Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daffodils Beside an Apartment Wall

Mild weather, daffodils beside an apartment wall, leaf buds on trees.  Last Saturday I took the bus to Lacey to a Runeberg Lodge Meeting where I had conversations with two or three people about the accordian player, Arnold Koutenen, a member of the Lodge Choir Tour to Finland in 1930, who was a member of the lodge in Olympia.  I handed out one or two copies of the blog post from Friday, February 15th, about the choir at Gamlakarlaby.  Brought along a grated carrot salad.

Friday, February 22, 2013

To Stay With Relatives For July, 1930

At Spice Drawer Mouse it has been special to post entries from the Runeberg Choir Tour Diary of Linnea Gord.  After the many weeks of concerts in Finland, Linnea Gord, the 19-year-old piano accompanist, her Aunt Marie and three cousins, were on the train to Malax to spend July with relatives.  There were thoughts and mementos.  I am sure that Aunt Marie knew the relatives would enjoy looking through the souvenir booklets Linnea Gord had found.  There was the whole summer ahead.
Favor sculpted from dinner napkins

Retrospective Booklet of Music Group

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Diary of Choir Concert Tour: The Last Concert, June 22, 1930

(Note from Spice Drawer Mouse:  After the train travel and welcomings and performances in Finland, the last concert arrives.)

We were taken to a school house that afternoon to dress. We also left 2724 North Hobo Avenue for good, as we weren't to have our special car any more. We had a great time while dressing--scribbling on the blackboard, laughing, joking, etc. We splashed in cold water, as we couldn't get any hot. I doubt if we were even clean!

Our last concert was at 3 o'clock in the afternoon - outdoors. We had the largest crowd ever, as people had come a long way to hear us and it was the last concert. However, it was so windy and cold that I don't think they could hear us very well. The wind blew our voices the wrong way. It also blew our dresses the wrong way. Mr. Carlson had to hold my music while Blanche sang, and Arvid held it while we sang our American songs.

Concert at Gamlakarlaby
After the concert, we all walked to the school house and changed our clothes. We also had a long business meeting which lasted until nearly eight o'clock. Finally everything was settled and we went out for dinner. After dinner we returned again to the hall, where a band concert was in progress. Later a program and dance was held in the hall. There were a couple of comedians on the program and they surely were funny. To the tune of "How do you do, Andy Gump" they put all our names into a song, singing, "Hur star det till, Mr. Carlson, hur star det till," etc. We laughed until we just about squealed.

After dancing a while, the whole bunch of us went down to the station to see Mr. and Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Lovegreen off. They left for Tornio at 1:15 A.M. Afterwards we walked around the sleeping town and tried to find a place were we could get a cup of coffee. The places were all closed, and after pounding on several doors in vain we gave it up as a bad job and returned to the station and settled ourselves on the hard benches for a long wait until 4 A.M., when our train was to leave. However, we did get our coffee, and Mr. and Mrs. Pura had a hotel room across the street from the station, and they invited us all over there. They also loaned up their beds, and as many of us as could piled on the beds and tried to get a little sleep. It was quite impossible though! Finally four o'clock came and we who were going to Malax climbed into the train, after saying goodbye to those we were leaving behind. Immediately after the train left the station we settled down for a nice long sleep. We changed trains at Seinajoki, but I don't even seem to remember that.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Order of Runeberg Choir Tour Diary by Linnea Gord, Piano Accompanist - Sunday June 22, 1930 - Gamlakarleby


We had quite a surprise upon reaching Gamlakarleby on Sunday morning at 10:30. Not only was the usual large crowd there (and I think that crowd was a little larger than usual) and a chorus, but wonderful to say, there was also a whole band. We marched, instead of walked, out to the hall, with the band playing for us. (Just think! The Runeberg chorus marching through town with a band--with a great many people marching with them and other people watching them from doors, windows, etc.) Finally we reached the hall where the first thing we saw was a great "Valkommen" sign over the gate. During our frukost, the Gamlakarleby choir sang for us. It certainly was a huge choir, and they sang wonderfully.

Gamlakarleby Choir 1930

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras - Made cake with the last of a container of local blackberry honey, the last of a tin of fair trade cocoa, the last of a box of egg replacer, and the last of a bag of powdered sugar.  Only a little brown sugar left.  Might give up some of those categories for Lent, but I was reading that the treats of Mardi Gras are about the last of the fats and sweets before Lent.  So this is a rather realistic Mardi Gras Cake.  Added some cloves so it would resemble the Mardi Gras Cake in the Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Choir Tour of Finland Diary by Piano Accompanist Linnea Gord - June 21, 1930


Today when we arrived at Jacobstad it was raining quite hard, so the sight-seeing trip was postponed until in the afternoon. Instead we walked up through the main street of the town and found a place to eat, and then we went back to the car and wrote letters.

