Europe 1952 – Cover

I hope that you have enjoyed this journey through Europe. I think I will miss these daily posts about my mother travels 60 years ago. For the next few weeks I’ll post on Tuesdays some of the “how to” of putting this book together. Today I’ll start with the cover.

Europe 1952 Front Cover

I wanted this cover to look like a small suitcase that I remember growing up, that my mom used on this trip. It was brown with an alligator texture and it had stickers from different places in Europe all over it. I originally thought I’d take a picture of the suitcase. But getting access to it wasn’t very convenient and when I found that my mom had extra stickers from her trip I decided that replicating it would probably get better results.

Crocodile Texture

The first step was to find an image of an alligator texture. I ended up with a crocodile texture instead that I found at Lee Dyeing Company. It was perfect. They had an alligator texture too but the crocodile was more like the original suitcase.

original scan on left – converted to png on right

The next step was to scan in all the stickers. Then I erased the background and converted them to png files so that the background was transparent. I did this in Photoshop.

Now with the parts and pieces I needed gathered together it was time to make the cover. I used blurb’s template for Adobe InDesign to get the size right for my book. They now have a handy plug-in for InDesign instead of template. It takes into account not only the size of the book and the number of pages but also the type of paper it is printed on. When making the cover it is just one page that includes the front, spine and back cover along with the bleeds for wrapping the cover. The template shows you were these things are on the page. I love the image wrapped cover the blurb offers. I’ve tried the paper back and it looks good but it just isn’t very durable. They also offer a dust jacket option but I’ve never been tempted to try it.

cover with crocodile texture

I placed the crocodile texture first. It was large image but not long enough for this cover so I copied and flipped the image horizontally. Then placed another copy next to that to give me enough image to cover the page horizontally. I copied all three of those and flipped them vertically to finish covering the page. Otherwise I’d risk too low of  resolution and ending up with a poor quality image.

crocodile texture with brown overlay

Now I had my texture but not the desired color. So on another layer I made a box large enough to cover the entire cover and filled it with brown. I used Pantone 7519 PC. Then I changed the transparency in the effects pallet to multiply. That made it so the crocodile texture came through. I was getting rather excited at this stage because how much it was looking like my mother’s suitcase.

cover with stickers added

Next I was ready to place the stickers. This took some trial and error to get a good balance in color and shape. I also kept in mind where I would be putting the text on the front, spine and back. As you can see I used some of the stickers more than once. But since they are on the front and the back I doubt that anyone has noticed on the finished book.

small drop shadow added to the stickers

To add just a bit of depth to the stickers the next step was a drop shadow. I’m not sure that you can see it here. Instead of the default 7 pt. drop shadow these are just 1 pt. in offset on both the x and y axis.

cover with text

The next step was to add the text. The cream color and font (Warnick Pro) are consistent with what I used for the inside of the book. At this point I realized that the cover was too busy. The drop shadow on the text helped make it more readable but it wasn’t enough. So I added a box around the title text on the front and changed the main title to red. I also put a stroke on the box, inspired by several of the stickers. Along with a larger drop shadow.

cover with box around title

This was a big improvement and I thought I was done. But when it came back to it later I decided it was still too busy. How could I fix it? I was not willing to give up on the concept of replicating my mother’s suitcase but I was not happy with all between the stickers and the title both front and back. So I decided to tone down the stickers. I took a black box large enough to fill the cover. I placed it under the text but over the stickers. Then after experimenting the transparencies I figured out that at 36% and using the darken effect I got the stickers toned down so they didn’t compete with the title. Yeah! The design now worked.

finished cover

Next week I’ll go over how I designed the layout for the inside of the book and using master pages in InDesign. What fun covers have you seen or designed yourself? I’d love to hear about them.

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60 Years Ago Today (and more)

4 to 12 September 1952:

And so to America. One day, in a boat, kind of ran into another. We couldn’t seem to find too much in common with the characters on the boat. Perhaps it was our fault, not theirs. But they seemed to spend the majority of their time smoking, drinking and playing cards. I did have a few interesting conversations and enjoyed the lectures I attended and symphony music in the nursery and the plays and the picture shows. About the fourth day out, the vibrations or jiggles as we called it found some reason for stopping. It was a most welcome relief. The galloping I could put up with but the jiggles interfered with everything and were fast ruining my last vestiges of sight. We had a Dutch waiter who talked and looked like he is from Brooklyn.

