ENDEAVORS IN RETIREMENT
Leonard was born in 1933, on a grain farm near Columbus, ND to Lefty and Nona (Fawcett) Hierath. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1951.
He left for college in the fall of 1951 at the age of 17 and has only returned for visits, but still brags today about being “a North Dakota farm boy.”
Len recalls his father being widely known as a good baseball player and team manager in Columbus, “Every little town had a team. What fun that was!”
Len played baseball for Columbus and made it to the State High School Tournament where they won only their first game. His first cousin, Howard Wrigley, now of Fargo, was also on the team.
“We keep in touch with the Wrigleys, our only relatives,” Len shared. “I do keep in touch with many first cousins from North Dakota, who are now scattered around the nation.”
He and his wife, Carrie have lived in the Denver, CO for over 36 years.
The first few weeks of the new school year are behind us, and all the beginning of the year hubbub we must endure has finally passed. Freeing the teachers to teach, the students to learn, and the parents to go to work without the constant worry of a free roaming teenager on their mind.
The faculty and students can now enter a meeting or a classroom without somebody saying, “Why don’t we go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves.”
A sentence that beings with “why” is generally meant to be a question in search of an answer.
“Why don’t we go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves?”
Because, nobody wants to, and those who do, want to have already made everyone painfully aware of their existence, and will continue to do so at each and every meeting until an unfortunate accident befalls them.
I cringe in faculty meetings every time I see a new face because I know a mass introduction to the newbie is inevitable.
To remedy my cringe I find it useful to make stuff up when it’s my turn to stand and report my biography to a stranger. A stranger whose brain flat-lined six people ago and is now just smiling and nodding and thinking, “One of his sideburns is longer than the other” as I dutifully report.
With the passing of the first few weeks we have also passed the first of many breaks to come. We had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend at our cabin in Montana. Sierra and her boyfriend were able to swing over from Bozeman and hang out with us for a few days of “off the grid” cabin time. My father-in-law, Bernie, and his brother, Tony, made the trip from Rapid City with my wife, our son, the dog and myself.
Our cabin has no electricity, no phone and no cell service.
It is one of my most favorite places to “just be” and it was fun having a cabin full of family ages 16 to 79 enjoying one another’s company without the many distractions we have at our fingertips in our so-called “connected” world.
We played a lot of cards, read a few books, cut a little wood, stared at the flickering light of the fire, and tipped our heads skyward to a blanket of stars with the coming of each night.
Actually, the rest of the gang played a lot of cards, I took on the duty of staring at the flickering light of the fire. Sitting in front of the fire, listening to family laugh and chit-chat over a card game under the low hiss and gentle glow of a lantern…I smiled, and quietly thanked the cabin for that moment.
Now we’re off.
Off and running with another school year, and already it seems the plate that looked so orderly and sparse a few weeks ago is now an overflowing mess of this, that, and another thing.
So it goes.
I wonder what the cabin’s up to?
Why don’t we all go introduce ourselves.