Old Drawer Liner

by Josh on January 20, 2006 · 4 comments

in Basement,House History,Journal

While dismantling the storage drawers and shelves in the basement workshop, I found some interesting old paper lining a couple of the drawers.

The papers date from the house’s “parsonage era” from 1952 to 1973 when it was owned by the last Norwegian-language Lutheran church in the city and occupied by Norwegian pastors. It was pretty easy to determine that date because they’re both total giveaways: part of an old banner with norwegian words on it, and a calendar page from August 1964.

Norwegian banner

The only Norwegian I know is “Uff da” and the names of a few scandinavian foods our family eats at holidays, so I have no idea what this banner says. However, Ms. Bungalow has an intern in her office from Norway who has offered to translate for us. What mysteries are locked in the phrase, “Fra Vesterhovet?” Stay tuned and all will be revealed…


The calendar page from August of 1964 shows an image of downtown Chicago. The calendar image shows the Chicago River, Wacker Drive and the Chicago Tribune building. The picture wouldn’t mean much to me, but it appears to have been taken just one block from the location of a hotel Ms. Bungalow and I have stayed for a conference each of the past two years. Here’s a current picture of the same view from the hotel’s website:

Hotel picture

It’s a strange coincidence that a 40-year-old picture of a city I’ve only visited a few times can be so immediately familiar.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenne January 20, 2006 at 1:55 pm

I translated it using this page…http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Norwegian&to=English

But I won’t ruin the surprise. :)


Jenne January 20, 2006 at 4:56 pm

“In Danish the North Sea is also named Vesterhavet (besides Nordsøen), meaning Western Ocean as it is located west of Denmark.”
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea

If you do a Google Image search for ” Vesterhavet”, you get lots of fun beach pics.

Does your family eat korb and lefska? Rob’s family does :) We’re planning on going to a local Swedish Festival this summer. We don’t live too far from the “Swedish Capital of Nebraska”…


Josh January 20, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for the translation link, Jenne. “At Vesterhovet” isn’t the deep Norwegian wisdom I was hoping for, but at least the mystery is solved… or is it?

Now what the heck is Vesterhovet?


Josh January 20, 2006 at 5:56 pm

Vesterhovet, “Western Ocean.” I had guessed at this translation from using some online dictionaries, but couldn’t get an exact match for the “hovet” part. Thanks, Jenne.

So what Norwegian food do we eat? Lefse, kringle, krumkake, sometimes pickled herring, and formerly meatballs before we stopped eating beef. I’ve had lutefisk once, but otherwise my family never tried to get my generation to eat it.

Have you head the joke about the Minnesotan who went to Norway? When he arrived in his ancestral homeland, the Minnesotan took a cab from the airport to the center of Oslo. He walked into the first restaurant he saw, sat down and asked the waiter for his finest plate of lutefisk. Insulted, the waiter replied, “Lutefisk? No one eats that here–we’ve had refrigeration for years!”


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