Kaleidoscope: Shapes and Colors of Childhood
By Bill Kraft
Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, Gorham Publishing, Centralia, Washington, 2010, 162 pages, hardcover.
On the back cover of the book is written "Take a journey back to the joys and innocence of childhood. In this book, you will find riches and rewards from a vanished Americana, a time of golden days whose luster has not tarnished or dimmed with the passing years.
From the prairies of North Dakota to the asphalt of Minneapolis discover an ever-expanding world. Through a kaleidoscope of memories, recall the glories of summer, the perils of winter, the colors of fall, and the new life of spring. Let this book take you on an affectionate journey to places familiar and new. Connect again with the child in you and find that growing up is the common bond that unites us all as members of the human family.
The author shares his memories and reflects by Seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) of growing up and his youth in the 1950s in Strasburg, a community in south central North Dakota heavily settled by Catholic Germans from Russia. His writing describes the celebrated holidays; Altar Boys and Church Fairs at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church; Father Matthew Fettig and baseball; 4th of July; Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts; Camp Richmond near Aberdeen, South Dakota; TV in '53; Kraft Brothers Store; Mathern's Blue Room; the root cellar and canning; Sunday dinners at the Kraft home; School Sisters of Notre Dame Convent; homemade ice cream; Christmas, angels and the Belzanickl; and winter time in Strasburg.
Other chapters cover Time to Wrap at the Big Lake Drive-In, Big Lake, Minnesota; travel to Aberdeen and Minneapolis; St. John's University and football.
Father Matthew Fettig and Altar Boys, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church,Strasburg, North Dakota, 1947.
Clerk Agatha Keller and Pius Kraft at the west wall of the Kraft Brothers Store on main street, Strasburg, North Dakota.
Kraft, Bill. "Bill Kraft's Book Celebrates Life in his Boyhood Home-Strasburg." Emmons County Record, 2 September 2010, 2.
Review of the book by Sister Katherine Kraft
Review of the book by Rita Greff
About the Author
Bill Kraft, a native of Strasburg, North Dakota, is an alumnus of St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He taught high school English in Minnesota and spent ten years with the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota. His work has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the St. Cloud Times, the Bismarck Tribune, the Emmons County Record, and Minnesota Moments. Kraft lives in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Another work authored by Bill Kraft is Angels Over the Rooftop available from GRHC.