Friday, April 17, 2015

Twenty-five Years Ago, Trip to Denmark 1990

April 18th 1990, in the morning, my flight landed at Copenhagen Airport.  There was ” …then a sand shore that became an airfield, greener with low buildings with red roofs so much more modest and humid and colorful than the ocean.            
The Danish was mixed with English translations.  The bags came quickly and they did not search my luggage. “
At the airport I caught a bus to the train station.  A swan swam on a small lake on the ride.
“The old train station has scaffolding inside up to the high roof, kiosk-like offices inside – a bookstore, an information booth. I stopped, took a number in a large office with counters.  There I tried my first Scandinavian phrase -”Kan jag få  en tidtabel till Jutland?”
I was successful! The clerk gave me a timetable.
Other Scandinavian phrases are greeted with a disbelief, as though I am slurring so badly they wonder if there is some medical emergency, or if I am ill or not capable of speaking:  they seemed embarrassed – one must persist.
Hotel Hebron, Copenhagen 1990
I found the hotel.  It is true, these is a lot of color here, also so much detail and juxtaposed color.  New of course, it is like your eyes must adjust.”    At the hotel, I rested.  It was true, I was in Denmark.
It was Twenty-five Years ago, I went to Denmark.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Father WIlliam Bichsel at Wright's Park, June 1990

Recently Father William Bichsel died.   My post today includes a photo of Father William Bichsel, which I wanted to share at the remembrance site at the Guadelupe House.  The photo reminds me of how Father Bichsel often was at Wright’s Park twenty-five years ago.  He sat at benches to counsel people, he walked there at the park.   The  overgrowth, with an upper pond clog,  challenged park maintenance.  Some very tall old trees in the 1990s fell in storms.  That drama was intense, and is remembered.  The rehabilitated park is beautiful and ornamental.   Now it challenges park maintenance. 

The photo of Father William Bichsel was taken the day after I returned from my trip to Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; I lived two blocks from Wright’s Park and early the day after I returned in an airporter, I walked to the park and happened to find Father William Bichsel there.
Laura Jensen 1990

 So he took my photograph for me, and I took a photo of him.  I got a snapshot of some flowers at the park, and the roll of film was complete. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

From Malax - Emelia Lågas

Daughter of Matt Lågas, who lived in California, Emelia Lågas photograph is from her marriage to Badar.  The family appears in the photograph taken by Marie Malm on her visit in 1930.  She was the sister of John Mattson, visited by Linnea Gord in Eureka in 1937.

Linnea Gord's Diary 1930: … and Eight Years Later

 Eight years later, Linnea Gord went back to Malax. 

Convention Center Vancouver, B.C.
She worked as a secretery and as piano player with The Gord Family Orchestra.  In 1931 she attended the Runeberg Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia.  (In the autumn of 1931 Charles Gord, Linnea's father, died.)  The choir director Martin Carlson retired in 1934, and Linnea Gord became director as well as accompanist for the Tacoma Runeberg Choir. 
At the Coit Tower 1937
In 1937, August, during her vacation, she traveled by Train and Bus to encourage Lodge members from Eureka, California, to join the choir in a Choir Tour to Finland organized for 1938.   In Eureka she met her Grandmother's nephew - John Mattson was the son of Matt Lågas, the brother of Marie, Emelia and Alina Lågas, cousins visited by Marie Malm during the visit in 1930. 
Far left, John Mattson

Anna (Koping) and Bror

Linnea and Molly, Hoquiam 1937

To return, Linnea Gord took the bus along the coast and stopped in Hoquiam, where she visited Amelia Hendrickson again.   Amelia was married and with her husband ran a store in Hoquiam.   
Lise and Isak
Lars' child Håkan
The Gord Family Ochestra performed with the 1938 Excursion to Finland, they were the Suomi Band on the Lancastria.  Their arrival at Helsinki was described inthe newspaper in Helsinki. 

 In Malax, traveling in 1938 with her mother, Amanda Gord, she became reacquainted with her cousins Lars, Paul, and Bror, who had married. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Letter from Grand Hotel Fennia, 1930, and Anna Melin, 1946

The letter paper for August 4, 1930, has an image of Grand Hotel Fennia, from Finland, Helsingfors, (also Suomi, Helsinki).   The hotel was on the Railroad Square.  The letter was written from Sweden.
Anna Melin (behind Grandmother in the departure photo) helped say goodbye to Linnea Gord and Marie Malm at the Malm's home.   And among letters saved are two letters from Anna Melin, from 1939, and from 1946.

