Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hendersonville #AtoZChallenge

Be careful what you read, especially if you are a bit idealistic.  You never know what reading material will do to you.

In 1977, I got a new job in my then-home of Wichita, Kansas, after several months of temporary work.

My spouse was in the United States Air Force, and I followed him to Wichita for a posting at McConnell Air Force base.  After some searching, I found a full time job.

The job required me to take a three day training in Manhattan, Kansas, a city that will never be confused with Manhattan Island in New York City.

There, on a break, a magazine caught my eye - The Mother Earth News.  In those days, and perhaps nowadays, too, this magazine taught the virtues of the simple, homesteading life.

We ended up, two years later, heading to Northwest Arkansas (about a five hour drive) and buying rural land.  What happened next is a story for another time.

Mother Earth News, at the time, was headquartered in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  I chuckled reading this person's description of visiting their headquarters in 1979. (And, for the record, neither my spouse nor I have ever been substance-smoking hippie types).

In 2012, spouse and I made our own pilgrimage to Hendersonville, just to see what this western North Carolina town, about 22 miles from Asheville, North Carolina was like. Mother Earth News had left years before, so we were curious as to what the city had become like.  And what we found there were...


Patriotic bears.

Bears decorated with sort-of a Mother Earth theme.

Bears decorated with trees.

Bears decorated with children.

What stories these bears could tell.

So, we never did find the Mother Earth News that made our lives take an unexpected turn all those years ago.  Still, without that turn, we never would have shown up, years later, in Hendersonville to make friends with these bears.

Such is life.

"H" Day for Blogging from A to Z challenge.


  1. I've seen decorated cows but this is the first time for bears.

    1. One year, Binghamton had decorated dinosaurs (long story).

  2. Homesteading, eh? That's an interesting detour.

    1. Yes, it was interesting - but one I've never regretted.


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