Fellowship of the Sausage Ring: A Meditation on Wascht

Book Review by Carol Just, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Vossler, Ronald. Fellowship of the Sausage Ring: A Meditation on Wascht. Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo, ND, 2013.

For much of his writing career, Ron Vossler has found his voice in the stories of his ethnic group, the Germans from Russia.

This essay on the topic of Sausage does not disappoint. From first to last page, this story of the Vossler Family relationship to sausage and all things German Russian is delightful. The reader will find parallels to his/her own family experiences – maybe not so exquisitely told as this lovely essay on the virtues of “Wascht” the dialect term for sausage.

While Vossler gives credit to the “king” of sausage makers, George Just, he also takes us on a journey of small town memories, a tribute to his grandfather’s sausage dream, remembering the kindness of strangers who offered “Wascht” as a Dakota German fast food, and lastly a believable ghost story; the kind we have all encountered now and then if we were paying attention.

Vossler’s storytelling gift and wry wit make this essay a must-have for your next family gathering whether you have sausage on the menu or not.  Make sure you have enough copies to pass around at the next family reunion or to give as a Christmas gift to your favorite German from Russia.
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