Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Coming Thursday July 11, 2019

Walt Whitman impersonator Daniel Blaine Ford will discuss Walt Whitman during the Civil War. (Review)“Daniel is a true artist and friend who speaks extemporaneously and with wisdom and conviction from the bottom of his heart. He knows of what he speaks and speaks it from the right places”.  “Daniel Blaine Ford performed as Walt Whitman during a special humanities-based tour of Whitman's involvement in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. Ford was thoroughly professional, easy to work with, creative, based his portrayal on superb research. He also interacted easily with people of all ages. I only ran the tour once, but would have happily contracted with Mr. Ford again, and would still, for any portrayal of that great poet”.

Daniel Ford Blaine, aka Walt Whitman II, grew up within biking distance of the Whitman homestead in West Hills. He became interested in Walt Whitman as a 9 year old and was influenced by a collateral Whitman descendant who was one of his teachers.   His primary career has been as a biology teacher, an ornithologist and as an organizer of various charitable organizations.   A New York Times article published in 2008 described him  as a 'tall old man in outmoded dress ambling with the aid of a long walking stick, wearing a black coat, a black vest hung with a thin  gold chain and a white collared shirt open wide at the neck.  Much of his face is obscured by an enormous white beard with his long grey hair played out in the wind beneath a green slouch.  It is not the ghost of Walt Whitman who died in 1892 but his stand in, Daniel Blaine Ford. For more than 35 years he has served as Walt's alter ego doing presentations of Whitman and his poetry.  Unlike Walt,  he is a proud father of five and a grandfather.