At the Scandinavian Center he goes to, Richard Londgren usually sees a sign promoting lifelong learning.
"That fits our personal ongoing learning," he said. "(It) keeps the brain active and keeps us physically active too."
And the challenge of writing also stimulates the brain, he said.
Londgren, a 1947 Lynd High School graduate who now lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., recently had four of his novels chosen for e-books on Amazon Kindle.
He includes art and history in his stories, as well as sports.
"I was born shortly after the start of the Great Depression, so our family's economic struggle made a major impression," he said. "Now, with our Great Recession, the Great Depression gets a lot of reference."
One of his novels made into an e-book, "Art Sleuths," follows the trails and trials of tracking art stolen by the Nazis in World War II, plus later detection of art of questionable provenance at museums, universities, corporations and even about the threats of the mafia protecting its "investment" in art.
Another story of Londgren's set in the Great Depression is "Artful Forger," which starts in a small logging company town near Seattle.
"The main character gets his 'sobriquet' from forging a signature on a friend's report card," Londgren said. "In that town, the forger also paints a mural and sign on the sawmill with his technique he calls 'splotch and dot.' The 'dot' part came from his experience with photo halftones that he learned from work on the community newspaper."
When he is about to graduate form high school and take advantage of a athletic scholarship, the forger is called up from his National Guard unit to active Army duty, Londgren said, and Army leaders discover his artistic skills and want to develop his forging ability for creating Nazi documents and money as a strategy during WWII.
"To help prepare the forger, the Army sends him to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn so he can 'commute' to Cooper Union art school in Manhattan," Londgren said.
He's also penned "Oregon Glacier," the story of a track star and coach at the University of Oregon.
"When sent to participate at a seminar about sports medicine at the Mayo Clinic, he and the others in the study cause concern among athletes, coaches, university leaders, fans and gamblers that the status quo of sports might be affected," he said. "Then the plot thickens when the Oregon Glacier marries an heir to a small forest products company and causes worry among environmentalists. But he moves resolutely on."
"Whistle-Stop" is also available as an e-book, Londgren said.
"My novels tend to be the 'feel-good' kind, so I feel good about that," Londgren said. "(It) fits my Judeo-Christian background of our country, our family, Minnesota. But that serves as a limitation, how to create interesting characters, conflict and conclusions among mostly good guys."
Londgren is working on another novel set in the Great Depression titled "Bum's Rush" for the railroad bulls kicking bums off the rail cars.
"It will feature a 13-year-old runaway boy who ends up in the hospital after being thrown from a boxcar," he said. "That leads to help from a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran couple in Montana and a turnaround in the kid's life."