Magic and Tragic Rosebud

 
Nancy Palker
a memoir
Join Nancy Palker, a young woman from Connecticut who in 1973 goes to work for the U.S. Public Health Service and suddenly finds herself immersed in a culture very different from her own on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Magic and Tragic Rosebud revisits the days of unrest on the Dakota reservations—a time of turmoil, kidnapping, death threats and shootouts between the FBI and members of the American Indian Movement. Witness miracles of survival as well as poignant tragedies. Learn along with her about the rich Lakota Sioux traditions, hear the drums and flutes. Celebrate lasting friendships and the resilience of the human spirit.
Nancy Palker returned to Rosebud in September 2016. “Native history is still being written,” she says, “a history that still calls for public awareness. Rosebud is an isolated pocket of poverty. The hospital and community continue to struggle with inadequate funding and personnel.” Magic and Tragic Rosebud concludes with a reader guide for strategies and resources to offer support to Rosebud and its Native American neighbors.
Retired from nursing now, Nancy’s career in health care as an aide, registered nurse and nurse practitioner in gerontology, spanned more than forty-five years. She has organized nursing groups and successfully worked for changes in health care legislation and regulation in several states. From her home in Maryland, Nancy continues to advocate for improvements in Rosebud’s health care system.

Amazon reviews—


From Jane C: Historically Relevant Perspective of Rosebud, SD Sioux. Nancy Palker’s nursing account while working on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation reflects both an historical view and a current and compelling plea for change. Her author’s voice is authentic, professional and empathetic towards those whose voices are routinely dismissed. The author’s lists of resources present rich and varied avenues for advocacy. Kudos to Nancy for paying forward her proceeds to a sorely neglected group of Americans! Read and embrace her journey!

Merrilyn N. Cummings: Most Enlightening. I had the opportunity to visit Rosebud during the author’s work there in the ’70’s. The book provides history and current information on this Indian Reservation and its people. The author’s ability to bring the magic and tragic alive through her writing is most commendable. You feel like you are right there with her throughout the book. All legislators need to read this. Nice job, Nancy.

Into the Backlands—a Peace Corps Memoir

Ken Fliés

An uplifting two year odyssey of a young man to Brazil and back home again.

 $17.95 – buy a print copy


A spirited memoir of Ken Fliés’ wild odyssey from the dairy farm in southeast Minnesota to the Backlands of Brazil in 1962, where he learned about the frustrations and joys of rural community development, the satisfaction and longing that comes from genuine friendship, and back home again, a principled young man eager to take on the world.

Reviews:

I was present at the creation when the bright flame of conviction took hold in the imagination of the country and the Peace Corps became a promise fulfilled.—Bill Moyers


Into the Backlands, a Peace Corps Memoir, by Kenneth E. Dugan Fliés, reminded me of reading Eric Sevareid’s classic coming-of-age book, Canoeing with the Creed. While Sevareid paddled a canoe 2,250 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 1930, Fliés followed President Kennedy’s challenge and joined the Peace Corps in 1962. His anecdote-ladened account of a dairy farm kid’s journey to Brazil resonates as a wide-eyed adventure during climatic times.

From training in the Deep South as racial tensions began to explode, to venturing to South America just as the Cuban Missile Crisis ratcheted up, there’s a Forrest Gump-esque feeling of witnessing history first hand. I can’t help shrugging when I think of today’s youth, glued to their screens, Twitter and text messages. Writers like Sevareid and Fliés rekindle the spirit of adventure I hope still percolates in our youth.

“Lived to its fullest, the hero’s journey results in the ascent or flight of an individual from unconsciousness to illumination and to a newfound freedom of understanding,” Fliés writes. “The flying white dove on the Peace Corps emblem fittingly symbolizes this ascent. In this way, my work and adventures in Brazil as a Volunteer expanded both my world-consciousness and self-consciousness, leading to a deeper understanding of life. Brazil became my portal of transformation. I crossed a great divide and came back with a new perspective on life.” Ken’s account will widen and broaden the reader’s perspective as well.—Curt Brown


Amazon Reviews—
From Bruce: This is a fascinating personal story of a Peace Corps volunteer. This book provides insight into the early, somewhat bumpy first few years of the Peace Corps. Told through the eyes of a talented, inquisitive, and sincere volunteer, the historical context and difficulties of making a difference in Brazil make this an excellent read.

Bill says: Great well written book. The story line flowed very nicely and the book is well written. Background information was provided throughout to bring a sense of the moment and give it context. I truly enjoyed the adventures that the Author endured. I Highly recommend this book.


