The Moose & Wilbur P. Dilby +36 Fairly True Tales from Up North (Ships Free)

$ 17.99 USD

Thirty-seven stories from times past. All from the Cable and Hayward region in far northern Wisconsin. Every story is fairly true, more or less.

Lots of info below. This is the Limited "Reader's Review" Edition. Only 100 copies, signed and numbered, are available.

More information and a free sample below.

The Moose & Wilbur P. Dilby

plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North

Stories from the good old days, straight from the heart and the heart of the north.

Some are sad, some are shocking. Some are simply hilarious,

but they’re all fairly true. One took 1st place in the 2014 Lake Superior Writers Awards.

Another won the coveted JADE RING AWARD from the Wisconsin Writers Association.

Free Sample below in blue.

FIRST PEEK: 100 "Reader's Review" copies will be available at the Feb 14 Valentine's Day Variety Show in Hayward, WI. 7:30 pm. The "official" book launch date has yet to be announced. BVP is looking for a venue and date. Send your suggestions to

Here's an excerpt from Story #23
Makin’ Ends Meet

The setting is the Bayfield County Courthouse, 1930. The white pine that brought prosperity to northern Wisconsin is gone. The Great Depression has left most folks scratching for a living, including the Olafson family.

“Buster Olafson, come forward,” ordered Judge Hiram Bentley.
A rough-looking, middle-aged man approached. He peeled off his green-plaid, mackinaw coat and laid it over his arm. The tattered sleeves of his red longjohns protruded from under his wool shirt. His boots, worn and cracked with age, were laced almost to his knees, as was the habit of men who worked in the winter woods.
“This is not your first time before me for poaching deer, Buster.”
“No, I s’pose it ain’t, Hiram.”
“Buster, you can’t call me that while court’s in session.”
“What should I call you, then?”
“How about Your Honor?”
“I know better.”
“Buster, I’ll ignore that. So, it says here on Warden Hinkley’s citation that he caught you with a buck and a doe in the back of your hay wagon last Sunday morning. Is that true?”
“Are you askin’ me if that’s what he writ?”
“Well, you’re readin’ it so I s’pose he writ it.”
“No, Buster, you don't understand. I am asking you if what he writ, uh, wrote is true. Did he catch you in possession of those two deer?”
“He didn’t catch me. You make it sound like I was hightailing it down the road full steam. He just found them layin’ in my hay wagon, that’s all.”
“How’d they get there?”
“I put ’em there.”
“Buster, did you shoot those deer?”
“Me? Naw. I found them layin’ ’longside the creek. I figured they’s illegal so I was takin’ them to town to turn in so the warden he could go nab the dirty scoundrel who kilt the poor critters.”
“Taking them to town? For Pete’s sake, Buster, you were headed the other way—toward your farm. How come?”
“Oh, I was just plannin’ on stoppin’ at the house for a cup of coffee along the way.”
“Buster, your house is not along the way. It is three miles out of the way. And why did you have your Winchester along?”
“I always keep it near me. You never know what you might run into when you don’t have a rifle close by. Take right now, for instance.”
“I’ll ignore that, too, but only because I know well who it came from. Nevertheless, I won’t beat around the bush. You and I both know you shot those deer that Warden Hinkley confiscated from your wagon. You were heading home to butcher them up, either to sell or to feed Edna and your two boys. Are you that broke that you can’t get by without violating?”
“Broke? The tax bill come last week. Put me behind another twenty-six bucks. Why, if it ain’t for Edna peddlin’ a few hens’ eggs to your wife and a few other neighbors, we’d be hard-pressed to keep the dang oil lamp lit.”
“Edna peddling hens’ eggs is legal in the eyes of the law. Peddling poached venison is not.”
“Peddlin’ venison? You must be thinkin’ of somebody else.”
“Buster, there’s no excuse for violating. We are all scratching for a living nowadays. Times are hard for everybody.”
“Don’t much look like they’re too hard on you, struttin’ around this fancy courthouse, proud as a peacock.”
“Buster, I have let you off for deer poaching before, but this time you went too far. I dassn’t turn my head. Thirty dollars or thirty days.”
“You heard me.”
“Now, where in Sam Hill am I s’posed to drum up thirty dollars? Lord knows, I ain’t got a dime to my name. You know it, too, Hiram.”
“You shall address me as Your Honor! Listen, Buster, if you cannot pay your fine, you will serve thirty days in the county jail, sentence to start one week from today. Now, if you can round up thirty dollars by next week, I’ll revoke the sentence and accept the money instead.”
“So, I gotta choose between payin’ that fine or payin’ my taxes? Why, somebody else could pay up my tax bill and take my place away. Tell me, what would you do if you were standin’ in my shoes right now, Hiram?”
“Your Honor!”
“You can call me Buster.”
“Thirty dollars or thirty days. That’s my decision.”
“This time of year, with work nowhere to be had and winter set in, I’d be best off sittin’ in jail.”
“What about your farm?”
“One milk cow, a horse, and a few chickens don’t make it much of a farm. ’Sides, the boys tend to animals. ’Tween them and Edna, the chores’ll get done. As for me, I’ll soak up some of the heat you waste in this huge courthouse and eat off the county for a month. Say, is Mabel Taylor still cookin’ for the county jail?”
“Buster, it’s not my intention to keep you away from your family. However, if that is what you choose, so be it. The sheriff will fetch you to the jailhouse one week from today at noon, sentence to begin at that time if you don’t come up with the money.” **********************

(We'll stop there, not wishing to spoil the surprise ending for you. My uncle told me this tale. He was home when the sheriff came to take his pa to jail for poaching deer.

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If only we could see life in the north as it was way back when. Hear the ladies in the church basement talking about using soap to cure young boys of cursing. Listen to the men at the gas station gossip about that saucy, young blonde teaching fourth grade. Imagine the tales we’d hear. Tales so important then, yet, so soon lost. Thirty-seven true events inspired James Brakken to write this collection of stories. He lays them out before you, providing a glimpse into days gone by, warming your heart, bringing a tear, or making you laugh out loud. These are stories straight from the heart and the heart of the north. Of good people and bad, from clergymen to charlatans, youngsters to oldsters. Thirty-seven stories that take place not far from Lake Superior, in woodlands, waters, and rural communities folks there called home. Stories, filled with characters you’ll grow to love and places you’ll love to visit, if only within these pages. One of these 37 stories won the 2013 Lake Superior Writer’s Award. Another, the coveted 2014 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring Award. One is is a 1977 feature article published in Boys Life Magazine, the first story James Brakken sold. Another is a 1-act play based on Brakken’s earlier work. Five are excerpts from the author’s award-winning Chief Namakgon trilogy. All are written for adults, but suitable for ages ten and older.

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