Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
one of my best childhood friends was roy mukka. he was usually called poika cuz he was the youngest of the family. it was a finnish tradition thing. poika means boy. poika lived about 2 or less blocks from our house on south pewabic. he lived on calumet street, probably the only street in laurium that wasn't paved. it was next to a field bordering the c & h rail going to lake linden. poika came running over to my house with some important news. "we are getting a phone hookup right this minute, the guy doing it is there in our kitchen. but i ain't allowed to use the phone, only if someone calls me. so i will run home and you ring me up. the number is 263m. but give me a minute to get home. so i waited about a minute and picked up the phone. operator said number please and i said 263m. she said that phone was just barely installed. she rang 2 longs. poika's mom picked up and said hallo. i said is poika home? she said, "hmmm, already, here it starts, poika, telephone. so we talked for a couple minutes, then he ran back to my house and told me how neat that was to be able to talk to me from his kitchen.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
this is swedetown skiing, best in the world, bar none. cross country skiing dates back to who knows when. john karsikas fought the russians in the 20's on skis. people skied across huge tundras in below 0 temperatures. locally we had finnish ski craftsmen, kukkaa otto of fulton for one. some if his skis are still around and in use. long skis. made from white oak. ellen hyrkas skied from rauhala with her friends to hancock bc because the roads were'nt plowed in those days. but today skiing is not a necessity but a pleasant pastime for many. and the equipment will last a lifetime.
it was a beautiful spring day in march. i went to see helen latvala in onnela which is back of atlantic mine towards the farming country. she lived alone in a small house. she was probably about 70 at the time of this happening. it had snowed during the night, a few inches and the sun was shinning like diamonds on the new fallen snow. when i got to helen's i parked the car and took the short walk to the house. when i knocked repeatedly helen didn't answer. but while knocking i could hear chip, chip, chip coming from the side of the house. there i found helen on a ladder propped against the eve of the house chipping ice with a hatchet. helen was blind, yes, very blind. i asked helen what is she doing on that ladder? she said she had to get the ice off of the eves, but please don't tell my daughter. she would only worry. i found it quite amazing!
another time i went to visit helen and she was quite depressed and weepy. i asked what her problem was. she said the family had installed automatic oil heat to replace the hand fired coal furnace, and now what will i have to do in place of firing up? of course the family was worried about the steep basement steps. helen was very capable and independant. everyone loved helen.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Second Annual (In)Sane Finlander Ice Fishing Contest
(Toinen Vuosittainen Jarjeton Suomalainen Talvikalakilpailu)
Family Team Competition (Free Agency allowed)
Time: 6 AM to 4 PM
Post Tourney Follow-up:
Place: Jeff & Holly Eskola's Traprock Residence
Annual Assignment of Tourney Bragging Rights
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
the picture of dave's dog following ann on snowshoes in their yard close to the watershed sales site after a typical snow fall reminded me of our childhood ski trips to big bunker and little bunker. to get to big or little bunker from south pewabic where i grew up you took the c $ h railroad track to florida location by peltoniemi's and from there you took the street car track towards lake linden until you came to the maple bush were small bunker was located. it wasn't a big hill (i think one of the peers named it for the battlefield during the civil war days, the battle of bunker hill which we read about in grade school). we took turns going down the hill always on the same track to make the ski ruts, each skier going a little farther cuz the trail was broken for him. we kept this his up until the rut would take to the bottom of the hill. then at the steepest part of the hill we made a ski jump a few feet high by piling snow using our skis as shovels, panked it down and made ruts in the jump ramp. then the fun began. we had contests as to who could get the most distance over the jump without falling down. our skis were homemade finlander specials but some kids had store skis. either way we had to keep our skis properly pine tarred and waxed with candle wax. i doubt they even had any actual ski wax those days like now. the bindings on the skis were a simple leather strap. in order to keep the foot from slipping out of the strap we used a strip of car tire innertube which we placed around our ankle and after we put our toe into the strap we stretched the rubber over our toe. it helped a lot to keep our foot in the strap, especially going up hill. the distance to the hill was about one half mile from home up hill each way and sometimes brutally cold. by the time we made the trip, did the hill and came back home we sometimes were frozen in the feet and hands. some of the kids were roy mukka, johnny aalto, ron richards, nipple holland, gail wickstrom, and sometimes a bunch of neighborhood girls also. not to mention the florida location kids who would be there also. it sure was fun and a beautiful place to be.