All photos/art by Annie Card
When Earl Proulx died in March 2002 at age 88, he’d written Yankee‘s “Plain Talk” advice column for 22 years. Jamie Trowbridge, Yankee Publishing’s president, wrote about him on his passing. Even then, Earl Proulx was able to offer advice to readers.
“Earl taught me that you should never buy a piece of glass. There were always storm windows at the dump that could be cut to size, and as for any leftover pieces, those could be cut into sharp, disposable cabinet scrapers for woodworking….
“One winter a family of mice made their nest inside the walls of our gas range. I took the range completely apart to get the mouse-infested insulation out of it. But when I turned the oven back on, it still smelled like mice. Without hesitating, Earl offered a solution: ‘Take the stove apart again and rub vanilla on the metal.’ If anyone else had recommended this, I would have hauled the stove to the dump. But I took his advice, and that was the end of the unpleasant odor. …
“Earl’s father once told him, ‘Always do a little more work than you’re being paid for, and you’ll never have to worry about a job.'” –May 2002