The book is in the works

Work has begun on the Women Behind the Plow Book about life on the farm for the women who supported their husbands, or maybe even took on the chores of a farm as widows. As we work our way through the interviews, most of the video interviews will be provided to Dakota Media Access for airing.

Starting July 23, 3 pm, Women Behind the Plow will air on channels 12 & 612 HD in the Bismarck/Mandan area.  Also, the program can be watched on as it airs or video on demand  on .

So enjoy these wonderful women and get ready to purchase your copy of Women Behind the Plow, a companion book to Ewiger Saatz. It will be loaded with hilarious stories and wonderful old photos of farm life.

If you need more information before the pre-sale announcement, please email

Posted in Posted by Sue B. Balcom, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The books are done, the books are done

Watch your mail folks. If you ordered a Ready for School book they are being shipped today… and they are beautiful… If you haven’t committed to one yet, now is the time…


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The proof is in the mail

It’s pretty nerve wracking to get the proof of a book back from the printers. It means that when you take one last look at it… you let it go. It’s like launching a child after high school. Out into the world it goes – and you are no longer in control. If you made any mistakes you hope that they won’t be life-threatening ones; if you did good, you hope someone will recognize your good work; and lastly you wish for only goodness to come to everyone who has a chance to see your work.

So here it is, the day we let go of Ready for School, the Tri-County Tourism Alliance’s latest book project. It’s small, just a memory-jogging light read with awesome photos.

Yesterday, I toured Legacy High School in Bismarck. I can only say, it was more than overwhelming to see the many rooms, alternative classrooms, the spacious lunch area, lots of light, an auditorium to beat all auditoriums. Education has changed greatly.

That doesn’t prevent us from savoring the way it used to be, in its infancy here in North Dakota. The alliance is proud to be a part of the preservation of these memories and we are hoping that reading this book will evoke your own sweet memories of childhood and school.

web cover shot

This cover photos remains the reason we compiled these tidbits of joy. It was a photo from the
collection of Rose (Voller) Glas, Linton, North Dakota. Glued to the page of an old black scrapbook, someone had written across the page, “ready for school.” What a perfect reminder of what it was like being a student attending country schools – a lunch pail, text books and a good laugh. Pictured are (l-r) Steve, Betty and Hilda Voller. Circa 1930s.

So, please order your books as soon as possible. As always, we are limited in the number we are printing. The cover will be printed on velvet-touch paper. You will love the feel.

Have you stories to share? Please email them and photos with descriptions and years to PS: Clicking on that will direct you to the order blank…



Posted in Posted by Sue B. Balcom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Alliance’s second book features memories of country schools in Emmons County, Logan County and McIntosh County

“Ready for School,” a new book published by the Tri-County Tourism Alliance will be on the shelf by the end of March. The alliance is offering a pre-sale opportunity for its latest collection of memories, photos and quotes about country schools in German-Russian country.

This 12×12 companion book to “Ewiger Saatz – Everlasting Yeast,” is 36 pages of memory-invoking essays and recollections of what it was like to go to a one-room schoolhouse. There are about 40 photos of country school life in this black and white beautifully designed book written and edited by Sue Balcom, historian for the alliance.

The contents of this book was gleaned from the interviews for “Ewiger Saatz” and the upcoming book, “Women Behind the Plow,” a compilation of life on the farm with photos and interviews from women in the tri-county area of Emmons, Logan and McIntosh. The release date for Women Behind the Plow will be announced later this year. Currently the alliance’s photo exhibit “Women Behind the Plow” is hanging at NDSU Main Library from March 14 to April 22.

Single copies of “Ready for School” are $19.95, plus applicable tax and shipping. If you order five books for your family before May 1, receive the sixth copy free. Books should be ready to mail by the end of March or sooner. To download an order blank visit or email

For more information on the photo exhibit or wholesale book orders, call Sue Balcom at 701-527-5169. Also, if you have memories or photos to share, we would like to hear from you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Order blank for pre-ordering Ready for School

Here is the order blank for anyone interested in purchasing Ready for School as we get ready to go to print. Pre-orders of 5 books receive one free. Get a copy for every member of your family.