Saturday, 13 September:

Finally after almost ten days the boat docked on solid ground. It felt so good to be back in the good old US. What an amazing trip! I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to see so many things.

Impressions of Scandinavian Countries Given in Final Report on European Tour

Editor’s Note:
The following are Mrs. George H. Hansen’s impressions of Denmark and Sweden, the last countries on their tour of Europe. Mrs. Hansen and other members of the party arrived home Monday morning. This is the 20th and final installment of Mrs. Hansen’s interesting and highly descriptive reports from abroad.

“Three kingdoms are welded together in unity and cooperation to form the charm of Scandinavia,” so said our guide book. But I heard a Dane say, “Oh those stupid Swedes.” And I heard a Swede say, “Oh, those stubborn Danes.” So even in the world’s most homogeneous group, there is likely a healthy competition and rivalry.

All three countries, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, boast of a democratic monarchy, cooperative enterprises and even distribution of the good things in life and social laws which are fair in conception and administration.

Because of a time limit, we had a taste of the hospitable friendliness of only Denmark and Sweden, where the sand and sea seem to be their only natural resources. The Folk Schools play a great part in the development and maturity of the people.

Seeing the cleanliness and orderliness of city and country, of shape and homes, we almost felt that the people live to be clean. With their passion for cleanliness comes also a deep spirituality and a pride in their Royal family.

Freed of Royalty
In Copenhagen, before going to the opening performance of their opera season, our hotel manager pridefully said to us, “You don’t have a King and Queen in America.” Aside from seeing and hearing Carmen sung in Danish we had the pleasure of seeing a King and Queen for the first time. The audience rose to their feet as King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid came to view in the Royal box, on the top of which was a huge gold colored crown. With a gentle smile and a bow they seated themselves and the performance began.

The king and queen are young and have three young daughter, which may necessitate the changing of laws, in order that one of them may someday rule, in leu of no prince in the Royal family.

Castles and estates in Scandinavia have a hominess and rustic beauty, most appropriate to the country. With white-washed walls and red tile roofs they are cosily nestled near lakes or surrounded by moats which reflect their color and charm.

Peaceful Country
At Svendborg Castle in Sweden, walking leisurely beside the clear water, over a wooden foot bridge, along a winding path, we heard the singing of birds in the trees, and saw a tiny frog leaping through the grass. It rested near a healthy patch of red clover, from which grew a proverbial spot of good luck, a four-leaf clover. Amid such peaceful beauty in such a lovely country, what better luck could I have than just being there, I pondered, as I put the leaf in my book.

The next day, alone on my way home, to the hotel, from Sunday School, I decided to go into a certain milk bar to eat lunch. Just inside, to my great surprise was Attache and Mrs. Oliver Peterson (Mrs. Ester Eggertson Peterson). They had come about 400 miles from Stockholm to be in that milk bar in Malmo when I walked in. Malmo is about the size of Salt Lake City. It was just one of those super magic situations which thrilled all three of us. It must have been the luck of that four-leaf clover. Of course the main reason for them being there was for Attache Peterson to talk at a meeting of the Swedish American Society. Would that I could have accepted their generous invitation to go home with them and partake further of their Swedish hospitality which is so enticing.

Quiet Moment
Going early to church one summer evening in the far north country offered another opportunity of quiet restfulness, on the green along the shore of the Baltic Sea. Sitting to watch a young boy toss sticks for his dog to catch, as the crimson sun slid slowly through the clouds, behind the ships which were so noiselessly sailing to and fro over the receding reflections in the water, what a most happy moment at the end of a long summer’s journey. The scene was worthy of the miles traveled.

The next day began a 19 hour journey over sea and rail to reach Rotterdam, and from there to America.

On the Groote Beer we counted the rolling and pitching days until we were home. These days were full of the usual interest on a student ship. Students and professors, cooperate in a program of education and entertainment. Stage shows, musical concerts, athletic contests and discussion forums, kept us well occupied. Professors from England, Netherlands, France, Canada and the U.S. have led in discussions on politics, history, philosophy, education and language, from a world-wide point of view.

