Where Is He Now? An Interview with Wesley of Weslandia

When Paul Fleischman’s biography about the young boy who created Weslandia was published, it was an instant hit. It’s been 20 years since that book was published and people have wondered what became of young Wesley and where he his now. School-tastic News got an exclusive interview with Wesley and it turns out that he’s in a pretty happy place.

 

SN: Wesley, you’re a hard man to track down, why is that?

 

W: I live off-grid, which means that Weslandia Colony is entirely self-sufficient.

 

SN: Can you explain what self-sufficient means to our readers?

 

W: We make everything we need to live and we don’t get water from the water company or power from the electric company. We make everything we need inside The Colony, including our own clothes, homes, furniture, and food.

 

SN: Wow, that’s amazing! Can you tell me a bit more about The Colony?

 

W: After I began Weslandia in my parent’s backyard, people came from all around to see it. Lots of people wanted to live like I did in Weslandia. I made a lot of money from selling what I didn’t use in Weslandia…

 

SN: I’m guessing the money you made from Wesball also helps.

 

W: Well, yes. I got a patent for the sport I invented as a kid in Weslandia. Very simply put, it means that if other people wanted to play the game or make products for the game, they had to pay me to do so.

 

SN: So how did you start The Colony?

 

W: I used the money I made from Wesball to buy some land in Kentucky and invited people to join me in living on that land. At first there were only around 20 people, but now we have more than 400. We’ve bought more land since then, obviously.

 

SN: Why Kentucky?

 

W: That’s a good question and there are a few reasons. The first is that it turns out that swist grows really well in Kentucky’s climate and soil. The second is that The Colony had to have a clean source of water that we would need for drinking as well as for farming and for factories.

 

SN: Factories? I thought you don’t use electricity.

 

W: A lot of people think that, but it’s incorrect. We do use electricity, but we aren’t connected to the electric company. All our energy is solar-powered, so we leave zero carbon footprint.

 

SN: OK, now a change of subject: are you still in touch with any of the folks who appeared in your biography?

 

W: Yes. Well, obviously my parents. Several of the neighborhood kids were the first to join me on The Colony.

 

SN: Actually, we spoke to your next-doorneighbor, would you like to hear what he had to say?

 

W: (laughs) Wow, yes; he’s really old now!

 

SN: He said: “I never understood that Wesley boy. He grew weird plants and even spoke some weird fantasy language. He was a good boy, I guess, but I still think brussels sprouts are a more worthwhile crop than that swist nonsense.”

 

W: Well, I’ll always prefer brussels sprouts to pizza, but I still think he’s the weird one. Who doesn’t love swist?

 

SN: I love it! Do you all really speak only Weslandian in The Colony?

 

W: No, not anymore. We tried to make that the official language of the colony at first. But it was too hard for people to learn and use. It just seemed more logical to switch back to English.

 

SN: Here’s my final question: are you happy?

 

W: I’m so happy because I live life just the way I want to live it. I do things that help the environment rather than harming it and I have lots and lots of friends. Who could ask for more?