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Memories of 'The Quiet Season'


The boyhood home of author Jerry Apps

Celebrated rural historian, Jerry Apps, recalls the sights, sounds, sentiments — and yes, the chill — of winters on the farm in his newest Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, 'The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters.' He shares stories of growing up and keeping warm on a farm in central Wisconsin in the 1930s and early '40s. His memories are of a "quieter season, a winter world that existed before electricity when farmers milked cows by hand by the light of a kerosene lantern. It was an era when a major part of every winter's work was 'making wood' to heat drafty farm homes and rural country schools and when a lack of indoor plumbing meant every morning began with a rousingly cold dash to an outhouse.

A Time of Reflection

The cover of "The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters"
Wisconsin winters then were also a time of reflection, of planning for the next year, and of families drawing together, a "quiet season" that profoundly influenced those who grew up with harsh northern winters.

An e-book version of "The Quiet Season" is also available. In addition, Wisconsin Public Television will air a documentary based upon Apps' "The Quiet Season." The production, "A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps," will debut in early December, and sneak previews of the show are part of many book events this fall (see below).

About the Author

Jerry Apps was born and raised on a central Wisconsin farm before electricity, indoor plumbing and central heating came to the country. He has been a rural historian and environmental writer for more than 40 years and has published fiction and nonfiction books on many rural topics, including: 'Limping through Life: A Farm Boy's Polio Memoir'; 'Old Farm: A History'; 'Garden Wisdom: Lessons Learned from 60 Years of Gardening'; 'Ringlingville USA: The Stupendous Story of Seven Siblings and Their Stunning Circus Success'; 'Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker'; and 'Horse-Drawn Days: A Century of Farming with Horses' for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. He is a former county extension agent and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Jerry and his wife Ruth divide their time between their home in Madison and their farm, Roshara, west of Wild Rose.

Upcoming Book Events


:: Posted September 19, 2013

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