Sunday, May 17, 2009
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UPDATE -- Syttende Mai: Norwegian Constitution Day
Although I am not Norwegian (I did marry one!), I was raised in a Norwegian-Lutheran community, so I have heard those hard to pronounce words since I was a youngster.
What is Syttende Mai? It means "the Seventeenth of May," when in 1814 Norway claimed its independence from Sweden and Denmark and established its own Constitution. It is Norway's Independence Day, as the 4th of July is to Americans.
When the Norwegians came to America, they brought along the tradition and still observe it today. Many Syttende Mai celebrations are held in Minnesota, since that is the most Norwegian of all the 50 states.
It is celebrated with various events ... parades with hundreds of Norwegian flags. It is a day to demonstrate Norwegian arts and crafts, such as rosemaling, woodcarvings and embroideries. Musical programs consist of choirs, folk singers, fiddlers and accordianists.
Participants wear their traditional costumes, the women wearing bunads (long skirts). They were usually made of dark wool, trimmed with excessive embroidery in red and bright colors, worn with a white, lacy satin blouse under a matching vest. A søljer (large brooch) made of silver or pewter was always worn as part of the costume.
Food is always a major part of the observances, ranging from luncheons to large banquets, and always including the traditional Norwegian delicacies.
Syttende Mai observances have done much to preserve that heritage for the younger generations. Even though not Norwegian, anyone can attend the celebrations.
UPDATE -- World War II vehicle exhibition
Near Oosterhout is a small village named Den Hout (+/- 800 residents), my place of birth. In that village there was a three days sort of exhibition of old World War II vehicles (mostly USA and Great Britain made). Also, there was given permission for 10 old planes to fly. Some planes were 50 to 70 years old.
FAMILY UPDATE -- introducing Michael & Sheila McCalla
My name is Sheila McCalla (my maiden name was Voss). I married Michael McCalla on April 27, 1985, in Willmar, Minnesota. We currently live in Encinitas, California, which is 30 miles north of San Diego. We have lived in Southern California since November 1985.
We have one daughter who is 8 years old and her name is Mika (Meeka) Katherine McCalla. She was born on October 27, 2000. She is currently attending Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach, California, where she is finishing up second grade. We have two Cocker Spaniels. Pebbles is 14 years old and Lady is 5 years old.
Mike and I own a custom cabinet company, McCalla's Fine Furniture, which we started in January 1994.
The Matriarch Speaks W
Meeting The McCalla Family
My sister, Gert Dake Pettit, has been busy interviewing our cousin Gilbert's family of his second marriage. There are four boys born to Marlys and Gilbert. I believe the siblings from oldest to youngest are Pat, Kelly, Mike, and Kit.
The picture of Gilbert and Marlys's wedding needs a date, but I am sorry I do not know it ... nor do I know the birthdates of their four sons. But I do remember meeting all of them at their farm up north when Kit was no older than 4.
The following introduction to the second son, Michael, officially introduced by Mike's wife, Sheila, above, was sent to Gert by Kelly:
Mike is in a suburb of San Diego where he builds cabinets for very upscale homes (McCalla's Fine Furniture). I know he has done work for numerous professional football and baseball players, for example. He is married to Sheila and has one daughter (Mika) who is quite good at Judo, he tells me.
Gert found an early picture of his family in her pictures. We were hoping for a more recent picture, but will run it when we do find it.
Gert also found another more recent picture of Gilbert's oldest son, Pat. It was taken last summer when he stopped by the Pettits' for a visit and updates the original photo in Bulletin 358.
Who Is This?
Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
How many can you identify? What's going on?
Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.
The guess picture is fun today as, of course, we get the oldsters right away. No other than a proud great grandma and a proud great grandpa, namely Don and Dorothy Anderson. As for the sweet little precious baby, we call her Abby Henderson.
Mavis Anderson Morgan
I believe I recognize the handsome couple and the cute little baby in this week's guessing game, so I would like to submit my guess. I am sure I recognize you (the Matriarch) and Grandpa Don. And based on pictures in past Bulletins, I think that's Dan and Gina's daughter, Abigail, perched on your lap. If my guess is right, I'd say she is growing up fast -- at this rate when I see her at the next family get-together she'll probably be walking and talking, if not riding a bike!
