Monday, June 29, 2015

Over-Fifty Club


They came from Texas and Colorado, from Washington and Illinois, from Minnesota and Iowa and from all over Wisconsin.  They came to celebrate Wild Rose High School as they are members of the Over-50 Club, which means they graduated from Wild Rose High 50 or more years ago. This year some 250 people attended the gathering at the Wild Rose Elementary School, which is about a third as many people who live in Wild Rose (about 725).  The honored classes were 1935, 1945, 1955 and 1965.

 We learned something about how things were in 1965.  We were deep into the Viet Nam War, median family income was $6,900, a first class stamp was five cents, gasoline cost 32 cents a gallon a new car cost $2,650.00 and new homes ,on average, sold for $13,600.00.  New TV shows were Hogan’s Heroes, Green Acres, I Spy, and Get Smart.

We honored long-time District Administrator, Claude Olson who is retiring.  We welcomed Craig Hayes, new District Administrator.  Erica Carlson, Wild Rose High music student and first place winner in the state completion entertained us with her wonderful rendition of “Send in the Clowns,” and with a Saxophone solo.

We also honored those  graduates who have died the previous year. Marilyn Hansen Apps and Mary Brownlow Werth were in charge of this part of the program.

Maryann Brewer Erdman (class of 1960), chairs the planning committee and she and the committee did a wonderful job of helping 250 oldsters have a most enjoyable time.

To end the program, we all stood and sang a rousing rendition of “We’re loyal to you Wild Rose High , . . .we know you’re the best . . . of all schools East and West . . . .” 

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Reunions allow us to connect to an earlier time—and renew acquaintances, sometimes from decades ago.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1978).  A wonderful nature writer, with several books to his credit, in The Star Thrower Eiseley wrote, “It is commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a time in the wilderness.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin 
Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)



Friday, June 19, 2015

Hungry Bunny


With warm weather and ample rain, my tiny town garden in Madison has flourished.  The garden is but 3.5 feet by 8 feet, about the area of the walkway in our Roshara Garden.  The town garden’s tomato plants are more than three feet tall, the potatoes nearly that  high, the broccoli soon ready to harvest, the lettuce doing well--four cuttings so far—and the cucumbers starting to vine (I’ve built a little rack on which they can climb).  As of yesterday the beets looked reasonable and the green beans appeared promising. 

 But today it happened.  My garden has been attacked by bunnies.  Hungry little buggers that I had kept away with netting since I planted the garden—and mistakenly assumed the vegetables were too tall for a rabbit’s liking.  I was wrong.

Today, in broad daylight and while I was watching, a big bunny that had been nibbling on my lawn grass hopped up into my little raised garden and began feasting on my beets and beans.  I shooed the vegetable thief away, but alas, he (maybe a she) had been there before.  The beans are now but little green stems, and the beets appear to be history.

I hurried to a nearby hardware store, bought some awful smelling rabbit repellent and sprayed my remaining beans and the couple of beet plants that still had a leaf or two of hope.  After all these years you’d think I would know better—that’s what Ruth told me anyway.  Rabbits do like vegetables.  I know that.  I know that.  I know that.  Sometimes I have to say things three times for the message to sink in.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  It’s never too old to learn—about bunnies and their eating habits.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

In 1945, a family from Milwaukee bought my grandfather’s farm, which was a mile from the home farm.  Our new neighbor knew nothing about farming, including how to milk a cow by hand.  Farmers in our community had no electricity at the time.  My dad suggested I would teach this fellow how to do it.  He never did learn, but for my efforts—I lived with the family for a week—he gave me a wonderful little book: CAMPING AND WOODCRAFT: A HANDBOOK FOR CAMPERS AND FOR TRAVELERS IN THE WILDERNESS BY Horace Kephart.  If you want to learn about early 1900s skills for wilderness living, read this book.  From how to use a compass to honing skills with an ax, from how to deal with mosquitoes to recipes from the wild.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Dinner Speaker
.
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Rainy Day in June


The rain began in mid-morning with just a few scattered drops.  No booming thunder.  No flashes of lightning.  No tree shaking wind.  And then, slowly, the rain increased in intensity.  Not a downpour, but a steady, soaking, earth loving rain.  It rained all day and all night and most of the following morning.  My rain gauge showed two inches when it finally stopped, as it had started, with a few scattered drops.

I remembered rainy days like this when my brothers and I were helping Pa with the haying season, during the days when we made loose hay and hauled it to the barn with our trusty team of horses, and piled it in the barn’s hay mow.  Hot, dusty, heavy, hard work.  So a rainy day was a day away from haying. 

