Days Gone ByOn Sept. 30, 1999, painter, poet and musician Brandon “Brandy” Brenna, 28, died from head injuries sustained in a car accident on his way to work in Minnesota. Donated organs from Brandy went to three different people.
By: Pat Hunter, Archivist, River Falls Journal
On Sept. 30, 1999, painter, poet and musician Brandon “Brandy” Brenna, 28, died from head injuries sustained in a car accident on his way to work in Minnesota. Donated organs from Brandy went to three different people.
For the past nine years his friends and family have held a “Clapping Waters Memorial Canoe and Kayak Trip” down the Kinnickinnic River in his honor.
Brandy named this favorite spot between the lower dam and lime kiln because of the sound the river makes. He claimed you could hear people clapping as you approached the spot, and many happy hours were spent there with his friends.
This year 54 boats made the seven-and-a-half mile trip with a stop for lunch along the way and another at the end where more friends met the finishers with a bonfire and potluck dinner.
Friends come from Massachusetts, North Carolina, California, and all points in-between to remember Brandy. They’ve had T-shirts and decals made up with his paintings, and music CDs have been created over the years. Now his friends are bringing their own families on the trip.
This year his family, along with friend/photographer Chris Olson, created a book with pictures, favorite sayings and his paintings. It also included a music CD compiled by Jason Schrank as a memento.
“This event is a testimony to the fact that Brandy is deeply missed and his presence is as strong as ever in everyone’s hearts,” said his mother, Debbie (Erickson) Huppert.
See more photos in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.