60 Years Ago Today

Saturday, 30 August 1952:

By the time I got there everybody was gone except Stig, my relative. I jumped in the tub real fast and got dressed while Stig had breakfast all fixed for me. He had poured coffee and then brought me milk. We had a smorgasbord with cake, eggs, and fish. I tried to explain that I should try to be back by 8 or 9 that evening and we headed for the station. Stig wheeled his bicycle along. I had time to take a picture of Stig in front of the Park before the train left. He got a pass to come in and see me off. I caught the 8:15 and got to Malvins at about 8:30.

The sun was shining beautifully so I took several pictures of the station and canal before going over to the hotel. There I picked up the post cards I should have gotten the night before and reported to the kids on how I had fared. They said the hotel was one of the best we had ever stayed at. Then we were off to the station again. Here we found a slight bottleneck, which grew into a bigger one. It seemed this was one of the times American Express fouled up. Anyway after while we found we had until 11:30 a.m. to shop. First off I found a bookstore and that just about shot the morning for me. I took some more pictures of the square and then headed back to the station.

At 11:50 we were finally on our bus tour of southern Sweden. They drive on wrong side of the road here just like in England. We passed the airport, sugar beet fields, grain being harvested, fields of cabbages and a brick factory.

First stop was Torup Castle. Eric von Filz, an Austrian, owns the castle and all surrounding land. It was built in the 16th century and is surrounded by forest. Next was Skabersjö Church which was originally built of stone in the 14th century, then rebuilt in 1774. We also stopped at Tunnger Church. The town of Svedola had 12,400 inhabitants. There were beautiful green rolling hills and newly planted trees along with winding tree lined roads. We saw Birringlerkloste with its second floor built in 1875.

We learned about the Rutger Macklean at his monument. Macklean died in 1816. He was famous for changing the way farming was done in Sweden from the feudal system with small allotments of land to large scale farms. Not everyone was happy about these changes as it forced farmers to live on farms instead of in villages. Macklean was the Baron of Svaneholm Castle built 1518 and is now a museum.

We ate our lunch in the castle and then took the tour. I thought the armory was very interesting. There were long pipes, a library and a weird clock. It seemed rather simple and barren compared to other places we have visited.

In the attic was a big chest filled with weapons and tools. The bedrooms had wooden box beds with straw ticks and examples of the kinds of clothes they used to wear. We found some old fashioned bicycles that Dr. Watkins had the urge to ride. They once had lots of horses here and were famous for their breeding. Until 5 years ago the countess had a private apartment of three rooms here.

Next up was the town of Brodda. There was a ye olde swimming hole and houses built up on stilts that made me think of Venice. It seems that once these were typical Swedish houses.
At Skoneback we reached highest point of our tour. I picked heather and took pictures of a planted forest and a little cottage. There were Swedish windmills and a white church with a round tower, and a graveyard. We saw a stork living on roof of house by big red and white barn. This might be the only place where storks live on a roof. There was an old church near Sovdeborg Castle which was built 1597 and then rebuilt in 1894. There was a collection of art inside.

As we drove along we saw piles of wood on the hillside and combines and tractors in the fields. We came to a train crossing with red and yellow polls and waited for little engine. It went back and forth before it finally moved on. There was a forest that reminded me of the Black Forest and beautiful fields of little yellow flowers.

Sjobo had town halls along with tree lined main street and a grey and red church surrounded by a graveyard. The houses and barns were built to form a square. Hay in long squares were piled in fields. We also saw shocks of flax stacked in rows. We came across an old castle that had been turned into children’s home.

Oveds kyrka was an old monastery with a beautiful old fashioned garden. The lawns were velvet with lots of flowers. The apples and pears were pruned so they grew low to the ground. We saw a Baron in the Garden with black hat. Near by we came across fields of oil flax for producing margarine. Next was Lake Vambsjon and the village of Vomb. In the Church we saw rugs woven by famous Swedish artist. There were phrases woven into some of the rugs in church. I wandered around the cemetery and looked at grave stones and wondered if some might be my relatives.

There was a little shop where Mrs Hansen bought wooden shoes. A young blond girl spoke English. We drove by a reservoir, an open mine and big fields of clover.

In the village of Dalby. there was an inn, a church and a courthouse all on the same corner. We stopped at a national park called Dalby Hagar. It was a really big forest. Nearby we found the Burlov Church from the 12th century. Most of the orginal building was still there. They are building a big road from Lund to Malvins Arlov’s church. We saw a sugar factory and then a boat crew working out as we came back into Malmo.

We picked up our open-faced sandwiches across the street and dashed upstairs to the Hotel Tunnelou to clean up in a hurry. Then we met Bro. Wilcox downstairs at 6:45 and walked down to the square near the park and caught No. 4 Car. We left the car in the residential district and walked several blocks to the Chapel. We really got cussed out in Danish for walking in bike lane. At least that’s what Elder Wilcox indicated was bothering the lady who stopped and muttered with a nasty expression.

We were greeted by the missionaries and members all decked in cute paper hats. One of the missionaries asked me if I knew Bro. and Sis. Carl Johnson and when I said “Yes,” he surprised me with the news that they were there. I was so excited to see someone from home. We looked for them midst the crowd assembled on the lawn. Then he went inside and found them. It was certainly wonderful to see them. Next to seeing my own Mom and Dad, I know I couldn’t have been more thrilled than to see Bro. and Sis. Johnson. Sis. Johnson had received Mom’s birthday card and note a short time before and they had come down to Helsingborg to see us. They had arrived in the morning to find that we had gone on our bus tour of South Sweden.

I had contemplated not going to the party because my relatives expected me back soon and I probably wouldn’t be able to make it as soon as I had told them. Now I know why I had a strong urge to come to the party. I talked with the Johnsons about home and our trip and their missionary experiences. They have a big job in Helsingborg but I know they are giving it everything. I gathered from our conversation that the majority of people in Sweden are fairly well off economically and very indifferent about religion. Also they are extremely prone to gossip and make short work of a person’s reputation once they get started. I daresay this is not unique with the Swedish people, however. As Carmen said, the same thing about the people in Lucerne, Switzerland and we do the same thing in American small communities.

We met many wonderful members and visitors there. We had fun games and musical numbers outside, then we went inside for ice cream made by the missionaries. There were also cakes of all different varieties. The hall was very uniquely decorated, a dance floor, and an adjoining room with little tables loaded with refreshments.

It was high time for me to be off. Being already too late to catch the 8:45 train. After many goodbyes and thanks we were off. Dr. Watkins and several of our group left also. We changed trolleys and transferred to one that took me right to the station. The next train to Lund was at 10:30 and Johnson’s was a little after 11. So we had a little longer to visit. At the last possible moment we said “Goodbye” with the promise that I should try to come to Helsingborg Sunday night for church if possible and I dashed off for the train. A Swedish soldier dressed in grey sat across from me and made sure I got off at the right station.

The street was dark and deserted but as I neared the apartment building where my aunt and uncle live a figure approached me. My cousin Stig had been out looking for me. A little farther on we met Uncle Albin. It seemed the door to the apartment building is locked at 10 o’clock. They were worried about me. I had promised to be back at 9 and there it was almost 11. I tried to apologize and explain to them. Bro Johnson had told me a few words to say which helped out. I said “good night” to Uncle Albin and Aunt Caroline and Stig gave me a guide book of Lund with both Swedish and English descriptions. We sat and looked it over for a while and then turned in also. I took my bobby pins and comb to bed with me to put up my hair before going to sleep.