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I’ve been talking to Bob Boone off and on since after I took a photograph of a dead Palestinian during my Peace Studies Class in the Holy Land. I thought my post in Lincolndemocrat.com on this lesson in Peace might make a good column – maybe several. But Mr. Boone is a man with too many distractions, so nothing came of it although he did let on that it wasn’t a bad idea.
Bob can be fussy. In the same way that the Duluth News Tribune does not want to be accused of having a conflict of interest by having its education reporter reporting on the School Board now that her aunt has been elected to it; Mr. Boone has qualms about allowing a politician, like I’ve been for the past 40 years, to take unfair advantage of getting free press in the Duluth Reader. I admire Bob for his scruples, but I have few qualms about writing for the Reader, despite my long list of political campaigns – sixteen of them to date!
Notwithstanding Bob’s scruples he did publish some of my columns in my previous stint on the Board which ended in 2004. I managed a hundred such columns for the Reader until I “retired” after four years. Then I wrote another ten during my battle against the Red Plan. They were an attempt at an exposé of how it had all come to pass. A couple years later I resumed “Not Eudora” briefly. Bob put the kibosh on it when I decided to run for the School Board again in 2013. After my election I was satisfied to bloviate on my blog.
I long had a yen to write and it finally overcame my fear of revealing myself to be an idiot. There are a great many of them running around although they also go by another name - human beings. For the longest time that fear kept me from writing thank you letters to my aunts. I’ve gotten over that.
The first time I was deeply moved to write was 36 years ago after my wife’s mother, Shirley, her husband Charlie, and step-daughter, Kristie, were killed flying to Duluth in a small plane. They crashed in Pine County on the way up to attend my daughter’s baptism. Those 24 hours were seared into my memory and for weeks afterward I could recall every detail of the tragedy minute by minute. I thought about writing it all down for posterity. I didn’t and the details evaporated.
Afterwards, I did begin jotting down family stories before I forgot them after interviewing family members. I still find these reminiscences squirreled away every now and then and, when I do, I’m often amazed at what I recorded.
It took my Father’s death and the loss of my teaching job in 1987 to finally push me into writing. I tried my hand at writing a “children’s book” having discovered the joys of reading to my kids. If nothing else, I thought it would be a good way for me to teach myself how to write. And I was ready. I’d just taught myself how to type using keyboarding software called Mavis Bacon. I practiced so damned much I nearly developed carpel tunnel syndrome. Then, I wrote that book. Oh, I could write a book about writing that book but neither of them would be worth reading.
In 1999 having finally gotten elected to something – the Duluth School Board – I created a webpage. I’d been hearing about them for a couple of years. They could be found on something called the Internet. I dreamed about having a place where I could rebut letters-to-the-editor that took a piece out of me. When that kind of software was designed for idiots like me Snowbizz.com was born. It was named in honor of the other thing my being a stay-at-home Dad allowed me to become – a snow sculptor.
In the early years I was delighted if eight people looked at my website a day. Then one of my “eight loyal readers” sent something I’d written to Bob Boone. I had titled the piece Monkeyworms and Bob published it. Not counting the five thousand unsold books I’d written, it was my first non-letter-to-the editor writing to see print. A few years later Bob asked me if I’d like to write a column for his Reader ….. or maybe I asked him. I can’t recall.
Bob had in mind some trenchant political writing. What I had in mind was writing about whatever mosquito happened to be buzzing about in my brain. That meant only sporadic political reportage.
Today Bob wants me writing more political news – especially considering the News Tribune’s diminished role in that regard. But that’s just not my inclination. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say about politics. I always tell folks that I have more opinions than you can shake a stick at especially where Fox News is concerned.
BTW, Donald Trump ran for President in hopes it would give him leverage to buy FOX from Rupert Murdoch……. then Trump screwed it up like he did so many of his casino bank loans, screwed up America really, by winning his fake presidential campaign.
Obviously, my advice is badly needed. It’s just that somehow things like “Monkeyworms” make just as much if not more sense. If you doubt me Google it and see for yourself.
Harry Welty is a local eccentric who also pontificates at www.lincolndemocrat.com.