our interests seemed to be parted by the Jubileum activities, the visiting of
all the relatives, Forsback, Liljestroms, and Sunday afternoon with Mrs. Ek at
her sons at the Lassila place in Kovjoki. We were busy from breakfast to night.
We were much with the Boman's and spent a wonderful day at Tornskär with
one of Ester Boman's many delicious meals.
we did not see very much of you because we had an obligation to see as many of
our friends and relatives that time permitted. We were going from morning to night
to the Sunday morning church service and several
Jubileum activities like the song festival and finally the closing banquet
at Eden Hotel. This was a great event. We had interesting table companions, including
Bror Åström. Conversation was in both Swedish and English. There was
a long time between courses, wine was plentiful, second helpings offered. Very
well done in every way to enjoy food and wine and our table companions as it should
After dinner and liquor, important guests
from near and far had much praise to give the Nykarleby. The Borgmaster answered
and made hopeful prophecies for Nykarleby's future. Then the Master of Ceremonies
invited anyone who wished to say something to do so, and they did! One
was one of the long-winded persons who spoke at the song festival at the club.
Last and best entertainment was Poet troubador Lybeck's jolly
songs and guitar. And then to bed.
it was rush to pack up and have breakfast in our room.
with breakfast was a note from the hotel management that Stadsstyrelsen was our
host, and we their guests.
The next moment we
were at the Vasa bus across the street saying farewell to the relatives that had
come to say goodbye.
Once aboard the plane at Vasa, we were in another world.
back today we see and feel even more clearer that Nykarleby was an experience
both spiritual and intellectual. It has a mystic presence that is as I said before
a spirit born when it was first settled, perhaps by men and women who had dreams
like the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Who also celebrated a 350th anniversary
of their landing at Plymouth.
Rooted in that
historic past, yet it lives on in the present, unspoiled serene and unhurried;
sheltered by the forests and fields, divided by the river bank reaching out to
the skerries (skärgård) and the waterways where her ships sailed out
to a greater world that does not know the peace of Nykarleby.
I remember now, when the Gypsies made their annual visit; everybody took inside
anything that could be carried away and peeped through their windows to watch
their doings. I also forgot to tell you that I remember the "rivermen"
Flottären) who came sailing down the river riding their logs balancing
with their pike poles. When these visitors passed through, four year olds were
not allowed out only look through the windows in wonder.
doubt the logs were placed into booms at the anchorage for loading aboard the
sailing ships anchored there.
also remember visiting with my Grandmother [Sanna
Liljeström; min farfars mor] at Andra Sjön; the water lapping on
the endless sandy shore; the islands and rocky
ridges with my Aunt Elizabeth. I remember Grandmother baking in the big oven,
and sometimes spinning or weaving woolen cloth, or rag rugs or even scaring hawks
from her chickens. Sometimes she took me along in her buggy to one town or another
to visit or to market. What a treat to get a lemon soda! And I remember Grandfather
ditching or making hay or standing on barrel stave skiis in the winter snow.
Harking back again as I write, I remember sixteen
year old Aunt Elizabeth taking care of the flower garden at my home her own project
planting annuals in the spring violets, poppies, lillies, english daisies
and nasturtiums and pruning the lilies. The very fragrance or tantalizing pungence
of nasturtiums takes me back to my Birthplace.