wedding1cropI was a wacked out freshman, barely in school, at Tufts University outside Boston. The year was 1969. In early March, I signed up for a Sensitivity Training weekend on campus. It was to start after lunch on Saturday and, about noon, I was awakened by a ringing phone. The call from the course organizers came straight to my dorm room thanks to an illegal phone line installed by a neighboring engineering student. I remember the young woman on the phone telling me that there were other students on a waiting list. “Are you coming?” she asked. Somehow the word, “Yes” emerged from my sleepy, hung over haze.

I took a quick shower and put on my uniform: a green cotton turtleneck, green corduroy pants, a fringed, orange woven sash for a belt and work boots that looked like their previous owner had died in the gutter. All this was topped off by the proverbial rose colored glasses, hair that had not seen scissors since summer, and a battered fedora.

During a group discussion, the psychologist couple leading the weekend sat at one end of the long room but I was sitting against a side wall because I needed back support. A beautiful coed stood up to say something and, as fate would have it, she was directly in front of me so I could see her in profile. I was now fully awake.

Later, I would call her a Spanish Eskimo attempting to define her unique features. Actually, her strong nose and cheek bones came from German Swiss ancestors. In any case, I was immediately hooked on her exotic beauty. When the maids came to clean on Monday morning they found us in an upstairs bedroom. From our viewpoint the sensitivity training had been a great success, but the Tufts administration had a slightly different perspective. How could they have known a life partnership had just begun?

mani1For the first thirty years of our creative partnership the primary creations were people. Here is Emanuel, the youngest of five, ready to take on the world.

When Mani went off to college in 2005, Lin and I took full advantage of the empty nest. Links to our projects are on the very top of this page. Most of these involve building small structures that are fun to be in. At the top of this page you can click on the cob house where we live, the bale/cob experiment which we did with our daughter Anna, our first semi-mobile tiny house, our definitely mobile Gypsy camper, an assortment of playhouses, and our greenhouse. There are also theme pages like my thoughts on building costs.

117490353.AU5n9pL2.ah17We have had well over 1,000 visitors to our homestead here in Fairfield, Iowa and are happy to introduce you to our town and projects that may interest you. We have also had hundreds of folks help with our projects. If we don’t have something that you can pitch in with, we may know someone else in the area who could use a hand. “Connections” at the top of the page will take you to a blog of links to our favorite builders in Fairfield and beyond.

Any picture can be clicked on to see a larger version. And, of course, comments and feedback are welcome. Hap


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