Swedish-American Society 
Newsletter, June 1999 Edition

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

WHEN NEXT WE MEET:
                     Sunday, June 20, 1999
                  Ruritan Club, Witchduck Road

VALKOMMEN
3:00  Doors open and set up
4:00  Club fellowship and cook out
5:00  Opening club songs and table grace
5:10  Business: proposed travel award
5:30  Sing along and folk dancing
6:45  Raffle
7:00-7:30 Cleanup and doors closed. 
3:00  As Bob Olson will be in California, the
Leonardsons will bring the happy hour goods
and charcoal for the cook out.  Sue Arith will be
there as well and welcome early arrivals as
helpers for the set up, which included Connie
Hamonds at the May meeting.
4:00  Bring your own cookout meats, usually
hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, kielbasa, lamb
chops, whatever you want to throw on the grill--
and lawn chairs as this is intended to be an
outdoor event.  The traditional Swedish dishes
for a summer picnic always include baked beans,
potato salad, and cole slaw or carrot salad, but
no individuals were asked to bring specific items
this time.  We expect that the good Lord will
inspire members accordingly.  TV trays may also
be useful.
5:00  We will be singing Du Gamla, Du Fria
and America the Beautiful and saying our table
grace after many have already eaten, which is
legal on a picnic Sunday...
5:10  The committee on the travel award, including
Alise Dilworth (chair), Arild Bertlerud,  Anna
Bellars, and Cliff Hughes will make a brief report
and recommendation at this time. It is likely that a
more detailed discussion will ensue at the September
and/or October meeting(s). Also, Ted Johnson will
present proposals to be voted on for purchasing name
badges for members without them.


5:30 For the Sing Along we will depend on Ted
Johnson for our practice of the Sorgasbord
specials.  This may also be the time for that
ancient sentimental favorite of the homesick
immigrants, Helsa Dem Dar Hemma, for which
Elva Giordano has provided the music with a
translation.
5:40  And then into the polka and schottische
dancing.  If rain threatens, we will set up a dance
floor within the building; if the weather is clear,
we could  clear an area of the parking lot next to
the cookout for the dancing.  Elva has also 
provided the music for two of the most popular
Swedish American dances ever,  a shottische
(Johan pa Snippen) and a polka (A Janta A Ja). 
Steve and Patti Carlson will bring  instru-ments
and all fiddlers and accordionists should likewise
come prepared.  Somewhere in our membership
we have someone who can provide elementary
lessons in the art and joy of the shottische and
polka. These dances require much more energy
than the elegant ballroom dancing we associate
with the Swedish nobility, but the joyous
rhythms and foot stompin' precision and singing
guarantee a hearty good time  for all..  If the
truth were known, most of us are of peasant
descent though we hear often enough about
mysterious connections to Swedish royalty. 
Apparently excursions of male members of the
Swedish royal family to the provinces
occasioned the rise of a popular class of merry
tales, the jordbrukers dotter.
6:45  The raffle will be held after the dancers
have had a chance to recover from their
exertions.  In May, the raffle yield was more
than eighty dollars for the club treasury.  We
much appreciate the contributions and the
participation of the members in this raffle.

page 1


7:00-7:30  Cleanup this time may involve
bringing furniture from the outside into the
storage rooms, so we will need a good number
of helpers   It is indeed heartening to see the energy that goes into the cleanup after the meeting.

                         LOST AND FOUND
Has anyone lost their glasses? 
We found a pair left on the serving table. 
How about a thermal bag?
Blue with several pockets, cold packs inside. 
Larry Leonardson has both items. Call him at
721-6827 to claim ownership.

                 DIRECTIONS TO OUR MEETINGS
If coming from the peninsula, take I-64 across
the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, follow 64 to
264 East. 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.


