Swedish American Society of Tidewater

                            November 2003 Edition
               President: Barbara Carlson Storaasli (423-6711)


                         Sunday, November 16, 2003
                        Ruritan Club, Witchduck Rd

3:00 PM  SMÖRGÅSBORD SETUP  Doors open and setup begins.  The Gerdins will setup for the meeting and meal.  Sandy MacGregor will set up the beverage table.

 4:00 PM   Den Lyckliga Timmen (the happy hour): Club provides the soft
drinks, beer & wine, but depends on the membership for the hors d'oeuvres
(cheese, crackers, nuts, etc).

4:40 PM    Sing-along with Ted Johnson in Swedish and English.

5:00 PM    Välkommen to members and guests by President Barbara Carlson
Storaasli, followed by Du Gamla Du Fria, My Country Tis of thee, and I Jesu
Namn Til Bords Vi Gå, after which, we can get in the buffet line.

DINING:  This basically is a potluck smörgåsbord so everyone should bring
food dishes consistent with that.

GUESTS:  Please make a $5.00 contribution for each adult sixteen or older.
If bringing guests, please include in your food contribution enough for
yourselves and your guests.

5:45 PM    Larry Leonardson will give an informative program on Leif
Eriksson as part of the 'Notable Swedes and Swedish-American Series.'  Leif
Eriksson was actually an Icelander or Norwegian, but he was a great Viking,
and that is part of our heritage.

6:35 PM   The raffle will be held; the prizes are provided by the club
members.  Note, it's fun when the kids win, so we need more prizes for

6:45 PM   Meeting will be adjourned and the tables will be cleared and the
chairs will be stacked.

                       DIRECTIONS TO OUR MEETINGS
If coming from the peninsula, take I-64 across the Hampton Roads Bridge
Tunnel, follow I-64 to I-264 East.  Follow I-264 to the Witchduck Road
exit; after exiting, turn left onto Witchduck Road.  About ¼ to ½ mile is
Ruritan Drive (fire station light is there).  Turn left on Ruritan, go to
the end of the street, the
building is on the left.

                            When Last We Met

           The Swedish American Society met on October 19, 2003 at the
Ruritan Club, Witchduck Road, Virginia Beach.  Eva Virginius and her friend
Richard Hicks helped the Storaaslis set up for the meeting and the
Storaaslis set up the beverage table.
The fellowship hour or den lyckliga timmen began at 4:00 P.M. with soft
drinks, beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres provided by the members.  Ted Johnson
couldn't make it so CDs and tapes of Swedish music were played.
      At 5:00 P.M., after singing 'Du Gamla, Du Fria' and 'My Country Tis
of Thee' and saying the Swedish table grace 'I jesu Namn til Bords Vi Gå,'
we partook of the October smörgåsbord with many wonderfully prepared dishes
provided by the members.
      President Barbara Carlson Storaasli called the meeting to order at
6:00 P.M.  She reported on the damage from Hurricane Isabel that caused the
meeting in September to be cancelled.  Namely that fallen trees and tree
limbs cut off the power and blocked the road to the Ruritan Club.
      The president then read a thank you note from Sue Airth to the club
members for presenting her with "beautiful candle holders (the color of the
Swedish flag) and roses and other flowers" in gratitude for her many years
of service setting up for the meetings.  Sue wrote she "enjoyed the many
years of service to the club."  Leland Peterson made a motion that in honor
of Sue Airth's years of faithful service, she be nominated for Lifetime
Membership in the SAS.  The motion was seconded and passed by Sue's
appreciative fellow members.
      President Carlson-Storaasli then read a letter from the Swedish
Council of America recognizing us for our efforts in promoting and
preserving the Swedish heritage in North America, and shared a certificate
of recognition for our membership in the Swedish Council and for our
continued work "to promote knowledge and understanding of the Swedish
heritage in American life, and to strengthen the cultural ties?".
Information regarding membership in the Swedish Council of America was also
presented, as was their latest Annual Report.
      The president then reminded the members that it was time to renew our
SAS of Tidewater memberships.  Three checks were promptly submitted.  If
you still need to get yours in, please bring it to the next meeting.
Larry Leonardson raised the point that it was time for a new slate of
officers to be elected.  Leland Peterson next raised the historical
precedent of the same slate of officers being elected for a second term and
discussion was opened to the floor.  A motion was made that if the members
present agreed, nominations would be made for the next slate of officers.
A motion was made, and seconded that the current slate of officers (if
agreeable to them) be nominated for another term.  The motion was passed,
and the current slate of officers was overwhelmingly voted in for the
upcoming year.
      For the program, Leland Peterson then gave an inspiring talk on Carl
Sandburg's first trip to Chicago ? a continuation of the presentation he
gave last spring.  He makes you want to go to the library and pick up a
book by Sandburg and devour it.
For future programs, Larry Leonardson volunteered to give a presentation on
Leif Eriksson at the next meeting, Ted Johnson volunteered to do a
presentation on Swedish music and/or musicians, and Shirley Hurd
volunteered to do a program on Jenny Lind.
      Diane Newlon conducted the raffle made even more exciting by
including an auction.  The object of the bidding was a blue and red wall
hanging featuring several Dahla hästar that was made and contributed to the
club by Joanne Lundquist with the proceeds to be donated to the club
treasury.  There were many active bidders including our club officers and
the Raffle Mistress.  Then, after some spirited bidding, Marcie Gerdin
purchased the wall hanging and it is now hanging over the fireplace in her
front parlor.
      Then the meeting was adjourned and the tables and chairs were

