Life And Times Of…

Do you ever take time to look over the Biography section of Tanglewood’s Library?  If not, give it a try.  I plead guilty of overlooking those shelves.  It is amazing just who you will meet and learn through the pages of their lives.

Take for instance Christopher Knight.  Ever hear of him?  Me either.  Maybe if you are from Maine his name may ring a bell.  He definitely made the headlines.  The Stranger in the Woods (2017) by Michael Finkel brings to light the tale of Christopher beginning in 1968 when he seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth at the age of 20.

One day he was driving driving north in Massachusetts towards Maine. He simply pulled to the side of the road, stopped the car, put his keys on the dash, and walked away.  Seemingly disappearing into thin air.

Christopher had always been uncomfortable with his life. He was different. For one thing, he was very shy.  He wanted to escape the life he had lived for 20 years.  No plan or reason.  He just likes being alone.

He ends up in Maine in the thick backwoods area that is unknown to most of the population.  About the only people who were the ones familiar with the area had seasonal cottages located near a lake.  They would come for a few days or weeks, usually in the summer months, to get away from their daily lives in the more populated areas.

The location of his hideaway was well hidden among the trees and boulders of the backwoods. He found the perfect spot and made it fit his simple needs. Being very intelligent was how he managed to keep himself concealed. For instance, planning ahead when he left to go searching for food or other needs.  Chris survived by being very cautious when he left his hideaway for those 27 years he was off the grid.

You need to read Christopher’s story to find out how he managed not to speak to anyone in all that time…unless you count the time he said Hi to a hiker.  The Stranger in the Woods is a fast, interesting read. A good one to begin a journey into the Biography Section found in the TW’s Library.

Another title you might try as a first biography is one I can almost guarantee many here in Tanglewood already know.  If not, you have at the very least heard her name: Reba McEntire.  You will learn much, more about this country singer if you take time to read her story, Reba My Story written in her own words.  She tells about what it was like as a child growing up on a ranch  in Oklahoma. Her love of horses. She also learned to work hard along with being, as she stated, “a rodeo brat”.

When she described ‘hard work”, she was not kidding around.  Her family had little money.  Every cent was counted.  So, there was no hiring out the work when family, no matter the age, did their part to keep food on the table.  For example, during her early years on the farm she helped her dad castrate bulls.  That is something most of us cannot relate to or describe!

Take a look at Reba My Story even if you may already know her story.  I thought I did.  In fact it was like I was sitting and listening to Reba speaking right to me. Turns out I only knew small parts of what makes Reba…”Reba”.  It is a pleasant read which came out in 1994. You do not have to be a fan of country music to enjoy her story of where she came from and how that led to where she is now..  A lot has happened to her since that time and she has written about it in books published since then.  Maybe those books will appear in the near future on the Biography shelf of our library.

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