Anna Melin 1946
Linnea Gord writes, to her “Mamma & All the Rest”, (I listened to this kind of discussion in my grandmother's kitchen):  I met a girl in Malax who says that her mother is related a little to Grandma.  This girl's name is Anna Melin.  She says that Grandma used to work for their mother's folks.  Mrs. Charles Carlson of Hoquiam is her aunt. 
A disclaimer usually accompanied discussion about cousins, or cousins removed, at my grandma's house:  they did not know, the specific meanings were a part of some official expertise.   But when they slept five in the room with the uncle of Amanda and Marie,  the others were all first cousins – her aunt, the three sisters, Wilma, Tyra, and Olga, as well as the three brothers, Lars, Paul, and Bror.  Only Linnea was not a first cousin, and she was Once Removed.   And, as always followed:  with the disclaimer, that the terms exist in some official expertise.
Part of the familiar social discussion was about this family background.  Their Swedish-Finnish background was not a culture that arranged marriages.  Young people met in daily life and made their own choices.  It was an old and condensed gene pool, and it was the Church that could control the incest taboo and decide, by people's shared ancestors, that they could or could not marry.   I think this has been different for the Swedish-Finns in the United States.  
Anna Melin's Mother   
But one reason for the Masonic-type lodge popularity was this familiar social discussion:  if their background was too close, they could not marry.  Linnea Gord knew she could not marry her mother's cousins.  But the official expertise was with the church.
A saved letter from 1946 described a photo included in the letter.  The photo is among photos from Sweden and Finland, along with a photo with Linnea’s writing on the back, Anna Melin’s mother Jucka’s Lovis / Hermanas Marie.   

Friday, March 27, 2015

Linnea Gord, Nineteen-Year-Old Piano Accompanist, Diary - July 30th, 1930


Arrived at this big metropolis at about 8 o'clock.  Went directly across the square to the Hotel Fennia, where we engaged a room.  Feeling rather hungry, we went to the Elanto Cafe for breakfast, after which we went shopping.  I bought a pair of shoes (Oh! how I hate Finnish shoes) four American magazines (mostly Photoplays) some fruit and cookies.  I forget what Auntie bought.  Then we went to our hotel room, where I tried on my shoes, read my magazines and ate my fruit and cookies, while Auntie slept.
Later in the afternoon we went for a walk around Helsingfors.  I like that city.  It is so big and historic looking.  We bought some post cards to send to the boys.  But we went to bed unusually early, as we were tired, and the beds looked so nice and soft and inviting.
Linnea Gord and her Aunt Marie Malm went to Sweden next, to visit Linnea Gord's father's family. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Linnea Gord Diary, July 27th, 28th, 29th, 1930 - Goodbye to Vasa

SUNDAY, JULY 27TH, 1930   -   We all went to Norrskär today.  There we had a very nice time, although the weather was rather unsettled.  Wwe danced and sang and drank coffee.  Then we all went out in the field and ate lunch and rested.  We had to go home early because there was to be a Soare at the hall in the evening.  We had great fun coming home on the boat.

The Soare was swell! I had every dance, and altho it was so crowded that we could hardly budge, and hot!  I enjoyed myself, because it was the last dance I was to go to in Finland.  They certainly know how to give you a good time in Finland.
MONDAY,  JULY 28TH, 1930  -   Arvid and I went to visit Clara Brannback's moster and faster today.  We had dinner at the faster's and we had a very nice time at both places.  The little girl, Martha, (Clara'a cousin) looks just like Clara.
Lasse and Paul, whitewashing
When we got home, Lasse and Paul were all white from whitewashing, so I took a picture of the "vita gubbar".  Then Paul went ot the post office and we all had letters from the girls, which we proceeded to read.  I also had a letter from home.
The boys amused us in the evening by talking about military school.  We all sat on the floor and drank citron soda and laughed.  I had made a resolution that I was going to stay up until three o'clock that last night, but I got too sleepy, and hit the hay at 2 o'clock.
TUESDAY, JULY 29TH, 1930  -  We were busy packing today, so we didn't do much of anything else.  We had several visitors who came to say good-bye to us.
At about 5:30 Gunnar Herrgard came after us in the bus, and after saying goodbye to Farmor, Lise, Sylvie and Bertha, and after taking some pictures, we all piled in our "special" bus and left Malax.  Gee! it was hard to leave, knowing that it would be a long, long time beore I would ever be there again.  There were quite a few of us -- Lars, Paul, Bror, Auntie, Arvid, Mr. Svedberg, Gunnar, Gustaf, Anna Melin, Miss Peterson, another girl and I, besides our suitcases, and two enormous boxes of strawberries presented to us by Anna.  We had a great time on the way in, just like we had when the girls left.  When we got to the station Helge met us, and we all went to Stahls cafe for coffee.  Amelia met us there, and she had roses for Auntie and I.  After coffee, we strolled down to the station.  We had about fifteen minutes left, so we all talked a blue streak.  I kept teasing Paul about our crying in "kapp".  We also took a few pictures there.  After fond farewells, our train finally pulled out, taking me away from new friends and old, loved ones and dear one.  Goodbye to Vasa!
Marie's grandmother in front
We tried to enjoy ourselves by eating strawberries, but it didn't help much.  We had a real nice apartment, with wonderful beds.  The room had thick rugs on the floor, big mirrors, all sorts of lights, a little table, and nice wide beds with real linen sheets.  However, in spite of all the comfort, I didn't sleep much.  I had too much to think about!  About what I was leaving, and the excitement of meeting the people in Sweden, etc.
So Linnea Gord and her Aunt Marie Malm left Marie’s own home behind and started on their trip to Sweden, where they would stay with Linnea Father’s Side of the family.