Monday, June 18, 2007

Lee Chester Ulmer

78-year-old Ellisville blues guitar musician, Lee Chester Ulmer has encountered troubles getting a passport to join Afrissippi for a gig in Italy. Why?

Ulmer was born on a backcountry plantation in Stringer in 1928. He was delivered by a midwife, so there's no certified birth certificate or hospital birth certificate.

He was baptized in a creek - so no baptismal certificate.

He attended all-black country schools that did not keep records.

Ulmer doesn't have a family Bible because it was lost in a tornado in 1939.

Both his parents are deceased. His 12 older siblings also are deceased, so there is no one to submit an affidavit of birth.

Read the full story of his struggle with government logistics to take Mississippi blues to Italy in this article by the Clarion Ledger.

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