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

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30TH, 1930 - HELSINGFORS 

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 Norrsk√§r 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.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Photos At 4518 17th N.E. 1920s

Moors Club 1920s
Continuing the idea of The Varsity Boat Club, the focus of Pierce County Reads, The Boys In the Boat, I include photos by Jens Jensen at the Moors Club, 4518 17th N.E., in 1923 or 1924. 

Moors Club Member Rests

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

At The Varsity Boat Club - Research at The University of Washington

From the Tyee, 1938, "new shellhouse
next to SAE house"
Pierce County Reads has selected The Boys In The Boat, by Daniel James Brown, as their 2015 book.  The esprit of the Husky Crew was focused on their athletic achievement, and their memorabilia and records reflect a discarding of their on 17th N.E. housing as not pertaining to their meaning.  While Daniel James Brown has developed more of the life stories of the Husky Crew Team that won in the 1936 Olympics, he does not mention much about their housing.  Because the Olympics were discontinued because of the war, the Husky Crew Team remained the World Champions for years.
From the Seattle City Directory
     The Boys In The Boat, by Daniel James Brown,  refers to a rented house on 17th as the Varsity Boat Club, describes crew members playing a piano in the parlor there.  Those sources are described in the Notes as existing completely on-line.  At an on-line source the complete notes are to appear soon.   So diaries or letters must have described the rented house.   I researched the Varsity Boat Club house-renting earlier and described a rented house on 17th in a longer prose poem included at Salt River Review.   A house called “The Alamo” earlier, then called “The Moor’s Club” becomes “The Varsity Boat Club” in 1938, in Seattle City Directories, and after 1938 it remains at 4518 17th N.E. for years, including the years of World War Two.
                The “rented house” referred to was not the only rented house of the Varsity Boat Club.  And a long-term rented house had been where my father’s brother had begun at the University of Washington.  And had sadly, not continued.  Below, I want to quote from my essay, which I wrote in the third person: 
Crew members Clown Around
for a rare Tyee Candid at the Club
     With other men of "The Moor's Club," the portrait of Jens Jensen looks from the pages of the 1924 Tyee. He was Laura Jensen's uncle, her father's oldest brother.  Jens Jensen's group was about to be in the trenches in France when World War One ended.  Basic conditions of daily life for the soldiers were harsh, he had influenza in the epidemic and, like many, contracted tuberculosis.  He was cured. 
Laura Jensen's father last saw his brother on a visit to Cushman Hospital, in Tacoma, in 1923, when Jens' tuberculosis symptoms reoccurred.  From Tacoma Jens traveled to Idaho and New Mexico to Veteran's Administration hospitals.
          In New Mexico Jens married a clerical worker.  Jens always was good to Ella and made her happy, their daughter explains in a letter.  Jens Jensen died in 1932.  Years later, their daughter finished college on the East Coast…
          Theodore Jensen continued his 1923 job as a houseboy at the Tolo House. When he walked just up a hill and along 17th toward the formal entrance of the university, Theodore Jensen passed by "The Moor's Club." He worked his way through pharmacy school as a cook on Standard Oil ships to Alaska and Mexico.
          The house was Craftsman style, with craftsman doorways, brackets, design, influenced by the Mediterranean.  At the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue, a form lists its forty-three rooms - two in the basement, eleven on the first floor, sixteen on the second floor, fourteen on the third floor.  There was one brick fireplace.  It was built in 1908 and remodeled in 1910.  There were one thousand square feet of tile work - floors, walls of tile.  The tile work was inspired by Morocco.

Friday, March 6, 2015

And the weather is beautfiul...

The weather is beautiful for the many pink flowering trees.

At Children's Voices: The Holocaust and Beyond: Eighth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education

Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence, on my mind as a choir at the Friday morning holocaust conference session goes ooh, ooh, to warm up and get tuned to sing at the Remembrance and Reflection.   The morning sessions have been reading to themselves.  In a gym with many round tables students from junior highs, high schools, and colleges have combined to be Fran Sterling’s Anxiety of Influence “swerve” from the precursor diaries by children who lived during the holocaust.  They have read to themselves.  One passage has been about Kristallnacht.  In this, Fran Sterling has acted to be a Return of the Dead, as described by Harold Bloom, in which the artist brings, once again, the precurser to the reality.  And then the lights were lowered, and there was candlelight.

The Anxiety of Influence is not about the psychological state of stress that is our first idea of Anxiety.  It is about writing as behavior.  As we wish to express an idea and have illumination from an earlier training, we do not repeat our earlier training, we “swerve” and choose an accelerated expression.  And my blog entries that are diary entries by nineteen-year-old piano accompanist Linnea Gord (who became my mother) are expressions of the idea of her hand-written and typed diaries.  And I can “swerve” and place her trip photographs with them.
So that study of writing is in my thoughts today.   The crowd of young people in the gym truly read the diary selections to themselves, at the round tables together.