Tag: Paul F. Brandt

A Few Earth Day Notes

These past years, I’ve mentioned my cousin, Paul F. Brandt, and his sudden passing when he was 60.  He was a Vietnam veteran and knew he was mortal.  He made careful plans for his life and legacy.  His land is now the Paul Brandt School Forest in southwestern Wisconsin USARuth Bauer is the Coordinator.  Their website is comprehensive and beautiful.

* * *

“Every Day Is Earth Day” is the theme for our Grades 3 – 4 Writing Plan at The Haiku Foundation.  This plan includes three lessons:  Prewriting, Writing, and Revision and Sharing haiku.  The plan is part of a sequence of 10 elementary lessons I helped to write, in collaboration with The Haiku Foundation.  Jim Kacian is the editor for this work.


harvested fields
plowed in hope
of spring

by the side
of the road
more wild turkeys
than we can count

My cousin, Paul F. Brandt, served in Vietnam.  When he returned to Wisconsin, he devoted his life to conservation.  He worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  One of his contributions was to help bring the wild turkeys back to Wisconsin.  Paul died in 2006, when he was 60.  He knew he was mortal, and he left a legacy in Southwestern Wisconsin.

Autumn rain

How gently sometimes one chapter ends, and another begins.  Seamless.  Sometimes too there are traumas.  My cousin, Paul Brandt, died suddenly at the age of 60, in 2006.

Paul was influenced by Aldo Leopold.  Paul is well-known in southwestern Wisconsin, for his gifts of land and savings to conservation.

My poem, “Winter In October,” was for Paul and I posted it here.  My post also includes a photo by Ruth Bauer of the Paul Brandt School Forest.

Paul was a Vietnam veteran and knew he was mortal.  He lived simply and left so much for others to enjoy.  He left everything so well-organized.

Paul Brandt also established The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Fund, with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.  He practiced what he preached.  My mother was his godmother.

how gently
this day begins
Autumn rain

Blessings, Ellen

Two Wisconsin Veterans

I’ve been wondering if I should write about Veterans Day this year, or observe in silence.

I always have another story to tell.  Or tell again, with a few more layers.   Trust grows.

My father, Harold A. Borgh, Ph.D, served in World War II.  I can only imagine my mom and dad, in love in their twenties, not knowing if they would be able to build a life together.  When I was caring for my mother, I sometimes found, as time progressed, that her older memories were more vivid.  If I could find a movie from the 1940s, for example, she would connect with it.  Yet, she never stopped trying.  So sad that she grew up with war and died with war.  She watched the news day and night.

They did so much and were modest.  My father was a kind man.  I think of times when he could have scolded me, but loved me unconditionally instead.  He was only 68 when he died in 1983.  By God’s grace, I went to Poland with him for over a month in the summer of 1978.  There was a tour with UW-Milwaukee; he wanted to go; my mom had a teaching commitment.  I was teaching elementary school, but not in the summer.  So I went with him.  This was Karl’s and my first summer in our little house in Illinois, and Karl was kind to understand I needed to do this.  Dad, as veteran and historian, was continuing to learn and bear witness.  He and Mom went to other places in Europe as well.  I went to Canada with my mother in 1972, to see Shakespeare plays with her.

Today I am listening to Amy Shreve PRAY Instrumentals.  I can never hear “Be Still My Soul,” “Wayfarin’ Stranger,” or “I Need Thee Every Hour” too many times.

Others in my family served in Vietnam.  I’ll close this post with a picture of The Vietnam War Memorial that I found on wpclipart.com; followed by a picture of The Paul Brandt School Forest, by Ruth Bauer.  Paul served in Vietnam.  We honor and love, we pray for peace and healing.

Last Day Of October

A few thoughts as I turn the page of the calendar to November:

Margaret Dornaus published a special collection, “Day of the Dead III,” on her blog, Haiku-doodle.  Many fine artists are featured, with links to their sites.   She kindly included the SERENE acrostic I wrote for my mother (October 19, 2012 Post on this blog).  Margaret’s link is http://www.haikudoodle.wordpress.com.

I remember attending an All Saints Day service that remembered my cousin, Paul, and several others, at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  As many of you know, his land is now the Paul Brandt School Forest in Boscobel, Wisconsin.  Paul was a Vietnam veteran, who returned and gave his life to conservation.

Wisconsin Postcard

summer warmth
returns to Wisconsin

corn begins to grow
sweet tiny plants

a dairy cow naps
in sun in a field

a poet tries to paint
the postcard in words

others are painting
their watercolors
drawing birds

taking pictures
writing a novel
weeding and planting
caring for someone
grading papers and teaching
editing and publishing others
writing software code,
music, poems, and essays . . .

(please complete the list
with your art)

honoring and cherishing
a loved one’s memory

Memorial Day

* * *

To Harold Borgh, my father

Carl Borgh, who kept the trains running here at home

Eugene Brandt MD, who served and trained doctors, and then gave his career to a Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee

Paul Brandt, my cousin, who returned from Vietnam and left a conservation legacy in southwestern Wisconsin at his sudden passing at the age of 60

and so many others . . .

We honor you.  We love you.  We pray for peace.  Ellen

Veterans Day

Today I honor my father and others in my family and I’m sure in the lives of readers.  Dad served in World War II, earned his Ph.D, and then taught History for 32 years.   Dr. Harold Borgh was kind and dedicated.  I am inspired to learn more about history, as I remember him. Earlier this fall, I wrote a post in memory of my cousin, Paul F. Brandt, who died in 2006.  Paul was a Vietnam veteran.  My father wrote him letters faithfully.   Paul is honored in Wisconsin for his work in conservation.