ECCENTRIC RESIDENTS III

11/11/2020

Down in a driftless coulee lies the home of a resourceful individual, locally known as Swamp Man. Born into the rural sector of a Midwestern state, and legally christened as Walter Brandex, this farm-raised lad paid attention to all the stimuli that came his way. Watching animals, and man alike, build their residents, Walter saw their ingenious ways using local objects that were just lying around and repurposed new life into a frugal dwelling that all creatures require. At age 15, Walter approached an old farmer named Sanders and offered $500 for 2 acres of wooded swamp land that the ancient homesteader had no use for. Sanders saw his own demise and figured he’d teach that ambitious kid a lesson. He let it go for $200. Fast forward 15 years, and 1.5 decades of common-sense education; Mr. Brandex had dabbled in the machinery, construction, and automotive trades. Avoiding heavy immersion in alcohol, women, and trouble, he now felt it was time to build his home and stop paying rent. With 15 grand saved and enough energy to move a small mountain, Wally let loose on his project. Having cleared out the highest spot in the marsh years ago, he dragged in 4, old 4-cylinder diesel engine blocks at the 4 corners. Fitting 4 logs into the bare cylinder walls, these supercolumns will hold up the roof under snow loads and hold down the structure in high winds. Using timber construction, he built a 20-foot square mansion, with plans to add on in the future if his loins fruited with Mrs. Right. He fabricated a wood burner that heated the ground water beneath his house which created an incredibly warm interior.  In the summer, the 60° water provided a cool interior. The Swamp Man had plenty of dead falls for fuel with new wood growing every year. A decade later, and Mother Earth News ran his story. His pine branch driveway filled with 20+ year old, earthy women who were willing to pass an egg for this stellar, independent man. If you build it, they will congregate. 

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