Mosby and Høie Fabrikker
Started working in the middle of February. It was cold and a lot of snow on the ground. Went skiing a couple of times. We first got a one room apartment with kitchen. I took the bus into Kristiansand to buy some kitchen and cooking utensils. In the basement there was a shower, but you had to heat the water. We used it every Friday night. After a month or so we got a bigger apartment. We made good friends in the neighborhood and Jacquie joined a sewing club.
Mosby is a little village. Everybody worked at the mill. There was a small grocery store, but you had to go to Kristiansand for greater things such as hardware, restaurants, movies, library, dentist, doctor, barber, hairdresser.
The mill was family owned. The old man, Oscar Jebsen, was a fine old gentleman. My father knew him from the old neighborhood in Bergen. Two sons at the mill, one in the office, the other, technical, had spent some time in the U.S.A> He was a first class SOB, and was a significant factor for me wanting to go back to the States. He wanted me t stay longer. “You know we can’t get another man like you”. Although I only worked there for a little more than 10 months, they gave me a month’s salary (bonus) when I left.
There was nothing to do in Mosby. The only social affair was the “badehus” (prayer house). We, the engineers and upper office workers, belonged t a group that was called “the upper fifth”. Everybody knew your business, even my salary which was 25% more than Norman Anderson got. He was the head dyer before me. He was 58 and had worked in the dye house since he was 13.
Our best friends were the Hvattums, Ole Jakob and Ellen. Mike’s [my brother] middle name is after their oldest son Ivar.
Jon was conceived here on October 26, 1950 on Ellingson’s sofa. One of the pieces of furniture we had given to us. [Note: this is the beginning of the legend that is me! ]
All in all it was not a bad time, thanks to the many friends we made there.
Bergen to New York, January 1951
It was an unimaginable feeling going on board the Oslofjord. All Norwegian was behind me: taxes, military service (I was in the Guard). My cousin Henry, who was in the police department, was a tremendous help getting through all the red tape.
When leaving port we play the Norwegian and American National Anthems. Edith Hausvik and friends were at the dock. Her brother in law was in charge of the linen department on the ship.
It was a rough passage. Smooth the first day as we passed the Faroes, but then storm and bad weather hit us. That was probably more the Shetlands or the Orkneys. The bad weather continued almost until we hit New York. I was the only one at our table for about 5-6 days. We docked in the harbor Monday morning and cleared customs, no problems. Nana and Grandpa John [Jacquie’s mother and step father] were there to meet us. We checked the old steamer trunk to Baltimore, but all of the rest of the stuff, including our skis, we loaded on to Grandpa John’s old Pontiac convertible. Stopped on the way to eat and it was great to be back in the good old USA. Remember crossing the Delaware at Chester, and in the evening we were in Baltimore.
To be continued again…