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Speaking of humble: A Few Thoughts from a Radio Listener

Your observations, humorous and otherwise, link us solidly to what living and mankind are all about. All antiques increase in value as does your radio show. Missing it is like missing class.

And what would I miss? The milk of human kindness, solid country humour and common sense wisdom which comes right out of life itself. Your remarks breathe wiseness, generosity, patience, and a respect for human enterprise.

                                                                                                      --Don Stirling Raymond (& wife Doris)

Spaghetti for The Single Person and Who is Robert?

Robert Skoglund, perhaps better known to Maine Public Radio listeners as The Humble Farmer, lives in St. George where he was born and brought up.

What has this got to do with spaghetti, you ask? Well, here in Maine you always give a bit of background with a recipe. By the time you actually get to the directions, you're really hungry. So please hang in there, and you'll find it worth your while.

Educated in St. George schools and at colleges in Potsdam, Gorham and the University of Maine at Orono, humble was an NDEA fellow at the University of Rochester where he earned a graduate degree in linguistics. While at Rochester, he represented United States graduate students at the 10th International Congress of Linguists in Bucharest. While picking up his grant money in Bucharest, he asked to meet the other U. S. delegates, and was told, "There is but one delegate from each country." Amazed, Skoglund said, "You mean I'm representing Yale, Harvard, MIT and Machias State? Why did you pick me?" Dr. Mohrmon looked him up and down and replied, "Perhaps you were the only one who applied."

Skoglund has been profiled in Yankee magazine and featured in a Boston Herald cover story, which called him, "New England's answer to Garrison Keillor." A tireless recorder of dry wit, his humor has been proven in over 50 newspapers in the United States and Canada. Humble has spoken at the Fifth International Conference on Humor in Cork, Ireland, WHIMSY (humor) conferences in Tempe and at several U. S. Press Associations. Last July, while speaking at Nijenrode University, he almost died from Holland's ubiquitous second hand cigarette smoke. He is featured on "Maine, A Video Tour" which is available in L. L. Bean's and 80 other Maine outlets. Eight hours of his stories are available on audio cassettes. A television commercial he produced, wrote and narrated was awarded Best of Show by the Advertising Club of Greater Portland. At present he produces six new television commercials each week for his Channel 9 humble Farmer show and continues to speak at conventions.

At 56, the old dodderer married an attractive young widow, Marsha van Zandbergen, for her health insurance benefits: when men over 50 get married, it is their brain that makes the decision. Humble found a woman who could augment his zest for rural living: the kind of woman who, if you get up to trot out to the privy at 2 A. M., has made your side of the bed before you can get back. Their marriage, which was covered extensively by Sam Pennington's Antique Digest, is one of Maine's great success stories and Marsha grows even more ravishingly robust each day.

But life was not always this simple for the self-effacing Farmer. Almost 30 years ago his editor wife went down to Beal's Island where she wrote an article for Down East magazine: "Ossie Beal: Maine's Most Active Lobsterman." She is still there.

For the first year Skoglund made Thoreau look like Martha Stewart, but living alone finally encouraged him to put in running water. Because the academic humble had better things to do than wash pans and dishes, the only thing he ate at home for the next 20 years was rolled oats for breakfast and spaghetti for dinner and supper. We will save his rolled oats recipe for the next Maine Writers' Cookbook, but here, for those with a refined cosmopolitan palate, is . . .Spaghetti for The Single Person


Need to know more about this guy?

When you want information on New England that will make them laugh call The humble Farmer

Television: humble produces up to six TV commercials for local businesses every week. He has not been seen on Public Televison, however, since the fund-raiser where he encouraged everyone to stay tuned to the second segment of Hamlet, because he understood it had a very happy ending.

Radio: humble has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations from coast to coast. For over 20 years his Maine Public Radio show has been broadcast over a wicked swath of New England, most of which is occupied by coyotes and seagulls.

Health and Nutrition: humble's spaghetti-for-the-single- person recipe was published in the Maine Writer's Cookbook, along with Stephen King's recipe for greasy Ghoul-lash. It's not selling.

Advertising: a TV commercial humble wrote, produced, and narrated beat 650 entries to take Best of Show at the Portland Advertising Club. He'll tell you how easily he did it, with no help from anyone except Andrew Wyeth, and how you can do it, too.

Scholastic Grants: When humble got to Bucharest and asked why he was representing Harvard and MIT grad students at the Xth International Congress of Linguists, he was told, "Perhaps you were the only one who appplied."

Love & Sex Guru: Let humble tell you how. Over 25 years ago his steamy personal column cries for female companionship earned him a place on Public Radio, TV, and the platform: "Ornithologist seeks attractive young woman, willing to sacrifice everything for a few cheep thrills."

Press: Back before his TV days, humble's humor column appeared in 57 newspapers. He has been featured in Editor & Publisher and Publisher's Auxiliary. He has spoken to the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, The New England Press Association, The Arizona Press Association, The Indiana Press Association, and will do others when they start to pay.

Speaker: humble has entertained hundreds of audiences from California to Nijenrode, Holland. He has spoken at humor conventions in Anaheim, Tempe, and Cork, Ireland. You can hear humble's voice at www.thehumblefarmer.com

You can see humble on stage by using Real Player at http://www.TheHumbleFarmer.com/Streaming.html

Click here http://www.publicbroadcast.net/mpbc/ppr/ and you can bookmark humble's Maine Public Radio show, broadcast every Friday night between 7 and 8 EST. You will hear old fashioned music (Count Basie, Sinatra, Dexter Gordon, Bird, Benny Goodman, Bix) and humble's humorous social commentary.

Robert Skoglund, humorist

BS Gorham State Teachers College 1965
University of Maine, Orono 1966-67
NDEA Fellow, University of Rochester 1967-70

Eyah, you can hear The humble Farmer's wicked Maine accent:  http://theHumbleFarmer.com/hear.html

Email the humble Farmer


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