Editor's comment: Weston, I hope it won't be that long until our next get-together. :-)
So, the GUESS picture is not quite so difficult this week. Don, and Dorothy -- and little Abby, right?
Betty Weiland Droel
A series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow about Lois and Bill Dake. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
Teaching School Again
Stockholm Elementary School
Louella Smith and I have been making summer plans! It may take a little fine tuning, but I do believe it is going to work just fine. I am not sure I am choosing the most sensible course, but for this next choice I am going to do what appeals to me and leave sensible to be determined later. First there is the school year to finish here. And I am glad there is still time until spring so I can get my school work attended to.
I do not want to miss the fun of what is happening now by planning too far in the future. Just this last week, we have had a very fun, important celebration. Carol is now one year old. Lois and Bill entertained all of us for Carol Elaine's very first birthday. We celebrated it on Sunday afternoon and evening of December 7th. (Carol was too young to know the difference.)
Lois's parents and her sister were here for the crowning of the princess (well, not literally). Lots of good things to eat, some board games for the aunts and uncles to play, and then picture taking of the whole lovely event. Yes, my brother and his wife managed to fit us all into their little home ... and we had a great evening.
After all the pictures were taken and the birthday cake gobbled down (well, Carol pretty well took care of hers in a dainty manner ... better than some of the guys!), I cornered Burah and Coy to get the news about my Texas friends. It certainly seems a long time since that spring of 1946 until this winter of 1947. They were pleased to hear that Blanche and I are doing so well at our school. After I got the latest Texas news, someone commented about what a lot of things have changed in that short time. It is true. Time does fly.
However, I think that right now I am going to tell you a little story that I just told Burah and Coy. They enjoyed the reminder that what can make a year hard for a teacher might be said to be problem children -- at first glance -- but probably can more truthfully said to be problems that children have. There are children (actually, lots of them) who love to go to school, who do well, and though they probably have learned not to say so, like their teacher very well! But, sad to say, too often there is a child who does not want to be here -- but must.
Loren B. got off to a bad start. He started the first day of school calling me "Mistake." Pretty cute, really, if there had not been a sort of half sneer in delivery. I ignored the obvious attempt to get a rise out of me. I wondered just what there was about me that he so obviously disliked. Whatever it was, he was determined to make me pay!
At noon, later in that first week, I noticed that three of my "big" 7th grade girls had the two rather diminutive 7th grade boys cornered against the school. They were obviously giving the boys a hard time. I rang the bell, as it was school time, and nothing more was ever said. Strange to say, I was always Miss Dake -- very plain and understandable -- from that day on. (I wonder if any of the five knew that I had any awareness of how it came about that respect for the teacher improved over that recess.)
Before very long, I found out what I expect is so very true in many cases. Loren did not dislike me, he did not dislike our school, he did not even dislike the 7th grade girls (though he had proper respect for their ability to make life miserable for him, if they chose!).
What he hated was losing his old friends and the fun they used to get out of making life miserable for the teachers back in Cokato. He did not do well in school so it was easier to "have fun" than to "buckle down." His father, who was part owner of one of the corn canning factories in Cokato, had plans for him to get into a good college. He decided that separating him from that group of kids might help him pick up scholastically. I am not sure how much good his year with us will do but his dad seems pleased. So, with the help of my "big girls," I believe we will get him through the year successfully.
I think if I ever meet him again, after our school year is done, he will call me Miss Dake, loud and clear (that is, if I still have that name)!
Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.
This was some time in the early thirties. Every year it was necessary to gravel the road. They put some gravel on the road, as well as giving everybody a few days' work. It spread the work out. Each one got maybe eight days of work and then the next one would get eight days, so it was pretty good. The county did this so everybody had a little income.
My Uncle Homer Helm lived right there on the bank of the river about five miles west of our place, just across the Bigfork River. He was married to my mother's sister [Nora Guthrie Helm]. You cross the river and go a quarter of a mile, turn south and go kind of parallel to the river a little ways and not even half a mile there was what they called the Muldoon Rapids. It was a rough rapids.
In the early days, they floated the logs down the Bigfork River, as well as other rivers, clear into the Rainey Lake, and then floated them down to International Falls and Fort Francis. There was a gravel pit on the bank of that river back just a little ways. It was a good gravel pit. They shoveled gravel by hand in those days into little old ton and a half Ford and Chevrolet dump trucks with homemade boxes on them.
