EVERY TOWN NEEDS A CASTLE
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EVERY TOWN NEEDS A CASTLE
Especially When Built of Recycled Junk and Spunk
Published:
11/29/2010
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
319
Size:
6x9
ISBN:
978-1-45358-432-3
Print Type:
B/W
How does relentlessly and certifiably cementing together collapsed freeways, splintering telephone polls, riverbed rocks, discarded Feather River mineshaft beams, neighbors’ ketchup bottles, and junk become a book about leadership, wisdom, and ethics? Is this a phunny or serious book? Is it an old-fashioned template, camouflaged by stunts, whimsy, adventures, and childish beliefs that grows bigger, wiser people? Can pulling callous-building ropes, wrestling with thingamajigs, and raising barns build community and enlightened public and personal policies? Come inside and discover. But bear in mind Rubelia’s ghastly regulatory spirit. "Safety’s third… Hard work’s phun…" And beware of Good Witch Friezner’s ghostly rules. "Be Nice… Take off your shoes…"
Preview coming soon.
Dwayne Hunn, Ph�d author and Rubelian Pharmer, learned more life and money making skills recycling junked timbers, mixing Rubelian cement, and walking to and fro Pharm tool sheds than a Lincoln Grad School Fellowship could ever bestow. Fresh from stark Peace Corps experiences in the slums of Mumbai, India, and the reverse culture shock of the idyllic Claremont Graduate University Campus, the tool-less and clueless bungler from Ohio relied on his parents� hard-working genes and his Jesuit inculcated homework habits in order to fit in on a Pharm where Rubelians laughed a lot and believed they could -- and therefore did -- build almost anything from junk and for not even a fistful of dollars.
Love this book. We went to the High School where the author taught and visited the castle frequently. I enjoyed the book and passed it around to friends. Thanks Dwayne.
Melinda 
In this wonderful book Dr.Hunn exposes to readers today what the old fashioned values of Hard Work, tenacity, inventiveness and an can do attitude yielded to turn a reservoir into a castle that led others to become life long friends. This was all inspired by one man Michael Rubella whom as a very unique individual inspired everyone from very different backgrounds to come together and make this landmark become a reality. It is a uniquely formatted book about the power of one and a group of great volunteers! A must read and predecessor for habitat for humanity projects currently happening thru out the world.
Buster 
The title "Quintessential American" has been laid on quite a few deserving souls, and Michael Rubel is right up there with them one hundred percent. He carried in him the rugged do-it-yourself spirits the old time citrus ranchers of Southern California bequeathed him, along with the entertainment gene passed to him by his gregariously eccentric parents.

Michael spent his entire life building the quintessential American castle, or at least the essential California version of it. A recently found letter from old friend Ted Shepherd thanked him for building a place where "older boys and girls (that is, you and me!) can again be young and once more be charged with the energy of wonder and happiness that accompany children..."

This is the type of tribute that comes across from everyone who knew him, as Michael welcomed one and all. Whatever your station in life in the outside world, you had a place at Rubel Castle.

Michael was even up to the challenge of entertaining true European royalty. When Prince Philip visited Rubel Castle in the 1980s, Michael proudly gave him a tour, but humbly offered, "I know my castle can fit in one of your fire places." He could even make a prince laugh.

The title of the book was chosen deliberately. It is a remembrance of a remarkable recent history, lived by the author, which carries forth his passionate hope for what could be, if we but had a teacher and friend like Michael Rubel in our lives.

In the words of friend Criswell Guldberg: "When Michael left the planet, the world lost one of it's most unique people. He was the unwilling recipient of the charismatic gene that attracted many people. Those of us fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him were the chosen ones. We got lucky. What we built was not a place: a bottle house, a box factory, a tin palace, a tree house, a bird bath, a Castle. We got to build our lives. We got to create ourselves and create a spot for ourselves in the Universe. We don't hold you responsible, Michael. We just thank you!"

When you visit Rubel Castle, you will not have the fortune of hearing Michael's laughter and stories, but the Castle itself still offers up its happy stories and, to some, its lessons. This book is a personal account of universal lessons learned by one humble subject of the Kingdom of Rubelia.

