Open Window

In the early years of sanatoriums, tubercular mothers, fathers, children, grandparents…both the rich and the poor… were sent away to fresh-air sanatoriums where they slept by open windows, sometimes waking to snow and ice on their thick covering of blankets, with frozen water in their glasses and frozen urine in their pots.

In the early1950’s, with the use of new drugs, sanatoriums began closing almost overnight as patients recovered and returned home. It appeared that TB was on its way to becoming just a bad memory.
Art Holmstrom's room
Today, while tuberculosis casts its sinister shadow back to earlier times by re-emerging in new, drug-resistant forms, my book-in-progress Open Window will take you inside a community, the Lake Julia Tuberculosis sanatorium of northern Minnesota, where my family once lived and worked, a community made up of a determined lady doctor who some called a witch for studying medicine, the courageous and dedicated employees who worked for her…many of whom had recovered from tuberculosis themselves…and the patients, who worked hard at doing nothing, hoping their efforts would allow them to return home to parents, children, or spouses, but who sometimes, in spite of their efforts, only left in a box.
Mom and Dad at The San
Art Holmstrom's room at The San