I Met The humble Farmer!

In the late 1980s I was an undergrad at the University of Maine in Orono and naively believed that because I grew up in Manhattan that I had seen and heard everything. So when I took a break from listening to my Joy Division, Agnostic Front and old school rap cassettes on my boom box in the dorm I turned on the radio–Maine Public Radio. Some farmer with a wicked heavy Maine accent had a show where he talked about Maine things with a very deadpan delivery. I wasn’t sure if he was a kook or a quirky genius. All I knew then is that his voice and program in which his commentary was interspersed with jazz was very relaxing. For me that was valuable because it has taken me many years to unwind and I’m not sure I every will completely. I also appreciated that he was the polar opposite of all I had heard growing up which made him kind of subversive.

Over the years when I tuned in and started really paying attention I discovered that although Robert Karl Skoglund aka The Humble Farmer simply talks about simple living, he is exceptionally funny and delightfully dry which is my favorite kind of humor. 

One year shy of being on Maine Public Radio for thirty years he was let go because he made a political comment on one of his shows! So lame! Around that time I had become disenchanted with MPR and my feelings haven’t changed.

Since then I would catch him by luck on public access on TV but relatively recently he started writing columns for the Portland Press Herald like this one about being thrifty. Although I’m in a very different place than I was in the 1980s he still can make me giggle and relaxed when I read his commentary. I promptly let Wayne know that I have a crush on him and that I wanted to find out if we could visit him and the “Almost Perfect Woman” (as he fondly calls his lovely wife Marsha) at their home and B&B in St. George. When Humble quickly replied and said that we were welcome we planned our trip which was this morning. He did not disappoint!

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“Caffeine is my drug of choice.”

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I think my schoolgirl crush made him nervous? His beautiful wife had just left the premises.

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Well! It turned out that another fan from back in the day was at his home helping him out with some farmer things. It was just like out of his column Don’t Stop Your Chores for Visitors; Let Them Lend a Hand. Humble led us to believe that we, too would also be chipping in but not until he gave us a tour of his home and studio.

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Humble showing us a YouTube video of the time he played matador with his cows using a white hanky.

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“Two assholes,” he said as he posed for this photo with the mailbox painted by artist Bernard Langlais.

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Humble the jazz musician.

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One of Humble’s annual epic lobster soirees.

Humble entertained us for over an hour and I want to state publicly that he is true to his name. Sure he’s an actual farmer but he truly is very humble and kind. I attempted to tell him how much I appreciate his humor and his writing no less than five times, but he would quickly turn the conversation away from himself or downplayed it.

Wayne and I were all set to lend him a hand with the laundry and bed-making but instead he said nevermind and handed us some gifts. He gave me a copy of Chicken Poop for the Soil which he also signed for me! He wouldn’t let me pay for it but I later PayPal-ed him the money anyway!

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Chicken Poop for the Soil can be purchased on Amazon.

He gave us a carton of books he had created while thinning out his impressive library from which I scored some goodies as did Wayne. Here are my picks:

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And, when he learned that I love Sinatra and other jazz, he gave me some of his CDs he had once used for his radio shows!

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Humble asked me why I hadn’t reached out to him sooner since I’ve been a fan all these years.

“I’m shy,” I replied. “I’m an introvert.”

“We’ll have to get you out into society more,” he replied.

In retrospect I do wish I had. He said I would have been welcomed at his now discontinued lobster picnics.

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Even though we just met we miss him already! Thank you Humble Farmah!

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On the way home we stopped at that German Gem Morse’s Sauerkraut where we visited last year for Reuben sandwiches during our honeymoon. Delicious!

11 thoughts on “I Met The humble Farmer!

  1. “Peter says that now, after 250,000 miles, he would like to extend his warranty, but nobody calls.” That’s funny! Thanks for sharing your day with us. He seems like such a neat guy. It reminds me of the time I received a beautiful handwritten letter from one of my favorite writers, Alexandra Stoddard. I had sent her a gushing fan letter and she replied. I do hope you get to spend time with him again in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How lovely that she responded in such a personal way, but more so that you took the time to send her a handwritten letter. That’s some old fashioned charm right there.

      I started reading Humble’s book which is hilarious. In his words in an email to me afterward: “It is not a book to be read cover to cover but a book that is to be opened anywhere and read at random. It is a bathroom book. Easy to put down.” ha. It’s perfect to pick up when I need a pick-me-up snort or giggle.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s an experience I’ll treasure. I think it’s also the first time I’ve met someone in person after admiring them from afar for so long.

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    1. Interesting you mention that, because many introverts (like me!) have a much easier time expressing themselves via writing. I also have a very easy time chatting with people in person including strangers, enjoy being a greeter at church, and if I meet a like-minded person sometimes I can’t shut up! But if it involves speaking to a group or asking someone like humble (he prefers lower case “h”) if I can stop by to say hello, I feel terrified! I’ve pushed through it as best as I can in the past, mostly as town meetings at the podium (which is all captured on video, too!) so reaching out to humble felt super risky!

      As far as other usual introversion, I’m a classic bookworm/homebody!

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  2. My husband surprised me with a trip to the book store to see a favorite author. Unfortunately, he and I didn’t realize when I found out what was going on after I had locked eyes with the author that I would blush beet red and jump behind a bookcase. Thank God they thought it was funny and had mercy on me. I’m usually pretty self controlled, but that was total instinct.
    I think I prefer the bird watcher method when it comes to famous people. So far I have Actress Glenn Close sighted at a small rodeo in Pinedale, WY. Senator Thad Cochran at a cafe in Jackson, MS, singer Aaron Neville getting off a plane in the New Orleans airport and a few others. But go up to them: not on your life.
    And you are a wonderful, cozy, thoughtful writer for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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