"Dry Gables" is a unique series of stories centered around the people who live and work in a gold-rush era small town in South Dakota. Each of the characters has their own reason for coming to Dry Gables and each offers an essential ingredient to the town's well-being.
Every character embodies a way of being in the world — with unique behaviors, motivations, and fears.
Is your child having a defiant, stubborn, and overall challenging morning? Well, perhaps she is feeling like Johann, the blacksmith, and needs to feel independent and powerful.
Is your child quietly sitting in the corner during school playtime? Perhaps he is feeling like Seamus O'Conner, the schoolteacher, who needs to be seen for his unique strengths and talents.
Our aim is to give parents and educators clues into what lies behind certain behavior, and then offer ideas on how to meet the behavior and "see" the child in a new light.
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About the Stories
"Jane Meyer: Pony Express Rider"
Jane Meyer never really fit into her childhood home of Elm Springs. She wanted to see the world, meet new people, and try new experiences. So when she finally left at age 16, she began a life of adventure and the stuff of good stories — including the time she won the fastest horse in the Dakota Territory!
Jane is the optimistic pony express rider of Dry Gables, the one who sees opportunity and connection wherever she goes.
"EB Herz: Prospector, Businessman, and Mayor"
When EB Herz was 15 years old, he felt through the ice of Cold Brook and came out with a plum-sized nugget of gold in his hands. This was the inspiration he was looking for and a year later, he set off to 'them thar hills' to make it rich as a prospector. What he found, however, was that his gift was one of leadership and achievement.
EB is the ambitious "businessman" of Dry Gables, the one who succeeds at whatever he chooses, and looks good doing it.
"Wilhelm Bauer: Carpenter and Designer"
Wilhelm Bauer is the designer and chief builder of Dry Gables, South Dakota. His designs are elegant, efficient and truly perfect. Except for one very significant flaw — which he learns from a new member of the community, the boisterous pigman Bronislav Bogomolov.
Wilhelm is the hard-working architect of Dry Gables, the one who knows the right way of doing things, and hates to make mistakes.
"Marta Bauer: Baker and Peacemaker"
When conflict comes to Dry Gables — when there are arguments, disagreements or blocks in the road to peace — the people of Dry Gables go one place: Marta Bauer's bakery. Somehow she always knows what to make, what to say and how to listen — and conflicts simply... dissolve. This is truly tested one day when a family of Chinese immigrants arrives in Dry Gables and the town is divided about next steps. Some want to honor the restrictive law of the land and others wish to welcome them with open arms. What to do? Get the baker.
This story is about how to listen, how to empathize, how to resolve conflict in a gentle way, and, indeed, it speaks to the current confusion and conflict around how to best help the refugees of the world.
"Seamus O'Conner: Dry Gables School Teacher (and Dreamer)"
The elementary school teacher of Dry Gables, South Dakota came to America in a unique and remarkable way — because Seamus O'Conner is a unique and remarkable person! He dreams big as a youth in Limerick, Ireland, and when he finally begins his life quest, he finds out how hard it is to be your true self.
This story is for the sensitive, intuitive, self-aware, expressive, and very imaginative children who find that being themselves can be difficult — but well worth the effort!
"Liesl Herz: Nurse"
As nurse of Dry Gables, Liesl Herz is always available to help with sicknesses, injuries, births, and deaths. She works tirelessly — that is, until she accidentally catches a very serious disease and is suddenly in a very different and uncomfortable role: that of the patient.
"Max Denken: Newspaperman"
Max Denken likes to do his own thing, and he likes to do it well. As the newspaperman of Dry Gables, he is careful with his language, precise with his typesetting, prudent with his editorial skills, and devoted to a very high standard for the truth. But when the continued existence of the Dry Gables township holds in the balance, something new and unexpected bubbles up in the usually quiet and quirky Max — passion and courage.
"Franz and Lena Denken: Dry Good Proprietors"
The story of Franz and Lena Denken is not a story of "overcoming difficulties" or “doing the right thing" or "helping those in need,” as you might expect from the two very loyal, dedicated, helpful, and particular members of Dry Gables. Though there are challenges, though there is bravery, and though there is grief and striving, the story of Franz and Lena is truly... a love story.
"Johann Bauer: Blacksmith"
Johann Bauer is not only the Dry Gables blacksmith — he is also the town's protector. He looks out for everyone who lives there and is quick to anger when his town is threatened. So when Lloyd A. Boone, a very wealthy attorney and investor, comes to town, Johann is beyond suspicious. He watches, listens, and then advises his friends not to believe anything the man says. But then, in a moment of danger, Johann is able to see Mr. Boone in a different light — and the two men are changed for the better.