                                    Respectfully submitted,
                                    Barbara Carlson-Storaasli and Marcie

President  -  Barbara Carlson Storaasli (423-6711), 
Vice-President  -  Andy Hilton, 
Treasurer -  Donald Lundquist, 
Secretary  -  Edward Unser, Asst.
Secretary  -  Merrie Jo Milner, 
Raffle Master  -  Diane Newlon, 
Web Master -  Larry Leonardson, 
Beverage Master  -  Sandy MacGregor, and 
Concert Master  -  Ted Johnson, 
Newsletter Editor ? Glenn Gerdin.


Ole and Lena Department.  [This joke came from Red Strangland's Ole & Lena
Book 6, (Norse Press, Sioux Falls SD, 1992) p. 13.]
                               A Good Sermon
      Ole and Lena's minister, Rev. Selmer Goodbunken, vas preparing his
Sunday sermon.  He says to his vife, "Honey, I vas planning to talk about
sex in da sermon next Sunday, vat do you t'ink?"
 So his vife, Ingrid, says to him, "Selmer, I don't t'ink you should talk
about dat topic.  It is much too touchy and priwate."  So da reverend
backed off and said he vould talk about sailing instead.
      Vhen Sunday rolled around dough, da minister's vife had to stay home
vit' a bad cold.  Since his missus vasn't dere, da reverend t'ought he
vould talk about sex after all.
      A few days vent by, and da reverend's missus vas feeling better, so
she vent to da supermarket to buy some t'ings.  Dere, she met two ladies
from da shurch and dey vere wary ent'usiastic about da sermon Pastor
Goodbunken gave da past Sunday.
      So da reverend's missus says to dem, "I don't know how he could t'ink
he vas an expert on dat.  He only did it tvice ? vonce in da harbor and
vonce yust outside da breakvater and he t'rew up bot' times!"

Old Norse Mythology Department:
      This is the fourteenth installment of this feature intended to inform
the membership about the mythological heritage of the Scandinavian people.
The source is :  Myths of the Norsemen, Roger  Lancelyn Green, Penguin
Books, Baltmore, Maryland, 1970.

