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Interview with Thure Nyberg

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Thure Nyberg was born in 1907 in Sweden. He settled in Minneapolis in 1929 after spending a year in Montana with his brother. He enrolled in goldsmith training on Lake Street, Minneapolis, and he joined the Jewelry Workers Union. He worked for Nelson & Nelson Jewelry until his retirement.

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2:03:05

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License Please contact American Swedish Institute staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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L. HAMMERSTROM: This is Lawrence Hammerstrom, member of the oral history project of the American-Swedish Institutes Archives and Library Committee. I have with me today Thure Nyberg, member of the Swedish Institute. Today is February 2nd, 1990, Thursday and it’s about 10:00 in the morning. Welcome, Thure.

T NYBERG: Well, thank you.

L. HAMMERSTROM: You spell it, T-H-U-R-E.

T NYBERG: Yeah, T-H-U-R-E but they pronounce it Thure, the H hanged in there and you pronounce the E.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. And the last name is Nyberg, N-Y-B-E-R-G?

T NYBERG: That’s right, it’s good.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How did you get the name Thure?

T NYBERG: Well, I used to want to ask my parents that too but they said there are no -- why they just picked through it because it’s all -- they like it. But most of my other brothers and also carry, one of my relatives name but I have an O. My second name is Emo. I just hated that when I was a little boy, but now, I just go by through E Nyberg. I don’t acknowledge that Emo at all, yeah.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay. When and where were you born?

T NYBERG: I was born in Sweden, of course, and the province of Medelpad very close to Sundsvall, you see there was Sundsvall is on the bay of Bothnian. The 30th of October, 1907, so I’m now an old man.

L. HAMMERSTROM: And your parents’ names.

T NYBERG: My father’s name was [Neil Shuhan 00:01:37] Nyberg and my mother’s name was Matilda Luisa and her maiden name was Yilstrom. She was from Varmland and my father was from Angermanland.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How come they settled in Medelpad?

T NYBERG: My mother came to Angermanland because her brother said he’s gone up to work in the Sundsvall it’s up on Angermanland and she, after, to visit and then she met my dad and fell in love and they’ve got married. So she never went back to Angermanland until about 30 years after they visit. The family really live in Angermanland, I’m the only one or then my younger sister that was born in Medelpad, so they moved on to the district, milling district of Sundsvall that was before I was born.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where did your folks lived in -- is that a village or?

T NYBERG: That’s a village, as I said [unintelligible 00:02:37] the north of Sundsvall. It’s part of Sundsvall now.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How do you spell that?

T NYBERG: Sundsvall

L. HAMMERSTROM: S.

T NYBERG: S-K

L. HAMMERSTROM: S-K

T NYBERG: O over that two dots over - N

L. HAMMERSTROM: Skon.

T NYBERG: That means beautiful. Beautiful, right. And it was a beautiful village. That was walking distance to the city.

L. HAMMERSTROM: This close the city was --

T NYBERG: It’s part of the city now that I was born. It’s part of the city now, I mean Sundsvall.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Sundsvall, okay.

SPEAKER2: Yeah.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of occupation did your dad have?

T NYBERG: Well, he had many occupations really. First step, he was working in the Sawmill, so it was a saw, so to say where they saw the lumber boards auto limbs, you know or big [unintelligible 00:03:35]. And of course, he opened up a bakery. Everybody was baking their own bread and he thought that he opened up a bakery and he was prosperous in making in that bakery. This old bakery goes from all over in Angermanland. This was in Angermanland, up [unintelligible 00:03:52] in Angermanland. It was a bit proud to do. Well, he was a very likable fellow and he got to an old businessman and they really worked on his kindness so to speak. So when they needed money, they had my father sign notes for him. And pretty soon, everything, they wouldn’t pay the bills and he, of course, had to pay the bills for them in the bank loans of course it was.

So he lost the business but he was able to -- at the beautiful home on the river, two-story home, still standing there. I visit them anytime. But then, of course, he had to sell everything to pay the bills that they have signed for and then he moved down. So he couldn’t take it to stay up there in his hometown, so he moved out to Sundsvall and worked in there -- but then he worked at the Paper mill as a chemical engineer, so he was really a bright fellow. But there’s one thing --

L. HAMMERSTROM: Had he gone to university or he got the higher education, had he?

T NYBERG: Well, no. He had just learned himself.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see.

T NYBERG: He was in charge of that saw, [00:05:00] that burning mill, where there were burning logs to make paper over there so he was in charge there. He had a really good job and we were quite relative to do again then when I was growing up. I came from a big family.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How many are you?

T NYBERG: Eleven family, eleven children.

L. HAMMERSTROM: And where were you fit in there?

T NYBERG: And they’re all come to United State except one. One stayed in Sweden, got married and stayed in Sweden and she was here the rest of those for about eight months on summer.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where did you fit in here on these eleven?

T NYBERG: I am the 10th one.

L. HAMMERSTROM: The 10th one, I see.

T NYBERG: Yeah, I’m the 10th child.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How many boys and how many girls where there?

T NYBERG: You know when you asked me that, I always have to start to figure. I think we were five boys and six girls.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. What kind of -- you remember much about you childhood and --

T NYBERG: Yes, I remember everything about my childhood. I had a wonderful childhood because all the older sisters and brothers were ought to the house and over in this country. They come to this country.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see.

T NYBERG: So we were just small family that I remember, only four of us that I remembered from very small and then around 10th, there were only three of us in the family, so very, very nice family.

L. HAMMERSTROM: And the schooling that you got there then.

T NYBERG: Yeah, we were going to school, in the Lutheran Church School, and of course, it was walking distance. Church was just across the road almost up on the hill from where I live.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How long did you go to that school?

T NYBERG: Well, I went there for six years and that’s all education most of the people had over in Sweden, so the rest of the education I got over in this country.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see, did you -- no further school over there or...

T NYBERG: Not all.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Any kind of training of any kind?

T NYBERG: I worked after the graduation, I mean confirmation. I stayed at home for one year because I was only 12 years old when I was confirmed. So of course, my mother, she wanted me to go out and worked when I was that young, so then of course my father was working of course and my older brother was working but I never worked until I was about 14 years old in the mill.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, you work in the mill, doing what?

T NYBERG: Well, really usually job really, it was to clean mill where you finish the lumber from rough boards and to smooth boards. And of course, I have the very easy job. I was the assistant to the one that took care of the machine, so it was a feed boards into the plane, so very easy. So I enjoyed this very much. There, of course, we started to have little more democratic ways of working so we didn’t have so many hours as my brothers had, older brothers had when they were working.

L. HAMMERSTROM: And they have a union?

T NYBERG: Oh, yeah. Sure, yeah. I didn’t like to join that because I was twice conservative when I was growing up because we have this so nice at home and I see in a lot of poor people and so forth and so on, but never have -- we’re getting along fine but I hesitated in joining the union really myself but I did because all the rest did. And then it was controlled, of course I like that on the way these were controlled and so forth and vacation as well.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Did they ever go on strike?

T NYBERG: No, we never was on strike but before my father had been on strike and I think it’s 1909 or something like that, it was the big strike.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that company still in existence?

T NYBERG: No, no, most of sawmills have closed up. Sundsvall District, it was sawmills all over, barely a lot. So one of the politicians had came to re-inspect the community there. He wrote in the paper. He said, “Wherever I saw, I saw a saw.” In Swedish of course.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you had an interested in the politics at that time there?

T NYBERG: No, not really but my folks were very liberal, they were liberal. My mother especially, she was very liberal then my father changed from the liberal party to what they call it, the right. They kind of argue about politics a lot of times. But my mother, in every chance, she was always liberal.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, that was a time of beginning of more social benefits.

T NYBERG: That’s right, so the hearting then the democratic premier also had called the Democratic Party. [00:10:00] The one thing also where there got to be teenager and so forth, they had Democratic Party seemed to it, so all the factories and their communities that there are lots of workers and their people’s park where you have amusement in the summer time and also people host they called it where they have the -- like in the winter time, we will have movies and of course we had the theatre and so forth and so on, and also dancing, of course dancing was the main amusement in Sweden.

L. HAMMERSTROM: That was your social life then.

T NYBERG: Yeah, that’s right.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. How about the -- you said mostly your -- all of your brothers and sisters except one immigrated to America, so you had that talk about immigration in your home for many years I suspect.

