View Full Version : Introduction

Skip Sunnell
03-01-04, 04:11
What a wonderful new format for SFHS! I am originally from Aberdeen, Washington, grew up in Eugene, Oregon. In 1978, I moved to Alaska where I met my wife of seventeen years - Rachel. We have twins (Lars & Grace). We moved to Gorham, Maine (from Anchorage, AK), a little over three years ago. We now live out in the country with the cows & chickens.

My parents (both) were Swedish-Finn. Dad was first generation born in America with older brother and sister born in Finland. Mom's parents were also first generation American, my mother's parents were also born in Finland.

I've not delved too deeply into geneology, but have a mental history (my now being 64 years of age) of many of the old country stories told by my grandparents, aunts & uncles.

During my youth, I spent summers in Skagit County, Washington on the family farms. My grandparents and aunts & uncles firmly introduced me to the Scandanavian work ethic, church on Sundays. I have one living uncle, Arthur Johnson, living in Eugene, Oregon. The rest of my former generation have passed on. I am a composite of their influence however, and very grateful to have had the life and upbringing I did. The stoicism of the culture was painful. It seemed sad to me that my relatives were honored after they passed, but not much was said when they were present on this earth. I've tried to be more verbal in my appreciation and love for those still living for that reason.

I'm pleased to attend, contribute, and participate with the august group of Swede-Finlanders in this forum.


June Pelo
03-01-04, 20:51

I'm glad you decided to join us and I just want to welcome you aboard and hope we'll hear more from you. Maybe you can convince Sunnie and Vincent to participate - I'm sure they have some interesting stories to tell.


03-01-04, 23:02
Hi Skip,
Glad you are here!

06-01-04, 17:31
Hi, Skip!

You will enjoy every moment of partaking!

Kind regards,


16-01-04, 22:59
Hi Skip!

I've exchanged emails with Vincent and Sunny and welcome you. What a fantastic resource. My family has roots in Mt. Vernon from both my mother's side and father's side. Mother's uncle Victor Lillquist families and father's side: uncle Martin and Livan Lindquist with 1st cousin Ellen and Elmer Hanson with sons: Lawrence, John and daughter Dorothy. Small world, eh?

Welcome to SFHS.

Skip Sunnell
17-01-04, 01:40
I remember family names from Skagit County because Vincent and I shared a lot of time together summers. He and Sunnie both would know the relational connections between all of us much better than I because they were born and went to school there.

One thing that stands out in my mind though, I've not mentioned. Somehow during those years I was introduced to the Sons of Norway hall in Seattle. They had a fantastic restaurant and a floating dance floor there --paradise to a Swedish-Finn who liked sea food and dancing to scandanavian music. I can't remember the name of the restaurant at the moment, but recall the many good times I was there, both as a student and later an adult.

17-01-04, 03:26
It's now the Mountaineer center. The Board of the Norway center needed moneys to update the building to code or something, took on a mortgage with a sliding percentage, and it started to rise. Within three years they were forced to sell the building. Couldn't manage the interest even!!!
Really sad! That one millionaire boat builder or fisherman or something couldn't have bailed out the center.
Do you remember the wonderful Lucia coronation ceremony they hosted once?
And the balcony or loft which runs around the ballroom floor? Us kids used to roam the balcony while the bachelors hid in the shadows underneath, and the hopeful girls used to stand on the open sides nearer the stage.
Finlandia Foundation Seattle Chapter has had some lovely Independence Day banquets there.

Skip Sunnell
17-01-04, 18:17
The restaurant name was the Norslander. I just thought of it. I do remember the interior of the hall and the restaurant. It is really sad it couldn't be kept as a scandanavian traditional center. Do you remember the dance floor. Floating hardwood floors are these days, a thing of the past too.

My uncle Edvard Sunnell lived in Ballard. He and his wife Aina (who was a Finn) made sure I had what 'culture' they could give me when I stayed with them.