Tag Archives: ken hall

Introducing Quill Gordon’s Story Time

I like to read well written short stories about the outdoors. The specific topic is unimportant, as long as it is well written. My bookshelf is stuffed with books of short story collections either by individual writers or a collection of writers writing about specific types of outdoor adventures.

If you go looking for stories like this in any of the half dozen or more outdoor magazines that focus on Illinois, you’ll be looking in vain. Those magazines will be filled with product reviews and how-to’s that are peppered with the dropped names of advertisers in the magazines. I understand this, you have to pay the bills somehow. Plus they cater to the majority of outdoorsmen that find a well written story, as I was once told, too flowery for them.

The problem is that the product reviews and how-to’s get boring really fast. Still more gear you probably don’t need. Still another article on how to vertically jig a ledge in 30 feet of water or how to best maintain your deer stand. After you read one of those once, there’s no reason to go read a similar one in another magazine and there’s really no reason to read one again the next year.

Because of my penchant for the well written story, I’ve whittled down my magazine subscriptions to just one, Gray’s Sporting Journal. Of the printed magazines, Gray’s is hard to beat for it’s quality writing.

Luckily there’s the internet. Over the years I’ve found numerous good outdoor writers that only appear online. With the increase in blogging over the last few years, it takes some searching, but you can find some truly incredible writing by authors that appear nowhere else.

A couple of years ago I came across Quill Gordon and his blog The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. Quill Gordon, the pen name for one Ken Hall, produces some of the best outdoor related short stories that I’ve found on the internet. Quill/Ken is the caretaker of a fishing camp somewhere in Vermont that he calls The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society. His short stories are filled with characters that visit the camp during the fishing season, as well as some of the local characters that live around there year round.

Like any good yarn told over a few beers, there’s a thin line between fact and fiction. You know you’re being told a story, you know it’s beyond belief, but it’s being told so well that at the end, you sit there scratching your head, laughing and thinking, well, maybe.

That’s the way Quill, I mean Ken, writes.

And now he’s writing new stories and rewriting archived stories for new uses. He’s recently started releasing his short stories for the Kindle and Nook e-readers. I highly recommend that if you like good story telling regardless of the subject matter, you should check these out.

You can find the details for his e-reader releases on his blog.

The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond

If nothing else, bookmark his blog, subscribe to it in your favorite feed and go back into his archives now and then.

It will be time well spent.

Vermont and the last of Irene, for now, maybe.

Ken Hall, aka Quill Gordon of The View From Fish in a Barrel Pond, has put up what he says is his last post about the aftermath of Irene.

For now, maybe.

He has a lot of pictures to go through and a long winter ahead of him.

I think a paragraph from his most recent post sums things up the best:

Most critical needs have been met; most roads have been made passable, except for a few routes that might be repaired by December; most of those rendered homeless have been given more or less long-term options and most everyone is back at work, doing what they were doing before the flood. The pretty fall foliage did not put on quite the show everyone was hoping for, and the leaves are already dropping, but it’s still okay to come visit. Bring cash. Every counter in every store or restaurant has a donation jar to help this group or that person recover from the recent disaster and, I’m not kidding, we’ve passed the hat amongst ourselves so much it is time to take up a collection for new hats.

You really should go read this latest installment.

Five Weeks Later

Ken has 10 other posts about Irene and her aftermath that he’s organized on a page on his blog. It’s well worth going through them all when you have the time.

A Project: In Vermont, After Irene

My parents live on the Southwest Side of Chicago. About a year and half ago their basement flooded. 45 years of accumulated stuff sitting down there and quite a bit of it got destroyed. A year and a half later my mom still brings up her losses.

What happened in Vermont with Irene was much more than just a flooded basement, as you’ll see from what Ken has put up.

I can only imagine how long it will take for those mental scars to heal. If ever.

A Project: In Vermont, After Irene

Last week I put up a post called Aftermath of “That Bitch Irene”

It’s a link to the blog The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond by Ken Hall, aka Quill Gordon. Ken and his photographer friend Victor Salvo have been documenting the after effects of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene long after the initial interest by the news cycle had ended and they all went home.

I traded a few email with Ken last week and he mentioned he was going to try to dedicate a page on his blog to their efforts. I thought he would get around to it in a week or so, but within 24 hours I had a link to his new page. That’s dedication to a cause.

He also claims to have never done anything like this before. You would never know it. There’s a professionalism in the words and pictures that goes far beyond anything you would expect from someone who claims to be an amateur.

But enough wasting words here. You need to go read this and peruse the pictures. For me it redefines the impact a mere blog can have on an event that has changed so many lives.

A Project: In Vermont, After Irene


Aftermath of “That Bitch Irene”

Ken Hall over at The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond has shed his Quill Gordon alter ego in order to document the aftermath of as he put it “That Bitch Irene.”

His photographer friend, Victor Salvo (there’s a side story there about Vic that you should read), came up to Vermont to photograph/document the ongoing effects and clean up efforts following Hurricane Irene.

After the news cycle ends in a few days and all the news crews run off to the next news item, we tend to think that things are over and everything is back to normal.

Very far from the truth and reality.

Vermont got hit pretty damn hard by Irene and Ken and Vic are telling a pretty good story in words and pictures.

A must read I think. To do it in order you’d have to go from the bottom up. However you do it, just do it.

The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond and the aftermath of That Bitch Irene