Hans Bekken, (Mayor of Flaa, Norway) and Cynthia - taken at the Centennial Stevne of the Hallinglag of America, Moorhead, MN - 2007. A Stevne is a meeting; the Hallinglag is an organization of descendants of Norwegians from Hallingdal, Norway. The Hallinglag began with a flourish in 1907 at Walcott, ND. We bussed from Moorhead to Walcott for a day that involved a tour of the historic district (two buildings). Now, I don't necessarily recommend Walcott as the most exciting place to tour - but it was a very memorable occasion.
The mayor was a most congenial fellow - but he did not speak English. The next day I finally located a translator and learned he had been trying to ask me if I had attended the Gandrud family reunion in Norway. And, no, I had not. He knows our cousin Nils Kolbjorn Skinnes (see earlier blog photo of Cynthia and Kolbjorn in front of our gg grandfather's clock).
It was so much fun to see the bunads and listen to the youth choir from Al, Norway. I enjoyed participating in worship on Sunday morning with Pastor Arlen Fiske and the youth pastor from Norway. We had a delightful moment when Pastor Fiske met the Norwegian youth pastor and said,"I understand you can read Norwegian?" The Norwegian pastor laughed so hard and so did I. He was able to read the scriptures in Norse (because I could not do that part). It was fun to learn about the way our immigrant ancestors worshipped using laypeople they called "Klokkers." One of my Vold ancestors in Norway was a Klokker - and now I know what that means.
And if I look tired - it is because I was exhausted from lack of sleep. We stayed in dorm rooms at the Uof MN in Moorhead ... and the beds were likely castoffs from a Nazi Prisoner of War camp. Cousin Krista had a very rude awakening at five AM when her bed broke down. The best part of the trip was meeting Peter and Marilyn Gandrud and to spend so much time conversing with Cousin Krista! She is a delightful person. We are really "identical cousins!"