Pride, Porkers, Porches. Please.

It’s not a “bucket list.”  It’s my Rockstar Dreams. The fantasies I lived inside as a kid, clear into my twenties. I lived inside my head and though the rest of my self suffered for it, my health, my relationships, my strength of character, the interior of my skull was nourished and rich.

I wanted a boyfriend. Babies? Big house with a true true guest room. Friends…every stripe and type. A geological strata of human friendship. And enough money not to worry.

Mmm. I want to write about all the things that make me jibber jabber with excitement, and I want to write so well other people will want to jibber, too. And be professionally funny. I would like to be a New York Times bestselling author as long as I’m at it.

I wanna be attractive. Yeah that’s good, thank you Modcloth, Torrid, Unique Vintage and of course my girl Lena (known to y’all better by her misspelled on a loan application in 19-aught…Lane Bryant.) Also that Clairol root cover-up is worth the nine bucks!

Now what is left: I want to time travel.

Apparently this is not going to be conventionally attained. Not just because of science…but holy crap I keep forgetting the Earth is falling, hurtling through space. Marty McFly would NOT have materialized in 1955 Hillvalley, but into the cold vacuum of space where our planet had been for the blink of an infinite eye before continuing it’s endless descent through the darkness and fire.

So history then? Books. Antiques. Diaries. Underwear that people don’t wear anymore. Chamber pots and WHY. Bog bodies and plague graves. Old folks who would tell me stories of when the road was all gravel and Mama got Papa to buy a Dumont. But that wasn’t quite…Rockstar.

A museum.

MAP! Of a sort! Yeah! Come visit Mondays and Second Saturdays.

One where I could use more than just the one approved sense that can cross the velvet ropes, sight.

One where if I was gentle, I could smell taper-neck bottle of the 90 yr old “Twah-lette Water” search for the soft clean undertones the lady who dabbed it once relied on against the August heat.

I could hear the parlor pump organ wheeze it’s perforated bellows. And touch, so careful, with the back of my hand, the silk which a small young woman wore on the day she became her own woman, as much as 1910 standards permitted. I doubt it feels like it did…it’s rough and dry and perhaps that is 100 years of entropy absorbing gossamer from the silkworm’s boiled and spun cocoon. Or maybe that’s how silk felt then.

The Earth plummeted, and I set my hand to my next gig. I’ve gotten good at clinging to those dreams, stretching them over the threshold into my reality, giving them substance and weight. They’re messier than they were in my small head but I am just a mud pup at heart.

I was allowed into Brunk House, a 160 year old farmstead near my town. The age of the building is significant in Oregon. It rains here and we made everything out of wood. Cuz we had just…gobs of it. Too much actually, for the pioneers who needs space to grow food crops.


The Brunk Family built their 1861 manse, complete with outhouse, barns, grainery, machine shop, blacksmith shop…their 1000 acres became five over the years. The last bachelor Brunk uncle who stayed faithful to the the old dowager, with her sagging seams and beams died in 1974. (If he’d had a wife, I guarantee you a bathroom would have been built on. But Earl’s celibacy became our historic authenticity, bless.)


The Brunk Throne Room. A visual I made to illustrate how to tell an outhouse from a pump house. Though back in the day, you’d smell it. 

The Polk County Historical Society was awarded the house. They kept her standing.

Then this Matron of Oregon Architecture lost her carefully tended facade.

Or…to skip poetry…the porch just fell…right off. Yes. Crumbled to bits. Because OREGON.

no porch1

Naked Lady.

The damage kept growing, and soon the price to fix her up was untenable for a museum that made her first tiny profit last year.

But I wasn’t a member last year. Brunk House had not yet become the Fender Stratocaster of my Rock Star Dream. Jimmy Hendrix had his Fender strung upside down to compensate for his left handedness, did you know?

I am also left handed.

My museum. For just three months I’ve been her champion. I built and stocked a 


“Oh! I love a little shop!” -The Tenth Doctor

gift shop. I research to keep a hip and happening Facebook full of “ooo…facts about pigs? Imma SHARE that!” content.

And this. I made a Kickstarter, friends.

Not a Gofundme or charity fundraiser. Kickstarter is an investment platform, where donors help CREATE something to be shared. I’ve commissioned the requisite rewards…from a tote-bag with Big Chief Tecumseh’s Porkly Perfection (Oregon just lost our plastic shopping bags, and some of us are taking it rather hard) to a private party in a 160 yr old museum.

brunk totes

Original Brunk Swag.

Kickstarter is also all or nothing. We have to give back the money if our goal (14k) isn’t raised.

I say “our” but lord help me I mean MINE. Most of the historical society are active and intelligent retirees who despise the internet. They don’t trust it, seeing a freakish invasion of privacy where younger folks shrug. That hate that if they look up “towels” on Google somehow the next website they go to KNOWS they want towels and tries to sell them towels. I’ve come around to hoping that the schematics used in the targeted sales will be sure and select the thread count I prefer. Shuhhhh-rug. My face is the first three pages of Google under my name, and yet here I breathe and live, hoping someday it’ll be the first five.

So I can’t fail, see. My Kickstarter, it cannot fail. There are some who want it to. Which saddens me so much. I’m very nice and fairly desperate for approval so people deciding to dislike me is infuriating. If I give them actual reason…well, to borrow from the Prophet:

Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction; Instead of a belt, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp; Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty. Your men will fall by the sword And your mighty ones in battle. And her gates will lament and mourn, And deserted she will sit on the ground. Isaiah 3:24-26

And no I do not think I’m being dramatic. The Historical Society is a ROUGH CROWD.

And so here, friends. Is my Kickstarter.If you can share, well, that’s how Kickstarters gain speed. If you can spend, please leave a note in the message section that you came from here, because that means you like my writing, and I’ll try and include a personal thank you in whatever swag you have earned (Pig mugs. Loaded Pig Totes. I have other things besides pigs…but saw Tecumseh right? He’s so bitchin’ awesome.”



I love history, I love the odd. I love sharing it with my readers. And now I share this. My Brunk House, my bastion against things falling apart, my staid spot in a slingshot universe, my Night at the Opera. Please help keep her in sweet perfumes and and out of sackcloths. Thank you. Brunk House.



3 thoughts on “Pride, Porkers, Porches. Please.

  1. I left a pledge on Kickstarter. I want to see that gorgeous porch rebuilt! Good luck!

    (My nitpicky speller’s brain also found a typo I couldn’t ignore: “Now the porch at Brunk Farmstead bares witness to electric cars” – should be “bears witness”. Sorry, I just can’t help it.)


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