BIG NEWS! Ozzie has published a novel.
Now available on Amazon.com
Next to the births of my three sons, June 3rd was the biggest day of my life! My new novel was launched on Amazon.com. Ever since my first year of college, I've dreamed of one day writing a book. Three years ago, I started work on MR. TEACHER, and it's a joy to have it published! http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Teacher-Ozzie-Tollefson/dp/0615817319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371201827&sr=8-1&keywords=%3CMr.+Teacher+Ozzie+Tollefson%3E
BTW, if that link doesn't open, go to www.amazon.comand in their search window please type, <Mr. Teacher Ozzie Tollefson>
At the bottom of the Amazon page, you will see a wonderful review written by David Kahl, who attended a one-room school near mine and went on to be a successful elementary school principal in Fargo. Check it out. There is also an excellent critique written by Dr. Rob Whiteley.
Set in northern Minnesota during the last year of WWII, 1944-45, this is the fictional story of a young one-room country school teacher. Ernie Juvland goes through a hellish first year, exacerbated by the early manifestations of mental illness. This is not a happy tale of joyous bygone days set in a cute little schoolhouse. These poor rural parents and their children don't frolic, they struggle. I've tried to write it the way I remember it, daily challenges, under the constant strain of war. MR. TEACHER has some grit.
I believe you'll enjoy the characters I've created, like Carla Henning, the 39-year-old farmer's wife on the farm where Ernie boards. She is always eager to help Ernie, and he awakens something in her, that she believed was dead. Separated in age by 15 years, they form a meaningful bond, each helping the other through the tough times. Her young son, Dale, walks to school with Ernie each day, and the two develop a close relationship, that is always positive, and at times deeply human and poignant.
There are many good people in my story, folks you would invite into your homes. But there are a couple of bad guys. That's life.
Anyway, that's my pitch. I hope you'll want to order and read my book. If you would like an autographed copy sent to you, send your mailing info. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. HERE'S AN UPDATE: On December 3, 2013, I was interviewed by Doug Hamilton on Prairie Public Radio in Fargo, ND. You can find the interview at this link..
http://www.prairiepublic.org/radio/mainstreet?post=53499 I go on after a 6-minute weather report. Doug did a great job of leading me through the discussion of my novel and growing up in northern Minnesota during WWII.
MORE ABOUT OZZIE TOLLEFSON AND HIS LONG CAREER
You have found the official Web site of Ozzie Tollefson, writer, educator, video director and retired producer of educational assembly programs serving elementary schools. In the summer of 2010, Ozzie was involved in an exciting project in his hometown of Fosston, Minnesota. The East Polk Heritage Center was donated his old one-room country school. On July 9, 2010, they moved the 103-year-old Moen School three miles into town, where it will become a living history museum of early American rural education. Ozzie was there with his camera to cover the move.
In December of 2010, Ozzie released a 82-minute documentary on this project, "Moving Moen School." It includes the entire process of jacking up, inserting the beams, attaching the wheels and moving the school into town. Lora Lee Saeter provided excellent video coverage of the move and placing the building on its new foundation on the Heritage Center grounds. She also rehearsed and taped a group of Fosston youngsters singing a number of songs popular in rural schools back in the 40's and 50's. Ozzie included a dozen taped interviews with former teachers and students who attended one-room schools. "Moving Moen School" can be purchased by contacting Judy Newton at 218-563-2021, or send email to email@example.com.
Ozzie has created a Web site for this operation, www.moenschool.com It includes a news special done by Jamil Donith of Lakeland Public TV in Bemidji, MN. Another video is an interview with Dean Vikan, the Heritage Center president, which covers the background on acquiring the school from Rosebud Township. Also, there is a music video done as a personal essay by Ozzie. He received permission from Robin and Linda Williams to use their beautiful song, "Don't Let Me Come Home a Stranger."
Judy Tollefson Newton, Ozzie's niece, has spent the last two years collecting stories from former one-room teachers and students. Ozzie has contributed three pieces to that volume, which will be published and sold as a fund-raiser for the Heritage Center.
In Hegins, Pennsylvania, where Ozzie lives on his 30 acre farm, he is the director of the Friedens Lutheran Players. Over the past 14 years, Ozzie has written and directed four plays, two feature-length movies, and one documentary on Dorothy Klinger, who has performed in all of Ozzie's productions and will turn 90 this June 10th. On February 18, 2011, the Friedens Players premiered Ozzie's latest play, "Waiting For George Jones." On April 11th, Ozzie's 71-minute DVD of the play will be released and available for $15.00+ S/H.
Call Lee Kiefer at 570-682-3672. All proceeds from the sale of this DVD will benefit the Friedens Lutheran Church.