Last Settler’s Syndrome

Years ago, my wife and I built a new house on a big bluff overlooking a Wisconsin River flowage (Lake Wisconsin).  We had unobstructed views of the water, the deer, and the wild turkeys.  Over time, the residential lots on top of the hill and on the hillside filled in with big houses and little houses.  A structure resembling a double wide lay in the path of our view of the lake.

I remember complaining to Professor Tom Heberlein, a casual acquaintance, about losing my view.  He looked up at me, peering over his professorial glasses, and said, “Ahh, you have last settler’s syndrome.”  Heberlein taught rural sociology at the University of Wisconsin and lived part-time in Lodi and part-time in Sweden.  So I didn’t feel stupid when I asked him what he was talking about. Continue reading

Pay to Play Outdoors

“You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” (Bob Dylan)

Parks cost money to operate.  I remember paying admission fees to state parks when I was a young man.  I also remember the parks being well maintained with lots of staff and offering varied educational programs.What has changed? Continue reading