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September 11, 2013
Woman with Westbrook ties pens fourth book
Diane Kay Dick of rural Mountain Lake, just released her fourth book
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Mountain Lake — Diane Kay Dick was born and raised on a farm near Mountain Lake. Diane has had a long interest in writing, and penned her first two autobiographical books about her early experiences as a farm wife.
Some people may remember Dick from her work with the Sentinel Tribune several years ago as an advertising representative.
Diane said her most recent books are a work of historical fiction, although she explains they are about real people and real events.
In all of her books the fictional parts come from her imagining some of the things done or might have been done a hundred or more years ago as she is writing.
Her first book Just an Ordinary House, is a shorter book that chronicles her and her husbands courtship, marriage and first few years of marriage in what she calls an ordinary house.
Her husband to be, Jim Dick, bought a small acreage of about 10 acres with rather old buildings. The story starts with the burning of the old house after they had built a new house. She weaves the story of her memories while watching the house they first lived in burn.
The house was over 100 years old at the time they burned it. She recalls a former resident Pete Nickel who had once lived there. Nickel and his wife left the house years ago to do missionary work in Alaska, but had returned to live in Mountain Lake before they burned the house. She said, “when they returned Pete told me a lot of stories of when he had lived there. Just before we burned the house Pete asked if he could remove some of the lumber from the house to use on an addition he was building on his house Mountain Lake.
In the book she tells about the home being their honeymoon cottage, and the place where they brought home their first baby. They lived in the home about four years before deciding to build a new home.
Her next book was somewhat a continuation of the family raising pigs. The book is called True Pig Tales. “I had to write about pigs since we were hog farmers. It is a collection of anecdotal stories about raising pigs and how our family always worked together,” she said.
Jim and Diane raised three children. Their oldest, Juli, is married to Brian Fast, they have two daughters and live in Mountain Lake. Jayme, he and his wife Anna live in Nebraska, they have one boy and two girls. Tony who is single lives near Mountain Lake.
“It’s a collection of funny stories and a few sad stories — it is also about how raising pigs has changed over the past 40 years. It also illustrates how families used to work together more,” she said.
She related, when our children left the farm, after about three or four years, it became apparent that they would have to cut back on their operations. The first thing to go was the farrowing operation and sows, they got out of the business altogether in about 2006.
Her third book A Mennonite Journey of Faith was much more historical in nature, although some of the thoughts, she tells about looking back, are only speculations of her imagination.
When she started the book she wanted to include stories of her own childhood, but as she got into the story she realized that would have to wait for another book. Then her mother told her that she had dairies from Diane’s grandmother, teaching school in 1908.
She began researching the diaries and on line she found a descendent chart called Galician Descendants — that gave her information back to the 1700’s.
The book is based on historical facts about real events — the book takes place primarily in Austria — it chronicles a century of life of some of her ancestors in Mennonite villages in Galicia from 1874 to 1881. This, and her most recent book, she is calling the Journey
Her latest book released is Journey of a Minnesota Pioneer Family.
The book starts with her great grandfather H.K. (Heinrich) Rupp.
At the age of 19 he made the decision to come over here because he was called up for military duty in Galicia — in keeping with the Mennonite teachings he decided to leave the country and come to the United States.
At the time he already had a married brother and two sisters living in Cottonwood County. His parents were already thinking about selling their farm in Galicia and moving to America.
When he decided to leave, he told only his parents and none of his siblings. His parents gave him their blessing and some money to travel with several other relatives that were going to America in 1881.
Once they arrived and got to Minnesota, they settled on land in Rosehill Township. There were four families in that section all but one were Rupp’s. The other family was Linscheids who ran a creamery.
There was a little general store across for the creamery, it was quite small and just carried a few staple supplies. North of section 16 was a country school, a blacksmith shop and a Mennonite church a mile west of section 16. The Kemi post office which was run by H K’s sister and husband, was located a mile to the east of the section.
She tells about the diphtheria epidemic, the turning of the soil, harvesting crops by hand, cutting grain with a scythe and tying the bundles and threshing by hand.
The book chronicles all of the Rupp family members through 1945. It also tells about her grandmother Pankonin and her family (she was the daughter of H.K. Rupp) by Jeffers.
The book weaves its stories between the two families.
All of her books are cleverly woven into fun stories with a little fiction gleaned from her speculative imagination. The most recent books are available at Maynard's Grocery store in Westbrook. They also can be found on line at amazon.com key words Diane Kay Dick.
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