More Support of Tim Swiggum

Mark Tobola

More Support of Tim Swiggum

3 min.
September 14, 2021

Dear Editor –

So, in the last few years, you have asked me to write for The Sentinel & Rural News. I've done my best to do so, regularly, and not just write about useless and pointless things. I've also tried to not make The Sentinel & Rural News my soap box for some of my more highly opinionated thoughts! I've tried to be considerate, thoughtful, and share what might be helpful and uplifting for the readers of the paper.  

A while back, you had mentioned that if I've had positive feedback to share about something or someone in the area, that I should write it and send it your way. Well, I was just thinking about this as of late and one name has been regularly repeated on this front. And it may be a surprise to folks, but you know, it's time that I shared some surprising information!

I admit, 100%, that people do come into the store and just talk. And they often talk about people, events, and ideas. Hank's Furniture & Carpeting isn't just a place for doing business, we are a place to visit about whatever is on your mind! Over the last eleven years as the Owner, and before that, I've heard a number of people tell me the same thing: When they needed help, information, or just a suggestion to help them forward, a talk with Tim Swiggum has helped them out.

Now, I realize that what I just wrote may draw some anger from a few people. It may surprise even more! But I can attest with full honesty under God that when folks start talking about overcoming a problem, sooner or later they mention that someone helped them. And in the Owen-Withee area, it invariably becomes that they mention that it was Tim who helped them. Even I, myself, on a couple of projects, have had the opportunity to see how helpful Mr. Swiggum can be!

I also know that a number of people may not like him. That's fine, and the reason I say it's fine is because that's actually normal. In any community, you're going to have things happen, you're going to have "stuff" occur. One popular children's show had a hero being mentored by a wise elder as a character. The elder's teaching was that life is messy, and things will happen, and the key is to learn how to make things as right as you can and keep moving forward. "History" happens. Nobody is perfect.  

But when you look at all the hours that Mr. Swiggum is pouring into the area, he's showing how much he wants to see it grow and succeed. If you look at the efforts he's making, you'll see his desire to see this area prosper. If you talk to him, he will be courteous and respectful to you. And if you ask him questions, he may not be able to answer you, but he is often able to help you connect with people who can answer you or lead you to those who can.  

I've just heard it so many times that when someone needed help, Mr. Swiggum was able to help them. And I've experienced this, firsthand, myself, with some questions I had, too! I don't think people realize that someone helping for as many decades as he has can bring a lot to the table. They don't know how he's learned to accomplish tasks.  They don't know who has talked big to him, and then done nothing. They don't know, as Paul Harvey used to say, "The rest of the story."  

I don't think most of us realize the hours it takes to walk through all of the governmental bureaucracy and have it make some sort of sense, either. And yet, Tim seems to be able to cut through it and explain it, too. That takes experience, knowledge, skill, and presence of mind with the focus of helping people.  

I just thought it would be good to say some good things. I know that there will be detractors to this article I've written... But I keep seeing and hearing the same things. So, I thought it was worth the time to drop a line, and let more folks know about someone doing the best they can to help our area out.

Mark Tobola


This article was orginally reported by
Mark Tobola

Mark Tobola is a resident of Thorp and weekly columnist.