Archive - Oct 29, 2003


A lull, and I sure hope it's temporary

After hauling the mailing promoting Off the Farm to the post office, it hit me that there is nothing more I can do. Four thousand copies of the book are on their way from the printer. Forty thousand fliers are waiting at newspaper offices, to be inserted next week. Now it is just to wait and see if the thing sells! I calculated today that I need to sell 1,700 of them to break even. Advertising costs as much as the printing, but you have to do it. I think I have made worse investments, but any lull in activity allows doubts to creep in...

Commentary glut

I can't imagine that there has ever been so much daily commentary on the news and everything else as there is today. In addition to all the cable TV news shows and talk radio shows, there are hundreds of thousands of weblogs like this one devoted to every sort of interest, every political view. If you know what you are doing, you can start your own daily newspaper, available to the entire world instantly, and for free, both to the publisher and the reader--in a matter of ten minutes!

Grandpa columns

The columns I write about my grandfather always get good response. It seems that just mentioning him in a column insures that people will remember it, even those who never met Grandpa, or who know nothing about him.

I spent twenty years as a sort of right-hand man to Grandpa after he turned over the reins of the nursery to Mom and Dad. People loved Grandpa for his enthusiasm, friendliness and genius. I define genius here as "creative originality." He had that! To his family, however, he was often a difficult enigma.

Fall work

After the trees drop their leaves, there is a little blizzard of fall work at the nursery. The most important job is the digging of trees before the ground freezes. With the raw, wet weather, that job becomes miserable, and takes on added urgency. We will spend the winter sorting the trees in cold storage. If we don't get the trees out of the ground, however, digging will have to wait until spring when we have no time to sort! So, Joe, Dad and Ken are slipping and sliding through the mud out there--and I suppose if worse comes to worse, I could go out there, too.