I was born in 1958, In Watertown, WI. Although I was too young to enjoy
the view, the hospital overlooked the Rock River. As a child, I loved
to explore the Rock River. I fished for blue gill with bread dough and
fed corn to the ducks. I saved my paper route money ($1 per day) to buy
a 12-foot johnboat. With this flat-bottomed boat, my friends and I explored
every inch of that polluted river. When I was 14, I went SCUBA diving
off the Florida Keys. I was almost carried away by the Gulf Stream (very
much like a river).
In high school, an incredible science teacher took me whitewater canoeing
on the Flambeau River. I was scared to death.
In 1976, I enrolled in the College of Natural Resources in Stevens Point,
WI (a town along the Wisconsin River). I paid for college by working at
summer camps. I took kids whitewater canoeing on the Namekagon River.
They were scared to death.
I teach science in Wisconsin Rapids, WI (a town along the Wisconsin River).
Last summer I took a river taxi ride with my mother, through downtown
Chicago. It was waycool! In my spare time, I write. Sometimes the words
flow like a river. Other times they stagnate like a backwater slough.
It would be dishonest to let anyone think that everything I do is about
rivers. I live in a prairie-not on a river. I drive a tractor-not a bass
boat. I raise chickens-not ducks. I could live a whole and productive
life without ever seeing River Dance on PBS again.
more about Joe, and his novel, "Restoration in the Barrens."