From "How Much Do You See When the Leaves Fall?" (1990) in A Northwoods Window by Robert Treuer
Walking in the woods on an autumn day, the colors are intense and vibrant. Green pine contrasts with yellow aspen, red maple, and scarlet flashes from the oaks. The tamarack, or larch, is golden yellow of iridescent brilliance against the blue sky. Already the ground is carpeted with shed pine needles and leaves, moist from dew and beginning to decompose. The faint acrid odor signals the process. It is a silent time to be in the forest, the footfalls swallowed, thus emphasizing even further the visual challenge.
Birth: January 31, 1926, Vienna, Austria
Author and columnist Robert Treuer fled the Holocaust in 1938. He found refuge in London at an encampment for children evacuated from the Spanish Civil War and in the Quaker Newtown School in Waterford, Ireland, before being reunited with his parents and coming to the United States in 1939. Treuer served in the U.S. Army overseas in World War II. He attended Yale University from 1944-45, earned a B.A. from Antioch College in 1949, and a B.S. from Bemidji State University in 1960. A union newspaper editor and activist in Wisconsin, he came to live in northern Minnesota in 1958. Treuer taught English at Cass Lake High School from 1961-63, and became a Native American tribal manager and organizer in Minnesota from 1963-68. He worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington DC, as a grant and personnel manager from 1968-73, and the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare as a grant and contract manager from 1973-79. He is currently a tree farmer and writer in Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, the Yankee, The Eagle, and other periodicals. More than six hundred of his newspaper columns, as well as book reviews and articles, have appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun, the Milwaukee Journal, the Washingtonian, and numerous other publications.
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Minnesota Historical Society Links
Voyageur Country - Summary of Treuer's book Voyageur Country: The Story of Minnesota's National Park (originally published as Voyageur Country: A Park in the Wilderness in 1979)
Minnesota Public Radio - 2007 Interview with Robert Treuer and Aviva Breen