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Monday, October 13, 2008

Leroy Anderson exhibit

Friday morning I took the bus to St Paul on the other side of the river. It took a while, but it's interesting to see the different neighborhoods. I got off at the Minnesota History Center, which is a museum and archive. I spent a few hours there, doing research. Found about half of what I was looking for. Lunch in the cafeteria was cheap and very tasty, Minnesota wild rice soup with chicken and a sandwich. Got on another bus to downtown Minneapolis, and changed there to go to the American Swedish Institute. Jane (who had arrived last night) had been there most of the day working on the exhibit about her father. We were there until about 10 PM and wrote texts for the pictures, and made plans for the Saturday events with the staff. Dinner was a very late cup of soup in Jane's hotel room.

Saturday I did some exploring in the area, I walked Lake Street east and found fairly soon a shop I have heard of many times but had never been to: Ingebretsen's. It was like little Scandinavia in there. They sold lots of Scandinavian souvenirs, glass, ornaments, fridge magnets, books and items relating to the Nordic homelands. The food section was also interesting, they sold salmon, cheese, sausages, brown beans, herring, imported lingonberryjam, crispbread, chocolate and candy, and much else. The place was very popular. After a little more walking and window shopping, I returned to the hotel. At 5 PM Jane and I were picked up and brought to the American Swedish Institute. We attended the reception for the official opening of the Leroy Anderson exhibit, along with some especially invited people. Some of the Nelsons were also there, and we all viewed the complete exhibit. At 7 PM Jane gave a marvelous speech about her father, focusing on the Swedish aspect. A string quartet played several of the best known pieces, like Syncopated Clock, Forgotten Dreams and Sleigh Ride. Great entertainment from all participants. Afterwards Jane and I went to dinner with Bill, Mark and Jen from the Institute.

Today (Sunday) Ron Nelson stopped by the hotel to pick us up and he drove us to Lester & Esther Nelson in west Bloomington. It was very nice to see them again, and we talked about the time they came to Sweden to search for us in 1991. It was the start of everything, that's when I began the research to find the descendants of the emigrants in my family tree. It has lead to a whole lot more than I ever imagined.

This evening a research friend, Randy, brought me to a dinner with some other people with Swedish ancestors; Shelley, Todd and Connie. It was yet another tasty dinner in good company. We discussed difficult research questions and things Swedish.

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