Roland Rocks!

Pix from

Roland Micklem is a “good man.” One of those men of principles and convictions and action.

He is 81 years old and my latest heroe.

I knew he was grand and it ain’t just cuz i have a soft spot for soft spoken elderly gentlemen who pay attention to the earth. It was mostly cuz i watched. I watched how he interacted with our children as he led them on the nature walks at the organic cooperative farm (Genesee Valley Organic CSA). I watched how he would use his multipurpose walking stick to steady his walk, point to little critters of the earth (you know small small small wee things that most folks can’t even see for they do not look or know), and how he used it as a stool to rest his rump to sit for a spell and chat, visit, marvel, ponder, and watch too.

This bloke is no fool. He knows stuff cuz he listens and hears.

Roland taught our kids tons of stuff on those nature walks and years later, they can still spout out tons of things they learned from Roland the righteous. They can tell u more about a spittle bug than i thought was possible to know. they can tell you how to spot a Queen Ann’s Lace from some of her more poisonous partners and then promptly yank her up, brush off the dirt and chomp on the little carrot-like root of her.

I love Roland for this. I love him for how he always took Steve along with him on these walks with the kids and how he enjoyed his company and when he would see steve a coming he’d stretch out his hand for a warm hand shake and say, “Steve my man. How’s it going?” I love how he got me to laugh about the kick-a$$ powers of the stinging nettle and how he could sit with me in quietness with that nodding knowing – ain’t nature grand and ain’t we just a wee bit worried.

So it wasn’t too surprising to see when Roland was no longer around for the Family Pick Days at the Farm, he had gone home to West Virginia to get busy protesting the Mountain Top Removal form of mining – a very destructive and nasty process – a form of environmental raping and pillaging that does not only harm the eyes but leaves fallout and ramifications for years to come – on the critters and plant life and the workers and neighbors and on the mother of us all – nature.

So off he went – fighting the good fight. Two weeks ago when my daughter and i were out at the farm weeding – i asked farmer Greg what is Roland up to these days in W VA and Greg replied, “well, he is in the clink, Patti.”

I was not surprised but i was a bit worried cuz he is 81 years old and cuz i love him. When Greg said – “Roland is thinking about doing another fast (no eating) while in the big house.” And i got more scared. Cuz he is 81 and I love him.

So i just googled our pal to see how he was faring in the slammer as he has come across my radar several times lately and as we will be headed out to the farm soon for farm duty and i cant think about the farm without thinking about Roland and i can’t think about Roland without thinking about activism and environmentalism. So this is what i learned – his 20 days got reduced to 14 due to working in the jail laundry and he is free now and headed back to our home area to….
begin to get busy about the oil spill.

He is such a good soul! Do-do him?

Returning to his roots in W. VA to protest Mountain Top Removal (MTR)
Base Camp gardening and activism
Organizing Senior Citizen MT March
Fasting at the Gov’s Office
Road Block at Massey mining and Arrest
14 Days in the Slammer
Headed home to our neck of the woods to organize response to the BP Oil catastrophy

I’m sure there is alot more he has done before, during, and will be doing.
Thank you Roland for all you do and all you are.

I’ll be watching u bud and be thanking our lucky stars you were created. I’ll also be asking meself – what can i do TODAY.

We all gotta do our part.


(still image of Roland’s hands from video on his fast)

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianrez
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 16:13:02

    Thanks for the update on dear Roland. I met him long ago in my religious group (see last few paragraphs in the blog at–the-angry-placement-officer/) It’s good to know he still keeps up his quiet protest after all these years!

  2. handeyes
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 16:21:07

    hi diane

    thanks for the link – its not working – i think cuz of the ) so ill repost it here–the-angry-placement-officer/

    glad u have had the honor of meeting Roland – now if roland was old back then, imagine now.

    such spirit and such loyalty to the truth

    my daughter once describe him as being all knobbly like his walking stick

    – a salt of the earth kinda guy

    thanks for the link



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