Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Narrative From Diary Continued to June 12, 1930


Finland, hurray! At last we have reached our destination! Arriving in Åbo (boat and dock) about 8 A.M., we were all on pins and needles for fear that the customs officers would find something in our baggage which we shouldn't have. However, all they did was to open most of the suitcases and just hastily look into them. We had a great deal of waiting to do, because we were not to go to our hotel until about ten o'clock. The reperters were there the first thing when we got off the boat and took a picture of the choir for the papers. While waiting, we sat around on our suitcases on the dock, with the hot sun shining on us, and, as someone remaked, "we looked just like immigrants", which, of course, we were. We were immigrants from America, coming to Finland--some for the first time. I said goodbye to Edith, Taimi and Betty, hoping to see them again. Edith and Taimi were doing direct to Helsingfors and Betty was staying in Åbo.

After a great deal of talking, laughing, shouting, quarreling, etc. we were finally away to our hotel. We rode in a funny little short street car. The fare was about three cents in American money. We had been told that we were going to one of the best hotels in town, but if it was, the town hasn't many good hotels. The beds they had were all right, but they didn't have enough, and I had to sleep on two chairs.

(During the whole trip through Finland, Sweden, and Norway, I didn't once sleep in a real double bed or ever see one. All they have are cots or twin beds. In the hotels --at least most of them--they had two single beds rather than one double bed.)

That afternoon we went on a sight-seeing trip--walking! We walked up to an observatory and from that point you can see all over the town. We were also taken to the university, where we listed to another speech. Then to the glory of the day--the Dom Kyrka! It was wonderful! It is the biggest church I've ever been in, and it makes you feel so small when you are inside. This church is over 600 years old. The guide, who was on the entertainment committee, showed us all over the church and explained everything. We stood over the graves of bishops, pastors, clergymen, etc., saw many old statues, carvings and paintings, and listened to msuci from a beautifulpipe organ. Words can't express the beauty of that church.

After our interesing walk, we had dinner (And what a dinner!) at the Åbo Sang Forbunds Lokal, and then we looked in on the hall where the concert was to be. It was Brandkarshuset, and, in spite of the name, is a beautiful hall. After we got back to our hotel Mr. Carlson ordered us all to bed. We meekly obeyed and didn't wake up until 7 o'clock. The concert was to be at eight, and you can bet we hurried. As it was, we were just about late for our own concert. The concert went off grandly, with quite a few people in the audience, and twenty-nine as usual in the choir. Blanche sang--and the people "went wild" about her. She was obliged to sing three songs. There is something about Blanche's singing that "gets you". After the concert we were all entertained by the Åbo choir at a banquet. Here we were all mixed up--that is, we were all paired off with members of the Åbo choir--the ladies with men and vice versa. I had a good time with my man, and although I had quite a time getting started, I soon found myself talking quite fluently--with Ellis across the table to help me with the hard words. We all sang in chorus--the Finland chorus and the American chorus--and it was thrilling.

They also had the usual speeches and a short program. We had a bunch of the choir to see us back to our hotel, and I am sure we just about woke up the town.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Continued narrative from the Diary of the Concert at Marieham, 1930

Our first concert seemed to be quite a success although we were all very tired and most of us had colds. The hall was filled to over-flowing--many people were turned away, but still many of them stood outside. We had no piano--or I mean they had none--so we just sang our Swedish songs, and Mr. Jofs "speeched".

After the concert, they took us for a nice long walk to a hotel, where we had more smorgasbord and a very nice sociable evening was had by all. There was a German orchestra in one of the rooms so some of our crowd had a few dances. The choir sang for us and there were the usual speeches. The time went by so quickly and we had no idea it was so late until we heard the boat whistle. But the people were so bent on keeping us longer and longer that the boat called us three or four times before we finally got on our way. That evening we had our first experience with the light nights of Finland and Sweden, for it was almost as light as day when we walked from the hotel to the boat, and it was midnight!

We received a very pretty wreath from the Marieham choir which had printed on it's ribbons:-"Till Runebergordens Finland kör, fran Ålands sang och musik förbund."

There was quite as big a crowd down to see us off as there was to see us come. When the last one of us was on board they pulled up the gang plank and we starrted. We sang as we left--our favorite song "Set maskinen i gång". We waved and looked back at the people on the dock until Marieham was just a blur in the distance.

We were quite surprised to find out that the people of Marieham thought that we had our native costume one, inasmuch as all the girls had on some kind of a flowered dress.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Entry from a Diary from June 1930

Linnea Gord, nineteen-year-old piano accompanist, wrote of the arrival in Finland for the first of the eleven Runeberg Choir Concerts in Finland in 1930:

At about noon we went aboard "Bore I" which was to take us to Åbo, Finland. It is a very pretty little boat, and we had a nice ride that afternoon and evening. We arrived at Marieham on the island of Åland at about 7 o'clock and we were met by at least a thousand people. We sang a few songs from the boat and their choir answered us with some beautiful songs. It made us so happy that so many people should be there, and that moment will remain with us forever.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Big Lake at the Foot of 11th at Tacoma Avenue

One maroon vehicle edged through the big lake at the foot of 11th and Tacoma Avenue, then a white truck accelerated through at the start of the truck climb up 11th. The huge wash of waves seemed twice as high as the truck. People who were at the bus shelter at the corner might have been splashed. Another driver thinks the street is for them alone, water and people all have to dodge out of the way.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lyrics to Deck Us All With Boston Charlie

Deck Us All With Boston Charlie

There are at least three versions of this famous Kelly Christmas carol:

The most famous version:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,

Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!

