Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Stone Boat - Transcription from Tapes by Theodore Jensen

(In Summer 1994 I went to Whatcom County and residents at the house now on the foundation allowed me to take a snapshot of the stone foundation made by my grandfather Jonas Jensen and his brother Hans.)
           The Stone Boat     “That's What They Said, That He Learned How To Do That”
1994 - Foundation
made by Hans and Jonas Jensen
Railroad Transom, Lake Whatcom


.underneath the house was a full basement, we called it a cellar in those days.  And there was a door in front at the ground level, and the foundation was built out of big blocks of stone.  They had gone up in the creek with what they called a stone boat.  It was a flat thing with small runners on it that they could put a big heavy rock on it without having to lift it up very high.  And they had a steer – this was before I remember anything about it – and that steer would haul that sled with some rocks on it down to where they were going to build the house.  And my uncle Hans apparantly, had learned something about how to do that, how to break up rocks and make stone foundations, over in the old country, because he might have been apprenticed as a stone mason, I don't know that – that's what they said – that he learned how to do that.  And the foundation that was the house, had been there as far as I can remember.  I was back up there visiting about five or ten years ago.  And the house was still standing, and those stones were still there.   


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Diary of Linnea Gord, Nineteen-Year-Old Piano Accompanist, Finland, July 1st and 2nd 1930

TUESDAY, JULY 1ST, 1930    Today was rather a warm day, and we sat in the shade of the house and embroidered.  In the afternoon we worked for a while in the factory.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2ND, 1930  This afternoon Auntie went to a funeral.  It was quite interesting to watch the procession go by.  There were first around ten people walking (almost everyone was dressed in black).  Then came the hearse (drawn by horses) and after that about fourteen two-wheeled carts drawn by horses, two automobiles and twenty-four bicycles.  Before the funeral, everyone goes to the house of the deceased's relatives and has coffee.  After the services there is more coffee, then dinner and usually a few hours after dinner they have more coffee.  Some funeral!
Instead of wearing ourselves out at a funeral (although we were invited to attend) Olga, Gustaf Lunnaba and I went swimming in the river.  The water is brown-colored like iron and the mud is about six inches deep on the bottom.  But, oh! what fun we had.  The water, however, is colder in the afternoon that it is in the evening.  We usually go in swimming in the evening after the boys are through with their work.
That evening we all played Touring and acted silly, as usual.  "We made the old kitchen ring with our laughter".  I forget what we were laughing about--some jokes or other. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Diary of Linnea Gord, June 29th, June 30th, July 1st, 1930

Some of the photos included in Linnea Gord Jensen's album also appear in Olga Malm Streeter's photo album. Olga Malm Streeter's album was scanned at the Pacific Lutheran University Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Archive.  It includes photos of visits Wilma, Tyra, and Olga made to their mother's family, also in Finland.  

SUNDAY, JUNE 29TH, 1930 -

Today we were dated up to go on a picnic with the Malax young folks.  We left home at 10 o'clock, boarded a boat at Åminneborg and arrived at Silgrund at about noon.  That afternoon was spent in drinking coffee, sailing, taking pictures, singing, laughing, and lying around doing nothing.  If there's anything I hate to do, it’s lie around doing nothing.  Olga and I went swimming, but it was so cold that we soon came out of the water.

We didn't leave Silgrund until about 7, and arrived home about 6:30.  At about 11 o'clock we all went to the hall--where a dance was just starting.  At first there was a violin and the organ for dance music.  Later Olga played violin and I played the organ.  They liked our music.  That was queer.


MONDAY, JUNE 30TH, 1930 -
The girls went to Petalax today to visit, but Auntie and I stayed home.  I got a big bundle of papers from home, so I spent most of the day reading them.  Spent the rest of the time writing letters.
Today was rather a warm day, and we sat in the shade of the house and embroidered.  In the afternoon we worked for a while in the factory.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Diary of Linnea Gord, Nineteen-Year-Old Piano Accompanist, June 28th, 1930

Lauri Kristian Relander, the President of Finland, happened to be in Vasa, Finland, on the day Linnea Gord, nineteen-year-old piano accompanist, went to town to meet her friend Edith Somppi:

