Sometimes witty and sometimes serious, Telling It the Way It Was provides a narrative of what life was like for the hardy and pragmatic immigrant settlers of the US breadbasket. In this memoir, author David Jussero presents a nostalgic tour of life in a predominately Finnish farm community in North Dakota from the turn of the century through the 1940s and '50s.
Telling It the Way It Was relays stories about the hardships and successes of Jussero's Finnish and French ancestors who faced the demands of settling a new country by living in sod houses and braving bitter winters on the North American prairies. He tells about the mixed marriage of his French mother who immigrated to the United States to marry his dad, her Finnish sweetheart. Jussero also describes his own experiences growing up on a small wheat farm in North Dakota, attending school at one-room schoolhouses, dropping out of school at age sixteen, and doing dead-end farm jobs, which spurred him into trading the life of a hired farmhand for city life. When he was still in his teens, he made his way to the West Coast to seek his fortune.
Through photographs and stories from the past, Jussero passes along his heritage and paints a vivid picture of the sturdy and rugged people who preceded him.