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Obituary of an American Original: Writer and Organizer Bill Nygren Dies

Bill at the Ranch

He-mailed a few trusted friends; his co-writer, his bowling buddy–a friend since first grade, and his godson … confidential… going into the hospital… lengthy stay… must do this alone… They kept their word and didn’t say a thing until everyone who knew and loved Bill was very worried. The one who was writing a book with him, Matt Nelson, was the first to let the cat out of the bag. . . . → Read More

Spring Wears the Clothes of Winter and a Smile

It’s becoming a tradition in the Pacific Northwest. Prize-winning Portland playwright and poet William S. Gregory sends his solar season’s tribute to the cycles of the sun. Enjoy. -Editor . . . → Read More

An American Original: Louis Bromfield

Louis Bromfield and Roswell Garst, Malabar Farm, 1954, courtesy of {link:http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/audiovis/munroe/}The Ohio Historical Society{/link}, the Joe Munroe Archives

In 1786 homesick Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, wrote a letter glorifying his Virginia farm: “And our own dear Monticello…with what majesty do we ride above the storm!” Political tempests would come and go. The one thing that tormented him unto death in 1826, however, was the ever-rising river of debt issuing from “dear Monticello.”

In 1932 homesick novelist Louis Bromfield, close by Paris, wrote a note, singing of his youth on an Ohio farm. “It was a good way of life” he recalled, having “in it two fundamental things which were once and may be again intensely American…integrity and idealism. Jefferson has been dead more than a hundred years but (these) things are immortal.” Seven years later, he moved back to Ohio and built America’s most famous farm, vowing to create “a world of my own or die trying.” As it turned out, he did help usher in a new world of sustainable farming. But his farm’s rising river of debt lead to his early death.

While it’s unfair to compare even an imposing . . . → Read More