These trucks were some of the first ones that came out. There would be four or five guys shoveling gravel into the gravel boxes. I was just young then, but I remember he said they had just loaded up a load and pulled away and they were waiting for another truck.
They were sitting there and one guy was picking rocks and just kind of throwing them at another rock. He picked up a rock and held it in his hand a little bit and looked at it a little and said, "Hey, this looks like a kneecap." He got to looking at it and of course everybody kind of perked up a little bit and got to scratching around there.
Here were two skeletons, of men, I suppose. He said they were men. They had been buried just a few feet below the surface. The bank was kind of deep. He didn't say, but they were under the surface a little, maybe two or three feet. That's all the deeper it was. They were buried in a sitting position, almost like you'd sit down with your hands around your knees. That's the way they were found. There were two of them there.
They called the proper people and they came and got the bones. They thought they were white men, that's what the word was afterwards, but they had probably died or were killed on the river during the log drive, because those big rapids in high water were pretty wicked. The logs would sometimes jam up and they'd have to break those jams loose. It was very dangerous work. So that's what they figured happened.
That's what that story was. Nobody knew who they were. Those fellows were probably just lumberjacks. They probably never had a relative in this country. They probably came from the old country. There was nothing else to do with them. There were no roads then to speak of, just the old tote roads, so that was the easiest thing to do, just chuck them in the ground. It was easy to bury them that way instead of laying them flat. It was easy digging in that gravel. I suppose they dug a big hole and chucked them in there and covered them up. That's all there was to it.
That was something to talk about for a while. My dad told that story a hundred times, finding this kneecap, looking at the bones. It could have been Indians. I don't think they arrived at that conclusion for any special reason. They just thought it was somebody that died when they were doing the log drive in the spring.
Back on the mainland, I made my way South down Mozambique's Indian Ocean coast over the course of a pair of days to reach Ilha de Moçambique. Like Ibo, Ilha de Moçambique is situated in the Indian Ocean and was long ago an important trading center for merchants from Asia, Africa, and Europe. As the former capital of Portuguese East Africa for four centuries, it also has great historical and cultural significance and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ilha de Moçambique is an enchanting place with an atmosphere similar to what I experienced on Ibo, but on a much busier scale. The island is physically quite small but is much easier to reach, thanks to a two-mile long concrete bridge and its location close to the mainland coast. So in contrast to Ibo's quiet remoteness, Ilha de Moçambique was positively bustling. But the decaying colonial architecture and sense of history were quite similar.
I made my first stop the Palacio Govierno, the old Governer's Palace, which has been restored and converted into a museum. Later I wandered over to the port, where fisherman had strung out their colorful nets and were hard at work mending them. Women also congregated here, selling assorted produce at an outdoor market. As on Ibo, I passed most of my time wandering around town, admiring the architecture and people watching.
And there was plenty of activity to watch! The island is only a few blocks wide and a mile long, but home to around 16,000 people. As you might imagine, there is no space for large houses and fenced backyards. Here, as in all urban areas of developing countries I've visited, people sleep and cook in tiny family homes but largely live their lives in public places. Parks, plazas, streets, and beaches are where most people socialize, play, and even work.
After traveling and returning home to the United States, I always find the degree of privacy and isolation in our lives here to be quite striking. Houston is home to four million individuals, but very few of them are in public, social spaces at any given moment. We pass most of our time in our artificial private environments, moving from condo to car to cubicle to car to condo. I mean for this to be merely an observation, not a judgment...
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
More May Birthdays
May Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Thank you so much for the anniversary card. It is beautiful!
Chris and Jessy Chap
I can hardly wait to tell you about our Mother's Day here at the Droels'.
Our two great nieces, Shalana and Krista Weiland, are so used to helping and working along with their mother and dad, on whatever projects are at hand, that I asked them a big favor.
They were planning to come for dinner today (Mother's Day) and wanted to bring everything with them, which sounded so exciting and truly a treat, even though Marci is their mother and we are just the great uncle and great aunt.