Comments were most interesting from one group of students who had spent seven days in Yugoslavia.

The student travel project, begun in Holland and participated in by students from the world over, cannot help but result in a clearer understanding of our world neighbors, and a broader point of view for everyone concerned. The chief requisite for such an experience is an open mind.
It is interesting to note that a threat of removal of this opportunity hung over the students from South Africa, because it appeared that they were discriminating against students with dark skin. The few colored students on the Groote Beer seemed to be of the highest type.

A storm at sea was a new development. In order to avoid the center of the hurricane, we were off the regular course and on the way to Newfoundland. However, we arrived safely and believe me it is an experience we will long remember.

Things Remembered:

  • The Gothic Cathedral in Rouen
  • Notre Dame
  • St. Chappelle
  • Strausborg
  • Paris and Lyon from distance
  • Frenchmen staring at our pedal pushers
  • Andre came to our aide with baggage
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • 12 Avenue radiating from Tomb of Unknown Soldier
  • Sacre Coeur’s Byzantine architecture
  • The Latin quarter of Paris
  • Sorbonne – all the universities in Europe are modeled after Sorbonne
  • Rhone Valley to Lyon, one of most beautiful drives
  • Andre complained cause we took long pretty route and many of us slept
  • The large aqueduct – Avignon pont du guard
  • Roman monuments in this particular area so well constructed that they withstood many invasions
  • Vienne Early Home of Christianity – Cathedral St. Maurice
  • Temples of Olivia and Augustine
  • Ruins of Old Roman Forum with automatic washing machine across the Street
  • Triumphal Arch
  • Roman Theatre
  • Avignon Papal Palace Cathedral

Birchermussli

Raw (old fashioned) oatmeal
All kinds of fruit (no peel) which has been ground
Yogurt
Brown Sugar
Add brown sugar to yogurt. Mix everything together thoroughly.

60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 3 September 1952;

Our last day on this continent! It was a delicious, typically Dutch breakfast. We met up with Pat, Betty and Dot again for the rest of the journey. Went shopping to check on earrings, no soap. Then I ran from store to store trying to make some last minute purchases and checked American Express for mail. I used dollars to make my purchases, I suggested that the exchange was 3.25 as a joke. Ended up back to first store to get salt and pepper and mustard Sets. It rained till it was time to go and I wasn’t packed. I could’t get everything in, so I took a skirt out. I ended up with books, skirt, new purchases and Margo’s Dresden in one arm. We took a taxi to the pier.

We left Rotterdam, the city without a heart. There were lines and more lines. This I could not bear. After visiting 5 or 6 tables I learned that my room had been changed to 136. No bag in room 136. Was I in the right place? A helpful porter sorted it out for me, and everything was under control. It was a very cute room for 5, LO, Betty, Carol, Margaret and me. Much cozier and more modern and lighter than the Sibajak.

We found the dining room. It was filled and it was too late to eat. Shucks! Just because our line was longer. We scavenged a little bread and an apple. A purser gave me a clue about postman in smoking lounge. I sent an air-letter to Mom and Dean Woodruff. There was a serpentine band singing. So this was sailing on a student boat, very different than the Sibajak. Millions of students, too, in all shapes and sizes and lots of characters. It started to rain. We found out there were sandwiches and coffee for those who missed dinner. Well we got sandwiches anyway.

In the cabin I got all my trash in one place and hung up my clothes. Yeah, no packing for 9 whole days! That would be hard to take. There were people walking past our porthole. Really top stuff this trip. We went down for dinner early but they wouldn’t let us sit down. So we hung over rail for fresh air and waited. Dinner was good except for rare meat but it was not like the Sibajak. We had quite the character for our waiter. I lost my way again. Guess I’d have to get a map of the ship.

