When the lifetime Minnesota resident and Prior Lake author came across a reference to the so-called "thirty-ninth man" while working on another project, he had to find out more.
For six years, Swanson searched records at the Minnesota Historical Society, interviewed sources and read period biographies, meticulously combing written materials and living experts for information about Tatemina, or Round Wind, the Dakota man spared from the infamous gallows of Dec. 26, 1862, with an eleventh-hour pardon.
What he found was at once gratifying and frustratingly incomplete — and compelling enough to form the foundation of "The Thirty-Ninth Man," a work of historical fiction released in June by North Star Press of St. Cloud.
Buddy amazes onlookers with his extraordinary athletic performance. This is a true story about a cigar-smoking-wannabe and his olympic caliber execution of a feat thought impossible by the judging public.
If you have not read my books, I offer this little story by way of introduction to my writing style when dealing with first-person perspectives.
This ditty is titled: Buddy and Mr. Cricket, and I knew that what I had witnessed was something I needed to share. The exemplary performance of my neighbor was truly something to behold.
At seventy-seven, I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in a life filled with blessings from above, adventure, love of family, and kinships reaching into the heavens and to God himself. —AND— I love to tell a story.