A hunk of mythic life has left us. Michael will live on for many of us for the rest of our lives--the man and legend.
C. W. Scott Rubel 
I have known Dwayne Hunn, the author, since 1972 when he was my teacher in High School. He lived at "The Castle" with Michael and the rest of the gang. This book is an excellent memorial to Michael Rubel and was equally a funny memoir to those who didn't know Michael well or even knew of him. The end pages of Mr. Hunn's book were interesting, because this was the time I first met him and didn't quite understand what was happening in his world. I am forever grateful for his teachings and of his patience with everything in his life.

He has been for as long as I have known him, and by what I learned in his book, undaunted by life's seemingly unchanged views of events of the world. He has ACTIVELY served in the Peace Corps, World Services to make a DIFFERENCE and encourages us all to do the same.
Katharine7 
Never mind castles in Spain. How about one smack in the middle of the `burbs of California? And how about instead of quarried stone it's made with every dadblamed thing handy, including lots of tin cans and junk, the whole mess assembled any which way but straight, clean high as the turrets, riz up to a towering, beautiful extravaganza of cemented wonder?

Reading this book, you'd be sure you had to be reading sheer fiction if it weren't for those brain-bumping photos throughout, snapshots that make it undeniable that somewhere along the Pacific side of America, as visitors the likes of Ike and Mamie, Jack Benny, Henry Kissinger, Harry Reasoner, Barbara Walters could testify, the Castle of Rubelia is as real as death and taxes. Even better than this, though, is how the castle got built, and the assortment of unlikelihoods who played their parts in its hard-to-believe history. Therein hangs a tale.

This is a book that recovers something lost--something as precious as a birthright. We all hear the lament that what once was is now not: that what we once valued most, and called these United States, has perished from the earth. What WAS that?

I think Mark Twain would have been able to tell you, and show you. Great gallivanting galluses and golly Aunt Polly!, old Sam Clemens would've loved this book. Imagine the arrival of Huck Finn to this California craziness, this loony excuse for architecture that started out as a ruin. "Seems to me, Jim, that we've got ourselves to thish `ere part a the country where folks ain't ezackly in their right minds. But it kinda grows on you, don'tcha find?"

"Reckon so, Huck."

What grows on you, the reader, is not just a castle that stands like a parody of the grand edifices of the Old World, but the unique spirit of this book. It's not easy to nail a spirit. The best I can do is to point again in the direction of what we all feel has slipped away from our sense of what it is to be Americans.

Have you noticed that going to college now is all about so we can eventually make more money than the dropouts? It wasn't always like that. A liberal education, once upon a time, was supposed to teach us what would allow the fullest awareness of just what being a human being amounted to. To expose us to all the great minds and the great books of the world, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And to make us see that life, instead of a security blanket, is itself as wild an adventure as we let it be.

Well, Dwayne Hunn, who's a modest fellow, is not one who'd claim to stand alongside the great humorist from Hannibal, Mo. Nevertheless, Sam Clemens would be the first to clap him on the shoulder, because he'd know a brother of the craft when he met one. Adventure? You better believe it! Loveable characters? Bet your long johns on it in a cold winter in Kansas.

Humor? Yep. Wager major with any tough teenager that he can't get through the read without cracking up, `cause this sucker is FUNNY. Wait till you read how a defecating pig running wild in his house turns out to be the making of Grandfather Deuel's fortune. Read about how h
Dr. Thomas J. King 
I first met the author back in 1969. He was building a house above the reservoir. There were other folks there too. It was a regular party all the time! We would carry rocks, planks, wire and cable, whatever Michael told us to do we would do. Then the insanely huge steak and potato dinner. Then after that Michael would hold forth in his walk-in refrigerator. He would break out the ultra-chintzy white wine in gallon jugs and fill up our shrimp cocktail jar glasses. We would talk about how things are. How things would become. What was wrong with everything. Michael and his conservative friends wanted to close the borders, hold prices up, arrest all of the drug users and dealers. The author and his ilk (like me) would talk like Ken Kesey or Paul Kantner. There were an endless array of Michael stories that were clearly enhanced! And we would all go home or possibly Michael would direct us to sleep in various spots- other walk-ins, the bottle house, or other places. And the next morning Michael would fire up his *ahem* uniquely outfitted kitchen and create huge breakfasts and we would all sit around a 12 foot circular table and get our marching orders for the day.

