John Ruskey’s Quapaw Canoe Company, in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, runs expeditions on the Mississippi River, its backwaters, oxbows and bayous. In the style of a blues apprenticeship, John trains Mighty Quapaws to be river guides and stewards. Using music, art and mapmaking, John captures the free-flowing Mississippi River like a modern Mark Twain. His essay “River Rat” opens our imagination. His Rivergator website is a Paddlers’ Guide to the entire river and its wilderness by paddlers. NWNL interviewed John in 2008.