Lester "Proudfoot" Jackson
|LOC, Lomax Collection, LC-DIG-ppmsc-00542|
According to all accounts, Lester Jackson’s life before 1939 was one of crime, sloth, and drunkenness. When he discovered an unattended copy of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit in the drunk tank of the Pikimpsitonka County jail, the book completely changed his life. Taking on the name “Proudfoot,” Jackson returned to his small farm and began construction of his own underground
“Hobbit Hole.” He traded in his gambling and boozing for gardening and collecting. When he found an old dulcimer at a swap meet, Proudfoot taught himself to play and began composing Middle-Earth-themed music. Proudfoot had several minor hits through Chump Records including “My Hobbit Hole Ain’t Whole (Since My Baby Left Me),” “Magic Hat Blues,” “I Been There and Back Again,” and “Ramble On.” Posthumous examination of his prolific journals and diaries reveals that Jackson was likely delusional.