From Elliott: A Wonderful Suspense, Adventure and Love Story.This memoir is a compellingly woven tale with so much depth, touching on themes of adventure, coming-of-age, religious faith, family, politics, and above all – love. I found it to be a “page-turner” that you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. The author’s vocabulary and imagery are first-rate and in my mind I could see it as a movie while I read the book. What a great window Flies has provided to us into the 1960s, the “Backlands” of the Brazilian frontier, and into the heart of a young man leaving home for the first time ever heading off into the adventure of a lifetime to serve his country and the people of Brazil. And, in the end, the underlying love story with his long-distance girlfriend back home make this story complete and utterly satisfying.

Bob Flaco: “Peace Corps brings an idealist down to earth!” Sargent Shriver. Want to know what Peace Corps was like then and now? Into The Backlands, a Peace Corps Memoir takes you by the hand into the early years of JFK’s Peace Corps and the spirit and challenges of the times…1962-1964. Ken Flies was 19 years old when he reported to Training at the University of Oklahoma as part of Brazil II, one of the first. I doubt if Ken knew what he was getting himself into, and Brazil…where’s that?

Ken’s Memoir shares the beauty and innocence of Kennedy’s “kiddie corps” as the press portrayed the first Volunteers. The isolated community of Correntina would be his home, and his adopted Brazilian family…something he never considered prior to his arrival to Brazil, and speaking Portuguese! Ken paints his new home with words and emotions that are new to this 19 year old. And Ken will never be the same, and Brazil will always be his second home! He found himself, faced the challenges of being a Volunteer, and added new friends and adventures beyond his expectations…and the two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer would be the foundation of who Kenneth Flies is.The beauty and charm of the early years of Peace Corps, with Giants such as Shriver, Jack Vaughn, Warren Wiggins and Frank Mankiewicz laid the ground work for what we have now, some 50 plus years later. The fears, frustrations, happy moments, love of our neighbors, and meeting people that will be our “families” is what Peace Corps is all about. Ken and Dave, a fellow Volunteer…made a path that we followed…and still do. Meeting new Volunteers in 2018, is like talking to the newbies of 1962…the current Volunteers seem a bit smarter than us…but they have that flame of pride and warmth of friendship they want to share. That flame is still within us, I can feel the warmth and strength. Be proud of what you and Brazil II brought with you Ken. Padre Andre saw that in you, and so did Millie.

As you read Ken’s awesome Memoir, remember what Mankiewicz believed in…”Volunteer’s first job is to get to know the people and the setting of their lives; the Volunteer starts building a community.” It isn’t the monuments you leave behind, but the communities that are now a part of you. I recommend Into the Backlands to RPCV’s, Trainees, PCV’s, and Peace Corps staff. Jody Olsen, I am sending you a copy! Ken gave us a message…The Peace Corps community is as strong now as it was in 1961! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. I encourage you to read and learn from this Memoir, share your thoughts!

As Ken would say, bate papo, chew the fat. Thank you Ken for sharing your life in Brazil and the person you became. I read your Memoir twice, had to relive my memories. My family is very Peace Corps, my brother Ron went to Peru 1963-1965 and I went to Colombia 1964-1966…I believe we were one of the first brothers to serve at the same time. Changed my life

Shamu, Splash & Solemn – Carole Stoa Senn

Emilio DeGrazia – Anne Gerber – Carole Stoa Senn

A riveting look of the creative writing and writing life of  Carole Stoa Senn

 

 

“Perhaps I have a need for much rougher prose or poetry than I had been anticipating. I’ve been wanting to write something jewel-like, but maybe what I want isn’t exactly the point.”  Carole Stoa Senn

“Carole’s story,” says Emilio DeGrazia in his introduction to this fascinating story, “is a necessarily fragmented account of how a talented and lovely young life was ravaged twice by violent attacks against which she had no way to defend herself.”


Amazon Reviews

Julia Schmitt writes: A story you need to read. Carole’s story is touching and inspirational. The structure of the book offers a multifaceted perspective on the incredible events of her life. An outstanding read.

Arguments & Negotiations & All that Matters

Pixie Beadrin Youngdahl Urista

In memoriam – Pixie passed in August 2018

This expanded edition of Pixie Youngdahl’s 2013 cancer survivor’s memoir includes Legacy Letters to ancestors as well as family photos.

“Pixie Youngdahl, the author of The Timeless Café, now takes you down her own personal journey of dealing with cancer. Like she tackles everything else in life, Pixie knocks cancer on its ass. Hard to do, and even harder to be successful, Pixie masters a firsthand experience of dealing with the effects of chemotherapy using humor and charm. For anyone going through chemo, if you need a major attitude adjustment from life ~ this is a must read.” David Fingerman author of Edging Past Reality and Two Degrees Closer to Hell