Nora's freezin' on the trolley,

Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!

Don't we know archaic barrel, Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.

Trolley Molly don't love Harold, Boola Boola Pensacoola Hullabaloo!

Then there is Beauregard's version:

Bark us all bow-wows of folly, Polly wolly cracker n too-da-loo!

Donkey Bonny brays a carol, Antelope cantaloup, 'lope with you!

Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon, Willy, folly go through!

Chollie's collie barks at Barrow, Harum scarum five alarum bung-a-loo!

We also have this third version:

Duck us all in bowls of barley, Ninky dinky dink an' polly voo!

Chilly Filly's name is Chollie, Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly, Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, Woof, Woof!

Tizzy seas on melon collie! Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, Goof, Goof!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Maltese Falcon – How I Spent 2010's Tacoma Reads Together, a Novel by Dashiel Hammett


Browsing, Walking Tours, Grand Theft Books, and another kind of book theft - patriarchal opportunism that silences the voices of women,  Diaries, Conferences, Portents - And Cozy Sessions With One Cozy Mystery Novel Series After Another


Before computers in the library, my finding method, browsing, seemed the only one possible.  And it seems it was not the best.  In computer language, now, I mean my default method.  (Of course I had the Dewey decimal system and the card catalogue,  worked for twenty hours a week two years in high school at the library and had Library of Congress at the University of Washington.)  But I always return to browsing. 


Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, Tacoma Reads Together choice for 2010, immediately brought me back in time to the movie after a concert at the Eagles Auditorium - more than one approach to the Reads Together, I located the concert in Seatle Times microfilm (early November, a Halloween Be-In, and it was the Youngboods).  And, gazing up at the sculpted eagles on finials, I walked past the Eagles Auditorium.   Later I went on the walking tour of Dashiel Hammett's Tacoma.


Some approaches are great, some not the best.  Maltese Falcon from Novelist pulled up Maltese Manuscript, a mystery by Joanne Dobson.  It was about book theft on the large scale, the plot climaxed with a visit to a house, room after room and floor to ceiling lined with the treasures scored by the book thief, all preserved appreciatively, and all solely possessed by the thief. An illegal way to handle Reads Together.


I needed to reread The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene) - because the diary was in Swedish.  Keeping a diary can be a way to handle Reads Together. 


Joanne Dobson's Maltese Manuscript featured a mystery writers conference.- "Dead Blondes in Red Dresses: Whiteness Studies in American Crime Fiction" was a panel one afternoon at the Conference.


One could sense a portent in what one read - a mystery novel used Josephine Tey, maybe the only adult mystery series writer I had read, as a character and portrayed the theater of a drama of a mystery play - it set up a place in England, a train station - In C.S. Lewis, the Arthur Ransome books, Enid Blyton, new Harry Potter, all use train stations - but a particular element, a architectural feature - a clock...


I remember this clock feature - perhaps I should have been warned that I did not have time to read detective novels.


Instead, I realized this was just one novel.  One needed to Find Mystery Novels in a Series - and so on to the Simon Shaw books, the Sara Hoskinson books (one of which was set in an historic Swedish community in the Midwest),  The Millenium series. (And the Millenium series reintroduces Sodermalm, in Stockholm, for myself and for many tourists. The Millenium series worked well with Methland, by Nick Reding, a non-fiction discussion of America's heartland and the meth epidemic)


In October Books at Twelve-Ten read The Thirteenth Tale - a mystery.


I had thought mystery novels were as they appear to be - gruesome thrillers that appeal to people as a diversion, laughing at the terrible darkness.

As one reads a mystery novel series information develops - the setting or the characterization of the protagonist or others introduces the reader to new information - in the series of mysteries the category of the information develops the characters as well.  I am twenty-fourth in line at Tacoma Public Library and at Peninsula Library (24th!) to read the current Agatha Raisin mystery, a series by M.C. Beaton.  Both Agatha and her significant other are incompatible, the variations and facets of this truth have progressed through the yearly volumes since 1994. 


Dickinson and the Strategies of Reticence:  the woman writer in nineteenth-century America  Joanne Dobson's volume of criticism presented Dobson with the idea of developing her own series of mystery novels about the way Patriarchal oppression silenced the voices of women.  Joanne Dobson writes her own series of mystery novels.


Then, back to browsing.  As I passed through the 747's I found a book of Cotswold cottage decorations.  Later I located a Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Cotswolds near the 914's that that describe this area.  Already I had xeroxed a map section near this area.  For I had wanted to know more about the part of England where my father was stationed for a year and a half before VE Day in 1945 when he returned from England and was married.


There are sections in these books that share with the reader an every-day United Kingdom knowledge of Norfolk and Norwich, Brighton, Blockley.  But because of my father Cirncester had been a known word for me.  And I had known how to pronounce it.