You Know You’re From...Colby: Author Dick Lange

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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COLBY, Wis. (WSAW) - I want you to meet Dick Lange.

“I don’t have any formal training in writing,” he proclaims.

As we make our way to his basement, he shows me his collection. “These are the manuscripts that I started writing back in the early 70′s.”

Growing up in a house of 10 kids, 4 brothers and 6 sisters, life was an adventure.


“Me and my brother, we always had these aspirations of being mountain men,” said Lange. “So we’d always grab our bb guns and we’d be gone. So all of those adventures we went on, I wrote them down.”

In 2017, with encouragement from his wife of 45 years Michelle--“I had to poke and prod a little bit”-- Dick started to put his journals into book format.

“I sent them to different publishers, and of course, you get the thank you but no thank you. And I finally got one,” he said.

With Covenant Books signed on, came his first book, ‘Thoughts from a Tree Stand.’ A collection of stories from, what else, all of his years hunting. 3 years later, Dick has 11 novels on his resume.

“It just flows,” Michelle said. “He’ll be typing for hours and before you know it he’s got a book.”

Most of his stories draw on his life experiences with an alcoholic father. As a Deputy Sheriff in Clark County. A truck driver in Montana. An outdoorsman.

“It gets a lot of his frustrations out I think,” said Michelle.

“By getting it out there, it kind of cleanses your whole soul,” Dick said.

From the 11 novels, Dick hasn’t pocketed a dime. Not to say he hasn’t made money, he just doesn’t keep it for himself.

Childhood friend Jody Apfelbeck is the treasurer of the Abbotsford Sportsmen’s Club.

“He’s a big donor, big part of our club out there when it comes to hunter safety,” said Apfelbeck.

Lange pays for 50 kids to go through hunter safety and a gaming tag for one young hunter each year.

“This year he donated his bobcat tag, which takes 10 years to get, and a fully-paid guide service, which we’ll be doing December 26,” added Apfelbeck.

Lange’s generosity doesn’t end there. He’s donated to Clark County Shop with a Cop, the Abbotsford/Colby Police Department K9 program, Marshfield Area Pet Shelter and many more. Between $7-8,000 to the community the last few years.

“There’s so much need out there, so you just kid of give what you can give,” Dick said.

Whether it’s monetary gifts...

“Outstanding guy in the community,” said Apfelbeck...

or the gift of words...

“Just in awe of what he puts down on paper,” added Michelle....

Dick Lange will continue to leave his mark.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody’s going to believe in you.”

Michelle also serves as Dick’s proofreader before he sends his stories off to the publisher. His most recent book, ‘The Stand in the White Oak,’ which he calls his favorite- was released back in October. You can find all of them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart websites under the name Joseph R. Lange, his official author name.

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