Coming out of the woods: the solitary life of a maverick by Wallace Kaufman

By Wallace Kaufman

"An soaking up, unflinching, and unusually comedian account of ways one man-a committed father-withdrew from the realm and progressively again. it is as clever and instructive because it is compelling."-Reynolds PriceIn 1974 Wallace Kaufman, following the romantic imaginative and prescient of a less complicated lifestyles in concord with nature he first glimpsed in Thoreau's Walden, moved directly to his personal land by means of a small flow within the North Carolina woods. Now, twenty-five years later, he emerges to inform a story just a little assorted from Thoreau's-an unique, relocating, and relatively late-twentieth-century tale of a existence lived within the wild as landowner, environmentally unsleeping developer, builder, farmer, conservationist, wasteland steward. His love of nature and his dedication to keeping it by no means waver, whilst he tells his occasionally hilarious, occasionally catastrophic tales of the way to stay with nature even if nature is not too partial to residing with you.

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I had lost my environmental virginity. It was as dead as the black and gray piles of burned stumps, as gone as the trees that had grown from those stumps. He had appeared like Faust to carry on with the bargain, his road for my soul. Jar was enjoying himself. " A minute later, his caravan of earthmovers arrived on four yellow lowboy trailers. They came thundering down the road as if part of a celebration he was staging. There were two bulldozers, a road grader, and an earth-scooping "pan" as long as an eighteen-wheel trailer truck.

When time came to buy in or drop out, I learned we had really been talking about what we could not do with this land. Duncan Sutherland, the coal mine heir, stood up to pronounce his great' est reservations. He was feisty and usually leaped to his feet to make important points, as if he were about to take action. His main action after such pronouncements, however, was to slump back into a chair and suffer rebuttal. More than likely he had learned by experience that short men get more attention standing up.

K. Pettigrew had done with me. I spread out the map of the 330 acres on the hood of my truck and stuck a finger on the point at which the logging road plunged through the small pines. "Anywhere in here you can have five acres or a hundred," I would say. I thought people would like the design-your-own-lot approach. They could choose how long and how wide the lot would be and what hills and trees it might have. But even trail-seasoned country lovers arrived expecting to see some hallmarks of development.

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