On MinnPost today, I read a wonderful story about Jon Hassler, author of such best sellers as Staggerford and A Green Journey, not to mention the young adult books Jemmy and Four Miles to Pinecone (both of which I read when I was younger and loved). I also wrote a paper on Grand Opening for my 10th grade English class. His books line many Minnesota shelves I'm sure, including my mom's. He's one of the greats from our region.
I didn't know, however, that he's suffering from a Parkinson's-like disease which affects his speech and mobility. Imagine how hard it is to write books when you can't write, type or speak well. The writer, Dave Wood, describes Hassler's daily life - of which writing is very much a part - and his selfless, caring wife and "helper." It's a great story of focus and perseverance.
I also want to give a shout out to MinnPost. Started just last week, this online and print publication is composed by many writers familiar to we Twin Cities dwellers. Many are former Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and City Pages reporters who were bought out, asked to leave or got out just in time when our big newspapers went through several months of turmoil and turnover recently. I'm so pleased to see their names in print again and look forward to reading what they have to say.