• U.S.

FARMERS: People v. Pippel

2 minute read

Among the 200 stranded U. S. farmers whom the Government set out to rehabilitate in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley three and a half years ago was Walter Pippel of Hennepin County, Minn. Last week came news of how Walter Pippel, who arrived with $54, had become Matanuska’s star farmer and outstanding anti-social force. Instead of selling the garden produce from his 40 acres through the marketing co-operative which is as proud a feature of Matanuska as its shining community creamery, schools, hospital and recreation centre, individualistic Walter Pippel journeyed to Anchorage and other railroad towns to hawk it himself. When at length the colony’s managers, Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp., reminded Colonist Pippel that he had contracted to use the co-operative and pay a 5% charge for its services, Mr. Pippel blew up. He said that in two years he had made $11,000 by his own hard work, had no intention of disgorging $550. Rather than pay up, he prepared to go to court to assert his independence.

Explaining that he got up at 5 o’clock every morning while some of his neighbors slept until 10, Walter Pippel snorted: “Here in Matanuska the man who does is supposed to help support the man who does not. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one country in the world dedicated to that principle, and it’s not the U. S. A.!”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com