This February John Prine had an Instagram photo contest where he asked his fans to post photos of themselves and their significant other, with the hashtag #inspiteofourselves for a new photo video of his duet with Iris Dement of his song by the same name. John and Nina were in Turks and Caicos and had just posted the selfie below. On a whim (and without asking for their permission), on Valentine’s Day I uploaded the picture to my Instagram for the contest and promptly forgot about it.
About a week later, as it happened, I was in Greensboro for an unplanned visit (that’s a whole other post). Nina had entered hospice. She was well enough at that point for visitors. Family and friends were crammed into the room, no one wanting to leave, all of us taking comfort in being with her, and being together. I was playing guitar and we were all singing. The playlist with me, Nina, and John always includes some JP–we even sang In Spite of Ourselves. At one point during a break I looked at my phone and saw that I had a message on Instagram–from John Prine (okay, let’s be real–I know it was from his people) saying that the photo I had submitted had been selected as a contest winner and would be included in the video if I gave permission. I turned to John and Nina in excitement and told them about the contest; they were perhaps a little nonplussed (see what I did there, readers of The Bright Hour?), but fortunately said it was fine, and so I wrote back to say hells yes you can use the photo in the video.
That was the last day Nina was well enough for visitors beyond immediate family. She died five days later and once again I forgot about the contest and video entirely.
This morning I got an email from John Prine(‘s people) with a link to the finished product. Although it is tiny, it is still amazing that this photo of JAD and NER will go on, forever linked to one of our favorite musicians. As I said when I entered the photo in the contest, if anyone deserves to end up sitting on a rainbow, it is these two.
Anyway, that is a really, really long way of saying: here is the video! You have to look close (and maybe hit pause) to find it, but the picture is in there. Here are a few hints:
Now see if you can spot it in action: