Waiting for Otto

By Ron Rude

PublishAmerica, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005, 203 pages, softcover.


In the early 1900s on the North Dakota prairies, young Selma Retzlaff Wollerman learns the ways of her Russian-German ancestry while waiting for her own life to begin.

Selma marries young, hoping to find companionship and security. But twice within twenty years she is left without a husband. The familiar security of her farm-wife role is shattered, while any hope of companionship disappears with her youth.

The Great Depression, a large, mixed family, a murder, cruel neighbors and World War II all threaten to destroy Selma. But with skill, humor and toughness, she does survive, dying at 101 years old, still sound of mind and spirit.

Her life makes an emotional and uplifting story, especially since Selma was not a fictional character, but a real-life example of the durable immigrant women of the American prairies.

About the author

Ron Rude is a retired English teacher and school superintendent, a father, grandfather, avid horseman, and freelance writer. He and his wife Karen, who is one of Selma Wollerman's granddaughters, were raised in Minnesota but have lived in western Montana since 1970.

Waiting for Otto

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