Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's in a Name

Before I married, my last name was Svensson. There were many in Viken with the same last name. Viken was a small village, 2200 inhabitants. A lot of us were related and some were not. Kallentin Svensson was one of my father's cousins, they were double cousins, their mothers were sisters and their fathers were brothers.

Kallentin had two children - Fritjof and Ingeborg (read Icelandic saga with that title). Ingeborg was my favorite relative of all time. She and her husband Curly (named so by my children when they met him) had two sons and legally changed their name from Johansson to Kallertin. There was someone already with the legal name Kallentin so they were denied that name.

When you go to work for the government in anyway you were seriously advised to change your last name if it ends with: sson, ssen, sen, son and sue for a new name and if someone else already had that name and if they objected, then they had to think of a new name. The government it too difficult to keep track of all the different spellings (this obviously was before computers).

Kallentin had a brother Karl who also had to take a different name than Svensson and he chose the name: Remberg. Heaven's no, I don't know why he chose that name. He was a coastal traffic officer so he had to change his name. He saved people who's ship went down. Unlike our Coast Guard, they were not armed.

Karl had as sister name Nanny. She never married, owned a weaving school and wove large pieces for churches and public buildings. I went in her studio one time and there 4 women at one loom passing the shuttle one to the other and it was a huge rug they were making. At one time I knew where it was going but I don't remember.

Her brother owned a place where you could order fence posts and gates and decors for inside or outside a house. He forged. It was a very noisy business.

The bakery was owned by a cousin of these two brothers also named Svensson and they had to change their name. They owned the bakery up by the windmill in Viken. If you wandered through the little village I could have named many, many more whose name was Svensson.

Until I married, I never thought to change my name from Svensson but I was very happy to change it to Stockton.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World Series Time

I watched President Obama introduce the new head of the FBI, which made me think of a young man who's father was an FBI agent and my search for his name in the World Series baseball roster for the past fifty years.
My son and this young boy, the star pitcher, played on a Little League baseball team together. When it became apparent they may go all the way -- a bombshell hit. The star pitcher may not be here because his father was being transferred to Seattle and thus the team would lose their pitcher for their big World Series type play-off.
We asked the pitcher's parents if he could stay with us until our Little League season ended. They agreed, provided their son was okay with the arrangement.
It was a fun time having him with us. I remember especially scaring him witless when I cackled like witch dressed in black on Halloweeen when he was out trick-or-treating with my children.
Rather than accept his parents' offer of money for room and board, I asked the young boy to sign a contract saying: I promise if I ever pitch in a true World Series, I'll send you air and game tickets.
For years and and years and years I kept checking pitchers on rosters and never saw his name.
I'm now nearly 94. My son is nearly 70 and this young would-be pitcher must be the same age as he is. Now I've stopped checking.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Voice from the Past

This is in order to tell you why I've been quiet for so long. I moved from Santa Cruz to Mill Valley and am now living at the Redwoods. Life here is wonderful. We are constantly occupied and educated and there is no reason for anyone to ever be bored.

I've had a strenuous time trying to get news of my eyesight which is waning faster than I want it to. But I'm fine otherwise. I go shopping across the street to a Safeway store. I do my own cooking and I feel well.

By doctor's orders, I'm not supposed to take the local bus system but one of the bus connected to this place has walker accessibility and I can go to whatever doctor's appointments I need to or go shopping locally. Everyone here, all the staff are so unbelievably loving and caring and its a joy to live here.

For example, we were told our electricity was going to be off for two hours the other day. I was sitting in my recliner taking my afternoon nap and forgot my recliner was electrical. Suddenly, every light went off and I couldn't get up because my feet were up in air in the chair and I couldn't get them down because of my electrical recliner. I had to press the button I wear around my neck. In came a wonderful person we have who is friend to everyone. She moved a couple of things out of the way that had been blocking me and I could climb out of my chair. She said goodbye and the whole thing was over. In couple of hours the electricity went on and I put my chair in it's correct posture.

I have much joy from my cat Edgar who is here. He now has two homes, having adopted my neighbor. She leaves her screen door barely open and I do, too. If I miss him and he's been gone too long, I call Adele and she says, oh, yes he's sleeping on my bed.