T NYBERG: That’s right. My mother was really much for America, very much for and so she never, never really minded that the children went to United States because she always had in mind she was also going to come somebody. My older sister left to America before I was born and she came home for a visit when she’d been there seven years, I remember.

So I was six years old and I think that was really put the plug in me to go to United States because of course I was kind of cute at the time and she always want to have me in her lap and as she always had me in her lap as if she always used to hug me and say, “I want to take you with me to United States when I go back.” She was home all summer. One of my older brothers went with her when she went back. He was only 16 years old.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where was she living now?

T NYBERG: They were living here in Minneapolis.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.

T NYBERG: Yeah, they all live in Minneapolis. My brother [unintelligible 00:12:00] he went to Montana and stayed up and responses. They adopt there until he died.

L. HAMMERSTROM: So you had a good background of interest in United States, so your mother and there’s your brothers and your sisters.

T NYBERG: That’s right. It’s very, very so. Of course, I can remember that first World War when I go back. I was just six or seven years old and I remember Germany went to war and all the church bells were ringing and called all the people to your port that were north and military service, I mean aged. It was very a traumatic really for the people because everything the house, the young people marched-in are reported and of course they have to mobilize but in about a couple of weeks, they were backed home again.

L. HAMMERSTROM: During those war years, how was conditioned economic and that.

T NYBERG: Well, I can remember, we had the coupons we’re just about everything. Sugar and coffee I remember and flower of course. We had our own flower for Garrett. The Garrett, that’s a portage.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.

T NYBERG: And that of course, that was the main evening meal for every sweet, milk and Garett before we went to bed.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you recall what side of the war that Swede were sympathetic too?

T NYBERG: Well, I tell you from the beginning and we were to the camp, we were very much for Germany because the Queen was German and the King of course was part German, her mother was German. My mother really sat on their line but my father was very much for Germany and most people were. I can remember one time, I can’t even remember why they wanted pinecones -- Germany wanted to buy pinecones and I don’t know if they wanted it for fuel or whatever. They wanted it for. So of course, people are not in the wood, are sheltered and picked pinecones, pine as bronze cones, it don’t make in a different wrath. Then it got to be -- so somewhere the kids, you know, they’re all over the site, they’re making a good pay for it, put it them in a big sacks and we got good pay for them.

Then, they got to be -- so the one that pitched from pines as bronze. Of course that was easy there, a big woods, 4 sacks and that all sounds well, but it was easy. So we always did that. So we made good money gets on the [unintelligible 00:14:36]. Then, some of the fellow started to put rocks in the pitch, to bring up the weight. Then they found out about it, they put a stop to that, so we’re making no more money. That’s what a pleasant thought to the War anyhow we made money on there.

L. HAMMERSTROM: So there was -- with coupon, a little tough time there I suppose.

T NYBERG: It wasn’t really tough time. It was a non-threat [00:15:00] because my cousin know my father was -- he was a social Democrat and he was the head of the community so to speak. He was in-charge of distributing the coupons to the people, you could get there so many for each month. So we’re getting along fine. I can’t remember that we ever was in threat.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Any of your brothers get involve with called up to a military service then?

T NYBERG: No but my older brother -- my third brother for me, he went to this under 16 with my sister and that was during the war of course, under 16. So I come over to this country. My other brother then, the three years older than me, he was not old enough for military service. None of us served in this.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your father change his opinion about the war or anything?

T NYBERG: Yes, as soon as United States got into it.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.

T NYBERG: As soon as they got into the war in Europe then he was all for America, then mother told him, “I’ve told you so.”

L. HAMMERSTROM: Did he went to live up to the Second World War at all?

T NYBERG: With me?

L. HAMMERSTROM: Your folks, how long that they lived?

T NYBERG: I have come to my time that I left this country. I left in the fall and I really was not coming here as an Immigrant, so when I wrote to the American Ambassador in Stockholm, I said I want to – I would like to get work permit for about two years because I have no idea that I was going to stay in this company because I went to the road of United States and then further my education, so forth and so forth and then I come back and I want to be school teacher. My grandfather was school teacher and I had all kinds of cousins in Sweden that are school teachers are still in the education though.

L. HAMMERSTROM: When did you father die then?

T NYBERG: Well, when I went to Stockholm for the visa, so I told them that I just wanted a work permit for about two to three years. Well, he said, “Well, it’s open for immigration between the courts I wasn’t failed because all preferred, so the best thing for you is to go like an immigrant and you’re going to need the work permit and then you can come back, go back whenever you feel like and stay as long as you want, so that’s sounded good. I came here in first part of December.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What year was this now?

T NYBERG: That was 1926.

L. HAMMERSTROM: 1926.

T NYBERG: All my sisters and brothers were married. I had three sisters in Minneapolis and then I have two brothers and we’re all married. I was very fortunate when I came here because I stayed with my sister all the time, not next to me but he was about six years older than me. She was married and they have a little boy. I stayed with my family until I got married.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your father die then some month few years?

T NYBERG: I was going to come to that. I told my mother when I left in about two years or three, I’ll be back. By that time, he’s said I’ll be over there too for a visit. In August, I was going to come to visit the family because they always often told them that they are welcome to come and stay where they visit all town and have their mother and father like visited them. So this was before Christmas and I didn’t like it at all. I was homesick. I didn’t like it because I came to Minneapolis and they lived up in Camden, the Swedish community in Camden. Everybody, all the stores up in Camden were run by Swedes, the talking Swedes. It was reflecting another province in Sweden.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Exactly. Is Camden District is up on 42nd.

T NYBERG: 42nd and that was --

L. HAMMERSTROM: Washington comes together.

T NYBERG: Washington comes together and [unintelligible 00:19:06] freeway, Washington grows to other businesses gone on that side. As I said, I didn’t like it there but I was very happy of course to visit my sisters and brothers because they all wanted me to stay with them. When I first came over, I stayed one week with each of them. Then went after New Years and my mother as well with my rent pretty well and when about two weeks after Christmas, we got a letter from my sister in Sweden, the one who stayed in Sweden. My mother was sick and have cancer. My mother is not going to live anymore.

If somebody wanted to come and see her, they come right away. Well, two of my brother and sister decided to go but then she died about two weeks before they left here, so that’s for [unintelligible 00:19:57] in my going back to Sweden. [00:20:00] Then my sister and brother then the one I stayed with went to Sweden for Christmas next year then, that 1927 and they just stayed for about three months to visit my father. Then of course, on that second Christmas then, I went to Montana to visit my brother that’s living in Montana there. He worked in a creamery and I had tickets to come back to Minneapolis, just for the trip for Christmas because I’ve worked -- the first year, I worked for my other brother-in-law because he was a contractor, building contractor, so I work for him and I never like that. I never like to building trains. I don’t know why but I never like that.

Then, I went to Montana to visit over Christmas and my brother hadn’t seen me since I was a little boy and hadn’t seen any of these relatives for a long time, so he was only I went up to, he’s married and have two children. He’s talked to me into staying up there at least over winter. He says nothing to go back to Minneapolis in the winter time. So I stayed there because I have the ticket to come back to Minneapolis but he went down to the station and got the money back so I stayed there for a year then I’ve got a job in the creamery, so I like to be there, up there.

Then in the meantime, of course my mother had died and then my younger sister and my older brother, he was married in Sweden. My brother who is three years older than me, he was married in Sweden and had little girls, so they came over here. We’re all here except for our oldest sister that was married in Sweden. When their mother dies, live at home. Your home is gone to at the same time. Then I started to learn the trade. My older brother asked her. He was about 12 years older than me. He was always after me to learn to trade, I got to learn something. Well, I said, “I don’t need to learn a trade because I want to go back to Sweden. I want to be a school teacher.” Well, that of course, after my mother’s passing, then it got to be different completely. Then I have the chance to learn the Euro trade.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Up in Montana?

T NYBERG: No, here, in Minneapolis.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Minneapolis, I see, okay.

T NYBERG: I came back there when my brother and sister came back from Sweden. I stayed up one year. Then, of course, it was hard times in Minneapolis.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What years was this now, 30s?

T NYBERG: That was 1929.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Twenty-nine, yes.

