Memories of Great-Uncle Thor
and his family
I always felt a very close connection to the Heglands - "Uncle Thor & Lena" as we referred to them - because we got to know them well.
Ellen, Lorentz's wife, was a career gal - She worked for the telegraph company in Fargo (when, can you believe, telgrams were delivered personally by young men who rode bicycles - Oof!) Both Judy (my sis) and I worked at "housework & childcare" for Ellen at one time - myself, about a year, before starting nursing school - One had to be 18 before admission and I was 17 when I finished H.S. - and did I ever need to earn money, too - $5.00 a week - but we saw a lot of and got to know the families - especially Tony & Gertrude - and Sophie Bekkerhus - noted & famous I think because of being a fabulous cook.
My Grandma (Kristi) was very fond of her nieces and nephews - especially Thor's family as they lived at McIntosh - and in the Fargo-Moorhead area - and it was possible to see them on occasion.
As for Tarje and Anne in southern MN - it was another story - Whalen MN might have been in Europe - it seems so remote - Kirsti would go and visit them and 2 of those nieces - Susie and Marie came by train to Eastedge and visited grandma. Of course, it was exciting for us kids - and I feel now that it was a great privilege to grow up in what I now think must have been grand central station in Thordensjold township!
Great-grandmother Sissel lived on a farm near Whalen with Tarje & Anne and died in 1916 - the year I was born - at near 100, I think.
...Now to Grandma K's relationship with her McIntosh relatives - One of the things I remember (the few times Thor & Lena came to see Grandma - Thor never wanted to stay long - a night or two at most - his pat expression was "We've seen each other, everyone is OK - so what more is important?" All in Norwegian language - I think he was an ambitious man & small talk was not a top priority - All the Hegland's were super friendly & sociable and very fine company.
Tony worked for Cook Sign Co. in Fargo and would occasionally have work to do in the Valley City or some area within 20 miles of our farm - We never knew when he might stop but about supper time the "Cook Sign Co" truck would drive in and he would sleep over & what fun to have him - Too bad there wasn't a recorder going - such wonderful dialogue in Norse - and the hearty laughing.
I know Grandma had a great sense of humor - She was a very special "Bestemor" as we kids called her - One of her pet expressions when she was older - in Norwegian, which I no longer remember, meant "If my strength matched my ambition there would be a lot I could do."
Gertrude (Trudy) is the daughter of Martin Gilbertson and
granddaughter of Thor's sister Kristi (Hegland) Gilbertson.