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Excerpt from
Jakob and Mari Erdman's Journeys

Scene Four: Barons, Alberta - 1933

Jacob: It has been a big day, Mari. Our sixtieth wedding anniversary. Sixty years and what a life together we have had! Remember our wedding in Crimea? It lasted three days. Music and dancing and eating pirukad and sauerkraut...
Mari: Yah, Jacob. And raising our eight children... The time has gone by so quickly. We have many of our family living nearby. Gus, Lisa and Helena just live a mile or two away with their families. Others like Natalie live in far away Iraq where she is a missionary.
Jacob: Mari, we have had a good life. We have walked to Crimea, that long, long walk... when we were children in 1861. My parents did not live to see the farm life in Crimea. Oi, oi.... I worked hard for Aunt Madli and her husband until we were old enough to marry. You and I had a good farm over there.
Mari: Then came the time when the Tsar's army gave us great fear.
Jacob: Selling our farm, leaving our friends and our daughter Emilia. Our friends cried and spread roses on the road as our wagon left the village, remember?
Mari: Yah, good friends, and those roses, a sad thing to leave our home... And then we sailed for America!!!
Mari: First Dakota... That was not a good farm. I am glad we did not stay there. Again we packed up and came to Barons two years later. We turned the prairie grass into wheat fields. But the winters here are cold, sometimes minus 35 degrees or even forty. In dry years, we have seen prairie fires; we have seen our neighbours die in the great flu epidemic and on the European battle fields of World War One. Our own daughter Miina died in Oregon just a few years ago... I miss her so much.
Jacob: Yah, Mari, in these 60 years, we have lived through some very bad times...
Mari: Bad times and good times... Oi, oi, oi... Barons has changed so much since we arrived thirty years ago

Members of the Erdman stop for a photograph at a family picnic in 1917. Various members of the Erdman family welcome Jakob and Mari home after their journey to Salem, Oregon. The photo was taken in 1929 at Gus Erdmanís home. Lillian is the great-granddaughter of Jakob and Mari Erdman and she prepared the Readers Theatre script for the 2004 Barons Centennial.

Script was written in 1991 by Lillian Munz,
great granddaughter of Jacob and Mari Erdman.

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