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The Road Dog Diary by Ray St. Louis

The Road Dog Diary

by Ray St. Louis

532 pages
An inside look at life on the Renaissance festival road.

Paperback $20.95   + $10.41 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $3.50 S&H per additional copy)
Category: Fiction
(requires Adobe Reader)
About the Book
"It's the new new vaudeville, man!"

With these few words, Jack Horner - juggler, clown, social misfit - sums up the allure of the fledgling Renaissance festival circuit of the early 1980s. It is a world set apart from the mainstream, a niche culture complete with its own rules, vocabulary, morality, and cast of offbeat characters: Little Jack Horner, Johnny Magic Hands, the Happy Henchmen, King John Broussard, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Slimy Limey.

And, of course, Gulliver Finn, the narrator of The Road Dog Diary.

Gulliver leads his troupe of plucky stilt dancers and spirited musicians, the Stone Soup Performing Company, on a cross-country odyssey that encompasses one full season of Renaissance festivals. Along the way, they encounter a curious alternate universe full of surprises including a fair owner who bulldozes the booths of craftspeople with whom he disagrees; a delivery driver who trades cigarettes for a sneak peek at skinny-dipping Renaissance hippie chicks; a stoned star-maker of an entertainment director who lands, for one of his performing acts, a spot on the Merv Griffin Show; an unofficial after-hours pub that encourages rude behavior; a certifiably eccentric waltzing craftsman who dances with invisible partners and hosts notorious pagan parties; and a slew of invented "Rennie" holidays such as Mushroom Monday, the Funky Formal, and the midnight group streaking event known as the Wolf Run.

Add to the mix a healthy portion of the usual hazards of life on the road - the breakdowns, the rain, mud, chiggers, fire ants, the skirmishes with festival management and the law - and you have the makings of a rollicking epic adventure down a seldom visited back road of the American experience.

 

 

About the Author
Ray St. Louis Ray St. Louis is a writer and veteran participant of the Renaissance festival circuit. His award-winning column, Between the Lines, appears regularly in the High Springs Herald, a Florida weekly. His festival work includes participation as performer, director, and business owner. He lives near the town of Alachua in North Florida and in the town of Wolcott in Upstate New York.

 

 

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