From the Hidewood
Author Robert Amerson
Minnesota Historical Society Press (July 15, 1996)
In twenty-one interwoven stories, author Robert Amerson re-creates life on his family's 160-acre farm in the remote Hidewood Hills of eastern South Dakota from 1934 to 1942. Each story, told from the perspective of a family member or farmer neighbor, captures the moods, sounds, sights, and relationships of these rural Americans at a time of tremendous change. Nine-year-old Robert Amerson is a dreamer fascinated by books, airplanes, and cars. As he grows older, he becomes impatient with old-fashioned horse farming, and he struggles to balance his responsibilities to the farm with the attractions of high school and life in town. His father Clarence, a master at making do, labors unceasingly but never seems to get ahead. His mother Bernice, who fights off dark emotions along with frustration at not "having it nice, " concentrates her energy on getting her children an education. In this time of Depression-related hardships, edging toward the eve of World War II, co-operation and hard work are key to the survival of small farms. Neighbors join together to butcher hogs, run the one-room school, build roads, thresh grain, and celebrate the landmarks of their lives. They turn out, without fail, to help a family suffering a disaster-filled summer. And they work hard for the means to better their lives with new tractors, gas-powered washing machines, indoor bathrooms, wells that produce good drinking water - and, eventually, rural electrification and milking machines. In From the Hidewood, Amerson has written far more than an "I remember when" account. In exquisite detail, he portrays a particular moment in time with a power that could help many readers better understand their own pasts.
- 378 pages
- 5.25 x 8 inches
- ISBN: 9780873513340
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