When the morning chores were done, and the cows were turned out to pasture—they didn’t seem to mind the rain splattering on their backs—we would crawl up into the hay mow where the freshly cut hay was stored.  And there we would rest on the hay that smelled of sweet  clover and alfalfa, and listen to the drumming of the raindrops on the barn roof.  We’d listen to Pa’s stories of rainy days that he remembered—but mostly we’d enjoy a day of rest, and celebrate the rain, for our sandy farm never had enough .

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Never curse the rain.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

John Muir, THE STORY OF MY BOYHOOD AND YOUTH.  Muir, who was born in Scotland in 1838, moved with his family to Wisconsin when he was eleven years old.  They settled on a farm in Marquette County, where life was hard but the lessons were many.  Muir went on to co- found the Sierra Club in 1892 and was a major force in establishing the National Park System in this country.  He died in 1914.

 Muir’s home farm, south of Montello, was located on Fountain Lake.  Muir wrote this: “On Sundays, after or before chores and sermons and Bible-lessons, we drifted about on our lake for hours, especially in lily time, getting the finest lessons and sermons from the water and flowers, ducks, fishes, and muskrats.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore, Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories From the Land. Time to be announced.

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago. Book signing. 

October 11, Old World Wisconsin [Time to be announced]

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)



Sunday, June 07, 2015

Bluebirds


Steve and I have just finished working in the garden, he rototilling, both of us hoeing.  Then doing a little replanting where few potatoes are missing, where a tomato plant has died, where a bean seed didn’t germinate.

 It is a warm late morning, but as we sit under the big spruce tree I planted forty years ago in front of the cabin, we are enjoying the shade and the cool breeze coming from the southwest.  We are watching a pair of bluebirds, the male with its back the color of the sky and its breast the color of the sun, and its mate with the same colors but more muted, busy going in and out of their house that sits on a post only a dozen or so feet from the cabin kitchen window.  Feeding their newly hatched young, we are assuming.

A couple days ago, a brisk southwest wind toppled a second bluebird house we have in the cabin’s front lawn—not much of a lawn as it’s made up of native grasses that are scraggly and thin but thus require little mowing.

 My son-in-law, Paul an all-around superior fix-it guy, volunteers to put up a new post and once more make this second bluebird home habitable.  Not an hour after the second house is in place, another pair of bluebirds is busy hauling in pieces of grass and twigs and building another nest. 

What a treat it is, to sit on my Aldo Leopold designed bench with my son, and watch not one but two pairs of bluebirds working hard to create and support new families.

BOOK OF THE WEEK

            I read Henry David Thoreau’s WALDEN, when I was in high school.  It was heavy going and I must confess that I didn’t get much from the reading.  As the years passed, I gained an increasing appreciation for this work, and find Thoreau’s writing a foundation for much of my work these days. 

One of my favorite Thoreau quotations: “Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed . . . . If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music he hears, however muted or far away.”
           
THE OLD TIMER SAYS.  Take time to sit under a shade tree, watch bluebirds at work, and think deeper thoughts.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

June 11, 5:30 p.m. Fund Raising Event, Stoughton Area Resource Team (START), Stoughton Hospital, Limping Through Life.

June 16, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Lecture, Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Whispers and Shadows. Call 608-264-6555 for reservations.

June 18, 6:30, Riveredge Nature Center, Saukville, Whispers and Shadows

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Time and place to be announced. Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)
September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Lukes Church, Middleton, WI   Stories From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 9-10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)




Sunday, May 31, 2015

First Radishes


We pulled the first radishes from our Roshara Garden yesterday.  Cherry red, crisp and sweet—an early taste of spring.  I don’t remember ever having radishes ready to eat in May—by mid-June usually, but not in May.  A pleasant surprise.  We also have lettuce ready to eat as well as collards.

            The other thing I don’t remember is harvesting early crops from the garden before half of the garden is planted.  At the same time that Natasha was pulling radishes, Steve and I planted cucumbers, winter squash, zucchini, rutabaga, pumpkins, beets, gourds and a second round of sweet corn—I planted a couple rows last Saturday.

            Last week, we had three and one-half inches of rain at Roshara—always welcome on our sandy soil, but a little too much in a short period of time.  Water stood on one side of the garden, very unusual.

            And to add to the weather challenges, I talked to my brother, Donald yesterday (his farm is next to mine) and I asked him what he was doing.  “I’m covering my tomatoes and potatoes because frost is predicted tonight.”

            So what to do.  We have about 75 tomato plants, way too many to cover.   We have a dozen or more long rows of potatoes—also impossible to protect.  At ten last night it was 47 degrees, at 5:30 this morning it was 37—and no frost in the garden that I noticed.  Whew.

