Title: Black Sheep of the Family
Author: Steve Pfiefle
Publisher/Date: Black Sheep Press/1999
Dates Read: 2/20/17 - 3/4/17
Steve, the youngest of six kids, was born in 1945 and grew up in Snohomish County, Washington. The family moved frequently because the dad, an alcoholic, could not keep a job. He beat the kids and his wife. One day she had enough of it and divorced him. But this story is about Steve – his abuse by a sexual predator, his asthma that kept him ill and out of school, his anger at his father and those around him like the kids at school who bullied him. Because of his anger he learned to fight to protect himself. As he got older the fights became more intense and he finally found himself in the county jail and finally in the local penitentiary.
At the age of 19, in order for him to not be incarcerated he got married. This helped for a short time. But his wife was a bit flakey herself and was into uppers and downers. Fortunately, Steve never got into drugs but loved his beer and hot-rodding around. He came so near to death many times he finally realized that the Man Upstairs was looking out for him. In the book, though, he never discusses following through with exploring his spirituality. It just sort of leaves you hanging although by the time the book was published, Steve would have been in his fifties.
The book is poorly written with typos and grammar. Yet Steve who did not finish high-school, wanted to tell his story. At the end of the book a woman by the name of Ruth Raby Moen claims to be the ghost-writer. Steve’s mom, Rebecca, also gets in on the action by including a short blurb about her family. Her dad was born in South Russia and immigrated to South Dakota. Steve’s father, according to Rebecca, came from a large, unloving family. Although the large Pfiefle family worked hard, there were some fun times. Rebecca includes a long description for making Strudla, a type of unsweetened pastry cooked in the pot with meat and vegetables. The book ends with a summary of what the book is all about.