From the Lefthand Corner: No one noticed; Monday was Norwegian Independence Day
There were no headlines, no breaking news stories, no proclamations from the president, or governor, or mayor. There was no interruption of business for Congress or the Legislature for congratulation or recognition of the great day. There weren’t any parades, or flying of flags.
I could understand when all of America, particularly all of American media, was taken up with COVID-19, and the 2020 election, and the insurrection and then the Chauvin trial.
But the main trial is over, the lawsuits on insurrection haven’t really geared up yet, and COVID-19 is hopefully stabilizing a bit.
Other important dates have received their usual domination of conversation, observance and news coverage. We started 2021 with our 12 days of Christmas, New Year's, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day and Easter. St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo were also noted.
Then Monday came and went with nary or barely a peep.
There were no headlines, no breaking news stories, no proclamations from the president, or governor, or mayor.
There was no interruption of business for Congress or the Legislature for congratulation or recognition of the great day. There weren’t any parades, or flying of flags.
Maybe the Swedes flew theirs at half-mast to commemorate the day and show their disdain.
What is this bizarre world coming to? Monday came and went with no sufficient or appropriate recognition of Norwegian Independence Day - that great day, May 17, 1905. That day of escape, out from under the dreaded rule of those horrible, oppressive Swedes.
Where have all the Norskes gone?
There was a time when the Norwegian Lutheran Church was the biggest church in town, much bigger than the Swedish Lutheran, German Lutheran and Catholic churches. That was all before those Methodists and Baptists rolled into town. This diversification of good ol’ Pequot has taken its toll.
We true old-line Norskes are left to lament our lessening numbers and infiltration of those “other folk," all contributing to the diminished status of our sacred holiday. We are too somber and stoic, and probably lazy, to hit the streets with parades or other protest. We’ll probably just let it go and grumble.
Some years ago, a not so good, good friend affixed a sticker that really stuck on our refrigerator door. For years thereafter I was reminded that, “You can always tell a Norwegian, but you can’t tell him much."
On a more positive plane, I recently thought I’d impress my Swede bride with an expensive gesture. I can’t remember if it was 29, 49 or 99 cents at Goodwill, but it was a solid cup with clear block lettering: “Being Married to a Norwegian builds Character." I thought it would last, but somehow it got broken instead.
Coincidentally, the couple that owned the house we now live in was also of “mixed marriage." They had the garage prepared for us. They left appropriate signs on the front wall. One stall is designated, “Parking for Swedes Only” while the other is for "Norwegian Parking Only."
You can tell that we Norwegians are a kinder lot. The Norwegian sign doesn’t say anything about violators being towed.
I can’t very well sign off without at least a couple of corny Ole or Lena jokes.
- Ole started a farm implement business and proudly advertised in the local newspaper: “We stand behind all of our implements - except the manure spreaders."
- Ole and Lena were traveling across a rural countryside. Along the way they got into a heated argument. Spotting a jackass grazing by the road, Lena spat out: “Relative of yours?" Ole countered: “Yah, sure - by marriage."
Like this writer, Ole is recently retired. “I vake up in the morning vid nuttin to do - by bedtime I’m only half done.”
And so it is.