I spent time in the library reading. It was precious time. Also did lots of writing in diary. Jiggle, jiggle, we were out on the open sea now. I talked to a student from Minnesota. He said it was best to see one thing each place, instead of running all over the place. His philosophy had merit. I stuck my nose out on deck, it was blowing and cold. Back at my cabin and all the beds were filled except mine. Mine filled too. I tried to read for a while with bed lamp on. I fell asleep. In the middle of the night L.O. woke me to turn off the light. I set my watch back before going back to sleep.

60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, 2 September 1952:

4:40 a.m. comes really quickly after midnight. We made so much noise trying to wake up people that the people next door pounded on walls. We were still packing at 5:20 deadline, hurried out and rolled downstairs just as last of gang went through the door. An American Express man and 4 taxis were waiting. They really have taken good care of us here. There were few people on streets. We passed the Tivoli on the way and I admired the clock in front of station. Margaret had a loaf of bread that she shared while our suitcases were unloaded onto the sidewalk. At this early hour we had the place mostly to ourselves. The American Express man counted us off as we went through, lots easier than showing our tickets.

The train headed off across the same Danish countryside that we saw coming in, mostly flat and agricultural. I particularly noticed a red windmill and white churches. There was a moment of panic when a ticket was lost on the floor. But we recovered it. Out the window I saw more grain shocks, along with planted forests. Most of the houses had what I called international red tile roofs but there were a few thatched roofs intermingled with red.

At Korsor we boarded a ferry and had breakfast of milk, rolls and butter for 1.65 kr. We moved to the rear of the boat and watched other boats out on the water. Warm sunshine felt so good. I talked to a fellow from the Hague, Holland.

We transferred back to a train again. I felt restless. I spent my time eating, talking, reading, and writing. There was a man from the boat still around. He seemed to listen to us whenever we started talking. We sat in the first class car for a while. I watched landscape some more. I realized that most Danish cows are red, while German are usually the black and white variety. It grew cloudy and started raining, but not for long. Back in our luxurious 2nd class car, I watched the scenery roll by again. I had a conversation with a Dane from Copenhagen. He was going just over the border of Germany to see his sister. He spoke English very well. We spent some time comparing Swedish and Danish. We passed through a strawberry patch and a grove of apple trees.

The Dane told me strawberry season was very short here and that they grow the best apples in Europe. The man from the boat told us how to say apple in Swedish. He turned out to be a Swede from Varberg, a small town up the western coast.

For lunch I bought 2 open faced sandwiches and the Dane bought us bananas just before we left Denmark. They continued my lesson in Danish and Swedish. The man from Sweden was on his way to London to study English for 2 months. He was a conductor on a train. We talked about Sweden and Denmark and America plus Swedish, Danish and English as the Denmark countryside flew by.

Finally we made it to customs for German border at a small town. They noticed that I had no signature on my Visa for Germany. Our new Danish friend almost forgot to get off the train here. At dinner call, we ate bread and cheese. Dr. Rogers came back with a piece of fish in gelatin. Ugh. By the time we got to Hamburg, the train was getting very crowded. I got off to look for a drink of water. Wow, this station was huge. The Swedish fellow continued my lesson in Swedish as we galloped through the German countryside. At Bremen they had another dinner call, so I had more cheese and dry bread.

There were two girls with baggage in the aisle, sleeping bags, 2 big suitcases and more. They needed to learn a lesson in traveling light. It was so crowded that there were people in the aisles. We cross the German border again. They noticed that there was no signature on my visa too. They are really efficient today. After being in and out of Germany so much, I finally got caught for the third time. Both customs officials today said I would have to get it signed before coming back into Germany. We had to have our passports out every 5 minutes it seemed. Betty tried to change Danish for US money.

There were now 8 in our compartment: Betty Lou, Virginia, Carol, Margaret Brown, Eloise, Dr. and Mrs. Rogers and me. Earlier a lady with her baby wandered back and forth trying to find a seat. Dr. Watkins helped her. Dr. Rogers gave his seat to grandmother of family sitting in aisle by our compartment. A boy taught us a German song. Interesting experience talking to him and singing. He wanted us to teach him Ghost Riders in the Sky. Carol promised to write and send him the words.

