dinner with her last December in New York, Air France had lost her luggage amidst an epic snowstorm.  The edited interview below is the visual companion to her song. Her portrait (“We Outran the Sun”) will open the show.

(Film © 2010 Matthew Carlson and Michael Heck)