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Essay from April 2010
"Far Out Thoughts No. l - The Author"
by Leon En Camino
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[Here is another selection from Harry's folder, "On Writing." The form of the document - typed with a typewriter, on onionskin no less - dates it to at least 25 years ago, shortly after Harry had given up his teaching job to write full time. The pseudonym he eventually settled on was Leon Wender. ZG]

Why does a writer try so hard to communicate? I don't mean the writers who are famous and prosperous. I mean all those others who keep trying to get into touch, get into print, that is. Here I am, one of the ones I mean, writing this, wondering who will ever read it or if it will ever matter that I wrote it.

Let me share a little of myself. I have been through two careers, clergyman and teacher, and am not now "gainfully employed," by my own choice. I'm not retirement age either. I have several "hobbies" which can keep me from starving. What I want to do is WRITE, and get into touch, get into print, that is.

I have a head full of ideas which many would call "weird." I'd like to write a column called "Weird Ideas," "Far Out Ideas," or something like that. I am called a crank, a Scrooge, a communist, an idealist, a cynic, a do-gooder, a strict constitutionalist, a rationalist, an angry man not so young any more, a rebel with and/or without a cause, a dirty old man, a primitivist, an extremist, a man behind the times, and a man ahead of my time. I have been called bitter, loving, gentle, harsh, arrogant, self-effacing, too hopeful, and not hopeful enough. I don't see how one person could be all that, but I really have been called all that and more.

Could this mixture of things which constitutes ME produce some ideas which would be of interest to anyone besides me? That's what I'd like to find out.

[Well, what do you think? Harry produced a lot of ideas in the intervening years, and published many of them. Have you found them interesting? Send in your thoughts about Harry's thoughts or your thoughts about Harry in general. Send your e-mail to with Tribute to Harry Willson in the subject line. Read Tributes]

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