Helmboldt – The Bicycle Cowboy and Other Poems

November 3, 2016

Author and Marion native Ron Helmboldt and a copy of his first book, Bicycle Cowboy and Other Poems about Growing Up, visited the Flashback Cafe last week

Author and Marion native Ron Helmboldt and a copy of his first book, Bicycle Cowboy and Other Poems about Growing Up, visited the Flashback Cafe last week

By Julie Traynor

Many a writer with Marion area roots has credited his or her growing up in the area for one attribute or another. The now little remembered author Judson Mortimer Lewis, rather well known in the 1930’s, owned the family farm where he grew up in Highland township until he died, although he never returned. What he was really hanging on to were his deeply personal and cherished memories; perhaps even the place which he considered the source of his talent. For good or bad, there seems to be something extra special about this part of Michigan; good storytellers are born and made here.

The Press November 4, 2016

Author and publisher and old friends Ron Helmboldt and Ted Parkhurst enjoyed the view from a Marion sidewalk bench last week.

Native Ron Helmboldt comes from a long line of local folks, sportsmen and storytellers. Both his father and his grandfather were barbers, a profession for which storytelling proclivity is a plus.

In his first book, ‘Bicycle Cowboy and other Poems about Growing Up’, Ron gives us a wonderful look into his coming of age in a 1950’s-‘60’s Marion, told in his own poetic, storytelling voice. Bicycle Cowboy is a fine collection remembering personal events, life long friends, family, the joy of Marion, and those gone but not forgotten.  Bicycle Cowboy is fresh off the press from Parkhurst Bros. Publishers, based here in Marion and is available locally at their shop on West Main.
If you grew up here during what is often referred to as Marion’s Mayberry days, Ron’s growing up stories about school and being an Eagle in hometown sports (Eagle Football), his neighborhood (Swimmin’ Hole), pals and of course the angst of girls (The Platters, Real Kissin’) will make extra special reading.

Ron also includes a touch of lore (Everett’s Story, Deer Camp Lingo), not often heard here any more. There is also more than a smattering of remembrances from Mel and Fred’s Barber Shop. ‘My Buddy Max’ is a touching and truthful retrospective for an old friend lost. Each reader will hear a grandparent’s voice in “If I had a Nickel….”; a memory from his Marion (via Park Lake) grandparents.

A good growing up memory is a cherished thing. The Marion memories and stories told in Bicycle Cowboy reflect a time not so long ago before video games, cell phones and the iPod; a place we might like to visit again for just a while. This is a highly recommended read for all and will make a great Christmas gift for the reader or Marionite on your list.

Ron Helmboldt is the son of Mel and Lois Holland Helmboldt. He grew up in and around Marion and graduated with the MHS Class of 1963. He went on to graduate from Central Michigan University in 1967 with his teaching degree. He taught history and social studies in Sparta. Ron’s love of sports continued through his teaching career, coaching over 60 seasons of high school sports, mostly wrestling for 38 years.  He was elected to the Michigan Wrestling Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Since retirement in the early 1990›s Ron has concentrated on writing and will be remembered for his popular monthly column in the Marion Millennium. He still hears the call of the outdoors and manages to heed it as often as possible, especially with his old Marion pals.

Ron and his wife Cathy are enjoying life from Manistee these days, and still make frequent trips to the Marion area. Plans are in the works for Ron to speak about his book and visit with readers and old friends at the Marion Public Library soon. In the meantime, Ron continues to write and has plenty of ideas. He has a book of short stories in the works for next year and even has plans to write two Westerns after that. He’s a busy man with a tremendous urge to write. We’ll look for more from this Marionite.

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One Response to Helmboldt – The Bicycle Cowboy and Other Poems

  1. Robert Sarachman Reply

    July 24, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    was in Roger’s hardware today and saw your book “Born to fish bred to hunt” on the counter and figured I must read it so the purchase was made. now I find out you have authored others. I will have to read those also. best wishes to you, Cathy and the boys.

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