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Huisman publishes ‘Country Roads’ collection

November 14, 2007
The Daily Freeman Journal
Hamilton County native Arvid Huisman, whose weekly Country Roads column appears in the Daily Freeman-Journal on Thursdays, has published a book. "Country Roads" is a compilation of 75 of the more than 700 columns Huisman has written over the past 20 years.

"These 75 columns," Huisman said, "are among my favorites and I recall getting strong reader reaction to most of them. Most of the reaction was good."

Huisman began writing a weekly column when he became publisher of the Creston News Advertiser in 1988. The Daily Freeman-Journal began publishing the column in 1990.

When Huisman left the Creston News Advertiser in 2000 he discontinued the column. Earlier this year he resumed writing the column and it now appears in several Iowa newspapers.

"Over the years a lot of folks suggested I put the columns into a book," Huisman explained. "I wasn't sure I could sell enough to make it work, but readers kept asking so this year I finally got the job done."

The book was self-published. Huisman designed the entire book himself including the cover which features photos of country roads near Ellsworth.

"When I think of country roads," Huisman said, "I always think of the roads back home in Hamilton County. I remembered driving on these roads some years ago so one Saturday morning early this fall I took my camera to Ellsworth and shot the cover photos."

"Country Roads" is available at Carolyn's Hallmark Shop in Webster City. A mail order form can be downloaded from

Huisman began his newspaper career at the Daily Freeman-Journal 34 years ago. After working at KJFJ Radio in Webster City for seven years, he became sports editor at the Daily Freeman-Journal in February 1973.

Later he worked at the Sioux City Journal where he became advertising manager in 1981.

After more than 30 years in the newspaper industry, Huisman resigned a newspaper management position in June and started his own home based communications business. "I'm trying to line up some things I can do part-time now and after I retire," Huisman explained.

Earlier this fall Huisman was named development director for the Des Moines Corps of The Salvation Army. His duties include fund raising, grant writing and community and media relations.

Huisman grew up in Hamilton County, attending grade school in Ellsworth and Jewell and junior high in Kamrar. He is a 1966 graduate of Northeast Hamilton High School in Blairsburg.

His wife is the former Cindy Fisher of Webster City. They reside in Ankeny where Cindy is employed in the continuing education department at Des Moines Area Community College. The couple has two adult children - Dirk of Ankeny and Dena of Iowa City.

"We've moved around some over the years," Huisman observed, "but Hamilton County has always been 'home.' When we see a Hamilton County car in the Des Moines area we look to see if we know the folks in the car. Having been gone for more than 33 years, we seldom see anyone we know but we always think of it as a car from 'back home.'"

Article Photos

Tucked amid the Thanksgiving decorations, a new book by Arvid Huisman is now on display for sale at Carolyn’s Hallmark in downtown Webster City,



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