Pauline Diede publishes fifth book, The Prairie
Reviews of The Prairie Echoes
John Gengler, Richardton, North Dakota
On two occasions I assisted Pauline Diede as editor of books - Speaking-out on Sod-house Times and The Prairie Was Home. It was a rare opportunity and privilege for me. I had never really appreciated the strength, determination and faith that our pioneers had until I began reading and compiling Pauline's stories of the men and women and their children who settled our prairies. And I guess I never really appreciated the contributions of Pauline as she devoted hundreds of hours of her time saving and gathering these wonderful, heartwarming stories.
We owe Pauline a tremendous `thanks' for taking the time and for understanding that without writers like her, the story of our past would soon be forgotten. We need to know about that past. These stories are a lasting contribution to our culture. God will surely bless Pauline richly for her efforts. I was proud to be a part of her work.
Bless you. Your book will make a good contribution to our German-Russian literature.
The Hebron Herald Staff
Pauline Diede has been writing her column, "The Prairie Echoes" for many years for the enjoyment of the readers of the Hebron Herald. We enjoy working with Pauline and realize that her written words explain the history of the early settlers in our area.
We especially enjoyed assisting her with her book. She had so very many excellent `Prairie Echoe' columns to include in her book that one of her hardest jobs was deciding which to use, which to save for another book at another time.
Thanks, Pauline, for the history you have made clear for us - and thanks for your friendship. Jane Brandt, Rita Barth, Pat Sayler
Kent J. Williamson, Officer of U.S. Marine Corps
When I Think Of Grandma
I grew up in a wonderful home with caring parents. I have always had my needs and many of my wants met. I have been blessed in my life, much more than many people in the world. I look around and see others just getting by, doing only the bare minimum. I often debate the value of hard work and commitment when it's so easy to slack off.
But then I think of my Grandma Diede. Her father and mother had the courage to leave Russia and make the backbreaking trip to the heartland of America. When they arrived, they scratched out a meager existence on the harsh plains of North Dakota. They lived in poverty. My grandma was born prematurely and lived in a sod house. She is tough. She raised her family with values of love of God and fellowman, hard work, and perseverance. These values have been passed on to me.
So, when I lament my own situation and doubt the need to keep working, I think of my grandma. She is an inspiration to me. I remember that not so many generations ago they struggled to survive. It's something that many fortunate Americans should think of every once in awhile.
Brother Placid Gross, Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota
I saw and enjoyed one of Pauline Diede's sound/slide presentations during the International GRHS Convention in Fargo some time back entitled A Homesteader's Daughter. Pauline has the gift of putting her thoughts into words and she is cooperating with a gift that God has given her. She does an excellent job. `Viele dank'!
Father William C. Sherman, Grand Forks, North Dakota
North Dakota residents have long memories. We remember the hard summers of the "thirties", the tensions of the war years, the excitement of the big blizzards. We can describe the building of the churches, we can date the closing of the schools, we can pinpoint the arrival of the first combine, diesel locomotive or jet airplane.
Why do we remember so well? Perhaps it's because we're surrounded by landmarks that seldom change. The seasons repeat themselves in an expected fashion. The big sky is always overhead. The villages are much the same. Old neighbors, at least some, still live nearby.
All this is wonderful, but there's something strange about us prairie folk. Even though our memories are vivid, and recollections are very much a part of us, we seldom write those memorable things down. We say "someday I'll get to it." "Maybe it's not important." "Someone else has probably done it."There seems to be little urgency about the task. It's as if we feel more collective memory will automatically pass it on to future generations. But of course, we're wrong. The past dies as the young move away and old-timers are buried.
There are, fortunately, wonderful exceptions to that North Dakota problem. Here and there, some rare individuals have been quietly putting pen to paper, faithfully sketching out the "olden times".
Pauline Diede is one of those rare and wonderful persons. For years, she has listened, evaluated and recorded parts of North Dakota's past, and even some fascinating aspects of North Dakota's present. Without fanfare, she has done what a lot of us wish we "had time to do". She's put it down in black and white. Future generations will not hesitate to salute her efforts. God grant her continued health and enthusiasm!