At 2:30 we had frukost at "Privat Villa i Ahlmenhol". Something very amusing and yet very, very embarrassing happened to me while we were eating. The tables we sat at were very narrow, really not enough room for two plates. I was cutting a rather tough piece of meat and my knife slipped and kerflop, upside-down in my lap went my plate. I nonchalantly lifted my napkin by its four corners and put its contents on the table again and said that I wasn't very hungry anyway.

Runeberg's Stuga
After dinner we drove out to Runeberg's "stuga" and sang several songs, took pictures, etc. Then we were taken to a school house where a church choir entertained us with songs while we drank coffee. A soloist rendered "The Star-Spangled Banner" as well as could be expected. It sounded wonderful to us, as it was the first time we had heard that song sung in Finland.

The concert that evening was held at Brandkarshuset. It was a rather small hall and was packed to overflowing. We received a beautiful wreath of pink carnations, ferns and ribbons. It was shaped like a lyre. A funny thing happened when Blanche sang. The piano was right by an open window. (Instead of opening the window, they took the whole window out). U started tge ubtridyctuib if "Jej elsker dej" and the page blew over. I put a book on it to hold it up and then the next page blew over. A man then came and put the window in and he had to stand holding it. After Blanche had sung her first two songs he took the window out again. Blanche had to sing an encore, and then the man got regusted and instead of putting the window back again he held my music.

Jakobstad Ribbon from the Wreath
After the concert we walked a long-long way to the "Segel Pavilion". We sang songs on the way and had a good time. About half way to the pavilion we stopped at a dance hall. There had been a great overflow crowd from our concert and we sang a few songs for them at this place. (Imagine! Hundreds of people who couldn't get in the hall who stopped at this place just to hear us sing). We had a banquet at the pavilion when we got there. This is a beautiful place right by athe Botniska Viken. The sun was just going down and the sky was all red, and was reflected in the water. It certainly made a beautiful picture! Of all the smorgabords we'd had on our trip, this certainly beat them all. The tables fairly groaned with all the good things to eat. Big roasts of all kinds, whole baked fishes, large cheeses, all kinds of salads, breads, vegetables, and facy piles of butter. I think we counted around 37 different kinds of meats and fish. After the banquet we went out for a while. The choir from Jacobstad sang and the mosquitos bit like fury. Then there was dancing, which was fun. We walked all the long way back through the woods to town and to our car. It certainly was a long way to go, but we enjoyed every minute of it. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Runeberg Choir Tour to Finland, 1930, Diary of Linnea Gord, Piano Accompanist, June 20, 1930

After the concert we had our picture taken


Mr. Carlson gave strict orders that nobody was to make an appearance or make any noise until 10 o'clock, A.M. The train drew in at Jeppo station at 9:30 and a large crowd was assembled to meet us, and here we were--still in bed. We jeered at Mr. Carlson, of course, while we dressed, and in not-such-a-very-long-time we were all out greeting the crowd and the sunshine.

They walked us to a hall for breakfast, and then they gave us a few hours to do just what we pleased. We wrote postcards, walked and talked. We went down to the store to see if we could get hold of a newspaper, but none was to be had. At about noon two big busses stopped for us and we were soon on the road to Nykarleby. The day was beautiful and we could have had a nice ride had it not been for a half-intoxicated man in our bus who was quite a pest. We got rid of him before we went back, however. When we came to Nykärleby we went to the church, where a short service was held. They had two organs in this church, a new one and a very old one. The big organ is an electric one, very beautifully toned, while the small organ was one that was heaven knows how old--quite an antique.

We walked through the town and out to Topelius' birth place. On the way out there, we passed a car which had a sign on the back which read "South Tacoma, Washington to Finland". Wasn't it nice to see a car from so far away, especially when we knew the people. They were Gustafson's from South Tacoma. They had driven across the United States, taken the same boat as our crowd--with the car on board and had driven from Oslo to Nykarleby, where we met them. They were now on their way to Malax.

We had a beautiful half hour at Topelius' birth place. We had coffee and cake under the trees by the summer house where Topelius played when he was a child. We were taken back to Jeppo in the busses, and we stopped at a monument about half way between the two towns and sang a song. After we returned to Jeppo we had dinner in a home near the hall--a big dinner.

Our concert that evening was held out of doors. It was a pretty evening, altho rather cold. After the concert we had our picture taken, and then went to the hall for refreshments and dancing. Olga and I went home early, as we were tired. I finished a letter at 12 o'clock midnight--without a light except the daylight coming in through the window! At the concert that evening we met Gust Gustafson's brother and sister. They had come from Orawais to hear us sing.