Award-winning author John B. Marek recently released a brand new collection of essays entitled, “Ben and the Art of Lawnmower Maintenance.”
The collection is based on his upbringing in rural Gypsum, Ohio, and his more recent experiences as a suburban homesteader outside Charlotte.
Marek’s perspectives on lawnmowers, lawn care and rural living draw extensively from his father, who passed away in 1997 and would have turned 100 in July of this year.
“From rescuing derelict mowers along the roadside to hilariously buying a wooden stove, John’s memories of his father will leave you choked up on one page and busting out laughing on the next,” a press release reads.
“No matter your zip code or birthdate, the experiences are relatable to all,” Marek said.
Raised in rural Ohio and transplanted to North Carolina in 1995, Marek has “developed a voice and style that blends the finest attributes of his native and adopted homes — authentic and adventurous with a splash of sophistication,” according to the release.
Excerpt:“Dad was one of those guys who, on a Sunday family drive, would stop to pick up an old mower someone had left by the road for the junk man, and then begin taking it apart the minute he got home. He considered it a challenge to make any rusted out hunk of junk run again, and for the most part, he could. At any given time, there were a half-dozen fully functional lawnmowers Dad had either rescued from the trash or bought for a couple of dollars from the junk man lined up inside his shed. He would sell these to friends and neighbor’s for fifteen or twenty dollars, barely covering the cost of the new plugs and blades, let alone his labor, but it was something he enjoyed and developed a reputation for. I’m pretty sure the standard answer to the question, “Do you know where I can get a lawnmower cheap?” for most of Ottawa County was, ‘talk to Bennie Marek.’”
Marek, Anson County economic development director, is the author of four books and his articles have been featured in numerous online and print publications. He also pens a weekly column for the “Field Notes” blog.
The Anson County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a drop-in “Launch Lunch” for Marek on Friday, April 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited.