After graduating from high school, Degan Brandt escapes small-town life, never to be heard from again, only to be called back thirty-five years later, by the spirit of his former, recently deceased, girlfriend, Hattie. He learns she was pregnant when he left, quickly calculating that he has a son (Hiawatha) and grandchildren he has never met.
The word, “Canajoharie” means, “The pot that washes itself” or the “boiling pot”. In the end, Degan, Hattie, and Hiawatha cleanse themselves from their past.
Canajoharie is a limited series (10 episodes) that explores identity, regret, love, and reparations. Canajoharie, New York was the cradle of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) nation, and in modern times known for Beech-Nut Baby Food, but now the factory is closed, and the Iroquois are very few. The series begins with Jigonhatee (Hattie) Canasatego’s death and Degan’s return to Canajoharie, as Hattie’s spirit haunts Degan. He navigates his way around the harsh truths of his past, believing he is the father of Hattie’s son, Hiawatha. However, in death, Hattie learns Hiawatha is not her son and that the local hospital mixed up the newborn infants, sending her home with the wrong child. Her anger fuels the search for her missing son, as her spirit changes the lives of all those who live in Canajoharie.
“I was raised in Canajoharie, and we were taught the history of the area and the Iroquois nation. I’ve always enjoyed the mystical nature of the town’s history.”
Cummings is a nine-time Regional Emmy winner for documentary, videography, editing and producing. He worked at local TV affiliates in New York, Michigan and Ohio. He owned a video production company in Cleveland, Ohio specializing in medical documentaries, sports production and commercial spots. His clients ranged from FoxSportsTime Ohio, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
In 2013, Cummings earned a Ph.D. from Sheffield University (UK) and is currently an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University. He teaches multimedia writing, multimedia film and production, TV Pilot, sports production, and a variety of theory courses.
Dean C. Cummings – Writer