T NYBERG: I did when I [unintelligible 00:22:33], 1928, I stayed up in Montana the whole year. We came back over Christmas. Of course, I started to trade. I was fortunate enough that the people that have that manufacturing shop, right in Minneapolis there, there were friends -- my grandfather is Sweden, so I have the inside track right there. And their father I called grandpa all the time. He was here. They take him over in Sweden. He was even to my parents wedding, so he was very interested in our family of course. So that helped me a lot that I have the inside track there.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where was this training took place in Minneapolis here, whereabouts?

T NYBERG: The manufacturer bliss?

L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.

T NYBERG: Yeah, at that time, we were right on 8th Street. They had their own building on the 8th Street, that right off Hennepin Avenue. Then they were in the hard times, they sold the building to the [Suncor 00:23:32] Norway. The Suncor Norway had [unintelligible 00:23:36] downtown in the medical block in 6th Street in [unintelligible 00:23:43] Avenue. We were there for quite a few years until they thorn down the building when that started, the work for them to learn to trade so to speak as an apprentice of course.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Was this a company?

T NYBERG: Yeah, it’s a company. Two brothers that owned the Nelson & Nelson manufacturing Euros and they’re still in business but their company is still in business in new time, silent proper in the company. When I started with them, they referred two people working there. They were big, very big company. Then during depression, we went -- they went on and then they have to sell the building, went down, of course, we were only four people working and I was still there.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of wages did you get in those days?

T NYBERG: When I first started, I got $12 a week and I paid my sister $6 a week. I thought I was doing pretty good. I had $6 on my earnings so to speak. I would say, I was very fortunate that I could stay with my own people because you did the -- well, it’s just like other brother of course and that I was just like the son of the family so to speak. My brother in law was wonderful person. He was Dalsland [unintelligible 00:24:56]

L. HAMMERSTROM: [Unintelligible 00:24:57] in Dalsland.

T NYBERG: You’re from Dalsland.

L. HAMMERSTROM: My folks.

T NYBERG: Oh your folks. [00:25:00] I’ve been in Dalsland. It’s very nice. When I started, I’ve got the trade and I was an apprentice for five years but then I got to increase in wages in every year. Of course, the top wage at that time was $0.80 to $0.50 an hour and then that was that top wage is too where a lot of people work for $0.50, $0.60 the progress of work but the top one was $0.80 to $0.50. I still have in mind I should go back to Sweden.

After seven years, 1935, about eight years in the spring, I went back to Sweden after you’re going to see, so I was there for six months and I could have gotten job in the place in Sundsvall in the stores at that time because they always have the shop in the back of the store Sweden have.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Are you staying with your father there then?

T NYBERG: Yup, so then our first set. Then I didn’t like Sweden because my friends, when you’re the teenager, you want to leave and you’re mature so to speak in this country and the people over there, the state the same way so to speak, and at that time, they haven’t traveled around like they do it today. My friends said I was going up to the school whether so forth and working with -- they just didn’t -- I don’t know. I just didn’t feel at home with them anymore but then in fall, I told my dad, I got to go home. He said, “You’re home now.” No, I said, this is not my home anymore, so then I went back and then few years, I got married to a Swedish girl but born in this country.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What’s her name?

T NYBERG: Ha?

L. HAMMERSTROM: What’s her name?

T NYBERG: Her name is Gladys Dahlender. Both her parents had come from Sweden when they were real young their father came here for best to youth land when he was only 15 years old.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How do you spell that last name?

T NYBERG: D-A-H-L-E-N-D-E-R

L. HAMMERSTROM: Dahlender.

T NYBERG: Dahlender. Originally, the family came from Dalsland. They were from Dalsland. She was Dalsland but originally, they had great grandfather had come from Dalsland that’s where he taken the name Dahlender.

L. HAMMERSTROM: When did you get married then?

T NYBERG: I got married in late in life really. I was 31 years old. At that time, it was late.

L. HAMMERSTROM: That would be, what year was that?

T NYBERG: In 1939.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.

T NYBERG: I got married on mid-summer day.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where about you’ve been married?

T NYBERG: In Minneapolis, right in our home.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, in a home?

T NYBERG: Yeah, right in our home. We have all our relatives there and all friends. They had a big house in North Minneapolis and the house was just full of people and reception there and everything. Nice mid-summer day.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I bet it was. I was just thinking, going back to the -- when you left Sweden, the voyage or the trip over here, do you remember much about that. Was that --

T NYBERG: I enjoyed it every much because first, I was going to say, the last summer, I have the most wonderful time in Sweden that I ever have had in my whole life.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What summer is this?

T NYBERG: The last summer, in 1926 summer because everybody was working and everybody have it pretty well, pretty well said and we had the wonderful time in the temperance side of the one temperance. A the temperance, after we have wonderful things all the time going on and also of course in the people’s park in the summer time and also -- and the people’s house so to speak in a regular time, movies and dances and so forth. I have wonderful time [unintelligible 00:28:49] or normal people do it.

L. HAMMERSTROM: The voyage over, did you remember how much it cost for example or the name of the vessel that you came over?

T NYBERG: I tell you, when I first -- the trip I went through, I came on [unintelligible 00:29:12]

L. HAMMERSTROM: Where did you land?

T NYBERG: I land in New York.

L. HAMMERSTROM: You went through Ellis Island, did you?

T NYBERG: No, no, I didn’t have to go to Ellis Island, I don’t know why. We just have to line up on the deck and go through with some offices there from the board and then took us from the board to put name tag. I’m not sure, I don’t recall it and then it took us right to the railroad station as I went to Minneapolis, went to Chicago.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What it costs you, do you remember?

T NYBERG: Yes, I still have that it cost me-- on the trip from Sundsvall to [unintelligible 00:29:49] to New York and New York to Minneapolis was 650 crowns. That’s crowns, you know? Then I have made [00:30:00] my own money so I paid for my fare myself.

L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. How was it -- a nice voyage or?

T NYBERG: Yes, we had. It was in the fall of course it was a little bit chilly but we had a real nice drift it was one of the most modern boats at that time and we had good entertainments all the time and wonderful food and everything. It was a wonderful trip. The one I liked before in a cabin then I have upper boards that I have never been in upper boards in my whole life.

L. HAMMERSTROM: How long did it take the trip?

T NYBERG: It took us 9 days just about to say it, I took many, many, many years after.

L. HAMMERSTROM: What was your impression of America when you landed then?

T NYBERG: When I landed, it was in very foggy day, snowy day in New York, first part of December, so I didn’t have much of an impression. All the thing whether from the train going through all the states, all the things that that was impressed me was all the houses had a garage to the back. That was impressed me because at the time in Sweden, not too many, they have cars.



