A Memoir of Holstein: An Engineer Traces His Origin
By: Gary G. Ruhser
Length: 293 pages
Release date: Sep 22, 2013
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What makes you who you are? Who were the people, and what were those early influences and experiences that not only molded your character, but helped you know and understand yourself? In A Memoir of Holstein: An Engineer Traces His Origin the author, a retired engineer, applies those questions to himself by chronicling his first 18 years in the small Iowa farming community of Holstein, founded by German immigrants in 1882. Inviting and nostalgic, the wonders of his formative years are examined through the eyes of the boy who lived them with the hindsight of the man who was shaped by them. The book focuses on the years 1944 through 1962 as viewed from a perspective of five to seven decades later and covers topics as diverse as youthful solitary daydreaming, growing up on a small farm, agriculture in the 1950's, small town businesses, young friendships, dating, schooling, small game hunting, the influence of close relatives and those already gone from his life, the 1918 Flu epidemic and how it could still impact someone 40 and even 90 years later, amateur rocketry and Sputnik, and community cohesion. Through the writer's thoughtful and introspective view we learn about each of these subjects and not only the author's genetic basis of origin but also how his youthful interests and experimentation played a role in his choice of engineering as a vocation. Written with pleasing interjections of humor and life philosophy this book will leave the reader with a better understanding of life in rural Iowa in the mid-20th century.