Cory is a retired junior high teacher, proponent of the revitalization of Teichert Ponds, and long-time columnist for a local seniors publication. The columns form the basis of a massive new collection called "10 Years Of Spreading The Dirt!" ($30, spiral-bound, self-published, available at Made in Chico or from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The more than 130 pieces, including poetry, date from 2008 to 2017, dedicated to "Ruthie Crane and our collective merging families" and to "those directly affected by the Camp Fire of 2018." (A portion of the proceeds from the book and Crane's paintings will help the Covered Bridge restoration project.)
About his email address: "Most of my ex-students remember me as the chief preserver of the ficmythicus ubangarang," an endangered species (ahem) that has become his trademark.
About small town cafés: "Many of these rural communities have lost their newspaper.... Stories, gossip, and serious decisions are made hand-to-mouth (excuse the pun) at these cafés. These cafés take the place of town halls and civic centers."
Dirt (he loves dirt!) plays an active role in Cory's life. In the 1970s he created a company to do the dusty job of hand knocking almonds, calling it Knutes Kneighborly Knut Knockers. "Being too clean can be a sign of poor work habits." So there!
He closes the book with tributes to his mother and father. "I am thankful for being born to caring parents late in their lives at a time and place making me a member of the luckiest generation."
Like the telephone operator of old, Cory chases down memories and makes connections, bringing small-town wisdom and not necessarily politically correct observations to illuminate life in the twenty-first century. Readers will find him a genial companion.