Thursday, July 31, 2008

Paco Rosic

Paco Rosic is a local artist who used aerosol cans of paint to create his interpretation of the Sistine Chapel in Waterloo, IA, at his restaurant called Galleria De Paco. It is a sight to see. I went with a group of art teachers and we were all truly amazed.

To think all of this was done with approximately 5000 cans of spray paint in four months is unbelievable. Michelangelo spent four years (1508 to 1512) to create his masterpiece...
Click here to see photos of Paco's Sistine Chapel work in progress.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fallhemmet, Ljung, Östergötland, Sweden

I told you I would ramble on with random postings... In 2001, I went to Sweden with my Mom, Aunt Joyce and cousin Robin. We explored the homeland of our ancestors and traveled the countryside seeing places where they lived. We found the people of Sweden to be the most gracious and hospitable people who made our adventure even more special.

One special place was called Fallhemmet. A cabin built by brothers Karl and Adolph Svensson up in the hills behind their birthplace. Only by 2001, nothing remained of the cabin but the cellar. Still written on some maps, it is up off the rough lumber road tracks, the location is marked for hunters and extreme sports trackers. We hiked up to the area where ferns and thick sheets of moss covered huge slabs of rock covering the hillside. There would be no photo of an old cabin.
So being the resourceful person technology has allowed me to become I took an old photo from 1929, of Fallhemmet and 2001 photos of the trees, ferns and flowers of the area and combined them all, adding color to the scene and a painting like finish. Here is an example of my technical skills.

Captain 11

“Captain 11. Today’s man of the future. One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected. He must be kind. He must be fair. He must be brave. You have fulfilled these requirements; and, we of the outer galaxies designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas. You are Captain 11!”

Don't ask me why I've jumped from Grandma Phoebe to Captain 11. I guess I was looking back at people who inspire others and I had the words above saved in a file. I met Captain 11 when I was 5 years old and in the hospital. He came to the children's ward giving out balloons. Mine was red and it floated for ages in our toy room in the basement until it sank and shriveled up into the corner.
Captain 11 was on KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, SD for over 40 years running from March 1955, to December 1996. Anyone who watched the children's program remembers, "Wave one hand, both hands, then both hands and jump with both feet." Then he would say "freeze" and pick a lucky "crew member" out of the audience and lift them up as a frozen statue.
I saw Dave Dedrick as an adult a few years ago at a distant cousins funeral visitation and part of me became that child in awe of "Captain 11". I didn't feel it was appropriate to approach him at the funeral home but did get his e-mail from a relative and wrote him telling him my memories of him and the show and that I was now an art teacher. Dave Dedrick a.k.a. "Captain 11" wrote me back:

October 2005
Dear Diane,
I am flattered that you remember. I am also amazed at how frequently I am contacted by former Crew Members. Letters, phone calls, emails....all recalling some special thing we shared.
In retirement I can honestly say the rapport that exists between Crew Members and the Captain is most gratifying. Three generations of little people in four states have found a few moments for a flicker-flashback setting of happiness and carefree times.
That is most obvious when someone sees me in a restaurant or a hardware store and I stand in awe as I observe them staring intently before they point and ask," Are you Captain 11?"
"I used to be"
Then the metamorphoses sets in and they revert to being a little child as they rattle off their recollections of childhood memories. It is a wonder to behold. I just love it.
Thank you for writing and sharing...take good care of my little friends...

Here are the Johnson kids back in the days when we were avid Captain watchers. We're on vacation at Paul Bunyan Land in Bemidji, MN in 1963. Trivia question - What is the name of Paul Bunyan's dog? Left to Right: Debbie, Diane, Steve and Joe.

Grandma's Words

Reap In Joy
by Phoebe Carolina Swanson Johnson
June 1967

You say, It is useless?
Take heart... the Truth shall live!

Your precious seeds will send deep roots in time.

My dad's mother (farmor) was a poet and songwriter. I thought it was appropriate to have my first post connect to her words from the past. Seeds will send deep roots in time. Grandma wrote Poetry and had several poems published in Pasque Petals, the SD Poetry Magazine. She also has work in the Prairie Poet I, II, & III books. For many Christmas greetings she had cards printed with a new song or poem.