L. HAMMERSTROM: It sounded like from your experience and you're talking about your brothers and sisters that they have a very positive experience with immigrating to America and that that was.
T NYBERG: Oh, yes that they were all very satisfied that they have come here. And of course, there was only one except that the two of my sister and my brother went back after my mother passed away that only one sister had come to visit -- back to visit when my mother lived, so that was kind of a strange of that but of course, they have families and homes and children and so forth. They always figured that we're going to go back someday to visit but they never got before she -- but after she passed away [unintelligible 00:00:47].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Didn’t anybody go back on your father's death?
T NYBERG: My father?
L. HAMMERSTROM: When he died?
T NYBERG: Oh no, my father, he lived alone in the house and then I had one sister, my younger sister went back to Sweden, during the hard times and she had a boy about three years old. That's why they stayed at home. They went to my father of course. They stayed at that home and they were married to the fellow and then of course when my father got old, he's almost 80 years old when he passed away, so they took over the -- they bought the house from my father and my father lived home with them until he passed away. Of course, that boy is 62 years old and he's a teacher in Sweden.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And he lives in the home?
T NYBERG: Yeah. I stayed -- no, the other homes were abolished and they build a shopping a center, where the community was. So there’s nothing left to that place. My nephew had been visiting our house few times over there and he has been here to visit Minneapolis, they want to see his birthplace, so he was here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your sister stayed there for the rest of her life?
T NYBERG: Yeah. She stayed there until she died. She died, but she was quite young. She died in Stockholm but she was divorced with her husband and she worked with the Swedish Church Stockholm, but she died there. Of course, it's she's never had other children but this boy. He stays in a wonderful house, beautiful house on that island of [unintelligible 00:02:21]. It’s a beautiful home and he’s sort of happy in Sweden. He had kept his citizenship until he went in to military service in Sweden and then they talked to him to give it up to be American Swede and he always say, “I’m going to live in Sweden all my life. I didn’t have to worry about.”
L. HAMMERSTROM: When did your father died then?
T NYBERG: My father died in 1942.
L. HAMMERSTROM: 1942?
T NYBERG: Yeah. Sorry.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, let's get back to your work experience. You had trained for several years there.
T NYBERG: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: For Nelson & Nelson, did you go on business for yourself or?
T NYBERG: No. When the time came, so I really started to get better times again after the Second World War, after that and by the way, when I was going to be drafted in the service and. I was called out the first numbering four times and each time, I got deferred but my company sent in north and stored them that we couldn’t get along with all the resource so to speak. But then the last time, that was 1945, I was out there. And then the first, I was taken in no more deferment. I was taken in and they asked two people and other fellow, “What apprentice do you prefer, navy, army, or the air force?” I had a friend of mine then went to air force and he was stationed on in Texas in the air force based down they’re repairing instruments. So it sounded pretty good to me so I said air force. They put me on the side and said, “Yeah, that's fine,” he said. Then a friend of mine that went after with me, he said the Navy. He was taken the same afternoon. Then three days after, Germany capitulated, so then -- we were out there for four days but during the air force, during the air force. Well I said I would just see them at the force knelling and we're not in the air force yet. [Unintelligible 00:04:40] can be. Then after four days, when they capitulate, we’ve got an order, forget about it and we went back home, so I was lucky -- I was parked in it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you resume work then as a juror?
T NYBERG: Oh, yes. I worked in the jewelry business the whole time on the later [00:05:00] time when I was six to eight years old at that time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you in business just - by yourself?
T NYBERG: But at that time, it was kind of a quality because we organized union for us so but we have the whole Minneapolis all sort up. All tight that everyone that worked on the bench belonged to the international and that across a very active in at the whole time so I was always on the board and so forth.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And what was the name of the union?
T NYBERG: What?
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was the name of the union?
T NYBERG: Local 14 of the International Union Workers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
T NYBERG: We were from the Caribbean, the United States and Canada so that’s why itis international. Well, they’re still going strong. So that's when we have to pension plan, I worked on that. I was on the pension board, followed president on the pension board until I retire and I also are also with the president on the local, local in Minneapolis area. But I was very active in that one. That's all. So we're really, really worked up to have a very good condition for the workers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have a work in the jewelers exchange building?
T NYBERG: Where?
L. HAMMERSTROM: The jewelry exchange building that was [crosstalk].
T NYBERG: So that was just full of chapters at that time. You know, I was full time in the institute like I said and then after downtown in Nuclide, Alberta. I was there in downtown Nuclide the whole time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, you retired from there then, huh?
T NYBERG: I retired from there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That was on what? Nuclide and six?
T NYBERG: Oh around, first we’re around Nuclide and six and there were a Nuclide then between in the other side of the street in Runback building because they were hotel on this building that we're in and then we we’re there we had lease for two years and then t we decided that we can’t have any more leases then and they tore that down to build the IDS car. And every boy from across that building just across the street. And then we had the lease for two years, but that would be the one that renew that one. But then they tore that -- it was a beautiful building, you know, across the building. They tore that down and that's where the city center is. And we moved from there to [unintelligible 00:07:10] first but we moved in to a Lumber chance building on the 11th floor. We have part of the 11th floor there and that was days after the war. So we weren't stronger yet and we had about 16 people working.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And what company was this?
T NYBERG: It was Nielsen, Nielsen. [Crosstalk] I never changed company.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, I see, you stayed with them all your life until you retire?
T NYBERG: Yeah. A lot of their office is going with other companies so I have, I shall fabricate to them really because they were friends with the family and they have been very nice to me when I was, you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have a specialty in this craft that you --
T NYBERG: Yeah. I was a special order man. And I made the order from drawing. And then I was a platinum man sort of it's a little bit different trade as to working on platinum than gold.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: So I was a platinum man and then a special order man so I did all the special works that they have from drawings.
SPEAKER 3: Did you ever dream you'd be in that business when you were a youngster?
T NYBERG: I never did. Although, I had one uncle that was a watchmaker and right outside Uppsala in [unintelligible 00:08:16]. For that I never thought I was -- All I had in mind I was going to be a schoolteacher.
SPEAKER 3: Well, you have utilized your dream of -- I mean your experience and your active tour guide here at the institute which is almost like teaching.
T NYBERG: Yeah, that's right. I did teach Swedish all through the rabbi's high school.
SPEAKER 3: Oh, did you?
T NYBERG: For a couple of years.
SPEAKER 3: I see.
T NYBERG: So that was kind of interesting. But it was a little bit too much then my wife got sick and I’ve been working too much to be away from home.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How was the transition from Swedish to English in your early years here?
T NYBERG: Well, it has helped me run a mood up to Montana. Because there was hardly any Swedes up there. When I was in dating age, dating people, girls that was not Swedish. So they taught me a lot of English.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you go to any schooling and learning?
T NYBERG: Not up in Montana but I started evening school here in Minneapolis. And I started in the second grade. In order to get the basic, you know, and then I went through up to high school and then I went through this time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where are we doing this in the school itself?
T NYBERG: I went to school in the evening.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, evening school. I see. What school was that?
T NYBERG: That Freeman School wrote up on the outside. And that was the school that my wife had gone through when she was junior high at that time, where she went. And as she went to North High, but I went to East High. Or in East High River. [00:10:00] The last year, that we’re using the school. And then of course, we had our shop, then on Lake Street. So then I started in West High School. So after work...
L. HAMMERSTROM: What year was that?
T NYBERG: That was to be in 1930. I'm in 31 or something like that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I was going to High School West. So I've graduated 1934. I went to Union School later the next that...
T NYBERG: Oh, I never graduated but I went to school, to high school till the last year and then that's a lot of me than or none.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So that's how you picked up English?
T NYBERG: Yeah. That's right.
