Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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David Hassler has published two books of poems and is the program and outreach director for the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. He also conducts writing workshops in schools and senior centers. He lives in Kent, Ohio, with his wife and daughter.
When they set out to document the lives of Mexican migrant workers in Hartville, author David Hassler and photographer Gary Harwood expected to find examples of injustice, deprivation, and misery. Instead they found a functioning seasonal community, rich in culture, to which entire families return each year. The work is hard and dirty, and the workers struggle to support themselves and their dependents.
A few days after our mother entered the hospital, my brother and I left for summer camp. Our mother, who could still sit up in bed, wanted us to go, and our father did too. We’d been looking forward all summer to sleeping in tents under the stars, rappelling down the sides of cliffs, and hiking along streams.