Monday, March 11, 2013

Excerpt from Esther's Town

Scandinavian immigrants found Emmet winters more severe, the snow deeper, the wind more violent, the thunder and lightning more terrifying, the dew wetter, and the countryside more desolate than their native lands. They thought their old-world clothing of wool much warmer than American-made garments, largely of cotton. Moreover, they choked easily on a strange language. The name of the Des Moines River, close to their homes, was often pronounced by the newcomers from Scandinavia as "DisMines" River. Such words as "slough," "Sioux," and "Dubuque" were also twisters. My father often amused me when I was a boy by telling of the Norwegian who reported that on a trip across the state his wagon "got stuck in the slutch, halfway between SI-ox City and DUB-kwee."

Deemer Lee, Esther's Town.

No comments:

Post a Comment