Name: Ira Wagler
Status: Divorced from Ellen (Yutzy) Wagler as of Nov. 1, 2007. (The Rending)
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Religion: Christian (Post-Millennial. I fully expect to die one day.)
Born: 1961 in Tillsonburg (Aylmer area), Ontario, Canada
Parents: David and Ida Mae Wagler, Mays Lick, Kentucky (Old Order Amish)
Siblings: Five brothers and five sisters (can’t remember all their names, just kidding)
My place in the row: Ninth of eleven children
My favorite Bible verse:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
8th grade elementary education in Amish one-room schools in Aylmer, Ontario
NO HIGH SCHOOL
GED from Washington High School, Washington, IN: 1989
Vincennes University: 1989-91, Associates Degree in General Studies
Bob Jones University: 1991-93, BA Major in English, Minor in History
Dickinson School of Law: 1994-97, Jurisdoctorate Degree (Law)
Prior to 1997, almost anything under the sun.
Practiced law with the firm of Clymer & Musser, Lancaster, PA 1997-2001
General Manager of Graber Supply, LLC, Pole Building Supplier and Builder: 2001-present.
Amish claim to fame: Led the “Lob Song” in church at least ten times in Bloomfield, Iowa and once in Aylmer, Ontario (It’s harder than you think. I remember getting stuck only once, in Aylmer. Very embarrassing.)
English claim to fame: Nothing comes to mind, except maybe some strident letters to the editor of the local newspapers. I got mad at them and quit writing about five years ago.
Interests (more detail below):
Reading, writing, sports (football, Nascar and baseball), politics (not so much in the last few years, the country is going to hell in a hand basket, regardless of who’s in power.), fitness & hiking, grilling, fishing (somewhat), and just sitting around shooting the breeze.
Reading: Currently read mostly the “New York Review of Books” and “The New American.” I also enjoy the great humor books of P.G. Wodehouse. Outstanding old English humor.
Thomas Wolfe, “You Can’t Go Home Again” and anything else he wrote.
Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”
Wolfe has had by far the most influence on my writing style and subject matter.
Favorite Essayist: Fred Reed, outstanding curmudgeon. Usually writes weekly columns. Lambastes everything and everyone equally. Check him out.
Favorite TV Show: The Simpsons (yeah, yeah, I know, but it IS hilarious.)
“Oh, Brother, Where art Thou?” Hilarious, great music.
“Desperado” with Anthony Bandares. Shoot-em up action, where the action is perfectly coordinated with the music.
Anything with vampires, what I call “slurp, slurp” junk food movies (“From Dusk til Dawn,” etc.)
Mel Gibson’s “Payback”
Frank Miller’s “Sin City” (extremely violent, but thought-provoking)
Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” the most incisive movie I’ve ever seen about the hopeless randomness of life without God (not the point of the movie, but its undeniable conclusion)
“Bless the Child” starring Kim Bassinger, a chilling tale of angels and demons and a special child.
Writing: This website. Published the church newsletter, Chestnut Street Connection, until Feb., 2007. Also a few general-interest essays (see Essay Page on this site). Keep working in tidbits on the Great American Novel, which of course will catapult me into worldwide fame and adulation (NOT).
Politics: Solidly in the libertarian/anarchist camp, and home at last. I can see so clearly now. The state is the greatest entity of pure evil ever devised by humans. I’m anti-state, anti-war, pro-market, pro-life. I am a registered Independent. Republicans and Democrats are two wings of the same beast of prey. I instinctively recoil a bit more from the Dems, as the party of high taxes and class warfare, but the GOP is the party of war and bloodshed. They’re all a bunch of elitist, statist thugs. I watch no news at all on TV. I get my news from trusted sources on the internet.
Sports: Huge football junkie, can watch any game, college or pro. Have been a New York Jets fan since 1981, the year I discovered football. In baseball I like the Braves, and my Nascar drivers are Jeremy Mayfield, Dale, Jr. and anyone else but Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and the Busch brothers.
Fitness: Very conscientious about working out at the gym as often as I can, usually 4 to 6 times a week. Very proud of the fact that I have lost between 45 and 50 pounds since 2005 by workout and diet. Dropped from 245-250 lbs. to 202 lbs. Trying to get to 200, but can’t seem to drop that final 2 lbs., darn it. It was great to throw away my old size 42 jeans and buy size 38s.
I love to day-hike, mostly at Pinnacle Point or the Seven-Falls (Tacquon Glen) Trail in southern Lancaster County. I have hiking shoes and usually carry a small pack with water and energy bars. Longest hike was 12 miles on a rails-to-trails trail in Hershey in 2006. Probably won’t graduate to longer hikes because I don’t enjoy sleeping anywhere but on a bed, preferably my own.
Diet: Not radical about anything, but try to avoid sugars. My weakness is quality, name brand ice cream. Very radical about vitamins, especially Dr. Schulze’s Superfood, which I take twice daily, once first thing in the morning and once mid-afternoon. Superfood is unquestionably the best vitamin mix on the market today, all natural, absolutely no sugars. Try some. I am religious about it. If you do try it, you MUST keep at it at least one month, then if you decide to stop, OK.
Grilling: I am a charcoal purist. I have three grills, one small one and two large ones. Nothing is more pleasant than preparing a great grilled feast for appreciative guests. During summer months, I usually grill once or twice a week.
PROFESSIONS I’VE DREAMED OF BUT NEVER PURSUED:
Author: This I will do or die trying. Actually, it’s just now all coming down, unfolding as you read this. It’s been a wild, wild ride, far beyond anything I could have imagined. The Tyndale people are “very pleased” with the orders so far, but they rather obstinately refuse to define what “very pleased” means. The book must sell, not only to the dealers, but to the end customer. So go buy a copy (or ten).
Long distance trucker: My dream as a little Amish boy, seeing all those great monstrous trucks rumbling down the highway, while I was stuck in the fields behind a team of horses and choking on clouds of dust. The thought of a two-week trip from coast to coast was fascinating to me.
Probability that I will ever do it: None, the dream died many years ago and has no chance of rebirth.
Bartender: I would be a great one. I am professional, conversational (if required) and very naturally service-oriented. I was an outstanding waiter at restaurants throughout my college years, and as far as I know, still hold the record for tips at The Gasthof in Montgomery, IN, set in 1989-90 ($120.00 in 4 hours). Plus, I know my alcohol.
Probability that I will ever do it: 80% or better. This can be done part-time at any age, and if I get a real itch, I’ll scratch it.