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EVERY TOWN NEEDS A CASTLE: Especially When Built of Recycled Junk and Spunk by [Dwayne Hunn]
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EVERY TOWN NEEDS A CASTLE: Especially When Built of Recycled Junk and Spunk Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2370 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Xlibris (November 29, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FPZ5CE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,420,345 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. W. Scott Rubel on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover
As an architect who likes to have fun, I really enjoyed this book, as it dares to describe and praise creative, innovative and weird building, WITHOUT permits; often the bane of many talented Master Builders now days. Think Pyramids, Cathedrals, Athens, Rome.

While creating their Castle, the real-life builders, led by the indomitable, resourceful Michael, entertain themselves with capers, adventures, mischief and funny stories, all with a heavy Mark Twain vibe.

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit to knowing the author since Peace Corps Training at an abandoned girl's summer camp in the "outback" of Brattleboro Vermont, where we learned Urdu, Bengali and Hindi and how to build in Third World nations, hoping to save them.

But our most formidable project there, was building a stone bridge river crossing to access the nearest roadside bar. Good experience but not very transferable to Pakistan, Afghanistan or India. But I'm sure that rock-piling lesson in Vermont helped Dwayne immensely later in So Cal.

The JFK inspired spirit that we all had back in the Brattleboro days has stayed with us in different ways under different circumstances. Dwayne amusingly chronicles that spirit and "phun" enjoyed with his group of "Merry Men" while creating the Castle.
Read "Every Town Needs a Castle" and you will share in the spirit and "phun" they all had. AND, as Grandpa said in Chapter Two, "A truth in hand is worth two in the bush."
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