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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Allt for Sverige

Allt for Sverige

I want to go to Sweden this summer. I'm due.

Did you know, for all the falderal about palm trees in Poland, that I am a fourth-generation Swedish American? And (for that matter), I'm a fourth generation Coloradoan. I come from hardy stock. My ancestors came out here to mine. I found them in the census registry in mining territory from 1870, and earlier. After the mining didn't pan out, they farmed. On this desert. Like I said, crusty, hardy stock.

But about going to Sweden. I think it is time. My novel, set near Boston and in Poland, has a strong Swedish component. My protagonist was born in Stockholm, at the Karolinska Institute, where her father was doing post-doctoral study. She comes from a distinguished, if a bit odd, Swedish-American lineage. You see, in her life -- as in my own -- there is this story...

"'They say that horse-racing is the sport of kings. I say it is bedding young girls,'" says Farmor. My grandmother is about to tell me the family secret. I scoot in close. The Kentucky Derby can wait..."

The rumor in my own Erickson family, and the reality in my fictional Lind family's is that the King of Sweden had, shall we say, a dalliance with a young woman of the family. And a child was born. I am maybe, my character is for certain, descended from that liaison.

I think I need to go and check this out, don't you. I don't have a clue how to corroborate the story in my case. But it would be fun to wander around Dalsland feeling a bit like a princess.

I just applied, at my brother's urging, to be on a Swedish reality show, to search for my ancestors. I even promised I'd eat crayfish, jump from an airplane, bungee jump, ride a reindeer. I really think this would be the bee's knees. Don't you?

Allt for Sverige needs me. Don't you agree?

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