SATURDAY, JUNE 28TH, 1930 -     I got up at about seven to get ready for the eight o'clock bus.  I was half-sleeping and half-dressed when Mrs. Malm came to the door and told me I'd better hurry because the bus left at 7:30 on Saturdays.  Then did I wake up!  I caught the bus, too.  I got to Vasa at 8:30 and I had an hour to wait before I would meet Edith.  I went into a restaurant and got a cup of coffee and then decided to walk around torget to kill time.  There seemed to be quite a bit of excitement around there, and soon I noticed that there was to be a parade or something.  Soldiers came marching up the street from the railroad station, and the street was lined on both sides with children holding flags.  Then the President of Finland came marching up the street with a lot of other big bugs.  I had come in to town on the right day, I guess, as they don't have much excitement like that very often in Vasa.
I met Somppis at about 9:30.  Edith and I first went and bought some candy and then went to a music store.  I wanted to get "Ty Lysar de Stjärnor" but they didn't have it.  Then I asked for "När Brollops Klockar Ringar", but they asked 24 marks for it, and I thought that was too much.  Edith laughed at my attempts to talk Swedish.  I made them understand what I wanted, at least.
We spent the afternoon at Edith's uncle's place.  We had plenty to talk about and the afternoon was soon gone.  Mr. Somppi and Edith and Helen took me to the bus.  (They are leaving for Helsingfors on Monday, so I guess I won't see them until we get back to old U.S.A.)
Malm Farm 1930
When I came home, I found everybody out.  The girls were at Sjölunds and Aunti was in Åminneborg, so I decided to go for a bicycle ride by my lonesome.  That evening, after supper, we all worked in the limonad factory.  It was a lot of fun, because we all danced and sang and laughed.  After we were through working, which was at about 11 o'clock, we had tea a biscuits and then went to bed.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Computer, Which Was Library Surplus, Goes To Green PC.

As viewed on display, 2007
Tacoma Public Library offered surplus computers in 2007.  These sat unclaimed on the first floor for several weeks, at last I decided it would be okay if I bought one for twenty-five dollars.  Tom Stenger, a friend from First Lutheran Church, drove it to the apartment and I plugged it in - it worked.  It has been in different spots in the apartment, and has been great. 

After some years of use, on to Green PC
Most places no longer use floppy discs, and the computer only wrote on floppy discs.  Today, the computer with monitor, keyboard, and mouse, along with three empty discs, went on a truck to Green PC.  I replaced the surplus computer but continue to think very well of the great twentieth-century "hummer".    

Monday, November 17, 2014

Diary of Linnea Gord - Thursday and Friday, June 26th and 27th, 1930

Google Translation of the Diary Entry below:  Torsdag, juni 26 1930 - Malax OCH VAS

 Torsdag, juni 26 1930 - Malax OCH VASA

Moster och jag tog 08:00 bussen till Vasa. När vi kom dit var jag angelägen om att se mina bilder som höll på att skrivas ut, så vi skyndade till Felix Westers. Men de var inte redo, så vi gick promenader runt Torget. Där träffade vi tjejerna och vi alla gick shopping. Vi köpte fyra av kopparkaffekannor. Jag blev ganska förvånad över att alla mina bilder blev underbart. (Och bäst av allt, bara det kostade mig 35 ¢ en rulle för att låta trycka och i Tacoma kostar 40 ¢. Scotch! Det är mig överallt). Vi stod på gatan tittar på bilderna, och en eller två av de förbipasserande var nyfikna och tittade över axeln för att se också.
Vi hade middag på Central Hotel och gick sedan för att besöka en kvinna som hade varit en vän till min mamma när hon (min mamma) var i Malax. Den vanliga sak hände det - vi hade så mycket kaffe som vi nästan blev sjuk. Men vi hade blivit vana vid det då. Dessutom hade de kaffe bröd nog för ett regemente. Mrs Wickmans dotter var en mycket trevlig sångerska, och hon hade tagit engelska i skolan, så hon försökte sjunga "Pagan Love Song" för oss. Det var inte dåligt alls.
Fångas 04:00 bussen tillbaka till Malax. Det fanns en hel del av våra vänner på bussen innan vi lämnade. Helen Somppi, Esther tillbaka från Närpes, Johnnie, Hulda och Werner var där. Vi hade en hel del att prata om.
Paulus tog Olga och mig för en åktur på kvällen --to Åminneborg. Där såg vi hur strömming är rökt. Helt och spännande kväll!
27 juni 1930 -
En av dagens höjdpunkter var när jag fick två brev från Amerika - en från Ruth Nyberg och en från Ruth Rasmux. Det gjorde verkligen verkar bra att få brev från Amerika.
Vi åkte för en cykeltur på kvällen, och gjorde inte mycket av något annat. Pojkarna introducerade oss till en gav de kallade "Krig". Det är en hel del kul.

