By Maxine Bergerson Werner
In Country Ragamuffins, Maxine Bergerson Werner invitations readers on a trip again to the Nineteen Fifties as she recollects her upbringing because the oldest woman between 8 siblings in a Norwegian farming group in rural Minnesota.
To express and shield the stories, values, and personality of a standard Midwestern farm family members of the time ''before these thoughts develop dim and eventually disappear,'' the writer bargains this chronicle laced with humor and appreciation. Werner's mom and dad cultivated a life-style that mixed labor, studying, and time for formative years enjoyable and play within the surrounding fields, pastures, and woodlands.
Connectedness used to be the subject matter of their chuffed lifestyles. each family member participated within the functioning of the farm; siblings have been top neighbors; and laughter and debate have been welcome on the dinner desk. The day-by-day workouts, the chores, the vacation festivities, and the births of siblings are recorded in scrapbook style.
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Extra resources for Country Ragamuffins: Reflections on a Midwestern Farm Childhood
Aunt Ivy, another of my grandfather's daughters, worked at Player's factory, and being unmarried had a boyfriend called Ernest Guyler, who was to die of tuberculosis. A tall, thin, sprucely dressed man, he used to come up the lane to call on her. The first love of my life was the fair and stately Queen Alexandra, whose picture was on a card Ernest gave me from his cigarette packet before walking with Ivy towards the wood. Ivy, and her sister Emily, who was also unmarried, ~·ould occasionally take down the long tin bath and set it under a plane tree between the back door and the coal house.
A tall, thin, sprucely dressed man, he used to come up the lane to call on her. The first love of my life was the fair and stately Queen Alexandra, whose picture was on a card Ernest gave me from his cigarette packet before walking with Ivy towards the wood. Ivy, and her sister Emily, who was also unmarried, ~·ould occasionally take down the long tin bath and set it under a plane tree between the back door and the coal house. Showing reluctance- to say the least - with regard to water, even after they had pulled my clothes off, I wriggled out of their grasp and ran away .
Such speculations must have tormented him for the rest of his life, though with diminishing force, for I believe that in happier moods he was certain enough that we were all his. And yet the episode seemed to have broken his spirit, in that he tried harder to get work. The fights at home did not decrease, however, because there was never enough money for cigarettes, and my mother still went out now and again with her sister. In the first ten years my father was employed for a total of just over six months.
Country Ragamuffins: Reflections on a Midwestern Farm Childhood by Maxine Bergerson Werner