L. HAMMERSTROM: High school is by if you'd stay here map as your whole family was talking Swedish when they get together.
T NYBERG: No, not really. Yeah. The children, you know, they all have children and they were -- they all understood, all the children understood Swedish. Even my son, I have only one son and he understand Swedish. But they're reluctant in talking it. But most of them, our families when we got together, it was English that we use then talking once in a while especially at Christmas time when you have to say Christmas.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did they maintain Swedish customs over the years? The different...
T NYBERG: Yes, we do, especially at Christmas of course.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, yes?
T NYBERG: We celebrated the Christmas Eve, you know? America's also celebrating Christmas Day. We always have -- we're having the gathering. We have wonderful relationship with our sisters and brothers. So we always took turns. We're always together as a whole bunch of an over 30-40 people together. And the same flag all we had enough to eat.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about Midsummer Day?
T NYBERG: Midsummer Day of course belong to the Swedish society and of course through all this way to celebrate the Christmas Day. At Christmas, I mean, in the Midsummer Day, the Christmas Eve of course and that was Midsummer Eve. Like we do here at the institute now. We’re always here to celebrate. And of course I joined the institute many, many years ago. And I even met Tom Block, the founder of the institute. He never appealed to me because he seemed to be a very strange person. And kind of not very friendly. And of course when you’re a teenager or early twenty’s, you think all the old people aren’t friendlier But he was a nice man as well as for us.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How was it that you met him? What occasion was that?
T NYBERG: It must have been when they first opened up here, I wasn't a member at the time it must have been 1931 or 32 I think.
L. HAMMERSTROM: He died in 1933?
T NYBERG: 33 yeah. So I remember that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What led you to coming to the American-Swede Institute?
T NYBERG: Well, really, because I belong to this temperance as we just lodged.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Which lodge was that?
T NYBERG: And then also -- that was a Viking up in Camden.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
T NYBERG: And then I also belong to Gustavus Adolphus down on Lake Street. They're an Arcenian D merCor. But then at first gradually, I've got to be thorough in order to get together with the Swede when you are in the institute. And then of course, I also watch that they have trips to Sweden at the time. They were all they still have divorce but right then and they have charter right from Minneapolis to Stockholm.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you remember when you joined the institute?
T NYBERG: Most to be and I can't even remember that but the most had been late 60s I think in the early 70s.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. You have been coming here the whole but do not officially joined though. Is that it?
T NYBERG: It was then I joined it but I never took part in because I was working. Not to mention on Christmas time of course in our trade that means over time. But that's the time we really work at about ten to twelve o’clock at night sometimes but I never did have so much time but I was a member of the institute.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you remember much of the early years at the institute, the programs and the things that...
T NYBERG: Well, the programs. It was not so big as they are today.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
T NYBERG: Of course we didn't have our big auditorium, okay, we had that small auditorium underneath the big building. So it really the activities I think were limited.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you recall what the building look like?
T NYBERG: The building was about the same as it is today but that was they are not painted, the rooms were not painted or ornate as they are today. It was in 1929, most of the rooms are painted all white. . But it just the last 15-20 years I think.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you recall what the basement looked like there then that time before it's been renovated and they then make that into an auditorium till later on?
T NYBERG: Yeah. It was two rooms there from the beginning. I ought to remember so that well they have the lounge now, that was kind of an auditorium and meeting place and so forth as well as for programs and so forth. [00:15:00] And of course they have lot of musical stuff in the library up in the music room up on the main floor. Well that was -- most of the activities are being run up really on the fourth floor.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have any idea how it was furnished at the time of course things had been taken out by when you got the second...
T NYBERG: I think well I all we started was lot empty.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
T NYBERG: Then it was it from the beginning, you know, that they didn't have too much furniture for a room to fully furnish the window and then the lignum that supports for them hands up. So it's the a lot empty.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you ever meet William by the way?
T NYBERG: I've never met her.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: But I most have seen her because they always [unintelligible 00:15:45] years, they almost told that she’s usually from [unintelligible 00:15:48] standing by the fire place greeting people. So most likely I've seen her but I didn't even know that that's her. Because I think she was a very close person anyhow.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I was wondering about the basement. The ceilings, were they sculptured, decorate those steeling already you mentioned...
T NYBERG: Alright, I think the ceiling...
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are covered now of course.
T NYBERG: And the lounge and in the basement part. It's that they are metal, pressed metal.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see.
T NYBERG: I think so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know the Viking room now has this sculpture work in the ceiling as the rest of the basement had something like that.
T NYBERG: Well, I can't remember that so much about that the people or the younger unit they must have tensed into ceilings except when they're finished with that missed scum.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Missed scum. Yeah.
T NYBERG: She never restore the drawn room and also the breakfast room for other member. That's where the beautiful painting you know, in the ceiling. I'll remember that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you ever on the war trustees or anything like that?
T NYBERG: No, I've never been.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: Oh, I just been done areas that guard and a guide.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When did you start that?
T NYBERG: Well, that sort of next to I retire because then I'd have more time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
T NYBERG: But that was 1978. So I had been there about 12 years I should think.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So besides the Swede institute, you belong to the Viking temperance lodge?
T NYBERG: Yeah, yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That's the IOGT.
T NYBERG: Yeah, that's right.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And you could stay as a belt for the society?
T NYBERG: If they risk their own...
L. HAMMERSTROM: Just do belong to them?
T NYBERG: Oh, yeah. Still I’m a pensioner member because they have us and also a member of the temperance.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do they still have meetings and that?
T NYBERG: Oh, yeah, we moved to our -- to the Norwegian Hall of late that they're in 29th. And they hated that hall. That was Norwegian and there were each lodge had their own building and it own hall at the time. But the Viking lounge was just a formed with the Lades in Minneapolis.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And was that like Camden you say?
T NYBERG: Camden, yeah. And that was all the best of us was in Swedish when they first came. But now they have build onto this in the [unintelligible 00:18:03] ethanol. The central committee, all of them bought this building so now we have one place that we meet with the also meet the certain homes, you know, that this central building hung to the night when you see there it’s a beautiful building and then building onto it. So that's where we meet.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I supposed that in early days, that was a lot of Swedes at that time and remember some --
T NYBERG: At the time that I came, yeah, we were 21 people that came from New York to Minneapolis. Whether they stay in Minneapolis and went from different places but they were trying to won the trade from New York. So we have to put a nice time of the tree and we have the whole courts for yourself.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You're meeting nice girls then?
T NYBERG: Oh yeah. Well almost, you know, just won't give up.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
T NYBERG: But that's a strange shot and my sister had a good friend, what's it the younger of yours, three years younger than me. She had a good friend that came to the halls all the time to live with her about the school together through a year. And her name was [unintelligible 00:19:10]. So they are on one month before I was leaving for this country, that must have been in probably September. I've read to this people's hall for a dance. So I did a dancing when I was there. So I was dancing with the rhythm, my friends some have their kids, you know. We danced with her and then she said that this will most likely be the last dance we'll have. Why is that? I said. And she said, "I'm going to the United States." Or to America. Oh I said where are you going? To Minneapolis. Well I said, I'm also going to Minneapolis week or a month after. So that was the strangest thing when I came I joined this temperance soul of Lighting Lodge right away. Well, my sister's talked getting with the young people and so forth and so on because [00:20:00] they were not in circulation anymore. They were all married. Here, the committee had dances on Sunday. We had meeting on Saturday and dance on Sunday. The committee thought they want to do me a favor, put me out to the committee for the dance to collect tickets. For the first Sunday, I was there. I went through the door where their aunt -- you know, her aunt, the [Victorsons 00:20:31], you know them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I’m not familiar though.
