By Barbara Falconer Newhall
The Poet of Mason County
My father was a bit of a poet during his college years. The flyleaves of his undergraduate textbooks are riddled with his farm boy syntax and off-kilter meter.
Money was tight for families working the sandy soil of Mason county in the 1930s. But that didn’t stop my father from going off to Michigan State College — now Michigan State University — to study dairy science. He took odd jobs to put himself through college. Washing dishes in a sorority house was one.
I admired my father’s grit, which is why this poem is my favorite of the lot:
My name is David Falconer
And I own a bag of sand.
I come from Mason county
And I don’t give a damn.
— D.B. Falconer
The One-Woman Road Trip Continues
Naturally, a visit to Mason county was a must-do stop on my one-woman road trip up and down and across Michigan. I set aside a day to revisit the towns of Ludington and Scottville. Also the sandy, gently rolling countryside . . . OK, the barely rolling countryside.
The Ludington library invited me to speak and read from “Wrestling with God” while I was in town. There are no Falconers left in Mason county, but a Falconer cousin (our grandfathers were brothers) drove all the way up from southern Michigan for the book talk and to show me around the old family farms.
More stories of my one-woman road trip at “Wrestling with God on the Shores of Lake Michigan.”