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Salzur Brinkmann writes first children's book

Dennis Dallmann

Once upon a time, an adopted girl named Kari found a small oak seedling still attached to an acorn in a large forest next to a giant oak tree.

The shadows of the big oaks blocked the sunlight the smaller oaks needed to grow. The little tree looked “weak and lonely like an orphan.” Feeling sorry for her, she decided to replant it in a sunny spot in her backyard. Then, like Kaali herself, she has the potential to grow and thrive like her adopted daughter.

Thus begins the fairy tale entitled “The Potash Tree”, written by Marilyn Salzl Brinkman of St. Joseph. The large-format book (11 x 8.5 inches) is lovingly crafted by Albanian artist Anahit his Aleksanyan, who has filled the book with charming images of woodland creatures, including birds, squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and snowmen. and colorfully drawn.

Over the years, as Kari grows a prized oak tree, it grows larger and taller, grows leaves and shades the lawn. I was away for a long time because I had to leave home to attend college. When she returns to see her thriving tree, she is so happy to see it again.

“Kari’s Tree” explores themes of preservation, adoption, acceptance, and ethnicity in subtle ways.

It was published by Wilmer’s Lakeside Press, and all communication during the publication process was by email, including contact with the Albanian woman who described the story.

“I am very proud of my little book,” said Salzur Brinkmann. She said, “I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. This book was inspired by her husband when she replanted and preserved a small tree when she moved to Kraemer Lake near St. Joseph. It’s what I got.”

Many people in central Minnesota are familiar with Salzur Brinkman and her writings. She is the author of her eight books and many columns on local history, many of which are historically based, and St. She was a frequent guest her columnist for The Cloud Times. She has also contributed to the historical magazine Crossings.

Salzur Brinkmann seems to have been born to be a writer.

“It’s that I can’t write,” she said in an interview with the St. Joseph Newsreader. “I’ve been trying not to write, but I couldn’t and soon started writing again. wrote letters to classmates instead of handing them notes, and by the fifth grade had a pen partner.

As a student at Albany High School, Salzur Brinkman wrote stories that teachers sent for publication in the Albany Enterprise newspaper.

“I had good teachers,” she said. “Especially Mr. Garding and Mr. Dufner.”

After that, she wrote a lot of letters to her high school friends during summer vacation. Later, when her future husband, Harold Brinkman, entered military service, she wrote to him almost daily.

After her marriage to Harold, she began writing long, vivid and detailed Christmas letters to her relatives, and when relatives came to visit, she always thanked Marilyn for the wonderful Christmas letters she had written.

Over the years, she wrote stories, occasionally kept diaries and diaries, wrote poetry, essays, and read voraciously. She still reads one book every week.

“I am a firm believer that to write well you have to read,” she said.

Her professional writing career began in 1979 when the pastor of her parish (St Catherine Parish Agriculture) fell ill with Parkinson’s disease. The pastor intended to write a book on the history of the parish.

“I consulted my friend Marceline Schleper and said, ‘I think we can do it.'” It was a labor of love that required a lot of interviews, research, drafts and rewrites. It was written on a portable typewriter that didn’t use

Eventually, her writing caught the attention of John Decker of the Stearns County Historical Museum, who encouraged her to write a novel for the museum’s magazine entitled “The Crossing.”

For years Salzur Brinkmann was told that he should have a college degree to be taken seriously as a historian. She enrolled at St. Cloud State University, where she majored in American Studies and English (with particular emphasis on her creative writing).

“It took me nine years to complete my degree, but it has provided me with the much-needed opportunity to have my work critiqued and analyzed by many professors – great teachers.” she said. She said, “In her sophomore year, she met Bill Morgan (Professor of American Studies) and together they researched and wrote ‘Light from the Hearth’ (a local history book).”

After that book was published, she received many requests for stories, research, documentation, and presentations from various history museums and community organizations. “

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Stearns Historical Museum and on various commissions and other museums and organizations. She also participated in book groups and writing groups, which helped her develop her already extensive skillset.

As if he couldn’t get enough of his busy writing career, Salzl Brinkman also helped raise his three children, Nancy, Brian, and Karen. Her children’s book, Kari’s Tree, is dedicated to her grandchildren, Cori, Kari, Tyler, Grant and William. Salzl Brinkman lived in Kraemer Lake, where she worked as a paralegal for St. Cloud Legal Services. She has been a hairdresser for 28 years at her St. Cloud Beauty College.

One of 15 children, Marilyn grew up on a farm in St. Martin. Her parents had great faith in her literacy skills and her mother was a gifted storyteller.

She met her future husband, Harold Brinkman, and settled into farming after their marriage. The couple and their children then moved into the Lake Kramer home, where they stayed for 28 years. Three years ago they moved into St. Joseph’s house.

While at Cramer Lake, Harold worked as an assistant manager at Cold Spring’s Rich Spring Golf Course. And true to form, Marilyn wrote the history of the golf course.Around the same time, she also wrote the history of the Stearns Electric Society.

Salzl Brinkman is currently working on his life story, which could be published as a memoir.

She often recalls when a woman asked her what her job was.

In disbelief, the woman said, “You?! The author?!”

To this day, Salzl Brinkman smiles at that memory.

“Yes,” she said.

To obtain a copy of “Kari’s Tree”, email Brinkman at

Or contact the publisher at or Lakeside Press Inc., PO Box 826, Willmar, MN 56201.

contributed photo
Marilyn Salzl Brinkman
contributed photo
This is the cover of the children’s book “Kari’s Tree” by Marilyn Salzl Brinkman of St. Joseph.