Sometimes campfire are relaxing, other times they motivate us to rally around a cause, and yes — that’s exactly how the Nature Folk Movement (NFM) was born. | Our hosts | Our venues | Our topics

In search of (a pen)
The lost art of letter writing

One of my favorite shows as a kid …

Was the Leonard Nemoy hosted In Search Of.

Has letter writing gone the way of Bigfoot?

What attracted me to it was a couple of things. First were the topics. Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Holy Grail … what was not to like. They fired my imagination as a kid as much as I look back on them and laugh a little today. There was also the documentary style. For the times, it blended truth with fiction and speculation and a willingness to believe that the world held secrets that, if only we searched harder, we might yet find. Or maybe it was they mystery most of all. How the legend was born, why it lived on, and what the future might hold. Other reasons I liked the show? There was the opening music, Leonard Nemoy’s trusted voice, and how it presented just enough to leave you wanting to explore more. No, I’ve never seen Bigfoot, but during my visit to Northern California, I wasn’t so much looking for the creature as I was thinking about the show.

Which brings me to a new idea if the the series ever gets renewed: I would like to introduce the concept of the Lost Art of Letter Writing as a topic worthy of being told. Does anybody remember the halcyon days of writing handwritten notes to family and friends? It was a completely organic and original form of communication that we unwittingly left behind. Why? Email was touted as being the technology that would take letter writing to the next level. Thirty years later, I’m not convinced that email wasn’t the death knell for the golden age of the epistle.

And by epistle, I mean the real handwritten thing. Not the typed version that ends up unread and unanswered in an email box. Okay, I’ll admit – I’m probably sounding like a Luddite. But can we all just agree to give good old fashioned letter writing another chance?

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Factoid: László Bíró invented the first ballpoint pen in 1938. His invention coupled ink-viscosity with a ball-socket mechanism which acted compatibly to prevent ink from drying inside the reservoir while allowing controlled flow.

You’ve got junk mail
And how it's multiplied in modern times

Is anyone else …

Inundated with junk mail?

Junk mail is the 9th deadly sin (for those who send it)

I remember the bygone days when we could simply rip it up. Yes, it was a bother, and yes it was a waste of trees and no, I very rarely (actually never) replied. But like a lot of things when I look back all I can think is — how quaint. Compare it to today where I managed multiple email accounts each of which is fed with a steady drip of messages that I don’t even have to open up to know they are trash. And there are the phone calls. One after the next to the point whenever I get a call at all I’ve defaulted to answering, “No, I’m not interested in my vehicle’s extended warrantee.” To be honest, sometimes I feel sorry for the people on the other line. As much as it’s a bother to me, for them it’s their life, call after call trying to get someone to bite. Such is the state of the modern world. We’ve developed all this information to bring the world to the tip of our hands, only to fritter it away by clogging it all up with an onslaught of spam.

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Estimate: 33 percent of all mail delivered worldwide is junk mail.

Grassroots kindling
And why the bottom is where it's at

Too often …

Decisions are made on the top floor.

Grassroots movements start around the campfire

The result? Good ideas from the middle and the bottom floor get ignored or side stepped. Another thing about Top Floor decision-making: It’s often out of step with what’s happening on the bottom floor, down on the street. And isn’t it always the same thing. Whether it’s Big Water, Big Government, Big Tech or a Mega Corp of any kind calling the shots, it’s the little guy on the outside always looking in, or looking up, trying to figure it out yet also always the one also paying the price. Case in point is the Smart Phone. It was sold to society with little concern what the payoffs may be. Convenience at a price, or fee, with no responsible assessment of what the long-term consequences might be, or what was lost with the giant shift. Okay, good, I’m glad I got that off my chest. That’s where the grassroots Nature Folk Movement (NFM) comes in. I’m not saying we’ll ever get the upper hand. But it’s good to be having a conversation around the campfire. That’s where a lot of good things get their start.


Dear Shareholders
And steering committee

Every year Berkshire and Hathaway …

Gather to talk about their oodles of money.

Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

That’s great, and I don’t mean to condemn.  But where are those same stakeholders and steering committees convening when it comes to preservation of our natural resources?  A recent article in the New York Times on Warren Buffet’s annual meeting inspired me to put together a like-minded soliloquy on the state of affairs all things Nature Folk Inc.  For anyone listening, especially if you’re heavily invested in Berkshire Hathaway, Nature Folk Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization and we welcome any charitable (and tax deductible) contributions you can throw our way.  

P.S. Here’s a quick link to Campfire’s Park Paypal Donate Tip Hat. All proceeds help support our campfires.