You really should have been there, but instead you can read this book. The Grandpa wisdom is worth the price of the book alone. Those days are gone forever, but they remain alive in this book.
C. Ruff  
Tucked close to the San Gabriel Mountains in an upscale neighborhood in Glendora, California on 2.5 acres of land sits a pile of junk rising 80 feet in the air for all the neighbors to see. The junk pile has a clock tower that holds a large old fashioned clock which chimes like Big Ben for all the neighbors to hear. For most people, the junk would have been taken to a landfill to be covered by earth moving equipment. Instead, it was recycled into an 80 foot tall edifice complete with catwalks and battle mounts that today is seen as a magnificent structure of historical significance. In building their edifice, the workers followed two simple principles: One, There is nothing on this planet that cannot be recycled. And Two, If we work together, we can remain free individuals, and accomplish more than we ever dreamed was possible.

The patriarch and owner was Michael Clark Rubel. Many people helped Michael recycle the junk, but there were five principals who were especially important. Dwayne Hunn was one of the principals. His book chronicles their collective experience. In his book, Dwayne addresses three questions: What was Michael's inspiration? How did Michael's dream become reality? And, why does every town need a castle?

Dwayne addresses the first and second questions in a wondrous tale that is humorous and entertaining, and makes the reader eager to turn each page. The third question is equally entertaining but is discussed with more subtlety than the first two questions.

Dwayne Hunn's work shows rather than tells the reader the story of young Michael's dream. Dwayne shows the reader how Michael's dream not only never went away but became Michael's life work. Dwayne is brilliant in creating scenes that enable the reader to feel they are part of the story. The result is the reader feels what the boy feels as the boy's dream becomes transformed over a lifetime into the reality known as "Rubelia."

What is especially gratifying about Dwayne's narrative is that the reader feels what it means for a person to live with themselves, and in community. As well, the reader feels that the process of achieving an accomplishment is as fulfilling and sometimes greater than the accomplishment.

In the end, the reader understands that Castle is a metaphor for what every town needs. As such, Castle can be anything from a physical structure, to an idea, or to something written. Perhaps, most of all, the reader feels the passion Michael felt when he said about the process of building the castle: "This is how people have to live when nothing in their lives is working."

What Michael meant by this, Dwayne explains, is that people are eager to help each other when times are tough. But Dwayne takes Michael's passionate observation of the human condition to another level. Equally as passionate as Michael, Dwayne says that people shouldn't wait for tough times to help one another. Rather, we should all learn to live each day in community. Indeed, Dwayne says, the process of building the castle is a model for all of us to live by.

So, like the economic historian, R. H. Tawney who
James Evans, Ph. D. 
Just finished your book....and I not only thoroughly enjoyed it ,but found it rejuvenating and inspiring. I remember spending some time at the pharm with you...working hard (among other things) eating well and sleeping like a dead person or a dead drunk person. There was always a positive and challenging attitude toward every project that was laid before us... I loved being a part of that! I also remember laughing a lot.....You pharm hands were an eccentric and very diversified talented group. In other words you were all crazy!... but in a good way. I have nothing but fond memories of my visits and working weekends with you, Michael, and Glen.
Jack 
The perfect mix of reality, nostalgia, small town politics of a personal vision embraced by a cacophohy of personalities who live with gusto day in and day out.

If you're not afraid to reduce the number of sleep hours, because you simply can't put the book and close it because you're falling asleep, start reading it early Saturday morning. If you're one that squeezes the feelings and lets your imagination run away, as if you're watching a 3D, technicolor, stereophonic series of events that surrounds you, then you will go a lot slower and you may have to call in sick rather than dislodge yourself from the content of the pages in this wonderful story.

I will have to read it again...
Loretta Mantia Lucan  
The author did an excellent job of memorializing Michael Rubel - as unique an individual as anyone may ever come to know. Michael's family, friends and adventures gave me both chuckles, tears and food for thought. The author's personal background as revealed in the extended AFTERWORD is a surprising and interesting story in itself. This book is an easy, enjoyable read. I enjoyed it.
Karen 
A castle, beyond your wildest dreams, built from junk and objects found, roads paved with old railroad ties, towers capable of withstanding southern California earthquakes. I helped build this place when I was a kid. The owner and perpetrator of this wonderful madness, Michael Rubel, provided me with the first real home I'd ever known, and imbued me with the spirit of joyful inventiveness. I've continued the beautiful insanity into my adult life; I'm a sculptor, builder, and musician living between France and a Spanish island. Michael's benevolent folly not only provided me with joy, but with survival skills as well.