We arrived in the suburbs of Rotterdam about 11:20 p.m. American Express was on hand with taxis. Some places they were really on the beam. We were back at the Atlanta Hotel. Same rugs again and the shower straight over head. They had separate rooms for double sink basins and shower. At first Mrs. Hansen and Mae were without rooms. At the mail stop, I got two letters. I got to bed late after washing my hair, and my clothes and me.

60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 1 September 1952

Morning came and was it was time for goodbyes. At 6 a.m. it was grey outside. I folded up the satin comforter and sheets with lace insert and dressed. My Aunt Carolina had already gone and Uncle Albin left soon after I got up. This was goodbye, maybe forever, maybe not. He was dressed for work and headed off for the day.

I said goodbye to Stig. Then Aunt Carolina came back about 7 a.m. or a little before and fixed breakfast for me, egg, hot chocolate, and the whole works. I thanked her for their wonderful hospitality. Majbritt and Aunt Anna came a little later. I finished packing but couldn’t find my Lund Guidebook. Shucks, I guess I left it in Bertil’s car.

I gave a pair of hose to Aunt Anna as we reached the bottom of the stairs. Almost made a mistake and gave them to Majbritt without looking. Aunt Carolina came down a few minutes later and I took a picture without benefit of sunshine. The dark figure of Majbritt’s boyfriend came running down the street waving. We waited for him to come say goodbye. He was dressed in fireman’s uniform.

With Majbritt’s bike and my suitcase between us, Aunt Anna and Aunt Carolina following, we made a brief tour of Lund. There was a big red Lutheran Church with clock in tower. I took pictures. We passed a nurses home and saw some nurses going into a dormitory. We saw men on ladders fixing roof edges. Majbritt explained that Uncle Albin does that kind of work. Uncle Nils works with fabric.

On the way to the Library we passed the University where I had taken pictures the day before. Arrived at Library with 15 minutes to spare, so we went across campus to Big Dome to get more pictures. Inside my Aunts were a little teary about my going in, but Majbritt took me inside. She showed me where she was confirmed. There was a beautiful altar piece of wood carving. It was a simple but magnificent church. Majbritt and Aunt Anna gave me 10 krome to buy something. It was time for Majbritt to go. So I bid farewell to my favorite cousin.

Finally I walked with my Aunts to the station. I tried to get in the bookstore to get another Lund book, but they told me I could get it at the station. We arrived with just barely 2 minutes to spare. I found the Lund book at a magazine stand. I accidentally dumped my many coins out trying to find the right change. Aunt Carolina had to help me with a little supplement to buy the book. Then I made a mad dash for the train. Had to say goodbye to my Aunts from door of train as it pulled off. That is the kind of goodbyes I like. The train was pretty filled. A minister pulled the seat down next to him for me in the passageway.

At the Hotel Tunneln, I left the kids raving about the wonderful meeting the night before. I put my bags in Betty’s room and we had until 10:30 a.m. to spend our money. Headed for the shops and spent my newly acquired 20 krome.

I caught a striking view of a church spire down side street so I had to take picture from middle of the road. I guess it was pretty dangerous but I got the picture during a break in traffic.

We found a handicraft shop that proved very interesting. I finally decided upon 2 beautiful pillow tops or doilies, whatever you want to call them. The clerk couldn’t speak English so I used my pocket dictionary. I didn’t have enough krome and they wouldn’t take my dollars so I had to find a bank. I ran into L.O. as she came out of the Milk Bar to let me know we had only till 10 a.m. instead of 10:30. The bank gave me 5.14 krome for my dollars. Clerks were overcome with amusement when I returned now wearing a long dress and sandals. I still didn’t have exactly the right change, so they took pity on me and gave it to me for 25 kr. instead of 26. Time was growing short, I found a men’s shop and some beautiful ties made in Sweden. I picked out the prettiest one and a tie clasp. Had just 10 kr. left so I got the 2 for 10. Finally I took my last look at the streets of Malmo as I headed back to the hotel.

Taxis and American Express transported us the long distance to the boat. It was all of two blocks. They are really efficient all the time. Especially when we could get along without them. Next was customs. The missionaries bid us goodbye. I got a picture of them just before the gang plank went up. We sang farewell songs as they stood on the shore and we on the boat with tears showing or almost so.

