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The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-28-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
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The Ultimate ER Story

I don't have any heros, but I've got to put Dick Proenneke at the top of my ER hero list. I never heard of this guy before, but I was in awe of his story that I happened to catch on PBS and could not stop watching.

If you don't know who he is here is a link to a brief summary of his life http://peninsulaclarion.com/stories/...pm001001.shtml

I don't think I could do a fraction of what this guy did. I can only admire the accomplishments of one man retiring in his early 50s and living on his own for 30 years in the middle of a forest! If there were an ER course, I would make his book a must read.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 05:32 AM   #2
 
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Hello retire@40..............Neat story! There was a time when I had such dreams as did many others I'm sure.
But, it takes a very special person to actually do it.
My current daily goal of "resting comfortably" no longer fits in with a back to the land/wilderness lifestyle

John Galt
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

His story and lifestyle sound fascinating. The local library has a copy I may have to check out.

Thanks for the link....
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Hey bow-tie, did you notice that Dick Proenneke was born and raised in Iowa?

(For newcomers to the group - bow-tie and I may be the only Iowans here, so we occasionally go off on an Iowa tangent.)
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Quote:
Hey bow-tie, did you notice that Dick Proenneke was born and raised in Iowa?

(For newcomers to the group - bow-tie and I may be the only Iowans here, so we occasionally go off on an Iowa tangent.) *
Hey Bob:

As I mentioned before, Iowa was probably our favorite state to drive through. (Mostly because of the people we talked with).

But this guy is ridiculous. Can you imagine living in Alaska all those years without electricity, etc. etc.

The amazing thing to me is that he came through it without going completely bonkers. (Actually, maybe he did

As for me, at this stage of my life, I get almost depressed if I can't play golf because of rain
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

This is pretty interesting and reminds me of a recent conversation I had with some colleagues. Basically we were asking ourselves if technology has actually improved our lives... sure, it has made things more accessible, but given the costs (always available via cell phones, etc), are we really better off? Given that we're all a bunch of IT nerds, this was a new idea for some.

In the end, we all decided that it would be nice to go live simply on some tropical island armed with only a few provisions and our intellect.....once we realized that we were begining to sound like a bunch of hippies or perhaps even Ted Kaczynski, we quickly went back to work.

Anyone care to finance a small ER-island nation? I'll bring some tents, jarhead and cut-throat can obviously fish... I believe that there is already a flag, complete with a latin phrase ready to go for the EndeavoR.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Quote:
Hey bow-tie, did you notice that Dick Proenneke was born and raised in Iowa?

(For newcomers to the group - bow-tie and I may be the only Iowans here, so we occasionally go off on an Iowa tangent.) *
Hey Bob, I did see that. *I'm always looking for Iowans that hit the big time *. *I was reading an issue of Time last week, and there was an article about a female author who lives in Iowa and teaches at the writers workshop at the U of I.

We need to keep a lower profile, so people don't realize what an awesome place we have here.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

- - *and to hijack the thread more, we got our first snow here last night/this morning here in Eastern Iowa.... boooooo-hiiiissssss
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Quote:
But this guy is ridiculous. *Can you imagine living in Alaska all those years without electricity, etc. etc.
That's what makes it so fascinating. He just found a patch of land, built his own log cabin, found his own food and water, and learned how to survive on his own.

I wonder what made him do this? He obviously had more skills than the average person. He had a job until age 52 as a diesel mechanic and could operate heavy machinery. He was intelligent enough to keep detailed journals of his observations. And he wasn't anti-social like Ted Kazinski.

I wonder if he even needed any money to live? If you live in Alaska, not only is there no state income or sales tax, but every resident of Alaska gets an annual $1,000 "dividend" check. There is a real estate tax, but I wonder if Proenneke had to pay taxes on his log-cabin?
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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As for me, at this stage of my life, I get almost depressed if I can't play golf because of rain
Jarhead, I agree. I don't golf, but without all of my electronic devices and other comforts, I'd be suffering. There is a part of me that finds these back-to-the-land guys fascinating though. Many years ago I subscribed to Mother Earth News, a magazine where you could learn how to build a "comfortable home" out of other people's construction debris or raise rabbits for food and income - that sort of thing. Then I went on to live a comfortable, middle class life for the next 25-30 years. I commited to a cushy life, and I'm standing firm.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-29-2004, 06:24 PM   #11
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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We need to keep a lower profile, so people don't realize what an awesome place we have here.
Right!
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 04:24 AM   #12
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Cool story. I have always admired people with wilderness survival skills. I have always wanted to take some survival classess since at least once a year we will go back-country camping: no running water, no electricity and no one to be seen for miles around. Living like that sounds cool (although now I probably still have a lot to learn in order to survive).

My list-to-do is getting longer, the longer I live.

Jane
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 04:38 AM   #13
 
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Jane, if your experience is like mine the "to-do"
list will keep expanding forever. It's really quite
remarkable.

John Galt
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 06:39 AM   #14
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Quote:
Jane, if your experience is like mine the "to-do"
list will keep expanding forever. *It's really quite
remarkable.

John Galt
John: I found a young handyman that takes care of most of my to-dos.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 07:04 AM   #15
 
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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Right! *

I was raised in SW Minnesota. 11 Miles from the Iowa border. It was some of the bleakest land that I have ever seen. Flat ground, few trees. Terrible winters, Hot summers, High Winds (Actually had the National Windsurfing Championships on my Hometown Lake last year).

Iowa gets much better as you move farther east, but I know what Western Iowa is like and you won't have to ever worry about large numbers of folks moving in there.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 07:57 AM   #16
 
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

Cut-Throat is right on about SW MInnesota and western Iowa. He could have thrown in almost all of North Dakota too. The best thing about the North Dakota
landscape is that it makes eastern Montana look
quite lovely by comparison

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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 09:13 AM   #17
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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Iowa gets much better as you move farther east, but I know what Western Iowa is like and you won't have to ever worry about large numbers of folks moving in there.
Yeah, the demographic trends of population growth of Western Iowa versus Easter Iowa is a little disheartening. *With a higher proportion of bigger cities in Eastern Iowa, there seems to be a migration from West to East... *I'm seeing entirely too much incredibly fertile farmground growing houses instead crops. *It also makes me wonder what will become of some of the towns/cities out west.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 09:43 AM   #18
 
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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It also makes me wonder what will become of some of the towns/cities out west.
Mine is shrinking!

- I was talking to a Banker the day and he made the comment that all of the Banks in that region have clients that are getting older and owe them more money each year
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 09:45 AM   #19
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

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Mine is shrinking!

- I was talking to a Banker the day and he made the comment that all of the Banks in that region have clients that are getting older and owe them more money each year *
I hate to see that, but I don't see the trend reversing.
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story
Old 11-30-2004, 11:10 AM   #20
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Re: The Ultimate ER Story

When I was living in Iowa, one of the things that struck me is that the population exhibited a very small growth rate from the late 1800's to today. There most important export seems to be people. The shift from rural/farm to urban environment is very real though.

Here are some statistics that might interest the Iowa early retirement contingent:

http://www.soc.iastate.edu/extension...ommunities.pdf

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