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Monday, June 30, 2008

Historical Society celebration

The sharp object my mother wanted for her birthday was an axe! She has a stove in the house, so she needed the axe to cut firewood.

My mother is doing even better, she only uses one crutch now, and it seems to be going well.

Saturday I spent about four hours at the historical society in Norra Strö to arrange the exhibit. I got two tables and a few shelves for the part about Leroy Anderson. It was focused on the Swedish aspect, and I had his ancestor chart there, picture of the emigrant ship, story of the emigration and family, photo of Brewer's birthplace in Övarp and several other family photos, and the book where it says that Leroy's father was from Övarp, among other things. I also filled one shelf with clocks (to illustrate Syncopated Clock) and one with album covers. The old typewriter was placed in the center of a table, with CD-covers around it. In addition to this, there was one table with information and ancestor charts for other celebrities whose ancestors came from Norra Strö. These included Swedish author Gustaf Hellström, American ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his daughter actress Candice Bergen, and Swedish actress Marianne Lindberg Bernadotte, who married into the royal family.

Sunday was the big day at the historical society. When my mother, aunt and I got there a few minutes after opening, it was already crowded. When I finally made it in to the hall, people started asking an enormous amount of questions, and it was great to see such an interest! I found myself discussing everything from distant ancestors to Blue Tango's popularity in the 1950s. We could only get ten CD's to sell and it took three minutes to do that. Almost all the flyers I had made were gone when the day was over. The candy too.

In the afternoon a part of Kristianstad Stadsmusikkår played Leroy Anderson pieces, and they did it very well. Some of the pieces: Belle of the Ball, Rakes of Mallow, Blue Tango, Clarinet Candy and Syncopated Clock (twice). Tommy was there of course (since he plays in that orchestra) and Patrik was there with his family. Tommy told the story of how we ended up celebrating the Centennial, which was very good, since not everybody knew about it.

I talked to Mats, who now owns the house Brewer was born in, and he said several people had been there to see it. He thinks it's amazing that his little house attracts such an interest.

Several of my relatives were at the historical society that day, and it was so nice to see them (the last time I saw some of them was in 1995)! The Leroy Anderson Centennial has had very interesting side-effects, I have never met and talked to so many people on any subject before. It has been a wonderful experience.

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