Coming into Copenhagen seemed like coming home again. I took pictures of a pretty white sail boat in the harbor. Our old friends from American Express met us with taxis and we scooted off to Hotel Cosmopolite. We were in the same rooms as before with different roommates, L.O., Margaret and V.A.. First off I headed for the opera across the Square. Everything was sold out for Monday. Upon inquiring at the window in a pleading voice for one ticket, I was directed to the Inspectioner who we found in a dark little office around a corner and down a corridor. First he said to come back again at a little before 8 for standing room. Then he asked to see my ticket. Showed me where it was and asked if I would sit below it on the next level with L.O. So he took my ticket and gave us a slip of paper on which he wrote the location of 2 seats and stamped it and signed it for which he asked no money. We couldn’t quite figure out the deal but decided if all turned out well and we got to see the Opera we would consider ourselves lucky.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering through the main shopping district. I spent some time in the Magasin du Nord. The clerk I had met before tried to tell me it was the largest of its kind in the world. Couldn’t quite swallow it. We had gone in a different entrance but it turned out to be the same store as the one across from the Opera house. When we ended up in the same book shop with the same clerk, I knew we must be in the same store. Surely tempted by all the interesting books, but I remembered my suitcase and resisted. I bought a map of Skone. The clerk gave me his card so we could send for them.

I gave in and purchased a reversible amazon belt but managed to get out of the store without some gorgeous quilted ribbon which would have made a beautiful belt. L.O. resisted some copper lamps cause she couldn’t decided what to do with them if she got them and besides they wouldn’t give her American dollars in change.

After we broke away from the Magasin du Nord, we visited every silver shop along the street plus some that weren’t so silver. At the Town Hall Square we found the cafeteria and had long red wieners. We thought we asked for fish and that is what we got, along with soup and a big bowl of a kind of fruit pudding with milk. We split it. Took me 5 minutes to count all my Danish coins out but I finally got rid of them and only had to borrow 50 ore from L.O.

After lunch I had a last look at the town hall, then we wandered across the square through the pigeons and stands. Saw another typical tourist with camera and chuckled. Gee, we wondered why people stared at us. We were so obvious. We tried another street off the Square on our way back to Konig’s Platz. It turned out to be not so shoppy, however we found one likely looking store. We sure got the eye from three ladies as we went in, and when we came out they were still standing there. Perhaps we were conceited in thinking that they had waited for a second look, but that was just exactly what we thought. I had felt that we dressed and looked more like the Scandinavian people than any other but apparently we were still just as conspicuous here as elsewhere. Perhaps my broken sandal had something to do with it.

When we got back on the street, we came upon the silver shop where L.O. spotted the earring set which we hadn’t been able to surpass elsewhere in one afternoon’s wanderings. There was a delicatessen next door, and we purchased cheese for the next day’s journey. I also found a baking shop near the Hotel, and bought a loaf of bread. Because the shops were closing, I got apples and pears for a 25 ore in the slot machine.

Then we retired to the Hotel. The shops in Copenhagen certainly don’t stay open for the tourist’s benefit. They believe in having some time to enjoy life themselves. In typical European style, a separate shop for everything; fruit in one, bread in another, meat in another. It was hard to shop as efficiently as at our big super markets.

We admired our purchases until opera time. Went over a little early, as we were quite curious to see what would happen with the ticket situation. Besides Betty had lost her ticket so we had a problem there also. Surprisingly enough, however, everything worked out quite smoothly. Betty got in without a hitch. In fact, she just walked in without a ticket and our little scrap of paper worked like a charm. Our seats were next to some very English fellows who said something about our being friends of the manager. They informed us that the King and Queen were to be there in the Royal Box just across from us. The Opera House was very beautiful and varied somewhat from others we had visited. The balconies were continuous instead of being separated into boxes as they were in Paris. There was a goodly amount of gold in the decorations and a significant chandelier suspended from the ceiling. The Royal box extended almost the full height of the theatre with only one box directly above it. The King and Queen came in just before the curtain. They opened the door for themselves and bowed simply as everyone rose in respect.

