Lew Hudson admits the infamous battle with Claude and Maude continues nearly 20 years later. A subject he first recanted in his weekly column for the Brainerd Dispatch, detailing his waging war on the resident backyard squirrels that tried tirelessly to attack his bird-feeder — and his patience — was a favorite among readers.
“I had fun with my battle with Claude and Maude and their three lousy sons — Herman, Sherman and Vermin — and I still get people who come up to me at the mall or grocery store and ask how my war with the squirrels is going,” said Hudson with a smile. “They (the squirrels) are still there and so am I, so I think it’s a draw.”
Putting the pen and pad down in 1992 after 43 years of reporting, it was Hudson’s columns that drew great fanfare from the community of Brainerd. Whether it was his war with the squirrels or daily life with his loving wife Irma, affectionately referred to as “Mrs. H” in his musings, Hudson recalls how it was his columns while with the Worthington Daily Globe that nabbed him the job with the Dispatch in 1986.
“About my 30th year of news reporting, an exciting door was opened for me — column writing,” said Hudson who worked with the Daily Globe from 1957-1986. “Those Daily Globe Columns caught the eye of Roy Miller, (then) editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, and when the time came to leave Worthington they (the columns) were the key that opened the door to my assignment as senior reporter with the Dispatch.
“That, in turn, led to the most challenging and rewarding years of my career.”
Running three days a week, Hudson’s column became an instant favorite, connecting with readers on a multitude of levels and sharing insights with such ease that you couldn’t help but get sucked in to reading them, something that Mrs. H always found remarkable.
“It was really something to see the reaction he received from the community,” she said of his column writing. “People just loved them.”
Now after 10 years of retirement, Hudson’s columns have been taken to new heights, published in a book put together by his daughter, Rebecca.
“It came as a surprise to me this past Christmas,” said Hudson. “It’s really something else that she was able to compile and edit it all together.”
A collection of more than 200 columns and, according to Hudson, “something like 246 work days” from both Worthington and Brainerd papers, “Dispatches From Our Corner of the Globe” provides the opportunity to share Hudson’s talent for years to come.
“I was happy to say goodbye (to writing), but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t look back, proud of what I have accomplished,” Hudson said, publishing 1,500 columns in his career. “And now the achievement of (Rebecca) doing this, a journalist herself, and never letting me know anything about it is something else to be proud of, too.”
Hudson and Mrs. H will be at Book World from noon-2 p.m. Wednesday for the first official book signing of “Dispatches From Our Corner of the Globe.” The book will also be on sale at the Brainerd Dispatch office, as well as through the publisher at www.createspace.com and on Amazon.com.