An Evening with Harlan and Anna Hubbard – December 17, 2013
The International Bluegrass Music Museum and Third Tuesdays Coffeehouse
An evening with Harlan and Anna Hubbard
A reception for the filmmaker
Wine, Craft Beers on Tap, and Food
Begins at 7:00 PM
The Hubbards of Kentucky Come to Thoreau Country
“There has to be a saner way to live.”
We’ve all said it. Anna and Harlan Hubbard actually did something about it. The Hubbards lived life as few people in modern times have done, and in doing so inspired thousands. “Wonder: The Lives of Anna and Harlan Hubbard”, a new documentary by Morgan Atkinson, brings to life their adventures.
“What Henry David Thoreau did for two years the Hubbards did for forty,” says Atkinson, a Louisville-based producer, who spent two years researching the Hubbards’unique life, “except they did it in the 20th century and they did it in Kentucky.”
Atkinson enlisted the aid of Kentucky icon Wendell Berry in telling the Hubbards’ story. Berry, the nationally renowned writer and naturalist, was friends with the Hubbards and wrote a book on their lives called “Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work.” This book provides much of the narrative thread for the program. Mr. Berry also serves as the narrator for the documentary.
Harlan was an artist, writer and naturalist born in northern Kentucky; Anna, a scholar and librarian from Grand Rapids. They met in Cincinnati and began their life together in the mid-1940’s by building a boat, then floating from Cincinnati to New Orleans. Their voyage lasted five years.
They then settled on the banks of the Ohio River in Trimble County near Milton, KY. In a house they built by hand, sustained by food they raised or caught, aided by no electricity or modern “convenience,” the Hubbards met the world on their own terms and found deep meaning. “Wonder” considers their astonishing life of freedom and what it says to Americans today.
Morgan Atkinson has produced more than a dozen documentaries that have appeared statewide on KET. Several have been shown nationwide on PBS. His recent work has included profiles on Thomas Merton, the acclaimed monk, and another on John Howard Griffin, author of “Black Like Me.”
“There is but one great man. That is he who makes a masterpiece of his life. No accomplishment can offset bad living.” Harlan Hubbard
“Harlan’s life will be seen by some as eccentric for the reason that, during the entire course of it, he had no interest whatever in that phenomenon known as “economic growth,” and he did not share in any of the motives and emotions that go with it. Harlan grew, as his works abundantly testify, but his growth was in spirit, character, accomplishment, pleasure, and joy. His life and his efforts did not result in a great accumulation of worldly goods or worldly power, he lived a satisfying life completely apart from, indeed in disdain for, the customary satisfactions of the United States in the twentieth century.” Wendell Berry on Harlan Hubbard