"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
<< | < | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | > | >>

At Home in the Woods: Harvey, the Homeless


Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It is 2:30 p.m. at the Harmony Library, time for me to begin a talk about my book "At Home in the Big Woods," but the only people who are here besides me are the librarian, the maintenance man and one patron. I never know what to expect when I prepare for a program. My audiences have been as large as sixty and as small as seven, but never zero. When I learn from the librarian that there was little, if any, publicity for this event, I accept the fact that no one is coming.

Finally, the single patron sits down at the table where I have displayed my books, and says he wants to hear my talk. My audience of one is a tall, slender man who looks to be in his 60s. He introduces himself as "Harvey, the Homeless." Trying to make the best of the situation, I turn my talk into a conversation.

I ask Harvey if he knows anything about the Big Woods. Although he is a native of Harmony, he says he has never been to the woods. When he was young, he was afraid to go there because of the stories he had heard about squatters, moonshine stills and people with guns living on the edge of the law. I tell him the woods are no longer dangerous and likely never were as bad as he had been told. The stories probably spread because people saw the woods as a mysterious place and liked to scare themselves and others with exaggerated tales.

Because he has piqued my curiosity, I ask Harvey to tell me about himself. He says he lives out of a backpack and only recently gave in to owning a car. He travels from place to place house sitting or staying with friends. He owns a small farm in the area that he rents out, but has never considered living there.

Harvey is not what one would expect from a hobo. He is neatly dressed and his speech immediately divulges his fine educational background. As we talk, he frequently runs his fingers through his hair, brushing it off his forehead.

I learn that Harvey lived in Finland for 30 years where he taught English as a second language in a technical college and was married to a Finnish playwright who never revises her plays more than four times because after that she feels her work only goes downhill. I tell him that I am a perpetual reviser, but that his wife's rule sounds like a good idea.

He has always had the urge to travel, he says. His wife used to travel with him, but finally decided she wanted to stay put, so they .....
[Read the Rest]

Journal Writing Project: Andy Wolter

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Summer seems like it might finally be back, weatherwise at least we see some days crawling up to 80 degrees. School is getting close to being out, again, and I cant say if thats a good thing or not (again). When ever summer comes around I always ma ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Township Roads: Gopher Mine

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

They say that all wealth comes from the earth and I was reminded of that early last Sunday. Against my better judgment I got up early. I ground some coffee beans and set our high-tech coffee maker to do what it does best noisily boil water and slos ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Prairie Notes: Take me home, country roads

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Last March, my older sister Jenni called, wondering what to do about our mothers dilemma. Moms recently diagnosed osteoporosis left her unable to bend or lift meant no spring cleaning without help. On a mutually agreed upon weekend, I drove to my s ..... 
[Read the Rest]

The Commute: "The Bachelor"Bangladesh-style

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

An old student came back to see me this week. He had some big news: hes getting married this summer. Hell return to his homeland, Bangladesh, for the wedding. The exact date is not certain, but he knows it will be in July. Heres the interesting pa ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Journal Writing Project: Jamie Howe

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

We are off to somewhere greener, somewhere warmer. We have waited four long years to get on that motorcoach in the spring. But its finally here. The Class of 2003 is bound for Washington D.C.!

Ever since our freshman year we h ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Of People, Places & Things: Hong Kong, a city under siege

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I was driving home from work a few days ago when I heard a friend of mine being interviewed on the radio about the impact severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was having on Hong Kong.  There have been more than 22,000 ca ..... 
[Read the Rest]
<< | < | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | > | >>