Dr. Rosemary Erickson delivers a fast-paced historical look at her Norwegian family in South Dakota. The Prairie Patriarch, with her father, Dewey Erickson in the lead role, unveils life on the plains for families who dealt with the vagaries of weather, deaths of children, close knit communities and the dissolution of this way of life as the 20th century closed. I was captivated with the intricacies of these strong-willed, stoic people with no access to modern mental health, penicillin and often, no running water or electricity available. Dewey Erickson was a survivor, as he watched a number of his brothers and sisters die of childhood diseases and conditions that could have been prevented with timely surgery. His wife, Opal, a "town girl" was swept into being a farm wife and found that her deep love with Dewey made it all worthwhile. Dewey was famous for dressing well (not like a farmer) and for getting the latest inventions for his wife and children. He owned one of the first Model T automobiles, taught his kids to steer by age 6; hooked up the radio set to a tractor battery and in so many ways, was a dedicated free thinker. Dr. Erickson became a forensic sociologist as a result of her dad's support and decisions, like the one to uproot the family to San Diego. Her mother's mother, Maria, she later discovered, had suffered two mental breakdowns and was confined to a State hospital twice, where she later died. This startling information spurred Rosemary's interest in the human psyche. Her next book "My Life as an Expert Witness, Testifying on Violent Crime" is sure to be as fascinating as this. Read this book. You will be glad you did.
Rosemary J Erickson