Sunday, December 14, 2014

La Crosse Book Signing


After a foggy, dizzily, dreary  Saturday drive to La Crosse, I spent a bright and cheery afternoon signing books at Barnes & Noble.  Joining me for the book signing were Kenny Salwey (the Last River Rat), my daughter Sue, with her book about one room schools, and Travis Dewitz with his Blaze Orange book of deer hunting photos.

It’s the people who stop by to talk that make these events interesting.  A couple drove all the way across the state from Sheboygan to buy a few signed books.  Long time friends from Monona, Iowa, Elmer Marting and his wife Carol and daughter Leanne drove through the gloom of an unusual mid-December day to chat for a bit.  So did nephew and niece Jerry and Barb Johnson—but for them the drive was short as they live in Holman.

And not to forget Sam Scinta, publisher for Fulcrum Press and Richard Chrz with Barnes & Noble who put the event together.  Sometimes we forget to mention and thank those working behind the scenes who make these events work.

It was a good afternoon, and my last event for 2014.  Time now to put my feet up for a few days before 2015 rolls around and a new season of events appears on my calendar.

THE OLD TIME SAYS: In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, remember to spend some time relaxing.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Monday, December 08, 2014

Storytelling with the Farm Bureau


Ruth, Sue and I attended the annual state-wide Farm Bureau meeting in Wisconsin Dells yesterday.  I taught two “Write Your Life Story” workshops, and a grand time we had.  In the first session, 72 people, in the second 63.  The room was filled with memories and stories as people recounted their favorite toys when they were children, people who made a difference in their lives, and turning points, where something happened in their lives and everything that followed was different. 

            When I asked about people who made a difference in your life, a woman shared a story about the school bus driver she had when she was a little girl and attending grade school.  A bully on the bus broke off a flower the little girl was taking home for her mother. The driver stopped the bus.  In the midst of her tears, the driver, using the first aid kit in the bus, taped the flower back together, and assigned the bully to the front seat for the rest of the school year. She has never forgotten that good deed, now so many years ago.

            People remembered horses on their farms.  One person told about how his grandfather had spent the night in the barn with a sick horse that was dying—for this man a horse was a part of the family and deserved that kind of respect.

            The room was filled with laughter, and some tears, too, as people remembered their stories.  And also listened  as I shared how important it was to write these stories down and share them with their families and friends, as this is history, and when we forget our histories, we forget who we are.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Take some time to write down your stories.
December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, La Crosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835



Monday, December 01, 2014

Hunting for the Perfect Christmas Tree


.Three inches of snow at Roshara.  The ponds are frozen; the prairie is snow covered; the trees are bare.  And we are searching for the perfect Christmas tree on a beautiful, sunny, not quite cold Sunday afternoon.

Five of us on the prowl for that special tree, three adults and two kids. Hard walking in the crusty snow.  And then on the top of the hill overlooking the pond we found a cluster of candidates. Doing well after a spring of ample rains and perfect growing conditions.

            “How about this one?”   “Maybe that one?”  Soon we had three trees found, agreed on, and cut.  All wild and naturally growing—a self-seeded white pine and two Scotch pines.

            Then it was back to the cabin for hot chocolate and cookies and a warm up by the wood burning stove.  A fun day on a chilly, snowy afternoon.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A winter day is a day to enjoy.
UPCOMING EVENTS:
December 3, 7:00 p.m.  Live on Milwaukee Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 7, 1:00-2:15 and 2:30-3:15 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells (Two sessions) Wis Farm Bureau Meeting. Writing From Your Life for Children and Grandchildren.

December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, La Crosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Deer Season 2014


Last Saturday was opening day of deer gun season.  My 69th year, without missing a year, even made it when I was in the army.

I sat where my father sat the last year he hunted deer.  It was 1992 and he was 92.  As I sat and waited, and looked and listened I could still hear my father’s words.  “You’ve got to be patient, and you’ve got to be quiet.”

Although my dad didn’t talk about it, deer hunting for him, as it is for me, is much more than the hunt.  It is about tradition and it is about family.   In addition to myself, and my son, this year’s hunting crew included my brother and his three sons. For us deer hunting is a time for storytelling and good food, and being outdoors on a chilly November morning and enjoying the sights and sounds   It is also a time for remembering as I sat where my father sat 22 years ago, he with his 30-30 Savage rifle on his lap, me with my 30-30 Winchester rifle on my lap.  He would be pleased to know that his sons and grandsons are carrying on the tradition.

HE OLD TIMER SAYS:   Deer season is much more than hunting deer.
December 3, 7:00 p.m.  Live on Milwaukee Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 7, 1:00-2:15 and 2:30-3:15 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells (Two sessions) Wis Farm Bureau Meeting. Writing From Your Life for Children and Grandchildren.

December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, La Crosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.

Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Tribute to 4-H


Ruth and I attended a birthday party for 4-H last night in Wisconsin Dells (We each were 4-H members for 10 years).  More than 500 people from around the state gathered to celebrate 100 years of Wisconsin 4-H.  The festivities also involved inducting 98 people into the newly created 4-H Hall of Fame—volunteer 4-H leaders, county and state-based 4-H professionals, business people who support 4-H, and early founders of the organization.

Four-H, is an out-of-school educational program and part of University of Wisconsin-Extension, which is in every county in the state.  Four-H has enrolled thousands of rural and urban kids over these 100 years.

We organized a 4-H club in my home community in 1945, only a few months after the end of World War II.  We named it Chain O’ Lake, after the name of our one-room country school.  All of the members of our new club were also students at the school.

I enrolled in the dairy and forestry projects.  In the forestry project, I received 50 little pine seedlings, which I grew out in a nursery I constructed back of our chicken house.  Two years later, I set the trees out along the edge of our oak woodlot. 

Today, I often drive by to see how these trees are doing.   They are now nearly 70 years old, standing straight and growing taller every year.  It was the 4-H forestry project that helped develop my life-long interest in the environment—and my love for trees.  Today, these many years later, I run a tree farm, and continue to plant trees every year, sometimes only a dozen or so, some years several thousand.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Happy Birthday Wisconsin 4-H

December 3, 7:00 p.m.  Live on Milwaukee Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 7, 1:00-2:15 and 2:30-3:15 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells (Two sessions) Wis Farm Bureau Meeting. Writing From Your Life for Children and Grandchildren.

December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, La Crosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 2015 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835







Sunday, November 09, 2014

Barns of Wisconsin


Wisconsin’s old barns remain one of the state’s major attractions.  They are photographed, artists paint them, and historians collect photos of them and make calendars featuring them (see the West Salem Historical Society’s new 2015 calendar of the “Barns of La Crosse County.”)

            Fourteen years ago I spoke about barns as part of The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center’s Second Saturday program—more than 90 people came.  This past Saturday I once again talked about Barns for the Second Saturday Program and 150 people attended.

            People like old barns, want to look at them, and learn more about them.  Why do barns attract people?  I tried to answer that question with this paragraph from my book, BARNS OF WISCONSIN (Wisconsin Historical Society Press).

            The barns of Wisconsin are history books in red paint, sociology with gable roofs, theology with lightning rods.  In many ways, barns are Wisconsin agriculture nailed together in buildings with cupolas on the top.  Here is where both life and death on the farm often occurred simultaneously; here is where farm boys and girls learned about responsibility, where many a farmer began and ended his day 365 days a year for his entire life.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every old barn has a story to tell.

COMING EVENTS:
November 12, Noon. Wisconsin Historical Society Tour, La Crosse, Weber Center for the Preforming Arts.  The Quiet Season stories.

November 14, 6:30 dinner.  Port Washington Library.  Meeting at First Congregational Church, 131 Webster Street, Port Washington.  How I became a writer.

November 15, 4-H Hall of Fame Program, Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells.

December 3, 7:00 p.m.  Live on Milwaukee Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 7, 1:00-2:15 and 2:30-3:15 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells (Two sessions) Wis Farm Bureau Meeting. Writing From Your Life for Children and Grandchildren.

December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, LaCrosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.

Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also  Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835






Monday, November 03, 2014

Old Man Winter


He came early last Friday morning, on a brisk northwest wind, when everyone was sleeping.  Sneaky this one, but persistent.  Coming to remind us that he will be here soon.  But now just teasing.  Sending us a reminder of what is to come.

Old Man Winter is a wily one.  He sits up there in the North, waiting his opportunity to come visiting, if but for a few hours.  Reminding us that like a free-loading relative, he will eventually come to stay for weeks, indeed months, before he once more retreats to his home in the Great North.

I awoke last Friday morning to my car covered with an inch of snow, and the lawn, and the rooftops—all snow covered.  Old Man Winter’s calling card.  His message not written in words, but in snowflakes.  But a message received and understood.

            “I’m coming soon.  Ready or not.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Are you ready?  Old Man Winter is.

COMING EVENTS:
November 8, 9:00-11:30, Plymouth Arts Center, Plymouth, WI.  Sponsored by Sheboygan County Research Center. Barns of Wisconsin.

November 12, Noon. Wisconsin Historical Society Tour, La Crosse, Weber Center for the Preforming Arts.  Farm Stories.

November 14, 6:30 dinner.  Port Washington Library.  Meeting at First Congregational Church, 131 Webster Street, Port Washington.  How I became a writer.

December 3, 7:00 p.m.  Live on Milwaukee Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 7, 1:00-2:15 and 2:30-3:15 Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells (Two sessions) Wis Farm Bureau Meeting. Writing From Your Life for Children and Grandchildren.

December 8, 8:00 p. m.  Live on Twin Cities Public TV.  A Farm Winter.

December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Barnes and Noble, LaCrosse.  Book Signing.

January 28, 7:00 p.m. Stoughton Opera House.  A Farm Winter.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them): Patterson Memorial Library


The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
50 Division St.
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835