“An Evening with Bob Heirman” Feb. 23 sure to delight
SNOHOMISH — Lifelong naturalist, sportsman and one of Snohomish’s beloved writers Bob Heirman will take the stage at the Snohomish Senior Center Tuesday, Feb. 23 for a fundraiser called “An Evening with Bob Heirman.”
Heirman, a lifetime senior center member and active member in service clubs around town, was humorous and humble when speaking about what he planned to talk about for the evening.
Senior center director Bob Dvorak convinced him to do it, Heirman said.
“It will be a privilege to do it and it’s a fine gesture for the people at the Senior Center,” Heirman told the Tribune last week. “I don’t know what they want to hear from me, but I’m doing it.”
Heirman’s knowledge of Snohomish could be
compared to being as vast and deep as the ocean and rivers he loves so much. He was born and raised here and has a plentiful memory.
People want to know what he has to share, especially since he has such a way with words.
“I’m no doubt the longest-living guy on the lake (Blackmans Lake)… I had an incredibly beautiful childhood. I was a nature lover as a little boy and I watched the salmon come back behind my grandmother’s house,” Heirman recalled. “From the time I was a small child, I had this deep love for nature. I wrote poetry about it. I’ll talk some about my early childhood.”
Heirman’s childhood was entrenched in working the land, playing among the timber and fishing local waters, while connecting with it all through rhyme and pen; having been taught the love of poetry from his teacher at Fobes School.
“The education I got there has stayed with me all of my life,” Heirman said. “I graduated there in 1947: two girls and seven boys in my eighth grade class; there are only four of us boys left and I’m the oldest. That’s a little bit of the stuff I’m going to
talk about. Harry Tompkins, my teacher at Fobes School, made us memorize a poem a day. It helped with my memory… so when I got on the railroad, I’m not mechanically inclined, so I memorized the test, and got the highest score ever. The funny part is, I didn’t know what I was talking about but I had all the right answers!”
Heirman’s answers to life are coveted. But for Heirman, it all comes back to Snohomish, to his roots and sharing his knowledge may make a difference in saving it, he hopes.
“I’m going to talk about history, and the environment,” he said. “We are basically destroying Blackmans Lake, and the (local) salmon population. But that’s a whole ‘nother talk, I guess. I’m basically at heart — a naturalist, an environmentalist. I love wildflowers. I worked 44 years on the railroad, so I may talk about that. I may do some poetry readings and hope the folks have a good time.”
Heirman has written and published poetry and a sportmens book, “Snohomish, My Beloved County: An Angler’s Anthology” and “Snohomish County: A Poet’s Paradise,” as well as a book on his days on the railroad: “A Railroad Runs Through It: Reflections from Everett to Darrington.”
If Heirman were to sum up his main philosophy of life, he’ll tell you: “You’ve got to have a sense of humor. Make the world a better place, because you walked upon it.”
The event will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23. Tickets to “An Evening with Bob Heirman” are on sale at the Snohomish Senior Center, 506 Fourth Street, for $15 and include dinner and Bob’s musings about the town.
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