The March 9 BookEnds program features a book by Mary Krugerud called "The Girl in Building C": The True Story of a Teenage Tuberculosis Patient."
In the 1940s, tuberculosis was still a dreaded and dangerous disease and the main course of treatment was bed rest and months of medical care in facilities remote from the general population. Wadena had a tuberculosis sanatorium, which later became the Fair Oaks Nursing Home. At the Wadena County Historical Society, there is a record book from the early 1900s that contains records of the patients who were there.
"The Girl in Building C" is the story of a girl named Marilyn who entered the Ah-gwah-ching State Sanatorium in Walker, for what she thought would be a short stay. It ended up being three years.
During that time she wrote many letters. Selections from her letters reveal the fascinating and poignant story of what her life was like living in a tuberculosis sanatorium, which was probably not very different from the stories of those who lived, and died, at the sanatorium in Wadena.
These kinds of connections are fascinating.
Other writers scheduled for BookEnds in 2019 include Poet Thomas S. Smith in April, Senator Dave Durenberger with Lori Sturdevant in May, novelist Lin Enger in June, and Children's Author Mary Losure in July.
The Uptown Cafe is located at 224 Jefferson Avenue South. Most BookEnds programs are held there beginning at 11 a.m. followed by an opportunity to purchase lunch and continue visiting with the author.
Books by the writers selected for BookEnds are now available at the new Wadena County Museum Bookstore. For more information visit www.WadenaCountyHistory.org or call 218 631-9079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.