Dwayne Hunn's skillfully written book describes this amazing adventure that affected all those who passed thru the magic castle. Definitely a great read!
James Kline  
One of the blessings of my life is to have had Michael Clarke Rubel for a little brother. What a brother to have had! Out of his life and times hundreds of stories have been woven, told, re-told, altered, and, as Michael would say, "Tell them anything but the truth. No one believes the truth." Dwayne Hunn followed in Michael's footsteps with his enthusiastic and almost slap-dash construction of a memoir book from his eye-witness voice and point of view. No one would guess that Dwayne had been a teacher, but reading his book is a joy ride. My problem is that I'm a proof-reading addict, so sometimes I'd get bogged down in wanting Dwayne to have done more of that work for me, but I had a good time recalling various tales upon which Dwayne Hunn expounds. This book is an experience to be enjoyed, keeping one's tongue glued to one's cheek. I'm eighty, so I tend to follow the trend of the older I get the better I was. Michael Rubel as a legend is already well into that way of perpetrating history on future generations. Thanks, Dwayne, for your endeavor and the bravery you display in pouring forth for us to read many tales that can be told to the public. My problem is that I too often read between the lines. Here's to all the reviewers, too. I really have enjoyed reading what reviewers or commentators have shared in this collection of fan club mail. Hello to all of you, Chris Rubel



Chris Rubel 
By James Evans, Ph. D. on September 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Tucked close to the San Gabriel Mountains in an upscale neighborhood in Glendora, California on 2.5 acres of land sits a pile of junk rising 80 feet in the air for all the neighbors to see. The junk pile has a clock tower that holds a large old fashioned clock which chimes like Big Ben for all the neighbors to hear. For most people, the junk would have been taken to a landfill to be covered by earth moving equipment. Instead, it was recycled into an 80 foot tall edifice complete with catwalks and battle mounts that today is seen as a magnificent structure of historical significance. In building their edifice, the workers followed two simple principles: One, There is nothing on this planet that cannot be recycled. And Two, If we work together, we can remain free individuals, and accomplish more than we ever dreamed was possible.

The patriarch and owner was Michael Clark Rubel. Many people helped Michael recycle the junk, but there were five principals who were especially important. Dwayne Hunn was one of the principals. His book chronicles their collective experience. In his book, Dwayne addresses three questions: What was Michael's inspiration? How did Michael's dream become reality? And, why does every town need a castle?

Dwayne addresses the first and second questions in a wondrous tale that is humorous and entertaining, and makes the reader eager to turn each page. The third question is equally entertaining but is discussed with more subtlety than the first two questions.

Dwayne Hunn's work shows rather than tells the reader the story of young Michael's dream. Dwayne shows the reader how Michael's dream not only never went away but became Michael's life work. Dwayne is brilliant in creating scenes that enable the reader to feel they are part of the story. The result is the reader feels what the boy feels as the boy's dream becomes transformed over a lifetime into the reality known as "Rubelia."

What is especially gratifying about Dwayne's narrative is that the reader feels what it means for a person to live with themselves, and in community. As well, the reader feels that the process of achieving an accomplishment is as fulfilling and sometimes greater than the accomplishment.

In the end, the reader understands that Castle is a metaphor for what every town needs. As such, Castle can be anything from a physical structure, to an idea, or to something written. Perhaps, most of all, the reader feels the passion Michael felt when he said about the process of building the castle: "This is how people have to live when nothing in their lives is working."

What Michael meant by this, Dwayne explains, is that people are eager to help each other when times are tough. But Dwayne takes Michael's passionate observation of the human condition to another level. Equally as passionate as Michael, Dwayne says that people shouldn't wait for tough times to help one another. Rather, we should all learn to live
James Evans 
EVERY TOWN NEEDS A CASTLE by Dwayne Hunn is a charming compendium of personal memories.



One of the most insightful and witty books about youthful experiences I’ve read in a long time.



The book captures an important and transcendent segment of Mr. Hunn’s early years.



Joan D'Amico 
I’ve been reading Every Town Needs a Castle. I finished your other book and enjoyed it also. I like your style of writing. You have the ability to inject warmth and humor into your writing, an ability not that many authors possess. I suppose it doesn't hurt to have interesting central characters that you personally knew so well and could describe. Good job, Dwayne!
Imiss1Blackie 
 
 


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