All during the first act of Carmen, the King followed the score. If he looked at the stage at all it must have been very briefly. The orchestra was excellent as was the staging and singing. However can’t say that I enjoyed it more than other performances we have seen in the past three months. One very good reason may have been that I had difficulty staying awake. I can’t blame that on the opera but rather on my consistent lack of sleep for quite a lengthy time now. As we were getting ready for bed, Nola, Margaret’s friend came with her broken figurine. There were more tearful good byes.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 31 August 1952:

I came to quite early and realized that I had fallen asleep without putting my hair up and today is Sunday and I get to meet all my relatives. I hurriedly put it up. My Uncle and Aunt were stirring. In fact they were having coffee and cakes. I jumped in the tub and just got dressed when my Aunt brought a big breakfast to me on a beautiful silver tray with hot chocolate, open-faced sandwiches and cakes of various kinds.

I showed them some more of my pictures and we tried to exchange a few ideas. I was never quite sure they understood and I guess they felt the same way. They would go jabbering along in Swedish until my puzzled expression stopped them. It was really quite hilarious. One would say something to me in Swedish and when they saw I did not understand, another would say it over again until all three had told me in Swedish. I could usually catch one or two more words each time by this method, but my cousin would finally end up by using my dictionary. I noticed that neither Uncle Albin or Aunt Carolina would resort to it but always left Stig to this method.

I had just gone into the kitchen to see if I could help with the breakfast dishes when there came a knock on the door. My cousin Bertil had arrived. From what I had gathered it seemed he was going to take us out to where my father had lived before he came to America. They took me to the window to show me the car which apparently he owned and they were all very proud of. It was the small European car. Everyone in Sweden like other European countries ride bicycles and the number of cars is considerably less than in America.

Very soon after Bertil arrived we were ushered into the dining room. Gee, I thought we had had breakfast. It was easier to eat than argue in Swedish so we had a smorgasbord – sardines, another kind of little fish served in cans, cheese, ham sliced and cold meats plus milk and coffee. I had milk. There was also about three different kinds of bread and several kinds of cakes. After this slight repeat it seems we were ready to go. When we got downstairs and went to climb in the car, Uncle Albin and Stig had disappeared. But being so well equipped to understand the answers I got when I asked questions, I held my peace.

We circled around Lund and saw some of its most interesting spots. I took a picture of the University and we went by the Cathedral and then a park and then through an apartment section. We stopped in front of large apartment and went up a couple of flights and arrived at Bertil’s door. Inside in the kitchen sat Agda with little Bertil. The baby was having its dinner. Bertil showed me some pictures of the baby and its Momie and Daddy and gave me some to take home. Agda bundled the baby and put him in a little wooden box with handles on the ends.

Agda and Aunt Caroline held the box on the back seat and Bertil and I rode in front. On the way to Kungsbult, he had shown a map to me of where we were going. We stopped at a big castle and I took Bertil’s picture in front of it. Then through more beautiful Swedish countryside.

Finally we pulled into a lane. There were the remains of a house where my father had lived and a white barn-like building behind. I took pictures of the remains. A new home had been built to the left of it farther down the street. There were a whole crowd of people on the lawn. Guess who? Well, I spotted Uncle Bertil and Stig. I couldn’t figure out how they beat us there. But there they were. I proceeded to meet all the others.

My Uncle John looks very much like my Daddy. I haven’t seen Aunt Anna yet. We went inside and then I realized that almost everyone I had met outside were men. All the women were inside and you can’t guess what they were doing? Fixing more food! Aunt Anna seemed quite different from Aunt Carolina. After several repetitions I got everyone sorted out according to families. Olle’s wife Elsa turned out to be quite an extrovert and she proceeded to dramatize things for me when I didn’t understand. Aunt Anna’s daughter whom I had heard spoke English was very reluctant to use much of it. So conversation that I could understand was rather slow.

I showed them all my books which they took turns studying and sometimes I acted like I understood something just to keep the conversation from being stymied entirely. I fouled up when I tried to use Swedish words and mispronounced them and they tried to use English words and mispronounced them. However, there wasn’t much time to worry about things I wanted to say and couldn’t before we started eating again. The table was all set when we came in. I don’t recall looking at my watch but I guess it must have been around noon. Cause we ate.