T NYBERG: What’s her name? Paul, not Paul but [Stan Hook] or something Ruth was their daughter, so Ruth. It came to Ruth’s family and of course, Ruth and also -- she was just graduated from high school then and the parents came, so when I was there, that’s connecting ticket. He stood there, staring at me. I never thought that we’re going to meet this soon, so that we’ve been friends all the time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: She’s got married to a fellow that also came from Sweden that same time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have any other social clubs or things that you’ve --
T NYBERG: No, the best thing was our International Yearly Workers Union but we had a lot of doings there too on South, you know and picnics and so forth the summer time and therefore temperance, we’re busy all the time over there. Of course, we have family picnic. We have family picnic every Sunday. In fact, the picnic, it went off to the lake or some place. It’s kind of more private so forth and so on. I joined the course and we had a lot time together.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The Viking lodge or?
T NYBERG: No, this was Gus Davis.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Gus Davis, okay, yeah.
T NYBERG: They were the one -- one of the courses that also organized American-Swedish before.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: The harmony, there was there other [Olden Harmony] [unintelligible 00:22:07] and Gus Davis.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you been to club at all?
T NYBERG: Well, I’ve never belonged to club. Well, that was mostly professional people, doctors and lawyers and so forth and so on at the time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: These organizations have still kept going on although they reduced in numbers I imagine.
T NYBERG: Gus Davis is doing really well. They have their own building. They have for many years I suppose. The Temperance are gaining also. Of course, not like they’re doing in the 20s, but they’re getting members. Those are the institutes in Gus Davis and the Temperance that are my three entertainments.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have any church affiliation at all?
T NYBERG: Oh yeah, I belong to -- of course, Sweden you’re born into the church at that time of course, you have a free choice. At that time, you’re born right into it. When I came here, I didn’t join this because I still have my certificate with Sweden that I was belong to the Swedish Church. I haven’t transferred. At that time, let’s I’m Lutheran up in Camden, and they were preaching a Swedish way up to -- it must have been in the late 30’s or something, 40’s probably, so all of my sisters belong there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you join that church?
T NYBERG: Yeah, that’s where I belong.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, you’re still belonged there.
T NYBERG: Well, my wife was confirmed Baptist in that church and her family belonged to Sweden, so that of course -- I’ve joined after we were married.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have children?
T NYBERG: I have one son. He’s an attorney here in the city, doing really well, and he’s married to also Swedish descendant and he’s got four daughters, no son and three of them -- but one graduated from University last spring and two will graduate this spring and the third one was on 17. They all get together.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You have grandchildren.
T NYBERG: Yeah, I’ve got wonderful grandchildren.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That’s wonderful. Do they speak Swedish at all?
T NYBERG: No, all they say is the prayer in Swedish.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Can you say that prayer? That’s your childhood prayer I bet.
T NYBERG: Yeah, we always say that. I even forget it myself.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Gud som haver
T NYBERG: Gud som haver, yeah. So even, one of my grandchildren, run out and what to see me last night and then I said that -- I was telling her, my mother thorn me when I was about five or six but after that I has learned that Gud som haver I want to share to me so listen there. We always learn that very well as long as we can talk. Then when I was sleeping with my brother, my brother and I share in one bedroom. Then I told my brother, older brother, now it’s time for you to learn the Lord’s prayer, so you teach him now. [00:25:00] My brother was kind of shy, very shy. At that time, we just have kerosene lights. The house was wired for electricity but it was a great factor , during the war, that first war. Everyone in this community had wire for electricity from the company, but there was no electric.
I told my brother, his name was Ernest, Ernest to Swedish. My mother said that you were to learn with Our Father more -- our father, to the Lord’s prayer. Wait until this light dark. He is very timid. He did wind up because you have -- we always have that prayers in silent to ourselves, but then of course if you have to repeat on something , you have to say it loud and he was little timid to do that if somebody -- it would see it. I remember that so he’ll wait until it’s dark then he would – so then he’ll proceed to say the Lord’s Prayer.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Interesting.
T NYBERG: Last night when my granddaughter was to see me, she started to talk about the prayers and so forth because they belong to the Lutheran Church over [unintelligible 00:26:27], that’s where they live. She said, “My dad, he always said one prayer in Swedish and we do too.” I said, “Which one is that?” Gud som hover. I thought that was kind of nice.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know whether that has been translated into English.
T NYBERG: She said it’s like look at me when I’m asleep
L. HAMMERSTROM: Something like that.
T NYBERG: Rather similar with that exactly.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Right.
T NYBERG: I’d say it’s a little bit better.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, it sounds more beautiful in Swedish.
T NYBERG: Yeah, that’s right you know, yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I suppose you’ve got naturalization after a while when you were here.
T NYBERG: When I decided not to go back during the trim, I took out the first paper right away but that was -- about a year that, probably year and half or so, rather than to make a difference. You have to have that thing. You couldn’t be citizen until you’ve been in five years. Then, I was going to school at that time and then of course, I have the national law at the same time. Then of course when the four years were up, four years were up, couldn’t get my citizen until five years. Then, we have the classes at the courthouse. We have also our teacher. I don’t remember his name.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Congressman?
T NYBERG: I can’t remember his name. He’s not Swedish. He was teaching us the constitution and all that stuff. Then of course, then they have the big doing, so I still have the certificate.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Who was the presiding officer, the judge whether the --
T NYBERG: Do you mean at the courthouse?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
T NYBERG: I have that on the certificate but I can’t remember the name and I got little American flag. We all go the American flag.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You still have that.
T NYBERG: I still got it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
T NYBERG: So I went back for the recent -- the first time then I was American citizen.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How many times have you been back there?
T NYBERG: I’ve been back the four times.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Four times, when was the last time?
T NYBERG: Last time two years ago, a little bit two years, out of the summer. I stayed there for two months though.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You go back to the home place.
T NYBERG: The business is there, where I used to play radio and TV -- not station but you make TVs. The only thing, that’s the same as the church up on the hill. [Unintelligible 00:29:13]. It used to be a church there ever since the Viking times
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh, like all the way back to the Viking times.
T NYBERG: Yeah, that’s right. Yes, the Medelpad, the promise of Medelpad means middle way in old Swedish because it was -- there was Medelpad, this was in the middle of Sweden really about 240 English from Stockholm, North from Stockholm on the Bay of Bothnia and there’s a road going from Thurn High to Sundsvall and they called -- the course of the middle of Sweden, Lapland, so that was the first and so where they called Medelpad.
Oh, I enjoyed that risk that was taken as far as [unintelligible 00:29:56]. I still have a station to stay there. They’re all professional people. [00:30:00] Well, they’re still [unintelligible 00:30:05]. It’s on two hours left now to the [unintelligible 00:30:08]. They’re all gone so I have more acquaintance in the cemetery than living on for Sweden.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you ever or anybody in your family do any research in their genealogy?
T NYBERG: I have done it myself.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You have, huh?
T NYBERG: Yeah, and also disappointment to me really. I knew my father -- my grandfather took the name Nyberg from the community very laid up in Angermanland. It’s Nyokerberg [unintelligible 00:30:37] New York is varied in Swedish. He dropped the second syllable oker and took Nyberg and his brother dropped an I and took [Okerberg 00:30:51]. Then the third one, now, this was on a wide part of the river, only one [unintelligible 00:30:57]. It was just like a lake, so it was the bay coming in. Is this still going?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yup.
T NYBERG: Well, just community, it’s on the Bay and the Bay in Sweden is weak, you know. There’re a bunch of trees growing on by there --
L. HAMMERSTROM: I’ll just back to see how are we got --


