In the last couple weeks, I’ve had very interesting e-mail exchanges and even a conversation with members of the Johnstad family – Rolfe, Ron, and Conrad. All three were skiers, and that’s where the conversation began. I’ll come back to that in a later post, but today I want to highlight a book that should interest all us Borresons.
Ron Johnstad, who’s served as a Lutheran pastor (so also has Rolfe) in Montana and Texas, has written a warm book of stories about his hometown, Pigeon Falls … As I Remember It. He walks the reader right down main street, so to speak, and then through four seasons of stories. A wonderful read! Here’s a sampling.
About Ekern’s Store: “One of the most interesting things about the store was its central heating and floor vent. People would often go into the store to warm themselves by the heating vent. Again it was a place for conversation and relaxation. It was a place where the older men would light up their pipes and nod when they agreed with what was being said. If they disagreed, they wouldn’t nod, but twitch their bodies and stamp their feet on the grate. It was a great learning place for any young man.” (6-7)
About community dances and his father Iver’s dance band: “Yes, wedding dances were fun and enjoyable, but so were all the other dances…and good for the soul. There was one dance that took on a special flavor … it was a divorce dance. This gentleman decided to divorce his wife and he was so happy about getting out of the relationship that he wanted people to help him celebrate the occasion. He hired my father to play for the dance, and he wanted posters put up all over the county inviting people to attend….” (20)
If you want to know the rest of the story, you have to read the book! That’s how we used to end our book reports in country school. So, I encourage you to buy and read Ron’s book; maybe get it for someone (or yourself) for Christmas! You’ll be glad you did.
The cost is $12.95 per copy plus $2.00 for postage. You can mail your order to him directly at the following address: The Rev. Ronald Johnstad, P.O. Box 981, Emigrant, MT 59027.
He has two other books available as well: Montana, As I Remember It ($12 plus $2 postage) and His Way Made Known ($10 plus $2 postage). The Pigeon Falls book needs to be first on your list right now. Now only will it bring you enjoyment, but it’ll give you insights into the place that was woven into the life of the Borreson family. Thanks, Ron, for writing it.