DIRTBAG BOOKCLUB: reviewing POSSUM LIVING-HOW TO LIVE WELL WITHOUT A JOB AND WITH (ALMOST) NO MONEY by Dolly Freed

If that title doesn’t speak to you, dirtbag… Then you might as well fold up your tent and move to the suburbs. 
This seventies classic, back in print, is a dirtbag bible of sorts. It’s all there: gardening, gathering, housing, heating, heck even making alcohol! While the original version was written by a then 18 year old with a 7th grade education, the latest edition includes new insights from an older, wiser Dolly Freed. 
Now granted, Dolly and her dad were living off the land on a half-acre lot outside Philly. We here at DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE sincerely hope you our gentle readers are living somewhere much cooler for the boating season, say The Forks, ME for instance, a virtual dirtbag Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. But hey, you gotta start somewhere! Start by finding this book at your local Goodwill… And pick up some roadkill on the way home would ya? 
EXCERPTS:
     …We have several small streams and a lake within easy walking distance. This water is posted “No Fishing” and patrolled, so Daddy wears his running shoes when he goes fishing. Possums don’t have money to squander on licenses, exotic equipment, or store-bought bait, of course…
     …Tie ropes to discarded automobile tires and toss them into the water in the fall. Then, when the weather turns cold and fish are hard to get, they pull them up by the rope and take out the hibernating fish…
    …We tell people who have the Protestant Work Ethic and might resent us that we have to go fishing whether we want to or not, for food. But the truth is, we always do what we want. 
    “We’re so isolated we can hardly get the necessities of life, and when we do, why half the time it ain’t fit to drink” (old Appalachian saying).
    I grew up to the music of a merrily gurgling still and can flatly state that if you use just a little common sense, “it” will always be at least fit to drink and perhaps even excellent…
    …Once a guest of ours, who does drink liquor, refused to touch a drop of our good product on the ground that it might be “impure.” Well, Daddy has been drinking it pretty steadily for eighteen years now, and he can still run ten miles in an hour, so I don’t guess it’s harmed his body, and he still plays a fair game of chess, so I don’t guess it’s harmed his mind… 
   …The Old Fool likes to go around saying he can’t decide what he wants to be when he grows up. But truthfully, not having to make decisions is one of the great luxuries of life – right up there with not having to go to work. 
     We just drift along from day to day. We have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and we eat and drink well. We have and get the good things of life so easily it seems silly to go to some boring, meaningless, frustrating job to get the money to buy them, yet almost everyone does. “Earning their way in life,” they call it. “Slavery,” I call it.
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