In mid-January 2021, I announced that after a 50-year career as a craftsman, I will be scaling back a bit as I approach my seventies. That hasn’t changed. [Above photo: This is me taking a load off. It feels pretty good.]

Like I’ve said, expect more funky furniture making its way to the gallery ... but I am excited to announce that I'm debuting my blog simply revland. Sixty-plus years of storytelling about how a simple, ordinary boy got from point A to point B as a simple, somewhat ordinary, and some might say, eccentric man.

Some of the tales could be funny, some not so much, as we all have had obstacles to hurdle. Provocative, perhaps ... hopefully more informative than anything.

I would like to leave some history for my son, and perhaps for myself ... for as I continue along this path, I may need to read about myself to remember who I was. Such is life.

simply revland has been in the works for a couple years, and I hope some of you will enjoy it and glean something from it. For everyone else ... forgive me for being so presumptuous. Stay tuned.

simply revland:

an introduction

[February 14, 2021] Welcome to simply revland, a collection of memories and musings spanning eight decades as an artist and musician, most notably the last 50 years as an award winning designer and furniture maker. Like my sister, mother, and grandmother before me . . .

simply revland:

the early years

[February 21, 2021] Ah yes . . . the 1950s:

  • 5 cents for a Milky Way.
  • No Internet.
  • Low crime.

Life was simple and things moved at a much slower pace . . .

simply revland:

the magical mystery door

[February 28, 2021] In 1960, as a 7-year-old, I was beginning to understand my parents . . . and perhaps they were on the road to figuring me out as well. However, on numerous occasions, I could overhear them talking about me in Norwegian, which usually meant I was in serious trouble . . .

simply revland:

the fort

[March 7, 2021] According to Webster, a fort is a place that’s made strong and secure. It can also be a fortress or a fortification. But for a child, it can simply be a patchwork quilt held up by clothespins or a large cardboard box turned upside down . . .

simply revland:

the treehouse (1962)

[March 14, 2021] I’ll never forget the view as I sat comfortably in the penthouse, or the “crows nest,” as I so proudly called it. It was the third level of my treehouse, my bachelor pad, 30 feet off the ground, my official den of iniquity. Musty old pillows stuffed into. . . .

simply revland:

solitude, the early years

[March 21, 2021] I closed last week's chapter by stating we would discuss the choices I made as a child . . . specifically the solitude, seclusion, and isolation that I experienced.

. How does a small child make decisions like this on his own? . . . .

simply revland:

"Party Line" (1962)

[March 28, 2021] It was a rare occasion that I was ever allowed to leave class early at Jefferson Grade School, considering my expertise was actually failing to show up. I had been watching the clock all day, knowing I had permission to leave at 1:30.

simply revland:

the wood lathe (1965)

[April 4, 2021] His huge gray, overgrown nicotine-stained mustache hung over his top lip, weakening his smile ... if there ever was one. ... he shuffled awkwardly across the dusty floor. Most noticeably, however, was the realization that half of his fingers were gone. As in, missing.

simply revland:

the revland municipal (1967)

[April 11, 2021] My last hurrah, as I saw it, was to create the Revland Municipal Golf Course on our family property ... Providing the “gentleman’s” game, one of history's oldest and most revered sports, with free admission,

simply revland:

slowpitch softball (1968)

[April 18, 2021] It was the Summer of 1968 and we were forced to sit on the grassy knoll that day, only because the aluminum bleachers were fully occupied. Excitement was in the air ... as we waited for the home team to take the field.

simply revland:

senior year (spring 1971)

[April 25, 2021] While our fellow students were back in class, we were combing through the ball rack at The Bowler on South University Drive, a weekly required ritual meant to track down our perfectly-fit, black-colored, three-holed sphere.

simply revland:

grave digging blues (1972)

[May 2, 2021] I was prepared to begin my first full-time job as a grave digger at Sunset Memorial Gardens on South Highway 81. It paid well at $2 an hour, and I could only assume this experience would foster an adventure or two.

Ted Mack (1953) / Wikimedia Commons

simply revland:

NDSU spring blast talent show (1974)

[May 9, 2021] It was the night for NDSU’s annual “Spring Blast Talent Show,” emceed by the legendary Ted Mack, host of CBS’s Ted Mack Amateur Hour. I had been preparing for this for months, and had written an original song to unveil: “My House.”

simply revland:

first vinyl record (1974)

[May 16, 2021] It was now late September ... and I had an appointment. For on this day, I was cutting my first vinyl recording at Mark Custom Records in Moorhead. I was battling influenza, complete with a fever, and knew I wasn’t up to snuff, but felt an obligation to work my way through it.

simply revland:

the wood shoppe (1976)

[May 23, 2021] ... we soon opened “The Wood Shoppe” directly across the street from “Betty’s Beer Depot” on 13th Avenue and Fifth Street South. The location turned out to be advantageously serendipitous to both of us, as six packs were just a few steps away ... as we hopelessly waited for the phone to ring.

simply revland:

a child is born

(1979-1980)

[May 30, 2021] I had turned 26 earlier that year [1979], and happened to be a healthy young man of leisure, enriched with advanced hormonal tendencies. Like many others my age, I was on the prowl. ... Within about a month, even though it seemed like just a few days, I was informed that I was about to be a father.

simply revland:

mark your calendar

(1982)

[June 6, 2021] After publication, offers for modeling came our way, and a few of us started doing ramp work, escorting, and, of all things, disco fashion shows. (Use your imagination in picturing that one.) I was also asked to attend a woman’s bridge club event one night, wearing only a robe.

simply revland:

california dreamin'

(1988)

[June 13, 2021] Meeting “Elvira” at her California home ... wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I’m quite certain she was equally dismayed ... for some absurd, far-fetched reason, I expected the door to open to the character “Elvira,” in full wig and makeup, with a residence filled with Halloween-themed memorabilia.

simply revland:

paying the piper (1991)

[June 20, 2021] It was  March 6, 1991, a Wednesday morning, in the vicinity of 10 o’clock. The phone rang. I had yet to possess one of those fancy new cellular phone gadgets, as it appeared to be as substantial and cumbersome as a patio paver.

simply revland:

stay tuned

[June 27, 2021] Please check back. Much more to come!