Book of the Week

            One of my blog readers suggested folks might be interested in  books I’ve been reading, or have enjoyed and learned from in the past.  So here goes with the first one.  The book is THE LAND OF MILK AND UNCLE HONEY by Alan Guebert and Mary Grace Foxwell (University of Illinois Press) and just published (May 15). 

            Guebert is a nationally syndicated agriculturist columnist (see his column in THE COUNTRY TODAY). Foxwell is his daughter.  In a section that is titled “December Past,"  Guebert writes, “The gray gloom of December has arrived again and so, too, have the memories of boyhood on a southern Illinois dairy farm.  Most of the warm recollections, however, are of cold cows, cold hands, cold feet and old machinery.”

            For those interested in reading about Midwestern farm life during an earlier time, this is a most interesting, and valuable book.  Those of us who have had these experiences are fewer each year.

The Old Timer Says:  When working the land, one must always consider the weather, even though there is little we can do about it.

Special Announcement:  My one-day writing course on “Writing from Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information:

Upcoming Events:

June 11, 5:30 p.m. Fund Raising Event, Stoughton Area Resource Team (START), Stoughton Hospital, Limping Through Life.

June 16, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Lecture, Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Whispers and Shadows. Call 608-264-6555 for reservations.

June 18, 6:30, Riveredge Nature Center, Saukville, Whispers and Shadows.

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Concourse Hotel, Madison. Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke's Church, Middleton, WI   Stories From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 9-10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memories of Memorial Day


                Once more Memorial Day is here, and for many this signifies the first day of summer.  But Memorial Day has a much deeper meaning.

                When I was a kid, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. It was held on May 30 and if we arrived in Wild Rose on the day or so preceding Decoration Day, American Legion folks sold us red paper poppies to commemorate the day. We also made sure to put flowers on the grandparents graves on both sides of the family—Grandpa and Grandma Witt, and Grandpa and Grandma Apps.

                Decoration Day was first celebrated in 1868, as a way to recognize those soldiers who died in the Civil War.  General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, with General Order No. 11, proclaimed, “The 30th of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers and otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

                In wasn’t until after World War II that people began calling Decoration Day, Memorial Day, and included remembering all of those who served in battle, no matter which war.  In 1971, when  Congress passed the “National Holiday Act,” Memorial Day became an official federal  holiday, to be observed each year on the last Monday in May.

Red poppies became associated with Decoration Day in 1915, inspired by a poem written by Moina Michael.
In Flanders Fields
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take a minute to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

May 27, 7:00 p.m., Middleton Public Library, Whispers and Shadows

June 11, 5:30 p.m. Fund Raising Event, Stoughton Area Resource Team (START), Stoughton Hospital, Limping Through Life.

June 16, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Lecture, Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Whispers and Shadows. Call 608-264-6555 for reservations.

June 18, 6:30, Riveredge Nature Center, Saukville, Whispers and Shadows

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Time and place to be announced. Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Lukes Church, Middleton, WI   Stories From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 9-10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.


November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Importance of Place


The Wisconsin Historical Society’s statewide tour traveled to Eau Claire this past week.  I was privileged to be part of a “Wisconsin Writer’s Forum” along with Michael Perry and John  Hildebrand.   Wisconsin Public Radio’s Alan Ross, host of Spectrum West, served as moderator. 

 About 150 people came from all around, including crossing the border from Minnesota to hear what my fellow writers and I had to say, and perhaps pick up a tip or two on how to write. We gathered at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, and then later signed books at the Eau Claire’s, L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

Our topic was “Sense of Place,” or in other words, why do our roots matter, and how does “place” make a difference in our lives?  What I tell my writing students includes these words: “We are our histories,” meaning where and when we grew up has a tremendous influence on who we are today.

I also say, “If we don’t know where we’ve been, we have trouble figuring out where we are going.”  The “place” where we grew up, for some of us several places, is a foundation for the lives we lead today.  It grounds us, it informs us, it provides solace when the road ahead is rocky and filled with pot holes.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS: How has “place” influenced who you are today?

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

May 20, 6:30 p.m., Barnes and Noble Madison. Whispers and Shadows Launch

May 21, 11:30 a.m. Beloit Retired Teachers, Stories from the Land

May 27, 7:00 p.m., Middleton Public Library, Whispers and Shadows

June 11, 5:30 p.m. Fund Raising Event, Stoughton Area Resource Team (START), Stoughton Hospital, Limping Through Life.

June 16, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Lecture, Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Whispers and Shadows. Call 608-264-6555 for reservations.

June 18, 6:30, Riveredge Nature Center, Saukville, Whispers and Shadows

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture and their staffs, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Time and place to be announced. Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin 
Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 9-10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary, The Land With Jerry Apps.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)