Front row, Marie Malm
Note:  Runeberg Special on train
Minneapolis, Minnesota 1930
Auntie and I took the 8 o'clock bus to Vasa.  When we arrived there I was anxious to see my snapshots that were being printed, so we hurried to Felix Westers.  But they weren't ready, so we went walking around the Torget.  There we met the girls and we all went shopping.  We bought four of the copper coffee pots.  I was quite surprised to find that all of my pictures turned out wonderfully.  (And best of all, it only cost me 35¢ a roll to have them printed, and in Tacoma it costs 40¢.  Scotch!  that's me all over).  We all stood on the street looking at the pictures, and one or two of the passers-by were inquisitive and looked over our shoulders to see, too.

We had dinner at the Central Hotel and then went to visit a woman who had been a friend of my mother's when she (my mother) was in Malax.  The usual thing happened there -- we had so much coffee that we almost got sick.   But we had gotten used to it by then.  Besides, they had coffee bread enough for a regiment.  Mrs. Wickman's daughter was a very nice singer, and she had taken English in school, so she tried singing "Pagan Love Song" for us.  It wasn't bad at all.
Caught the four o'clock bus back to Malax.  There were quite a few of our friends at the bus before we left.  Helen Somppi, Esther Back from Narpes, Johnnie, Hulda and Werner were there.  We had quite a lot to talk about.
Paul took Olga and me for a ride in the evening --to Åminneborg.  There we saw how strömming is smoked.   Quite and exciting evening!
JUNE 27, 1930 - 
One of today's highlights was when I received two letters from America--one from Ruth Nyberg and one from Ruth Rasmus.  It certainly did seem good to get letters from America.
We went for a bicycle ride in the evening, and didn't do much of anything else.  The boys introduced us to a gave they called "Krig".  It is quite a bit of fun.  
(Note:  "Krig" probably translates to the card game "War")

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Diary of Nineteen-Year-Old Piano Accompanist Linnea Gord Wednesday, June 25,1930

Translation by Google of the Entry below:  Vi var nu verkligen att vakna upp till det faktum att vi var verkligen i Malax , och även vi visste att vi hade massor av smutsiga kläder som hade ackumulerats under vår turné , så upp ur sängen fick vi ( tidigt vid 10:00 ) och proklamerade Washday . Som jag sa en gång , vi hade mycket att tvätta , så det tog oss nästan hela morgonen , men kläderna äntligen var ute på linjen torkning. Vid 04:30 på eftermiddagen , flickorna kvar för Vasa . ( De gick till en dans på kvällen och hade en stor tid och jag missade det . Om tolv av vårt gäng var där . Oh! Tja ! Det finns mer ändå att komma . )
Medan flickorna säkert glatt dansa , jag väntade och väntade på förbaskad el att komma något så att jag kunde järn mina kläder , men hör och häpna ! Bara för att jag ville att det skulle , gjorde el inte komma på alls . Om något sådant hände i Amerika , kraftbolagen säkert skulle ha tillräckligt med klagomål . Anledningen till att de inte slår på elen förrän sent i Finland är att en man som var roboten en gång medan du arbetar med trådarna , så nu vänder de strömmen helt för säkerheten först när de räkna det behövs inte .

Front row, fifth, fourth and second
from Right, Olga, Wilma, Tyra Malm
(from their U.S. Train Ride)

We were now really waking up to the fact that we were really in Malax, and also we knew that we had plenty of dirty clothes that had accumulated during our concert tour, so up out of bed we got (early at 10 o'clock) and proclaimed washday.  As I once said, we had plenty to wash, so it took us nearly all morning, but the clothes finally were out on the line drying.  At 4:30 in the afternoon, the girls left for Vasa.  (They went to a dance in the evening and had a great time and I missed it.  About twelve of our gang were there. Oh! Well! There is more yet to come.)
Malax Store, 1930.  Marie Malm
Took snapshots on the trip
While the girls were no doubt gaily dancing, I waited and waited for the darned electricity to come one so that I could iron my clothes, but lo and behold! Just because I wanted it to, the electricity didn't come on at all.  If anything like that happened in America, the power companies certainly would have enough complaints.  The reason they don't turn on the electricity until late in Finland is because a man was electrocuted once while working on the wires, so now they turn the power off completely for safety first when they figure it is not needed.