Writing with Passion

I write with passion about child abuse prevention because a man grabbed me and held a gun to my head when I was 5-years-old. I write with passion about spouse abuse prevention because I saw my father beat my mother and I heard her screams for help. I write with passion about suicide prevention because I could not save my good friend and neighbor who took her own life. I write with passion about the struggles of single parents because I felt the agony of divorce and raised my sons alone. I write with passion about substance abuse prevention because…

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Family Farm, 1954

Glenwood Farm
Aerial view of the family farm taken in about 1954 before the barn was doubled in size and a two-car garage was built next to the house. Most of t he buildings were burned in a fire in September 1967.

I had already graduated from high school and was living in St. Paul, Minn., when I first learned about the fire while watching the news on TV. The local fire department was able to get there in time to save the house and prevent the outside gas tank from exploding, but my parents lost many buildings and animals. My brother Buzz was there and this is what he wrote about it:

“When I was 15, we suddenly woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the dreaded word ‘fire.’ The 55-gallon drums of gas that had been filled the day before had been spread between the buildings, so there were six-foot flames on bare ground,” Buzz said. “The barns, granaries, and machine shed went up in a huge fire. Thousands of bales of hay and straw, thousands of bushels of oats and about 100 pigs were toasted. The cattle got out but all of our hard work went up in smoke. We were defeated.”