Hobart Brown, Glorious Founder of the Kinetic Sculpture race , died of pneumonia last night at Redwood Memorial Hospital. He was 73.
UPDATE: Here's a beautifully written, three-page press release from Kinetic Universe , the organization that put on the race last year.
Hobart Brown was born in Hess, Oklahoma to a fifteen-year-old mother who migrated across country to California on the back of her husband's motorcycle. Hobart described it as his classic Okie experience, mirroring the great migration so poignantly captured in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," and other stories of the Dust Bowl years.
Update #2: details on Hobart Brown's Eclectic "Celebration of Life"
this from the folks at Kinetic Universe:
The eclectic "Celebration of Life" for local artist and Glorious Founder of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, Hobart Brown, is scheduled to take place Saturday, November 17, 2007 at the Ferndale Pavilion starting at 5:17pm. The opening ceremony will be overseen by Hobart's longtime friend, Nancy Courtemanche, and will allow attendees to share their most memorable stories about their experiences with him. In accordance with Hobart's wishes that his death not be mourned, this ceremony will be a celebration of his life and spirit, a very colorful affair not for the faint of heart.
The public sharing session will end at 7:17 p.m. when all attendees are asked to participate in a silent candlelit procession down Main Street to Hobart Galleries. There, where a short ceremony will take place, all can leave a memento, keepsake, poem, picture or piece of art dedicated to Hobart at the shrine that has begun in front of the Gallery at 393 Main Street. If a memento is left, please be sure to mark it with your contact information, especially any photographs, poems, or artwork so proper credit can be given if used for publication. Once the ceremony is over and the candles have been extinguished, a New Orleans Mardi Gras style parade will lead all back to the Ferndale Pavilion to continue the festive celebration of his life.
"We would like people to know that in the beginning of our time together, we will truly be paying respect to Hobart and his family. As the evening progresses, the flavor of the event will become more lively in keeping with the tradition of the Kinetic Sculpture Race and Hobart's fun-loving nature," said Nancy Courtemanche, the person who will be presiding over the celebration.
All attendees are asked to dress in costume or full Kinetic regalia to honor the fun-loving nature of the race and its Glorious Founder. For the silent candlelit procession, participants are required to bring their own candles and are optionally urged to don black capes and top hats to pay homage to Hobart's trademark style. After the somber procession and ceremony ends, the parade portion of the march begins with the capes coming off and the costumes come out! The Royal Kinetic Madness band will be there to provide the marching music to dance back up the hall to continue the party on into the evening.
Any flowers purchased for the celebration are best obtained from Village Florist located next door to the gallery and in true kinetic fashion, will be delivered there using human-power. Contributions of large portions of Hobart's favorite dishes: Beef Stew, Scalloped Potatoes, and Banana Cream Pudding with Vanilla Wafers to share with all are greatly appreciated. Artwork in his honor is also welcomed to decorate the hall for the celebration but must only be posted on the walls using plastic headed push-pins. Please come early at 4 p.m. if you would like to help decorate and even more volunteers are needed for clean up and break down afterwards.
Contributions to the Hobart Brown Memorial Fund can be made in his honor to: North Valley Bank, 394 Main Street, Ferndale, CA 95536.
Any other branch of North Valley Bank can also accept funds for this cause as long as it is designated to the "Hobart Brown Memorial Fund." Proceeds from this fund will assist his family in their time of need.
If you would like to contribute further to the celebration, please contact Shaye Harty at 707-499-0643 or email@example.com to see the many ways that you can help make this event very special to Hobart and his surviving family. Please note that this event is strictly a B.Y.O.A.B.C., as in Bring-your-own-appetizers (to share with others), beverages (to drink if you so chose), and candles (to hold for the procession). The Ferndale Pavilion is also locally known as Fireman's Hall and is located at 100 S. Berding St. in Ferndale, CA, 95536. For Hobart and For the Glory!
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Kinetic Universe, Inc. was founded 2007 to administer the Kinetic Grand Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race from Arcata to Ferndale, California. Websites:
Biographical Information on Hobart:
Photo at top by Ellin Beltz - more photos by Ellin
Photo below by Bob Doran