So, I wondered if Shalana and Krista would make the dinner for us all. It didn't matter how or what, just that they would do it themselves. So they did. Here is a picture to prove it. Krista (on the right) created her own hairdo.
We also had fresh, crisp Kentucky Fried chicken and a triple chocolate pie that was indescribable.
It couldn't have been nicer in any way, and we had a most wonderful Mother's Day.
Roy and Betty Droel
P.S. Son Rodger and wife gave us a lovely orchid plant that graced our dinner table.
Keep Us Posted!
Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Son Rodger came to help Roy with some electrical project in the garage. That gives me a perfect opportunity to take The Bulletin in hand and try to tell the dedicated Editor and Photo Editor what a memorable issue the Mother's Day Bulletin was. Thank you for the consistent effort to always make it varied and include just enough to not be tiresome or repetitious, page after page, week after week.
I was so impressed at that beautiful first picture with the gentle colors so suitable for mothers and the title color to match the same soft lilac, violet and pink. So typical of Bitzi in her design mood. Are those morning glories? Oh, so beautiful.
Sounds like Frans and Marloes both got a long awaited joy in the car and plane trips. I hadn't heard a word about the royal family being threatened. That was not good news. I am so glad for the photo of Marloes in her happiness in the plane.
It is exciting to have updates from some we haven't heard from for months, like the Husebys. Those children are growing up, and people will get tired of me saying that I knew their mother when she was their age. I guess that is why it was so special to see that update of Ashley and Erik. Looks like someone has quite a lawn to mow. Lots of trees for the leaves to fall, too.
The cake even had s'mores on it. That took some creative ability, and how fun for a Cub Scout to have a cake like that just for him.
I thought it was unusual that the violet blossoms were the same coloring as the first picture. Also, the bottles on the sink matches, too.
We were very interested in the Family Update by Kit McCalla, too, with the family pictures. Orthopedic Surgery in Phoenix. Hmmm, my sister had a surgery there, and I will have to ask her what doctor she had for it. Nice to get acquainted with another member of The Bulletin relation.
That violet plant really came alive and to have so many blossoms is to be coveted. Roy's Edith had African violet plants as a hobby but now, after 16 years, we don't even have one left alive. I heard it takes a personal touch and conversation with them to get them to thrive. I remember Lenore Miller Pfingsten had a porch with many, many plants in it, and she always talked to them as she watered them. She claimed they needed that, and her plants were exceptional.
So, Miss Kitty, I don't know if they can understand "meow" or not.
What a darling little dog: Tiko. Seems they had another dog, and I wonder if they still have it and how that works with the two of them.
Donna Mae, that was a lovely poem you had dedicated to all The Bulletin mothers and grandmothers. We have only one mother, and it is nice there is a day set aside to lovingly acknowledge them.
I just marvel that Dorothy can remember so many details, even to the little pillbox hat we all had at one time. Very nostalgic to look at that picture of the two teachers in 1947, and think of all that has taken place in their lives since that time. Good thing we can take it a day at a time. I was especially impressed with the gentleman that visited the schoolroom leaving a note for Dorothy to relax, she was doing just fine. He could likely tell how anxious she was. I am sure it was all very much in order like she still does everything.
It was touching thinking of the hungry people there were in those depression years that Bruce was telling us about, and how they would do anything to make a few pennies. We have it very good, but one wonders just what is ahead of us?
Thanks, Kjirsten, for sharing the photos and story about your unusual and adventure filled trip with us. I think the final sunset picture was so unusual, and unbroken by any landscape on the ground.
I am sure we would have been very nervous, too, with that short runway heading right into the water.
What a joke about the Jell-O that was the April Fools joke! I never would have ever thought of that. It would look just like liquid, ha.
Now, THAT was a Mother's Day picture to be very proud of -- that good looking, well dressed gentleman telling Mommy he "luv'd" her. So cute.
The Quotation for the day made me think over of all the precious things and suggestions and advice and teachings we had gotten from our grandmothers, aunts, and mothers. Endless! And much of what we are now, today, is a result of directing us by example.
Spring. We planted some lovely geraniums today. Rodger brought a beautiful white orchid plant loaded with blossoms for Mother's Day. I feel so thankful Roy's family is so kind and accepting and good to me.
Thanks again to our Bulletin staff for #360.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. --Jill Churchill
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This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.