Here is the order blank for you to download. If you have questions, please call 701-527-5169 and leave a message. Thank you for your support. As always the profits from this publication will go to more preservation work in the Tri-County Area….


Posted in Posted by Sue B. Balcom, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Tri-County Country Schools – new booklet offered

At last … after some time of interviews, job changes, photo exhibits, documentary plans – we are going to press with our latest publication of wonderful photos, comments and memories.

small cover with border

Our latest booklet will bridge the wait between Ewiger Saatz and Women Behind the Plow, due out at the end of this year. We want to keep your interest in the Tri-County Tourism Alliance preservation projects and trust me, we have a lot going on at the moment.

Here is the cover of “Ready for School.” It sells for $19.95 plus applicable sales tax and shipping. It should be going to press in a week or two and be ready to ship right after Easter. It is soft cover, 36 pages and printed on beautiful velvet finished paper.

If you are interested in purchasing this booklet, please email for an order blank with details.

Our pre-publication offer is buy five get the sixth one free… or about $100.00 for six copies. We found that people like to purchase books for their children and other family members.

We would love to hear from you as soon as possible. We can then get to work on our PBS documentary book with recipes from Ewiger Saatz and then Women Behind the Plow.

Proceeds from this booklet will help with printing costs of the next two projects… Gute Essen.





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Remembering Alice

Aunt Alice was supposed to be taking an art class on Tuesday. Instead, she lie in a hospital bed, on this her final day. We saw her on Monday. She told us about how her friend, Joan, had died just days earlier with her best friend and a glass of wine … “Soon,” Joan said. “Soon.” Then, she was gone. It was a good way to go, she said.

Then it was here turn. It was far too soon for Aunt Alice to leave us like she did. I hope, surrounded byAunt Alice.jpg lots of love from her best friend and husband, Uncle Ed.

We had Aunt Alice years longer than we expected. I always told people it was because she unselfishly prayed, not for her self when diagnosed with cancer, but for her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was always praying.

When we found out she had cancer some years ago, Uncle Ed invited us to a party at Beaver Bay where they had a summer cabin. It was one of many parties hosted by the “keepers of the family traditions” – Ed and Alice.

This party was for Alice – to celebrate with her healthy and alive and not wait until a funeral to have a gathering. It was 2005, according to my Uncle Clifton and Aunt Laverna. I only recall one comment that day made by Alice’s daughter Sheila, who said, “All that is good in me, comes from my mother.”

I could write a book about dear Aunt Alice, but not now. It kinda hurts to much. Alice kept the family together by hosting countless Christmas parties for the Kasemans. Ed and Alice had the Bismarck nieces and nephews over countless times for Ed’s German specialties. He was my inspiration for trying my hand at Grandma’s pickles; strudles and other traditional foods. He shared recipes with me and Alice shared the family history with photographs and handwritten narratives.

Ed had a green thumb and grew roses for Alice. She loved flowers and painted them on glass so they would be eternal. When my grandparents passed, they inherited “the grandma plant.” One year for Christmas, she started a cutting for each of the nieces and nephews at the annual Christmas party. I have that plant and many cuttings as we continue to pass it along to our children.

There were glass ornaments and other tiny tokens of her love each year we came together. In the past few years, the parties became small dinners for the local folks. Good times and good food. Alice loved to paint. She took many art classes and inspired her granddaughters to create also. When JC and I had the privilege of staying with Ed and Alice at their condo on South Padre Island, Texas, the first thing we did was take an art class in Zen Doodling. It was great.

I could fill a book with Alice’s kindnesses … but not now. Now, I am so thankful that the last words I said to her were, “I love you and we will take care of Uncle Ed for you.”

Maybe I will have a chance to get all the stories on paper, but for now I just want to reflect on Aunt Alices’s wonderful life.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments