Tim Wheeler estimates he has written 10,000 news reports, exposes, op-eds, and commentaries in his half century as a journalist for the Worker, Daily World and People’s World. “News From Rain Shadow Country” is a selection of that writing covering his childhood and youth growing up on a dairy farm near Sequim, Washington in the 1950s and his retirement on the family farm in recent years.
The Cold War blacklist targeted Wheeler’s father, forcing the family to take up farming. Yet these stories are filled with triumph over hatred and fear, the wide circle of neighbors the Wheeler’s befriended, the surprise visits to the farm of folksinger, Pete Seeger, and Barack Obama, “The Elder” father of our nation’s 44th President, and many others.
He writes sympathetically of the trials and tribulations of fellow farmers, fishermen, loggers, millworkers, and retail workers, like the employees of WalMart. He devotes a chapter to the Quileutes, Makahs, and other tribes in their defense of sovereignty and treaty rights. He writes as a Marxist that working people must unite, stand against the corporate rightwing to win jobs, equality, a livable environment and world peace. He embraces the motto: “People and Nature Before Profits.”