Gwen Tuinman



small town

My Tobacco Farm Summers


I don’t smoke. Thankfully, I never have. But I was once a teenager with dreams of post secondary pursuits and tuitions that would need paying, and so, like most young people in my hometown, my summers were spent working on a tobacco farm.  I’ not writing to celebrate the tobacco industry, but rather to reminisce over an experience. When I was thirteen, there was no internet. I had access to whatever television channels could be had by using an manually turned antenna. My friends and I never heard of a social movement to rally against an industry.  I didn’t know of any one who’d had cancer. My employment predates the infamous Philip Morris lawsuit. Continue reading “My Tobacco Farm Summers”

Delving Deeper — The Gothic Revival Cottage


Our local library provides its patrons with access to digitally archived photos that document our town’s history. It’s where I found this photo of a couple taken in 1910. I do not share any connection with them except that their house, which still exists today, is located a few blocks from my own. The architecture of the house, built in 1845, has always intrigued me. There is a complexity of angles where the gables meet the roof and precision in the handcrafted trim details. Continue reading “Delving Deeper — The Gothic Revival Cottage”

Hairs the Story of a Small Town Salon


My first job, not in a farm setting, was — shampoo girl. The salon, simply named Marie’s, was in a house located a few blocks away from my high school. Patrons would walk up the driveway, tap on the side door and let themselves in. A little bell hung above the entrance to announce their arrival. Continue reading “Hairs the Story of a Small Town Salon”

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