What is Country Boy Logic?

So you ask: what is Country Boy Logic? Well, I’m about to tell you.

I began my writing career with a spiral bound notebook, a Royal upright typewriter with an occasional sticking “S” key, and a beastly heavy and well worn 4X5 Speed Graphic camera.

Since then, my dual profession of writer-photographer has had me traveling almost a million miles, tromping across farms and ranches throughout all 50 states, flying around the world twice, and meeting the rich and famous as well as those who barely had two nickels to rub together.

I’ve swallowed dust, gotten wet, shivered in bitter cold, dodged lightning, stepped over snakes, looked down the wrong end of a gun barrel, and spent many lonely nights in motel rooms. Such situations, as they say, go with the territory — part of pursuing a better story or getting one more picture.

I envied some of the people I’ve met, especially those who wake up and walk out the back door to face a beautiful sunrise against the wide sweep of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, grassy slopes in the Texas hill country, or the sharply rising foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

At the same time, I’ve witnessed situations I haven’t envied such as a family struggling with deep debt on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and a young farmer in western Nebraska watching helplessly as severe drought was causing his crops to wither and die.

Equally unforgettable was that rainy day in upcountry Nigeria where I was sitting cross legged in a mud hut with a thatched roof. As I gazed into the eyes of the village chief, I noticed the creases in his skin visually softened by dim light and wisps of smoke that spiraled upward from the smoldering fire between us. Suddenly, my imagination hurled me backward in time. A hundred years? A thousand years? I didn’t know, nor did I care.

In short, I’ve swung open the door to a wonderful, challenging, and often uncertain horizon to horizon landscape populated by people committed to giving their mortal existence a good hard twist.

One of the greatest advantages of that is having been exposed to a different way of thinking, a state of mind leading to surprisingly simple solutions or answers, or nothing more than a clearer awareness of the world around me.

Yes, you could call that common sense, but unfortunately, that’s now in woefully short supply. So I prefer to call it Country Boy Logic. That’s because during America’s early years, farmers and ranchers were so isolated they had to solve many of their problems simply and with considerable creativity and ingenuity.

Fast forward to today and we often find ourselves admitting that despite all the wonders of new technology, there’s an even greater need for Country Boy Logic. That’s because it’s a timeless way of using simple approaches to problem solving that can be applied universally, no matter who you are, where you are, or what you do.

As an example, I repeat here a widely told story of several years ago. The driver of an eighteen-wheeler so misjudged the height of an underpass that when he attempted to pass through it, the truck came to a crunching stop, its roof so firmly wedged against the concrete above that the truck couldn’t be moved. As the police were trying to figure out what to do, a kid on the sidelines suggested that if they let some air out of the tires, the truck would be low enough to be driven away. They did, and it was.

Applying Country Boy Logic is often much more subtle because it can always be found or needed throughout the entire human experience.

If you choose to be a regular reader of these writings, and I sincerely invite you to do that, you might not be able to always connect the subject with what I’ve expressed here. I assure you, however, that it will be there. Indeed, it’s also reflected in Goodbye Akron, my new book that’s also my first novel.

Someone once wisely observed that it’s not enough to learn. You must also share with others what you know.

What I write here is my gift to you, my way of passing on what I’ve learned. You’ll find it interesting, inspirational, educational, and perhaps even humorous. Unlike the many faceless and traceless rants bombarding you from everywhere, your take away from these writings could well make for an easier day, or even enrich your life.

I’ll see you later. Until then, good luck and God bless.

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