Bearing News
Junior Blake Bodendieck, a Unity project volunteer, works with Coreina and Camryn Fullerton Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Roots N Blues festival. Photo by Bailey Stover.

People of Roots N Blues – Blake Bodendieck


Which of the following do you identify with?
1. I’m a parent
2. I’m a student
3. I’m single
4. I have a spouse or life partner
5. I own a home
6. I rent a home
7. I don’t have a home
8. I consider myself a Republican
9. I consider myself a Democrat
10. I don’t identify with a political party right now
11. I love science
12. I love sports
13. I love the arts
14. I’m a dog person
15. I’m a cat person
16. I don’t care for pets
17. I’m a minimalist
18. I’m a collector
19. I’m a volunteer
20. I’m an introvert
21. I’m an extrovert
22. I identify as LGBTQ
23. I identify as straight

RBHS junior Blake Bodendieck moved to Columbia this summer and quickly became involved with Roots N Blues through the Unity project as a way to experience what the city is all about. 

How did you get involved with Unity project?

“So, my mom is actually–she works with Storage Mart, and I figured, ‘Hey, I’m free this weekend. I’ll come and help volunteer.’”

How is it going so far?

“It’s going really well. People are really liking [it]. They keep talking, like going getting their friends, so that’s cool. But it’s very hot out, always a plus.”

What is the purpose of this project?

“The project is called Unity, and basically, if you look, there are signs that have a simple thing like ‘I like dogs,’ ‘I like cats,’ stuff like that. You go and you wrap yarn around it, and then you go to another one. Now, basically, I guess, if you’re looking for some meaning to it, it’s tying everyone together. Even though everybody has their differences, we also are similar and the small things tie us together.”

What is your favorite part of doing this?

“Probably the smiles. I’d say the kids, the grown ups, they’ll smile. They’ll come back with a friend smiling and talking about it, so it’s nice.”

Have you gotten to enjoy the festival outside of volunteering?

“I have. I have a little. I went and caught a couple things yesterday and went and looked for food, and that’s always a plus.”

What do you think is important about having projects like this one at this time in America?

“I feel like America has a lot of strife and differences right now, and a lot of people [are] just like sides going against each other. So this, showing that even though we may be Republican or Democratic, we’re still people, you know, and we’re tied together by so many other things.”

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