Philomath resident Munk Davis has entered the world of book publishing with the first of three titles in his Syntropy series. (Photo and book cover image provided by Munk Davis)

Retired 16 months ago from a career in chemical engineering, Philomath resident Munk Davis reignited a longing from his younger years to put pen to paper. The result is his first book, a self-published title he calls “Boys Meets Ant: Syntropy — Book One.”

Davis, 61, said he’s always been a bit of a storyteller.

“It really started when I was reading to the kids when they were younger and telling them my own stories at night at bedtime,” Davis said. “That was a priority for our family to do the nighttime routine and either read or tell a story. We went through tons of books at that time and I started writing my own stuff.”

Boy Meets Ant” is available through Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

Davis includes the following description on his book’s Amazon page:

“On the surface, you couldn’t ask for a more ordinary Midwestern life. Corn farms, pickup trucks, and the girl next door. But scratch the surface of Booker’s world and you’ll find all the trappings of a B-grade horror film — complete with bullies, mutants, and mad science.”

Sounds interesting, right? He calls the book a “love letter to 1980s popcorn action movies” and says it “will appeal to nerds of all ages and anyone who has ever heard of E.O. Wilson.”

For those who haven’t heard of Wilson, he was a noted biologist who wrote the definitive text on ants.

Davis calls the book the first in a series. He’s working now on the second and third books, which he said are 75% to 80% finished.

The first book, he hopes, does well enough to serve as an inspiration moving forward.

“I would consider success being inspired to continue refining and improving,” he said. “I’d love to have enough energy into the projects from the outside that I feel inspired to continue telling stories.

“I write for the people who want to read.”

A new flag flies in front of Henderer Design and Build’s Philomath shop. (Photo provided by David Hobbs via public post on Facebook)

2. Act of compassion, patriotism

Earlier this month, a Facebook post shared the story of a heartwarming act of an anonymous person who donated an American flag to a business that lost theirs to a thief.

Henderer Design and Build, owned by Dave Henderer, saw its flag disappear in late August from its shop at 1208 Applegate St. David Hobbs, who is a project manager with the company, made a sign that read, “Who stole our flag? Reward for info.”

After leaving it up for four or five days, he took the sign down and decided to just go buy a new one.

Then something happened on Sept. 8.

The package’s gift receipt. (Photo provided by David Hobbs via public post on Facebook)

“It was about 5 p.m. on Friday night — the whole production crew was getting back to the shop and there was an Amazon package at the door,” Hobbs wrote. “We don’t ship anything here, as normally everything goes to our office in Corvallis, so we were all intrigued.”

The package was addressed simply to “Henderer.”

Said Hobbs, “We tore it open and it was a new flag! We don’t know who sent it, just that his name was Steve.”

Hobbs said Henderer is one of the most generous individuals that he knows and always tries to help the community and so “it was really great to see some good coming back our way.”

He summed up the experience: “THIS is the Philomath we love. … THIS is the America we love. Thank you Steve for being a cool person!”

Kris Mitchell’s “My East—Mt. Hood” is among the works to be on display during this year’s Philomath Open Studios tour. (Artwork by Kris Mitchell with image provided by Debby Saudbaum-Sommers)

3. Philomath Open Studios coming

Philomath-area artists will share their work and spaces over the last two weekends of October for the annual Philomath Open Studios, organizers announced.

This year’s tour is scheduled to feature 26 artists in 11 locations from noon-5 p.m. Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 28-29. The tour is free and visitors can start at any studio.

Here’s a rundown of participating artists:

Rebecca Arthur, Phil Coleman, Jennifer Deily, Dale Donovan, Brian Egan, Gale Everett, Debi Friedlander, Mark Gillespie, Anthony Gordon, Babette Grunwald, Jeff Gunn, Kristin Hager, Linda Herd, Carol Houk, Mack Howard, Ann Lahr, Jean Lawrence, Julia Lont, Emma Marliave, Kate McGee, Kris Mitchell, Lyn Radosevich, Debby Sundbaum-Sommers, Leslie Tejada, Steve Terhune and Justin Wolford.

A map with studio locations and artist information is available at the Philomath Open Studios website.

For those who would enjoy a “mini-preview,” there will be a Philomath Open Studios display at the Philomath Community Library beginning Oct. 1 and staying up throughout the month.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.

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