Where the Best Began: Stories of a Boy on the American Prairie

Where the Best Began: Stories of a Boy on the American Prairie

by L.D. Bergsgaard

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It's true, what many say. Time and age have a way of rounding off the edges and making jagged pieces of the past seem clear and smooth and bright. But for those of us growing up in the small prairie town of Mandan, North Dakota, in the 1950s, those truly were times when every day was an adventure, every neighbor was a story, and everyone belonged somewhere because we were all connected and trusted others to know that. Young Moose knows it's going to be an unusual year when his new teacher looks like a goat and is even ornerier, a neighborhood posse is hot on the trail of a felon, and the ancient ghosts are dancing in the light of a full moon. His days are full of trials including the cancelling of Christmas, tittering on the brink of flunking a grade, and losing his position as catcher on the baseball team. It's also a time of runaway horses and bucking pigs, a quest for the truth of the birds and the bees, and of taking a giant step towards manhood. Come follow Moose and his friends; an Indian Shaman, a Gypsy King, and a mystical boy named Mickey as they travel through the adventures. Kirkus Review states: "Bergsgaard opens his book with a clear objective: 'I wrote this collection of short stories from a ten-year-old boy's eyes with the interpretation of a sixty year old man.' Through dozens of short sketches, the author sustains a childlike perception of a beguiling but bewildering adult reality...(appealing to) readers nostalgic for a time of childhood innocence in the rural American lifestyle of the 1950s. Bergsgaard's writing is suggestive of an oral storyteller with impeccable timing and taste; his language reflects the great American vernacular at its most lean and direct. ...these are emotionally engaging episodes of childhood that evoke the odyssey of a 20th-century Huck Finn." L.D. Bergsgaard spent his boyhood years in Mandan, North Dakota, a town steeped in the history of General George Custer and which declares itself as Where the West Begins. L.D. and the neighborhood gang, before that was a dangerous noun, spent unfettered days of play and exploration, not only of their small world but of each other.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014775397
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 405 KB

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Where the Best Began: Stories of a Boy on the American Prairie 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
gary grunhaven More than 1 year ago
After a first reading, these stories come across as quaint and nostalgic reminiscences; after a second reading they occur as social commentary; finally, they reveal themselves to be something magical....really a wonderful collection of stories that parents and teachers could read with and for young people--the kind of writing that admits human flaws but celebrates our better natures
ralph mccknive More than 1 year ago
in an age of extravagant spectacle and manufactured reality bergsgaard redirects our attention to the understanding that it is the simple, clear and brilliant moments in any day in any life in any age that provide our lives with richness, meaning and opportunities to know each other in better and kinder ways. this book is more than great story-telling; it is a gentle reminder that every moment offers us an opportunity to enjoy our lives as the author clearly appreciates his and those who shared his amazing world as a child....
BerylSBissell More than 1 year ago
I met Larry Bergsgaard during the Artist and Author festival held in Park Rapids MN this summer. His table was situated next to mine and his presence there emanated welcome and warmth. We struck up a conversation almost immediately. A former special  agent with the U.S Treasury Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Bergsgaard is a master story-teller so along with one of his engrossing mysterys,“While Others Sleep, I also purchased “Where the Best Began,” the hilarious yet moving compendium of stories gleaned from his childhood growing up in a small town in North Dakota. Be prepared to laugh your way into Bergsgaard’s past but don’t be surprised if your eyes suddenly fill with tears as did mine. As I read, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to hear them read out loud for they are the kind of stories that made Garrison Keillor famous. 
Leester More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud at the antics of Young Moose and his friends. I wish I had grown up in an era where we could have run the streets and neighborhoods as Moose and his friends did. Great book and it would make a great gift.
jack-delaney More than 1 year ago
These delightful stories carried me back to the sweet innocence of growing up in the 50s. Mr. Bergsgaard's storytelling is humorous and insightful and often made me cry. I enjoyed his stories as much as Garrison Keillor's tales. It is a wonderful book.