 

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

                    OUR ADDRESS ON THE WEB:
               http://members.tripod.com/~SweAmer

 

WHEN LAST WE MET
Monthly meeting was held on May 16th.    Our
president, Leland Peterson, introduced our
visitors, Sharon Andersonís son, and Ted
Johnsonís friend Sandy.  Preceding the meal at
5:00, as is now customary, Ted Johnson led us
in song, which was followed by our Swedish
table grace.  The meal consisted of Swedish
meatballs, meat oaf and an assortment of
vegetables.  Our dessert included a birthday
cake to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the
local Swedish-American Society.  At the
conclusion of the meal, Nellie took the
children to an adjoining room where they made
their individually colored mugs.   Leland began
the business meeting by telling some Swedish
jokes.  He also recommended a book he had
found on Swedish Immigration,
 ďA Community TransplantedĒby Robert C.
Ostergren. Don Lundquist gave the
Treasurerís report.  Plans were discussed for
the next meeting.  We will have a picnic.  Each
member is asked to bring their own meat and a
side dish.  Don Lundquist read a Memorial List
of those who had died since 1981.  We rose
during this time for a prayer and moment of
silence.  This tribute was in keeping with our
Independence Day or Memorial Day
celebration this month.  Nellie announced that
at next monthís meeting the children will be
making May Poles and she needs small (tiny)
dried flowers.  She also asked that we save any
oyster shells that we may come across during
the summer for the childrenís fall project. 
Leland discussed ďA Modest ProposalĒ to
have a raffle beginning in May 2000 for a
drawing of $1,000 to fund travel expenses for
one personís two week trip to Sweden.  After
some discussion, Bob Olson sponsored the
motion, and Don Lundquist amended it, that a
committee be appointed to study the proposal,
and report on it in June. The final report of the
committee will be given in Oct.  The motion
was seconded, voted on and the motion was
carried. The meeting concluded with a Sing-
Along led by Ted Johnson.  There were 40
adults and 7 children in attendance.  The
meeting was adjourned, followed by the raffle. 
The program ended at 6:50 p.m., with clean up
completed by 7:00 p.m. 

 

page 2



 
 
CHILDRENíS
CORNER

The children will be 
making miniature
Midsommar poles.
We will be using
twigs, glue, spanish
moss and small dried
or silk  flowers. 
Nellie  has not
attempted this before
so be prepared to help
your children
complete this project
at home if we are
unable to do so at the
meeting. 


 

MEMBER NEWS

Hans and Margit Thunander have gone to
Sweden for the summer. We can expect to see
them again in the fall.

Don & Joanne Lundquist left on the same plane
with the Thunanders for a 2- week driving tour
of Sweden. They expect to be back for our June
meeting. Weíre hoping for a full report with
photographs!
 

 

Swedish Folk Dancing

     Some of the members may wonder if the
shottische and polka qualify as native folk
dances.  They undoubtedly came to the United
States with the Swedish immigrants in the 19th
century.  One thing is certain, they were not
included in the baggage of the Swedish
Baptist's who came from Dalarna,
despite Dalarna's reputation even today as a
center for folk dancing. Swedish Baptist's in
the town where I first saw the light of day had
strict prohibitions against dancing,  drinking
and the use of tobacco.  There was no dancing
in Stanchfield, nor in any of the surrounding
towns.  As I translate  the opening lines of
Johan pa Snippen, I read that Johan bought
himself an accordion and became  such an
enthusiastic and accomplished player at dances
that he neglected the prayer meetings.  I
suspect that a prejudice against dancing
prevailed with the Dalarna Baptist's because
some people would rather dance than pray..
     However, in the 1930s, there were
numerous dance halls in the countryside away
from the towns.  In one of these in my high
school years I first saw the enthusiastic
dancing of the shottische and polka and heard
the strains of Johan pa Snippen played with
great enthusiasm  by the small orchestra of
accordions and fiddles.  Though  my dancing 
years are far behind me, I have never lost a
spirited appreciation of those who danced with 
vigor, unlimited energy, and fun. I never
dreamed that they were Swedish folk dances. 
Are you ready to whoop it up a little bit?