THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, April 12, 2019 Page 13 where he was a standout athlete and set school records in the high jump and as a member of the 4x400 indoor track relay team. He studied music and philosophy at Marlboro College in Vermont. He later attended Drake University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. He later served 14 years in the Iowa State Legislature (1993-2006), where he represented residents of downtown Des Moines and surrounding neighborhoods. He was later a candidate for governor and the U.S. House of Representatives. Since leaving politics, he has made a career as a radio talk show host with the “Fallon Forum,” one of the few independent talk shows in Iowa. It airs on six radio stations. He directs Bold Iowa, which fights for climate action. He walked 200 miles from Normandy Beach to Paris in November 2015 in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit. He and his partner, Kathy Byrnes, grow much of their food on their urban farm in downtown Des Moines – about 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables. They also raise hens and bees. They hang their laundry instead of using a drier. Biking and walking are their primary forms of transportation. Besides his mother, he has two brothers – William of Danvers and Lawrence of Acton – and a sister, Carolyn of Lynn. Some highlights of the interview follow. Q: Please tell me about your recent two-week tour that took you to Massachusetts with a recent stop in Saugus. A: I organized a march of 50 people across the country to raise awareness about climate change. I have since written a book about the experience called “Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim.” My partner, Kathy Byrnes, and I traveled from Iowa to Saugus and back, giving 14 presentations in six states. I read from the book, discussed the 3,000 mile march across the country for climate action and spoke of the work we’re doing in Iowa now to get presidential candidates to prioritize climate change. We’ve met with your senator, Elizabeth Warren, multiple times. Q: How many years did you live in Saugus? A: 17. Q: Do you still consider it your hometown? A: I consider Des Moines, Iowa, my hometown since I’ve been there 35 years. Q: How long did you spend in Saugus and what did you do during your recent visit? A: We were there Friday night through Monday morning, enjoyed a wonderful sunny weekend visiting my siblings, helping my mom out around the yard, eating Kane’s Donuts (They are the best!)and watching the Red Sox. Q: What was your favorite Kane’s donut? Did they have it this time? A: Favorite Kane’s donut is buttercrunch, and I had one and a half. Also, nearly every time I come to Saugus I have my hair A: St. Margaret’s Troop and Star rank. Q: How often do you get back to Saugus? A: Once or twice a year. Q: And what have you noticed as far as changes to the town, the character of the town and the people. A: Not a lot, really – very much the same. Q: I understand you went to A NEW BOOK FOR THE LIBRARY: Left to right, Saugus Public Library Director Alan Thibeault, Shirley Fallon of Saugus and her son, Ed Fallon, of Des Moines, Iowa. Ed and his mother showed up at the library on Monday morning (April 8) to donate a copy of Ed’s new book, “Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim,” which is about the 2014 march he organized to raise awareness about climate change. cut at George’s. This time I didn’t need to, but I love that place, which I believe is the oldest barber shop in the U.S. owned by the same family. Q: A review I read of the book tells about your “rebellious departure from the Catholic Church at the age of 16.” Was that here in Saugus? A: St. Margaret’s. Q: Was that a youthful overreaction? A: Yup. I’d have handled it a lot differently these days. I think the priest was out of line, but there were better ways to address my displeasure. Q: Please share with us how growing up in Saugus shaped the person you are today? A: The [Rumney] Marsh was particularly important to me, developing my love for nature and understanding of the importance of protecting our planet. I organized two cleanups of the marsh when I was a teenager, and am very happy to see that it is still preserved. Q: Did you visit the marsh on your recent trip? A: I usually visit the marsh when I’m back, but didn’t squeeze it in this time. Q: And you mentioned organizing some cleanups. Was this with the Boy Scouts, or did you work with some local environmental groups? A: The cleanups were organized by me and a handful of neighbors, one of them old enough to own and drive a pickup truck. We hauled away several loads of trash. I also remember a guy named Tibbetts [first name?] who walked with me around the marsh a couple times and told me what some of the birds were. One year, two snowy owls showed up, and that was pretty amazing. I also remember learning that the area inside the race track (the side toward Lynn) was home to a big colony of black crowned night herons that I would sit and watch for a long time. It’s very gratifying that the marsh has been protected, and I hope the residents of Saugus remain vigilant and committed to maintaining and respecting it. Q: So, are you a bird-watcher or Audubon guy? And that would have been a direct result of your time spent at the marsh? A: Yes, my fascination with birds and nature in general definitely sprung from the many hours I spent exploring the marsh. I would also fish there, and learned the edible wild plants one could eat from the marsh and in the surrounding woodlands. Q: Any Saugus people you looked up to as heroes during your childhood here? A: I spent many summers in Ireland as a kid, with my uncles on their farm, and I was so attracted to farming that I regarded some of the older farmers in the area as my mentors and heroes. Q: Any fond childhood memories of time spent in Saugus? A: Loved going to Fenway Park with the Saugus Boy Scout Troop. And since I was the troop bugler, I would play during the games while we sat in the bleachers, which only cost a buck back then. And I loved watching [Boston Red Sox baseball star] Carl Yastrzemski. His son and my brother went to school together. Q: What Boy Scout troop and what rank did you reach? Lynnfield to make a special visit. Please tell me about that. A: Kathy, my mom and I stopped at my dad’s grave, unplanned. I decided to leave him a copy of my book. One of the chapters – “Father and Son” – is about him and very meaningful to me. Also, the wood for my walking stick and the wood for his coffin came from the same forest in northeast Iowa, both made by monks at the New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque. Q: “The Great March for Climate Action” – other than the global issue, are there any Saugus connections to this march? Either Saugus people involved in the march or contributions from people in the town? A: Some people in Saugus donated to help support it, but I would have to go back to records to remember who. I do know that my mom contributed to our laundry fund so we could buy equipment to wash and hang laundry in our camp after a day’s march. Q: You donated a copy of your book to the Saugus Public Library. What are some of the main reasons why you think this book is very relevant to the people of Saugus, as far as your message and as far as the content? A: Climate change is relevant to all of us. It’s an existential threat that’s now out of hand and must be addressed immediately. Perhaps readers will also appreciate the amazing adventure and sacrifice of the march and the personal stories and struggles I went through at the time. The book can be purchased at boldiowa.com, and all proceeds go to support our climate change work. Q: Have you gotten any feedback you can share from Saugus residents about the book since it’s come out? A: My brother Bill and sister and mom read it, but haven’t heard from anyone else yet. Q: Were there any people from Saugus, besides your parents, who may have influenced you in writing this book? A: Not really. Q: Do you have any advice to offer to the people of Saugus, as far as what they can do as far as climate action or looking out for the environment? A: Improve public transit, make streets safer for bicycles and pedestrians (some of the sidewalks are in rough shape, and sometimes cars block them so you have to walk in the street), hang your laundry and try to support local businesses and farmers. Q: In some of the articles about you, you describe yourself as “a recovering politician.” How so? A: I served for 14 years, and while I’m jesting a bit, there’s an adjustment to make back into other work. Q: Is that to say you will never get involved again? A: Not sure, but it’s not on my radar. Q: So, you found it a good learning experience, but acknowledge that it does take its toll? A: Yes. And I found I could make a difference both in and outside politics. Q: And looking back, would you have run for public office again, knowing what you know now? A: Sure. Q: Please tell me, what is your game plan for tackling the issue of climate change? A: To raise awareness through my book and now, especially, through getting presidential candidates and the media to take it more seriously. www.reverealuminumwindow.com

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