INTERVIEWER: Okay now we are set.
T. NYBERG: Yeah I was talking we were talking about the names my name that my grandfather had a chance to Nyberg and then my other brother and his other brother and my father's uncle had a chance to -- when I talked about the [Lomma] the lake has the bay in there and of course down by the lake by the bay was a commercial tree so that’s a London Swedish. So [unintelligible - 00:00:34].
INTERVIEWER: So your family; are called Nyberg, Nyberg
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 00:00:39] if I may have about three other brothers that kept palm so I related it to the use of all the palms in Sweden and then I found out also that my father was not Swedish at all. He came from Belgium and with a conglomerate way back.
INTERVIEWER: Your father?
T. NYBERG: Yeah my father his great, great grandfather was Avalon.
INTERVIEWER: Oh Avalon yes from Belgium
T. NYBERG: If I was you I would Avalon also most of the Swedish out there, they used to do that in Avalon, but that so he came to Sweden in the 1600s
INTERVIEWER: What did they work as?
T. NYBERG: They were iron workers that’s what we can say because Adolf just wanted through the year to bring all the iron workers to Sweden to help them form the cabinet ministers or for so on. So they came to Dannemora. It’s outside Stockholm and each generation, I was really disappointed because I always used to brag I'm 100% Viking and I wasn’t half of Viking that’s okay. But anyhow they came to Dannemora and each generation and I just went to the oldest son in law in the family and each one, just went to the oldest one direct descendants. They married the daughter of an Adam Smith from her [unintelligible - 00:02:10] and moved a little further north to another family. And most of the family were married there. And especially now in the Avalon or in Sweden that they have in the history book in Sweden that they each that they kept marrying each other, not maybe the same not the same family but the Avaloner up to last part of 1800. And my parents got married in 1888 but Jim he was the first one that didn’t marry an Avalon. So if I -- and my great grandmother her name was Lewal and as you know we have a couple of members in the institute by Lewal and their father think grandfather is coming from the same place in [unintelligible - 00:02:56] as my great as my grandparents. So we were just guessing I never say [unintelligible - 00:03:02] my great grandmother is a [unintelligible - 00:03:05] and they also have a great grandmother by [unintelligible - 00:03:09].
INTERVIEWER: Could be huh?
T. NYBERG: But we are just guessing that we are related because we always call each other cousin.
INTERVIEWER: You are able to trace him back to the [unintelligible - 00:03:18] from Belgium then?
T. NYBERG: Actually they came from [unintelligible - 00:03:20] in Belgium.
INTERVIEWER: Oh did you ever see any records there at all?
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 00:03:24] I have records from this archives in [Harrison] but it said most likely he said. Most likely because it ends in Sweden or begins in Sweden in the early 1600 at that time and they were all [unintelligible - 00:03:39] and we are all iron workers. My father was the first one, my grandfather was a blacksmith and he is on blacksmith job for [unintelligible - 00:03:48] and all my others that I got the records of, they all they were all iron workers so they kind of behaved like they were [unintelligible - 00:03:56].
INTERVIEWER: And you mothers side have you traced that back?
T. NYBERG: In a way I heard the name was Gillstarm so I never heard of her and he was a school teacher grandpa was a school teacher of [unintelligible - 00:04:09]. And he took the name I didn’t know till the last summer grandma was over in Sweden that his name was [unintelligible - 00:04:17] originally and they named him [unintelligible - 00:04:22] that’s a place close to Darlana and there is a river going through [unintelligible - 00:04:31] but it took the gill on that means a river.
INTERVIEWER: How do spell that?
T. NYBERG: It's on I mean with a circle over it the on.
INTERVIEWER: Gil is?
T. NYBERG: Gil that’s G-I-L-L gill on so it took name [Gillstram], Gill from the river and stream from the stream. [00:05:00] So we stop right there. I don’t know but because at that time they have -- they just had other son through the father's name.
INTERVIEWER: Patronymic.
T. NYBERG: Yeah so that’s the problem just stop right there I know where really what his family came except my grandfather, my grandmother.
INTERVIEWER: How have you been doing is tracing through church record or what?
T. NYBERG: No, no I read through the archives in [unintelligible - 00:05:23].
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: That’s a parish I mean that’s a Swedish [unintelligible - 00:05:29] that my grandparents came to. So each generation moved up at the coast, all the way up to [unintelligible - 00:05:39] they have a land, [unintelligible - 00:05:44].
INTERVIEWER: You haven’t used the micro film records that the Mormon Church made or those records?
T. NYBERG: No I haven’t used that.
INTERVIEWER: They have a library up north.
T. NYBERG: No I was going to say I do like my grandparents I knew not that I've never seen them because they were there before I was born but I knew about them but they were from -- when they were born and all these so when they die. So I just wanted to know the great grandparents and how they change that name because I didn’t even know but my father never talked about it, never talked about the name because we were kids anyhow. So we never knew I just found out on the first visit there that his father's name original was Paul because we got Paul there in the institute but my grandfather’s name was [unintelligible - 00:06:45] and we have a member here [unintelligible - 00:06:47] so I always call him my cousin too. And he was really interested in my records because he wasn’t concerned about Sweden so he send that my records to Sweden and he might had a problem to thank me to find something about the problem family. So I don’t know if we’re related or not but the problem is all over.
INTERVIEWER: Well it sounds like you have been really interested in Swedish heritage and you've maintained an interest and you still speak Swedish very well and still belong to these societies, you were mentioning something about there are parks that they had established are they still large?
T. NYBERG: Yeah that’s right it was and first it was for the [unintelligible - 00:07:37] they were very strong here in Minneapolis.
INTERVIEWER: Were you ever part of that large?
T. NYBERG: Yeah I used to belong to [unintelligible - 00:07:43] and that was through this Victor sons, their relatives to [unintelligible - 00:07:49] because he was very, very active in the [unintelligible - 00:07:53] and the harmony [unintelligible - 00:07:55]. And we have the park often in Lake Minnetonka [unintelligible - 00:07:58] and that was run by Swiss headquarters in Chicago. And they had an old people's home there and also a dining hall and also an open pavilion for dancing, so that’s where we spend lots of summer Sundays pack picnic bag and then go out.
INTERVIEWER: Did you drive out did you have a car then?
T. NYBERG: I had a car about the car about the third gear I was here and it was old probably cool with [unintelligible - 00:08:32] because we always have to have [unintelligible - 00:08:35] at that time.
INTERVIEWER: What year was this?
T. NYBERG: That’s it was 1926 and I think I bought it in -- after I spotted [unintelligible - 00:08:48] I think I bought it, it was a $100 for it and that was a lot of money than this I would have loved that. But any of you ran out to have family picnics [unintelligible - 00:08:59] and of course with the beautiful park out there and of course it's all leveled out and sold. Sold to private for private homes, but right down the lake and then it was all young people and Swedish people of course. And they have the orchestra there and [unintelligible - 00:09:16] were very well known at that time he was for Sweden also. His brother played with them and of course and after a few years the [unintelligible - 00:09:29] land build a park, but long not long arm Minnetonka, North Arm Minnetonka. Right about too far from [unintelligible - 00:09:42] and they build a park there and also a pavilion of course for dancing we have to have her dancing, every dancing the afternoon there. Then of course they have the kitchen and then they sort of prefer not the meal but sandwiches and so forth and mostly herring sandwiches [00:10:00]. And of course we all brought food with us so we have picnic at picnic table there and so forth. But there – they had a wonderful time in the summer time.
INTERVIEWER: Did Jenner write out there on that speaker that they…
T. NYBERG: Oh I never.
INTERVIEWER: I know they had speakers [unintelligible - 00:10:14].
T. NYBERG: First before I got the car, then I also rode with the family and then also from I was [unintelligible - 00:10:19] with my life at the time before the marriage and then the folks always went off there also. But [unintelligible - 00:10:26] we were always like a family.
INTERVIEWER: She started out with a [unintelligible - 00:10:30] what did you get next that you can remember, your cars that you went along with?
T. NYBERG: Well, I’m having the last after 20 years 25 years I have all [unintelligible - 00:10:40] man now. But I have the automobile and then I have the Essex.
INTERVIEWER: Oh.
T. NYBERG: And then I also I had the Studebaker the Studebaker was the most beautiful car I ever had.
INTERVIEWER: What year was that?
T. NYBERG: And I remember was in at 34.
INTERVIEWER: Oh.
T. NYBERG: At 34 [unintelligible - 00:11:00]. And that was also cool but then that was it. And so was not good enough [unintelligible - 00:11:04]. So we had that until our last son was born. Then I traded in -- so my father [unintelligible - 00:11:12] passed away then and he had just bought a new Chevrolet. So that was only Chevrolet I ever had bought that Chevrolet to my father, you know. Then after that, I had a Frazer. Remember the Fraser car?
INTERVIEWER: Yeah.
T. NYBERG: Yeah they were very nice and very low bill just like the one they model today. But very low. So they were very nice car, and very easy riding car. But then after that I saw the [unintelligible - 00:11:43] and I have the [unintelligible - 00:11:44] all the time.
INTERVIEWER: You’ve seen Minneapolis develop all these years too what do you think of that?
T. NYBERG: Yeah Minneapolis because I was down town all my life, well my – I’m a down Towner, because I work downtown all the time whenever I did the shopping all this with the influence and the [unintelligible - 00:12:01] it’s a lot of different so towers and so forth and so on. So I have seen Minneapolis grow and now people that have been there, been around for five to ten years when [unintelligible - 00:12:15].
INTERVIEWER: No.
T. NYBERG: Because I heard that Foshay Tower was the biggest building in the city and they were very proud over the Foshay Tower down Towner. And of course send the IDS car [unintelligible - 00:12:29] with 50-some stories whatever they have and then over to [unintelligible - 00:12:34] building bank building and so forth. So now of course I like the downtown Minneapolis more as ever. I like -- but it isn’t like it was. It was more home like before. The [unintelligible - 00:12:49] because I knew all the buildings and they used to have [unintelligible - 00:12:52] I knew the name of them now I don’t know they were [unintelligible - 00:12:55].
INTERVIEWER: No I don’t either and it’s a -- can’t remember if it was there before.
T. NYBERG: Yeah like the YDS and of course in northwest building, bank building, there was telephone building and so more of them. So…
INTERVIEWER: I was going to ask you about you’ve lived up north I suppose all your life?
T. NYBERG: Yeah I live up north all the time.
INTERVIEWER: When did you -- or in your own home I suppose?
T. NYBERG: Yeah that’s right [unintelligible - 00:13:16].
INTERVIEWER: What’s the address?
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 00:13:17] what?
INTERVIEWER: What was that address now it’s your home?
T. NYBERG: At my first, first home?
INTERVIEWER: Your first home yeah.
T. NYBERG: The first home was 4155 Russell up in the north.
INTERVIEWER: Oh.
T. NYBERG: It was a fine bungalow with the small and double garage. That was in 19 – we bought in the spring we got married in 39 at midsummer then we bought that in the spring and I paid 2800 for it.
INTERVIEWER: Imagine that.
T. NYBERG: And then I bought the – when my boy was about five years old and my father [unintelligible - 00:13:55] had died. So then we bought the big house down on [unintelligible - 00:14:00] park way with three bedrooms and – but then I sold my house that’s when I paid 2008 for 7000. So then I paid him that for my house down on the park way yeah I paid 13000 for.
INTERVIEWER: What was the address to that?
T. NYBERG: 2312 [Instant] Avenue North. Pleasing there to have a parkway. Beautiful place. But then my wife got sick due to aneurism on the brain you know. Because you know she was sick the last three years. There was too much for her to push her way and support that one, but then we moved to Robbins-dale. And we all lived there about 30 years. 4250 [unintelligible - 00:14:44] Avenue, just half a block from memorial drive.
INTERVIEWER: When did your wife get sick?
T. NYBERG: When she did pass?
INTERVIEWER: No, no when she got this – this brain injury.
T. NYBERG: It was really a miracle that she came through it. She had the aneurism on her brain and they were going to operate and close up the bleeding in the brain. And the day before the operation, it burst. So the blood all over the brain. Plus she was unconscious on the operating room right away and [unintelligible - 00:15:17] all the blood that they could. And she was unconscious in the hospital for about a month and a half. We were still in the big house there but when she came to, the doctor gave her up all the – you know, every day they said she won’t live and she was called down to the hospital several times then she was just ready to die. But she – she went through it the whole time and so when she did come home -- when she came to [unintelligible - 00:15:46] she didn’t know us, she didn’t know anybody.
INTERVIEWER: No.
T. NYBERG: The doctor said, we have a very good brain specialist and he was [unintelligible - 00:15:56]. Very, very famous doctor. And he said, “This is a good sign that she is coming back as a baby.” She didn’t know us; she didn’t know how to eat. And she looked at us just like a new born child [unintelligible - 00:16:15]. And also we had a private room in the Swedish Hospital. And she wanted to sit in the doorway then we couldn’t share we can block the doorway. And they had elevator, I remember the Swedish hospital they have elevator right in the middle yeah. She wanted to sit that’s why she could see the elevator. People coming and go just like a little kid would enjoy to see somebody and that door open. She was just in trance by seeing the doors open the elevator. She used to stare that the elevator all the time, for a very long, long time.