My pictures of the family got going around the table somehow and I had to figure out how old everyone is and tell them. Which I tried to do in Swedish. All this happened after the first course which consisted of a kind of salad or something of onions and fish cut up in some kind of oil. There were various cold meats and cheeses. One kind Hertha had made. Also we had several kinds of bread, sardines and some other kinds of fish and coffee and punch and milk (for me) which Stig and Elsa joined me in. They sat on either side of me and I think they did it just so I wouldn’t feel like a non-conformist among coffee drinkers because everyone else had coffee.

Everything was delicious except the conversation which was confused. When we finished this I thought we were all through except for the dessert but this was only the beginning. Then came the main course. Fried chicken, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, salad, plus cakes and more. I was already so stuffed I could hardly eat another bite and then after really reaching the maximum they brought in a great huge cake that Hertha made covered with an inch thick with whipped cream, prunes and apricots on top of that. The cream was so thick it was dripping over the sides. This was placed before me with a big server. First piece to Elsa, then Stig. Then deciding it would be easier to pass it around, I served myself.

After dinner we looked at pictures. Most of the men played some kind of Swedish poker for a while. I saw a picture of myself when I was really little and at successive stages in the family album. Plus pictures of all my relatives and their friends. Then for a walk down the lane. They said some friends my father had probably played with when little lived next door. I took pictures of Majbritt and her boyfriend who I thought was her husband and Elsa and Aunt Anna and Carolina who all went for the walk with us.

When we returned to the house guess what? Time to eat again. This time we had more to drink and cakes. Took group pictures in the rain. Then another session of cards and pretty soon part of the group left with Bertil. I asked Hertha to show me around upstairs. I saw a spinning wheel and Rolfe’s room.

Then we had some more to eat. I had punch and more cakes. Rolfe got out his accordion and played for us. The 3rd or 4th number was On Top of Old Smokey. It was about this time I didn’t have quite so good control of myself. Cause tears started coming to my eyes for some dumb reason. I still don’t know why! I guess it could have been caused by several things. Maybe seeing my uncle who looked so much like my Daddy. Or maybe feeling so frustrated at not being able to say all the things I wanted to and ask all the questions I wanted to ask. Because there were so many things to say and so little could be said or maybe because they had all been so good to me. At any rate it got worse instead of better and by the time we left, my cousin Hertha gave me a bouquet of flowers just as we went to the car. I was quite thankful for something to hide my face in.

We returned by a different route than we had come, through Eslov, back to Aunt Carolina’s. I said goodbye to Bertil and Agda. Majbritt and her boyfriend were waiting in front of Aunt Carolina’s. I gave my bouquet to Aunt Carolina and Stig came down and we were off to Aunt Anna’s. We walked across a big dry dock and then down some stairs. We made a couple of turns one way or another and we arrived at Aunt Anna’s.

We went upstairs and through a cloak hallway and into a medium sized dining room. It was very similar to Aunt Carolina’s. We just barely sat down and Aunt Anna brought a big basket of fruit of all kinds. And then delicious punch of fruit juices and something like ginger ale. I started counting up. This would be the 6th time I had eaten in this one day. Between Majbritt and her boyfriend and our dictionaries we were able to exchange ideas quite freely much more so than at any previous time during my visit with my relatives. Aunt Anna had a family album and Majbritt had one, too. So we had a gay time looking at pictures. They got out a big atlas to see where all the places were where they had gone on vacation. Little brother came home from movie. It was some wild west deal from what I gathered. Aunt Anna kept urging me to eat more so I tied to explain that in America we only eat three times a day but this day I had eaten 6 times.

The time passed so swiftly and it was soon very late. Majbritt and Aunt Anna promised to come in the morning so that maybe we could get some good pictures. Then Majbritt and her fiance walked home with Stig and me. But we took a little jaunt across Lund before going in. We saw the big church with the clock tower and the nurses home and part of the university dormitories and the fire station where Majbritt’s boyfriend works. And the big park across from the apartment house. It was such a beautiful night after being such a miserable rainy day. It almost made up for it. By the end of the day I had collected many snapshots so in case pictures are no good I’ll have something.

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.