Swedish-American Society 
Newsletter, June, 2000 Edition

President: Leland Peterson 489-7061
Web master: Larry Leonardson 721-6827

Sunday, June 18, 2000 
Ruritan Club, Witchduck Road


3:00  Doors open and set up
4:00 Club fellowship and cookout
5:00 Opening club songs (now on the place mats) and table grace led by Vice-President Alise Dilworth.  
Ted Johnson will lead the singing and Bentley Anderson will talk about Medsömmers Dag.  We also hope Steve and Patti Carlson will be able to be present and contribute again their musical talents.

PROGRAM  NOTESFOOD:  Bring your favorite cookout meats, usually hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, kielbasa, lamb chops, or whatever your favorite is.
 Members should also bring along chairs if they wish to sit outside. 
 Traditional Swedish dishes for a summer picnic always include baked beans, potato salad and cole slaw or carrot salad, but no individuals have been asked to bring specific items this time.
 Desserts will also be welcome. 

President - Leland Peterson 489-7061 
Vice President - Alise Dilworth 
Secretary - Georgie Unser  
Treasurer - Don Lundquist 
Newsletter Editor - Nellie Leonardson 
Web Master-Larry Leonardson 721-6827

If coming from the peninsula, take I-64 across the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, follow 64 to 264 East (144). Follow 264 to the Witchduck Road exit, after exiting, turn left onto Witchduck Road. About 1/4 to ½ mile is Ruritan Drive (fire station light is there). Turn left on Ruritan, go the end of the street, building is on the left       

The Thunanders and Bertelruds are back in Sweden for the summer.  Betty and Leland Peterson will be in Fairfax VA for the high school graduation of their oldest grandson. Betty's father, Joseph Onsrud, passed away in Minneapolis June 5th while Betty and Leland were visiting. He had reached 98 years of age, a very durable and well-loved Norwegian. Despite  the loss of many friends during his last years , some 200 people attended his funeral where one of the songs was Hälsa Dem Der Hemma, one of his favorites. 
The childrens craft this month will be the painting of flower pots and their saucers. They will be able to be used as a bird feeder, mini bird baths or a holder for floating candles on your porch. Please call Nellie and let her know if you have a child who will be attending so she can assure that enough pots are available.  If any extra children are in attendance they will be able to make last month’s craft, a mini Midsömmar pole.


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When Last We Met
 The May meeting of the Swedish-American Society was held Sunday, May 21st.  As usual, everyone who partook of the good snacks, good beverages, and especially the good company seemed to enjoy the Happy Hour from 4 to 5 p.m..  At 5, we had the singing of   “Du Gama”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, and prayed the Swedish Table Grace, “I Jesu Namn”. The buffet followed with a variety of salmon dishes, side vegetables and the delicious variety of bread that Kierstin Bertilrud so faithfully provides. 
 Following the meal, Nellie and the children went to the craft room to work on individual Midömmar poles.  They did a great job as usual.  Our President, Leland Peterson opened the business meeting with the announcement that the club has acquired a storage cabinet and a file cabinet in which to store the club’s belongings.  The cost of these items were $ 114.00, plus $6.00 for the cost of the keys.  Leland put a motion before the club that we have 10 sets of Swedish language booklets for language classes.  The set including 3 books and 4 tapes would cost $85.00.  The motion was seconded and carried.  Hans Thunander announced that a short wave radio frequency can be found on the Internet.  The need for a new coffee pot was announced and it was agreed that Sue Arith would purchase one and be reimbursed by the club.  Phyllis Heberling announced that there is an article in “Tidewater Women” about the Swede Club.  The announcement was made that Gladys Nelson. 
 After the business meeting, Ted Johnson, with all the necessary flourishes, led us in the singing of the Swedish version of Happy Birthday - “Ha Ma han leva”, in celebration of the club’s 23rd birthday.  Marilyn arranged to have a beautiful birthday cake for the occasion, served with ice cream.  Leland talked about the hardships suffered by those ancestors who migrated to America.  He read a list of what each one had to bring with them on their journey to America.  It took as many as 67 days in the 1850's, and many died on the ship from diseases.  Bentley Anderson read the names of those members who had died since the club was founded by the Rydingsvards.  Leland then read some Swedish jokes.  Ted Johnson then led us in a peppy version of “När Guds Röst Till Välkomst bjunder” - “When the Roll is call up Yonder, I’ll be there.”  We also sang “I Ban a Swede”, “Helan gär”, “Johan pä Snippen”, “Kostervalsin”, and “Halsa Dem darkhemma”, thus making good use of the new songbooks.
 Bentley then gave a presentation concerning May celebrations.  He adorned a Swedish hat to set the
mood and proceeded to tell us about Walburgers Eve, or the Eve of the feast of St. Walburgs.  The ladies dressed alike in regalia to suit the celebration of Spring. Everyone gathered around the bonfire, which was an ancient ritual.  May Day is a marching day for labor beginning in 1880.  Originally it was the New Year when accounts were settled for the year.  Ever since 1890, an industrial parade is held.  June 6th is the Swedish National Flag Day.  Hans explained that “May Pole” means “Flower Pole”.  Leland mentioned that we would be discussing information about the Vikings at our June meeting. Andy then held the raffle 
 There were 38 in attendance including 3 children. The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 and tables & chairs were put away. 
   Respectfully Submitted,
    Georgie Unser - Secretary

The Vikings Return to North America
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History now has the exhibit, 
“Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga”. 
It commemorates the 1,000 year anniversary of the Viking arrival in North America and explores the historical importance of new archaeological finds that have redefined the world’s knowledge of early North American & Scandinavian life. The exhibit will continue through Sept. 4, 2000.  The historic landing of the Vikings on North American shores is now known to have preceded Columbus by 500 years, & was the culmination of their spread from their northern Europe homelands to the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, & beyond.  The Old Norse sagas capture this adventure in tales of Erik the Red & Leif the Lucky.  In recent years, historic documents, art, archaeology, and environmental science have enriched the story.  The Smithsonian exhibit brings together for the first time artifacts from the Scandinavian homelands, & the United States, representing all the countries the Vikings visited during their westward expansion. After premiering at the Natural History Museum, Vikings will go on a two-year tour that will include 
New York, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, & other U.S. cities.  More information about Vikings is available on the web at

An exhibition catalog, produced by the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, is available at the exhibit.

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