When I am not on the road doing keynote presentations at events for commercial clients, I tour speaking to various audiences about ideas, passion, world-transformation, and a host of other things. One of the best parts about my life is connecting with people and being in places that are as vast, distant, and varied as anyone can dream of. In the last year I have spoken in cities across the world from southern Florida to Singapore. On my last tour, I was speaking in Salt Lake City UT, and my friend Travis mentioned a VERY rural town he'd recently visited in southwestern Utah called Frisco. Travis is an interesting guy. He spends his time making short films about eccentric people and obscure places that most have never heard of, or would ever know about. So when he mentioned Frisco, I knew I was in for a good story. And I was right about that.
It turns out that Frisco, during the late 1800's, was the largest silver mining town in the world, and was thriving as a result. Frisco was the epitome of a rough-and-tumble western town, filled with drunken saloons, shootouts, bar fights, sheriffs and other nefarious characters, and lots of treasure. It was like a Hollywood western film, but in real life. After a sudden and tragic mine collapse which killed many of the town's workers, the mining there slowed to a halt and everyone moved out of the town leaving it finally empty after the 1920's. And that's where Travis comes into the story.
Having heard of Frisco, he went there with his film partner and they looked amidst the desert for evidence of the remainder of the town, and they found it, in a number of forms: from ruins of old mining gear and broken buildings, to the fallen mine itself, and also to a local man who had grown up near Frisco who had tapes - old and worn reel-to-reel recordings - of transfers of interviews with original inhabitants of the town. With footage shot onsite in what is left of Frisco and interviews with that man and the recorded interviews of the town's real-life inhabitants, Travis put together a short film about the long-dead town and its history called "Boomtown".
I immediately had an idea. I asked Travis if he was up for an adventure. I told him that I would book a night on my next tour, the tour which is now coming up in a week, for a spoken word event in Frisco. I told him that he and I should go out there together, sit near the mine - and that if anyone else wanted to come out, fine - but that at the very least that it would be the two of us by the light of a campfire, and I would do a spoken set for him as my audience...and that it would literally be the first live event to take place in Frisco Utah since the total death of the town nearly one hundred years ago. Travis being Travis and loving the weird side of life, agreed immediately.
And so...its booked: August 21st 2012, at 9PM: Greg Bennick spoken word at The Horn Silver Mine, Frisco UT. Just Travis, me, a campfire, anyone who ventures to join us...along with the words, whatever creatures of the night happen to drop by, and the ghosts of a town long dead.
See you there!