The Wedding Party. Front: Myrtle Carlson, Mable Swanson, Josephine Larson, Bride Phoebe Swanson Johnson, Robert Larson. Back: Edna Haglund (later became Elmer Swanson's wife), Elmer Swanson, Rev. R.A. Larson, Groom Joe Johnson, Emil Swanson, Betty Long (later became Gilmer Hildring's wife), and Carl Johnson.

Grandma and Grandpa's wedding write up in the Sioux Falls, SD newspaper:

(THE ARGUS LEADER, Thurs., 6/21/1923)
Wedding - Unique Old Fashioned Wedding is Feature of June Day at Granite, Miss Phoebe Swanson, of Larchwood, Married to Joseph E. Johnson, of Tea, With Country Ceremony and Group of Girls from Sioux Falls

What the bounty and hospitality of the old fashioned wedding used to mean to a whole countryside was recalled last evening in the unique ceremony held at Granite, Iowa, when Miss Phoebe C. Swanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. T. Swanson of Larchwood, Iowa, and Joseph Edward Johnson of Tea were united in marriage. (June 20, 1923)

Tent Reception
The crowds of friends and relatives from Iowa and South Dakota who were present were almost unlimited because of the size of the great tent where the wedding reception and program were held. As soon as the ceremony was finished in the Mission Church of Granite, the automobile loads of guests including many who could not get into the church arrived at the farmhouse, sixteen miles southeast of Sioux Falls. There, for days preparations had been made for the feast. Great pots of coffee were boiling on the stove and an abundance of meats, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream in many varieties were waiting to be served.
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Johnson received their relatives and friends as they entered the tent, and soon the long tables were filled with guests. Following the blessing asked by Rev. R. A. Larson of Granite, Iowa, who had performed the ceremony, congratulatory speeches were made to the bride and groom, and those present expressed the hope that their table might always be filled with good things and that they might find happiness in their future home.
“I Love You Truly,” was sung by Miss Mabel Swanson, sister of the bride, and Miss Edna Hegland (Haglund) of Menominee, Michigan, played two piano solos. Rev. Larson and Rev. E. Begland (Bergland) living north of Brandon made short addresses. Mrs. Larson sang “Perfect Day”.

Friends from Sioux Falls
The flow of refreshments was not stopped by the program, however. Over twenty girls who had motored from Sioux Falls for the purpose served the crowds. Assisting were Elloa McLellan, Maude McLellan, Frances Howlin, Esther Thompson, Gladys Brandt, Alpha Hoyne, Athetha Meyers, Eleanor Martin, Thelma Carlberg, Martha Bradly, Rowena Bliss, Lois Allen, Florence McGilvray, Hazel Lundquist, Lucille Helfert, Helen Helfert, Hilda Carlson, Effie Straight, Vera Hodgins, Ruth Krumm, Mrs. L.A. Johnson, Alma Johnson.
Many went to the room filled with wedding presents for the young people. A piano was included among the gifts. Electric lights and candles illuminated the scene. The tables were arranged around the bridal table as a center and were decorated with peonies, roses of brilliant hues and pink candy baskets.
With little thought of the long distance many of those present would have to drive before they would have to reach their homes, the guests feasted and celebrated for hours. The little flower girls Josephine Larson and Myrtle Carlson and the small ring bearer Robert Larson were gay and sleepy at the same time as the evening advanced.

Church Ceremony
In the church ceremony the bride walked slowly down the isle on the arm of her father as the wedding march from ‘Lohengrin’ was played. She was gowned in white satin, softly draped and trimmed with pearl medallions. Her long veil of tulle was held in place with a band of orange blossoms. She carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley and pink roses. Miss Mabel Swanson, the brides sister, was maid of honor. She wore a gown of pale yellow canton crepe and carried a bouquet of roses. Bridesmaids were Miss Betty Long of Larchwood and Miss Hegland (Haglund).
After an extended trip through the east and south for their honeymoon, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson will make their home on the bridegrooms farm four miles northeast of Tea.


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