                  Odin and the Vanir: Allies against the Giants

      As time went on, there was a steady increase in the number of heroes
brought to Valhalla by the Valkyries.  However, at this rate, it would take
a long time for their numbers to be large enough to fight the Giants in the
last battle of Ragnarok.  Odin pondered the question whether the Giants
would wait to attack while Odin's army was gaining strength?  The norns
(the sisters Urd, Verlandi, and Skuld who knew all that would happen in the
Past, Present, and Future respectively) wouldn't tell Odin.  So he sought
this wisdom from the Giants by going to Jotunheim (Giants home) disguised
as a giant to learn from the Ice King's son.  After that, Odin hung himself
for nine days and nights on a gallows to learn the wisdom of the dead.  He
then visited the dwarves in their deep caverns and learned their special
knowledge from Dvalin, the wisest of them.  All of this was to no avail.
Finally, he went down to the roots of Yggdrasill, the world tree, and
followed one root that stretches to the land of the Rime Giants, and there
he found the wise Mimir.  This giant was his mother Bestla's brother and he
was the most wise of all living beings.  There, Mimir guarded the Fountain
of Wisdom, which he drank from each day.
      Odin begged Mimir for one drink from the fountain, but Mimir insisted
Odin give him his most valuable possession in exchange.  Odin said he would
tear out one of his eyes to get a drink from that fountain and thereby save
the Asgard gods or Aesir and the men in Midgard.  Mimir thought that was a
good price to pay for a drink from the Fountain of Wisdom, and so Odin had
only one eye after that.  Mimir became Odin's counselor and he warned Odin,
that he needed to form an alliance with the Vanir gods, because the Aesir
needed all the help they could get against the Giants.
      The Vanir were born in the upper air and lived in Uhland, above the
top of the world tree Yggdrasill.  They never went to Asgard or Midgard or
any other solid ground, and had no idea the Aesir even existed.  They and
the Aesir were like ships passing in the night.
      Odin tried to contact the Vanir through messengers sent through the
air to Uhland.  As the messengers flew by, they cried out that the Vanir
should form a league with the Aesir against the Giants, but there was no
      One day a beautiful giantess named Gullveig, came to Asgard.  She was
only a little taller than the Aesir and her eyes, hair and body appeared to
radiate like gold.  She was given a dwelling in Asgard and she moved
through the Aesir as they played chess in the afternoon in the form of a
sunbeam.  She bounced from one group to another turning their chessmen into
gold.  She then bounced down to Midgard and entranced men with gold
objects, and soon after the nature of men began to change.  They began to
mine gold and make rings and jewelry and hide it and plot to steal gold
from other men.  They began murdering each other for gold.
      Odin's ravens Huginn and Muninn reported the change in the nature of
men, so Odin, in desperation, called a meeting of the Aesir and Gullveig in
the great hall Valhalla.  There, he accused her of being a witch and
sorceress having lead mankind to Sin.  Odin asked the Aesir what punishment
should be given to Gullveig and they doomed her to death.  But weapons
passed through Gullveig as they would a sunbeam and so the gods tried
burning her at the stake three times, but each time, after apparently being
burned to a crisp, Gullveig leapt forth from the ashes unscathed.
      Then Gullveig stepped to a door of Valhalla and turned and said to
them, "I brought division to men and I have brought division among the
gods, for I came as an ambassador of the Vanir and look how you treated me!
I will return to Uhland to tell them how you showered me with spears and
tied me to the flames!  They will make war on you for this!"  She then
vanished from the doorway, Asgard, and beyond.
      And before the Aesir could even think of the consequences, a great
Vanir army appeared at the gates of Asgard and began to tear down its
      Odin set out from the gate with his spear and flung it at the Vanir
king.  This spear, as you recall, always found its target and neither
shields nor armor could not stop it.  However, the king of the Vanir
snatched the spear right out the air and handed it back to Odin with a low
      Odin asked the king what his name was, and the Vanir king replied, "I
am Niord, lord of Vanaheim.  I do not come against you in anger, but in
sorrow for your treatment of my ambassador."
      Odin then explained Gullveig's treachery to Niord and her attempt to
divide the gods.  When Niord learned of the desperate situation the Aesir
were in, he threw down his great sword and grasped Odin's hand, saying,
"Let there be peace between us, peace between the Aesir and Vanir, between
the earth and the air.  We Vanir will help you against the Giants; we will
be as one people; we will swear eternal friendship and exchange hostages."
      So Odin's brother Honir volunteered to go to Uhland and Niord
volunteered to remain in Asgard, where he was treated as one of the Aesir.
Niord's son Frey (as in Friday) became the god of weather and agriculture,
and his daughter Freya was the goddess of love and beauty.  Note, the
Swedes had a great temple in Uppsala with three magnificent statues of
Odin, Thor, and Frey.

Important Dates to Remember Department.

December 6, 2003: The SWEA Club of Virginia Beach presents its Annual
                  Swedish Christmas Bazaar from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Good
                  Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1489 Laskin Road, Virginia
                  Beach, VA 23451 (Hilltop Area).

December 13, 2003:      In the morning and early afternoon there will be a
                  setting up session for the Sankta Lucia Fest on Sunday.
                  This will be held on the third floor of the First
                  Lutheran Church in Ghent.  Volunteers will be needed for
                  this.  More details should be available at the November
                  meeting of the Swede Club.

December 13, 2003:      The Gerdins invite all Swede Club members to a
                  Christmas Open House from 6 to 9 PM at the Grice House,
                  318 North St. Apt. 2, Portsmouth, VA 23704.  For more
                  information call 397-1897.

December 14, 2003:      The Swedish American Society of Tidewater presents
                  their annual Sankta Lucia Fest from 4 to 7 PM at the
                  First Lutheran Church in Ghent on the third floor.  Note,
                  more volunteers will be needed to help set up starting at
                  3 PM.