From Otto's autobiography:
It was now time to think of a trip for the four of us (my father Otto, my stepmother, Betty, my brother Mike, and I). Sons of Norway, District 3, had charter flights to Norway. That was perhaps the main reason for me joining the Order.
We saved and borrowed some money. Fortunately, in those days, things were very reasonable in Norway. Before we left the States, I had written the family in Bergen to arrange for a trip for us from Trondheim down the fjords to Bergen. It was a four week trip leaving New York on a Friday and returning four weeks later Sunday evening.
It was an exciting time. Bought suitcases, some if not all, on Green Stamps.
The day of departure arrived. Can't remember the date, but it was early July. Pop Linthicum came to the house and drove us to the RR station.
Pop Linthicum, my stepmother's father.
Arrived in New York early afternoon. Got a taxi to Kennedy International Airport. Fare $13.00. We got there early, but after a while it was time to board the plane, a DC-8. Members of Sons of Norway District 3 were there to wish us bon voyage.
That's my brother, stepmom, and me(with light khakis) in the center looking at the camera.
After we were in the air, there there were cocktails and a (late) supper. We had some kids in the seats behind us, kicking and moving. Didn't get much rest. Some things never change. Being a charter flight, there were two bars open all night. No charge. A lot of happy Norwegians.
Landed early Saturday morning at Fornebu (Oslo). It was just great to see Norway and all the red roofs of houses and cottages. At this time I think Mom was happy to be with us.
After landing, we had a few hours before leaving for Bergen. Bought a few postcards and sent one to Pop Linthicum. He got it the next week. Uncle George (Betty's brother in law) said he sat and looked at it for a long time. I don't think he ever expected to see us again (Pop was a skeptic and never believed men landed on the moon).
Then on to Bergen. A small two prop plane. It was cloudy over the mountains. Couldn't see a thing but clouds against the windows. Some people got sick. After a while the clouds cleared and we saw the skerries and little islands around Flesland airport.
The whole family was there to greet us: Bestefar (Otto's father), tante (aunt) Ovidia, and Audun (Otto's younger brother) and the kids (Erik, Giske, and Knut). Drove home to Laksevaag. Got a big kick out of the signs at the Esso gas stations: "Put en tiger paa tanken" (Put a tiger in your tank). At Laksevaag the Norwegian flag was flying in the wind.
Had a big dinner in Andy's (Audun's) kitchen, Giske waiting on the table. After a while we got tired. It had been a long day and night. Karla )(Audun's wife, my tante) had bought new sheets for our bed. By this time it had cleared up and we could see the lights across the bay and Mom said, "Thank you Far for bringing me here."
The next week or so we spent in Bergen: the Fish Market, The cable car to Ulrikken, a tour of the fjords on the "White Lady", and the funicular to Fløyen. Kaare (Otto's youngest brother) was in town and he lent us his car and we drove up to Kvamskogen where Karla was with the kids. Had a nice day there. The boys and their cousins rented a boat and rowed around the lake. Some kids were swimming in the ice water. "It is nice," they said with their blue noses. Karla wanted us to stay, but we went back to town. Fed some goats on the way, they loved American cigarettes (Betty still smoked).
The next day we went with Kaare to Lonevaag. Drove to Garnes, then the ferry to Haus on Osterøy. Drove up the valley and the church at Gjerstad. Then down to Lonevaag. Bought some rolls and some Coke and had lunch there next to the pier.
This was the place I was conceived during Easter vacation in 1919, up at "Lemmen" in Johan and Thea Kalleklev's house. My grandfather, Mons Andersen, grew up here. The farm was up the hill, it was called Fossen (meaning waterfall). The foundation of the houses were still there when we spent our summers there from about 1925 to 1934.
We visited Olaf Hatland and family and Asbjørn Natland and his wife Brita. It was at the Natland farm we we stayed the sumers as kids. Asbjørn's mother Emte was turning the hay, Kaare helping her. She was in her eighties at the time. They made us some sandwiches with fenalaar (cured leg of lamb). Tasted good to an old Norwegian.
From there we drove back to Valestrand (Ole Bull had a house there). Ferry to Breistein and back to Bergen. In those days with little car traffic, Kaare's car was the only one on the ferry. We had a delicious dinner at cafe Ulrikken. Two pork chops, potatoes, and vegetables and gravy for about $1.00 each. Inflation hadn't really started yet.
More to come...