It takes time for the powerful to learn the limits of power.

I recently bought a copy of Honest Henry’s Mountain Man Insights.  That evening I started browsing, intending to spend only a few minutes.  I found myself enjoying page after page, until I reached the end.  (Page 300.)

Henry reveals simple truths and common fallacies (aha moments) with both subtle and hit-you-over-the head humor – somewhere between a smile and a laugh a page.  He then threads the whole together with a song to the pure joy of life, a tilt in perspective that can change your mood and possibly your life.

For your pleasure and delight, buy it, read it, put it on your coffee table for your friends and pass it around.

Roma B.     Pittsfield, Mass.


I received a copy of your Mountain Man Insights book as a birthday present.  I am enjoying reflecting on your sayings.  You are a man of great wisdom.

Patrice F.     Stockbridge, Mass.

As the local pastor of the Tyringham Union Church I am always looking for insightful and unique ways to speak words of wisdom that speak to our times and that I can use in my sermons.  I enjoyed your book and though you suggested that many people choose to read a saying each day, I couldn’t put down your book and continued reading until I reached the end and then I wished there were more!

This past Sunday my sermon addressed how we must be vigilant against the corruption that invades bureaucracy including religious institutions.  I used your saying, “Bureaucracy turns inspiration into regulation!”  I continue to enjoy your book and keep it on my shelf of books that I refer to continually when I need inspiration!

Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Rev. Janet McKinstry       Tyringham, Mass.

Four recent Letters to the Editor, of the Berkshire Eagle

June 25, 2011

“Insights book is a must-read
I am a new subscriber to The Berkshire Eagle.  Each morning I read Honest Henry’s “Mountain Man Insights” on page B2.  I have just discovered that his delightful new book of insights is hiding in all the locally owned bookstores in the Berkshires.  The book is a diamond in the rough, a needle in the haystack, with pithy sayings that help us all enjoy our daily life.

The all-color book is 300 postcard-size pages long.  Each page has one Mountain Man Insight on it – the best from the last five years in The Berkshire Eagle.  There are many hilarious cartoons too.  Henry’s insights blend humor with ironic juxtopositions around current events.  A few of my favorites: “A new head is not covered by your health insurance plan.”  “After we replaced our teachers with politicians, education died!”  “Economists accurately forecast what happened yesterday.”  “My paycheck is too small to fit in the bank.”  “Help is what friends are for.”

Take time to search out the book in a Berkshires bookstore: “Mountain Man Insights – Wise Old Sayings Never Heard Before.”  Fellow readers, please join me in this self-appointed book club.    MICHAEL PULITZER, JR.   Stockbridge

June 26, 2011

Is Berkshire Eagle now Lenox Eagle?
Just writing to ask what other cities and towns in Berkshire County have to do to get the kind of coverage that Lenox gets from The Berkshire Eagle and the town’s personal reporter Clarence Fanto?  The Monday, June 20 front page of the B section is a perfect example.  Not one but two featured articles on Lenox.  Considering how thin Monday’s papers tend to be anyway I’m amazed at the high percentage of space that was dedicated to Lenox that day and many other days as well.  In fact three of the six local headlines listed Monday on berkshireeagle.com are for items related to Lenox.

I’m sure Cheshire, Hinsdale, Lanesborough and Richmond, for example, would love the opportunity to receive the same high visibility on a regular basis and have their own personal reporter as Lenox does.  Of course that also explains “to me anyway” how Mountain Man Insights continues to also get the same high visibility in The Eagle each and every day.  If I’m not mistaken the mountain man is from Lenox, also.  Frankly, I find no definition of “insight” that supports the Mountain Man’s daily “affirmations” as anything other than nonsensical musings with little or no insightful value of any kind.

I would like to ask The Eagle to provide some insight to local readers regarding the obvious priority placed on promoting Lenox in particular on what feels like a daily basis.  Personally, I would much rather see the space devoted to the Mountain Man Insights in particular changed to provide a daily reference to a local tourist sight or event, references to local nonprofits and/or human services providers, or other notes of interest.  Many fine events and organizations could benefit from that kind of visibility.  In fact, many of us would also like some insight into how it was decided that the Mountain Man Insights would be a great item to put in The Eagle each and every day.  Or does the Lenox connection already provide that insight?     MICHAEL P. MURPHY    Pittsfield

June 30, 2011

Communities can earn coverage
Letter writer Michael P. Murphy doesn’t like Mountain Man Insights, but we do.  We even bought three copies of the book based on The Berkshire Eagle feature as gifts for friends.  But Mr. Murphy seems to see a liberal bias linked to the promotion of the Mountain Man Insights feature and links The Eagle’s allegedly skewed coverage of the town of Lenox at the expense of Hinsdale, Cheshire, Lanesborough and Richmond.

While these neighboring towns may have exemplary administrations and problems and issues worthy of insight for all Berkshire County residents, they do not attract the cultural organizations (museums, theater companies and so on) which promote tourism (and thus town income through taxes) they invite to their venues.  Tourism and technology are becoming significant aspects of the Berkshire County economy.

Pittsfield has recently been consistently in The Eagle news when such stories concerning traffic patterns at Park Circle, the downtown economic renaissance in progress on North St. in Pittsfield are described and discussed.  Local municipal officeholders take risks on behalf of their constituents when they engage in new endeavors.  The success of Mass MoCA in North Adams did not occur in a vacuum.  A mayor and a university planned and hoped and worked without guarantees.  And such endeavors (and risks) are stories of great interest and worth the telling to our Berkshires friends and neighbors.

For example, it might be interesting to read about the details (problems and plusses) of traffic control by the Lenox Police Department as it so effectively and efficiently routes traffic through Lenox during the Tanglewood season, and perhaps compare and contrast the same issue in Williamstown during the peak of the theater season.

Richmond and Pittsfield both have fine libraries, and although different in size and scope, may be having budget problems during this period of municipal budget cuts.  How about a story about them?    RICK SAFRAN   Lee

July 1, 2011

Mountain Man Insights brighten day
Getting a daily newspaper delivered to one’s doorstep is one of life’s pleasures.  The familiar orange plastic wrapping on the front porch is as welcome as the first sip of morning coffee.

After scanning the front page news articles, the next thing I turn to is Mountain Man Insights.  Reading these daily blurbs of hilarious wisdom always cracks me up.  It’s healthy and therapeutic to start the day with a smile.  Some days, Mountain Man Insights elicits a raucous belt of laughter.

Heaven knows we all need as much laughter in our lives as we can get.  The world can be a kind of difficult place.

Naturally, I was bummed when I read a letter to the editor by Michael Murphy on Sunday, June 26.  He doesn’t like the “high visibility” of Mountain Man Insights.  Actually, by the tone of his letter, it sounded like he doesn’t like Mountain Man Insights at all.

I realize we are all entitled to our opinions but please, leave Mountain Man Insights alone.  Leave it where it is located in the paper.  We all need a little laughter to start the day.  It’s good to lighten up and Mountain Man Insights helps some readers to do that.  Go Mountain Man Insights, and continue for a long time to come, right where you are in the Berkshire Eagle!
SUSAN Guerrero      Pittsfield, Mass.

I facilitate discussion groups for seniors.  I use a Mountain Man Insight at the start to ignite the participants’ minds.  A lively discussion always follows!
Bob K.    Pittsfield, Mass.

Mountain Man Insights are clear, concise and cheerful.  Henry definately makes happiness happen.
Paul Striberry    Apprentice to Life     Southern Pines, North Carolina

I don’t mind a little competition!
           Will Rogers