Sunday, February 22, 2015


When I was growing up on the farm we walked.  We walked a lot.  We walked after the cows.  We walked to school, which was about a mile from our farm.  We walked to the neighbors for card parties.  We walked behind a team of horses pulling a plow.  In a typical day, we walked several miles.  But we didn't talk about it.  We didn't have pedometers to measure it.  We just did it.  Walking was a way of life on the farm.

A neighbor’s parents, who had lived in Milwaukee, moved to the neighbor’s farm and retired there.  He was a walker.  Walter was his name.  But he was a different kind of walker.  He walked for exercise.  Pa thought he was a bit off in the head for walking around our block, which was four miles.  He did this every day.  According to Pa, he had no purpose for walking.  He just walked.   He wouldn't stop to talk with anyone; he said he was timing himself. Why, people wondered.

But he did have a purpose.  He lived to be a hundred.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS.  When you walk, you see more, hear more—and besides it’s good for you.


A big thank you to everyone who responded to my request for Wisconsin CCC material.  I’m still looking for more, especially for CCC information from central and Northeastern Wisconsin.  Here is what I earlier said:

I am working on the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Wisconsin, which will be published as a book by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.  The CCC operated throughout the country from 1933 to 1942, and had a strong presence in Wisconsin.  CCC boys planted trees, helped with soil conservation, improved state and national parks, fought forest fires and much more.

I am looking for photos, letters, diaries, and stories told by and about Wisconsin CCC members—the work they did, what they did in their free time, how they related to the communities in which they worked, and whatever else someone might have.  Many Wisconsin families were involved with the CCC and their story has not been told.
If anyone has such information, please get in touch with me at:


Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. River Falls Library. The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.

Wednesday, February 25, 11:30-1:30 Chapter 2 Bookstore, Hudson, WI. The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County & The Quiet Season.
Thursday, March 5. 7:00 p.m. McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids.  Great Sand Fracas of Ames County, and intro to Whispers and Shadows.

Sunday, March 22, Noon. Schumacher Farm Volunteers Recognition. Stories from the land. Middleton, WI, place to be announced.

Wednesday, March 25. Noon. Banquet speaker for Wisconsin Agriculturist Magazine Farmer of the Year Award Program.  Oshkosh.  Farm Stories.

Tuesday, April 7, 6:30.  Heritage Hill Museum, Green Bay.  Garden Wisdom

Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.  Friends of Eau Claire Library. Eau Claire, WI. Stories from the land.

Sunday, April 19, 7:00 p.m.  Lebanon Historical Society, Lebanon Community center.  Stories from the land.

 Monday, April 20, Noon. Fox Valley Book Festival, UW-Fox Valley. Whispers and

Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose.  Whispers and Shadows.

Friday, April 24, 8:00 p.m. Ice Age Trail Org. Wis. Dells, Winter Green Resort.  Old Farm

Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 Black River Falls Library, Sky Line Golf Course. Stories from the land

 Sunday, May 3, 1:00 p.m. Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello.  Whispers and Shadows

Tuesday, May 12. History Tour, Eau Claire

 Thursday, May 14, 7:00 p.m. Appleton Sierra Club, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.

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

Thursday, May 21. Noon. Beloit-Janesville Retired Teachers. Stories from the land

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

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

The library now has available signed copies 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 signed books 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
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

1 comment:

Don said...


An old saying I heard and which hit home with me is, "The footsteps of the farmer are the best fertilizer." Meaning that observation by foot of the farm is the best way to learn how the land is responding to your farming practices. Too few farmers do this these days.