In this, her second memoir, New Prairie Woman is Susie Rosso Wolf’s depiction of her journey from Los Angeles to the historical town of Three Forks, Montana. On these pages you will discover the grandeur of “The Last Best Place” through her writing, poetry and photography, the challenges of living in a twenty foot trailer in sub-zero temperatures and how love, perseverance, and the miracle of faith can lift a soul up from the depths of the deepest, darkest waters.
Born in Santa Monica, California, I was raised in the small bedroom community of Sunkist Park that borders Culver City, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. I attended Venice High School, West LA Community College and California Institute of the Arts. My studies included English, English Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, Choir, Classical Voice, Shakespeare, Musical Theater, Television and Film Acting and Art History. In 1980, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1982 I married Kurt Wolf in Corvallis, Oregon. During the course of our long journey together, I have remained devoted to not only my husband, but to my friends and family, and the arts. What defines me most is my passion for expression through art. I’m an avid reader, writer and poet.I also enjoy painting and photography. Additionally, some folks consider me a pretty good cook.
In all my life, I had never once stepped foot into a manufactured home. Sure, during my days of living with Kurt in Oregon I had visited plenty of friends who lived in single-wide trailers and some of them were quite nice but I really didn't have any idea how much the trailer/manufactured home industry had evolved over the years. The outside of Rob’s new home was built to replicate a log cabin and the inside was open, modern, beautifully appointed, and quite palatial. It was obvious much time was spent furnishing and a great deal of attention was paid to every detail. The interior was based on a western theme with one large collectible framed portrait of John Wayne as the main focal point. Fine art brass sculptures of horses, horse busts, cowboys riding horses, and couples riding horses wearing cowboy hats were placed with great thought throughout the house. The sculptures were beautiful as were the hand carved coat racks and of course, gun racks, and cowboy hat racks made from deer and elk antlers. The hat rack was mounted onto a slab of carved wood that had a dried rattlesnake skin nailed onto it. Robert had been hunting snakes and skinning them ever since I could remember, here he was in snake heaven, with so many rattlesnakes on the prairie.
The den was the first room you entered into from the back door. The living room was the room you walked into from the front of the house that faced the mountain ranges of the Bitter Roots, The Tobacco Roots, The Spanish Peaks, The Bridger’s and far in the distance but visible when snowcapped, West Yellowstone. The master bedroom suite was enormous, fit for a king, with a Jacuzzi bath tub, separate shower room, open his & hers bathroom sinks, two closets, a gigantic nursery area and office space along with the largest area for a king size bed I had ever seen. The vaulted ceilings allowed for interesting architecture of support beam walls that had nook space for April’s beautiful cut crystal collection of vases and sculptures. The room was absolutely lovely dressed in their royal four poster bed of solid mahogany that matched her ten foot long by four foot deep dresser with a spectacular mirror attached that created an atmosphere of pure luxury and class.
Down the main hallway were two small bedrooms. One was appointed to Brenda and the other was for the girls when they came to visit. On that side of the house there was a bathroom with a shower and tub and lovely sink with a beautiful mirror above it that was wall to wall. It was only a medium to small bathroom, beautifully decorated and quite nice. Much attention to every detail was glaringly obvious with raffia tied around the for show not for blow bath towels and hand towels hanging on the towel racks and glass vases filled with dried flower arrangements in addition to antique finished wall sconces and small framed artwork on the walls. Heading toward the living room, at the end of the hall was a dividing wall with more nook openings where several beautifully framed family photos were placed, one of which was of my father with Robert as a child and another of my parents. No sign of Kurt and I or any other Rosso Family members in any frame were presented. On the other side of the wall was the den’s fireplace which, in and of itself, was a showpiece of rustic flavor featuring large river boulders and a uniquely carved mantle. Across from the living room was the guest bathroom, which was the most unique room in the house. It was very small, but built with a loft type ceiling at an angle, set in a space that was actually blue printed as a coat closet but they requested it be built as an additional bathroom so, the manufacturer of the house set in one toilet behind a wall, like one you would find in a school lavatory, and then one old fashioned sink on a pedestal with a mirror hanging over it on the other side of the privacy wall. Its simplicity was elegant and I loved the colors April chose to decorate with in this room; olive green accented with periwinkle. Turn right and you were in the big living room with its four picture windows with a good sized dining room that led to the kitchen. The kitchen was my favorite room with its wide open floor plan, countless cupboards, walk-in pantry with an extra stand up freezer, endless counter space, island cook top stove, built-in oven, broiler and microwave, deep double sink with massive oval shaped windows that spanned the length of the entire counter from one end of the room to the other. This provided a view to both sides of the back property all the way to Old Town Road. Windows galore throughout the entire house gave a feeling of open air living in the rustic extremes of prairie life surrounded by mountains and hills. With four entrances, there wasn’t any area of the house that didn’t lead to the front or back of their two and a half acre lot. The laundry room/mud room was quite large and also led to the back of the house with its own outer door.
After a shower and a little nap, Robert fed us a lite lunch while we sat in the den watching a John Wayne movie on his beast of a television. The heavy wood entertainment center that housed this monster was modern but in very good taste. The sofa was covered in elegant soft brown leather, again, lending to the rustic western theme accentuating the fact that you were standing in the Interior Western United States, the Rocky Mountains in particular. Well, with John Wayne as master and guru, there wasn’t any doubt you were in a western home.