And then finally, after she – so her sister lived there and she had one sister and she died a few years after. But he – she came then to see her, he took the – dropped the job and came to – she came every day to take care of her after because we have nurses around the clock, three nurses there. And she went there every day to help her to eat. But finally the doctor told her and always said, “You cannot help her to eat. Look, you got to learn how to eat yourself,” because she was just like a little kid. Especially with a spoon or a fork and just playing around with the food. And finally if you [unintelligible - 00:17:28] eat [unintelligible - 00:17:30] kids run. But it was sad, it was very sad to see her like that. She was like that for I was there about six months. And she had no control of her body of course at that time. But then when we brought her home then we had carried her upstairs to our bedrooms and then I have to hire a housekeeper for about year and a half so… so then she was very nice person you know. But then she came out of it and the doctor she’s a – written up in the medical history.
INTERVIEWER: Not bad.
T. NYBERG: He said that all the doctors that they had – that they used to whenever I came down to see the doctor after. He said it’s just [unintelligible - 00:18:11] the doctor. She could go through what she did and then come back normal.
INTERVIEWER: It’s like a miracle wasn’t it.
T. NYBERG: Yes it – yeah she came back and she was just as bright as ever. She was the musician she was the pianist, the music teacher, piano teacher. So she came back, ever since like the once before even more brighter, brighter I have to say. And the doctor said, he was Dr. Callison our family doctor, he was – he belonged to a [unintelligible - 00:18:45] you know. But he was also a good singer. So he’d sing solo in Church [unintelligible - 00:18:50] that. And – so they came to visit him, they actually talk music you know. But that was good for her; it was therapy for her you know. So she had knew all the famous actors and all the stuff and [unintelligible - 00:19:07] so he was sports fan and then we can talk like that so he said it’s never been a person like it in his time he said that’s come back like [unintelligible - 00:19:19].
INTERVIEWER: Oh that’s a remarkable story.
T. NYBERG: Very remarkable [unintelligible - 00:19:22].
INTERVIEWER: And then how long did she leave after that then?
T. NYBERG: Oh she lived [unintelligible - 00:19:26] lived, she had a lot of trouble of course. Because at first she used to get blood clots so I had to rush her to the hospital many times so but then she came off from it and then because of some medication and then she never had any blood clots anymore after that. But …
INTERVIEWER: And so it was something like epilepsy maybe?
T. NYBERG: It wasn’t the same way.
[CROSSTALK]
INTERVIEWER: Yeah.
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 00:19:49]
INTERVIEWER: It wasn’t that.
T. NYBERG: Not that. No expression on her face, so you just black out. I can remember one time we were at -- to invited [00:20:00] to a friend’s house and we were playing cards. We were playing five hundred. So I heard that she was playing with women I was playing with the men first and then she sat down after her turn to bid as she sat with her cards in her hand and with her eyes closed. Well they came to a different something wrong with her obviously she is not breathing she had passed out and she was just stiff.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah.
T. NYBERG: Same thing she did not fall off the chair. At home she fell on the floor so I found her many times on the couch or on the floor but at that time, so then they preferred to call the ambulance and took her to a hospital and then the problem is she was okay and so she has improved -- had improved a lot. Until the last -- so that it – this was in 54 or 55 when she had the aneurism and though she lived till 87.
INTERVIEWER: Can you imagine that.
T. NYBERG: Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: Remarkable.
T. NYBERG: Was under – and the fight in her heart [unintelligible - 00:21:02] you have – have to be very careful.
INTERVIEWER: Did she go with you on any trips to Sweden?
[FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
T. NYBERG: She was with the first time in sixty five. She has never been to Sweden.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: And she has never been out off – she’d been to Chicago. So one summer [unintelligible - 00:21:18] brother would like Montana and I two nephews out there so we took on a vacation. I bought a new car, Buick and then we drove through the – through the Black hills, Yellowstone Park, two great falls we had wonderful time she was feeling good the whole time. My son was married then, you know. And then we went off to Glacier Park. I’ve been to Glacier Park before but she never had so we had to run and then we went back to [unintelligible - 00:21:48] park and the [unintelligible - 00:21:50] wonderful trip.
INTERVIEWER: [Strange].
T. NYBERG: And then in 65 she went with us – went to Sweden the first time and she could speak really good Swedish [unintelligible - 00:22:02]. So this them, then all my relatives and then she went to her father’s home her mother’s home we couldn’t find because that was torn down but we were in there, the day he was from America we were there to visit some relatives anyhow.
INTERVIEWER: When did she pass away then?
T. NYBERG: She passed away in 87 two years.
INTERVIEWER: Almost three now.
T. NYBERG: Three years now next – she died on Valentine’s day. 87 in her sleep.
INTERVIEWER: I see well that is a nice way to go.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, a nice way to go. She had a nice long life.
INTERVIEWER: I notice your jewelry there as you said you’ve – did it yourself?
[FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
T. NYBERG: I’ve fixed that myself.
INTERVIEWER: [Unintelligible - 00:22:41].
T. NYBERG: And this -- I have told you I have four granddaughters and this two diamonds here the smaller ones here the big ones I all have said.
INTERVIEWER: Looks like you have three rings where is it?
T. NYBERG: I have the wedding ring.
INTERVIEWER: That’s a wedding ring. The other is the – one-piece I see.
T. NYBERG: Yeah that’s one piece.
INTERVIEWER: The head.
T. NYBERG: It is normally called last legs.
INTERVIEWER: It has three diamonds in it.
T. NYBERG: Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: And it.
T. NYBERG: The two diamond is my original one.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: These two, I bought my wife the baddest stuff you know and the jewelry of course. So when she passed away I gave all the stuff away to my grandchildren so they’ve got all her jewelry and so they were happy for that. But the other pair of earrings that I made for her when we had married twenty five years. We have been married fifty years now so that anyhow so this earrings I sent to my son I can’t go and give this two one the girl but then I will have to get three more they are four of them. So I said I am going -- what I am going to do. I am going to cut off the portion of this earring – pierce the ears and so I cut half the post as you can see the back over there. It’s the back of the earring.
INTERVIEWER: I see yes.
T. NYBERG: So I took off the post and then I made my ring here so I said one day when I cash in you can have it.
INTERVIEWER: Do you work on this at home at all anything like this?
T. NYBERG: Well I do a little bit but I’m cutting a lot more, more and more. Because it’s different things now the [unintelligible - 00:24:10] and so forth on.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have any special thing that you made way back in the years – all this years through work – stands out in your memory?
T. NYBERG: Yes I -- all the.
INTERVIEWER: Take your…
T. NYBERG: All the stuff that I have made – the usual stuff I must say was from drawings you know people would come in with an idea and then I will have a drawing for them of course I made them. But I -- it was a woman that had a picture of a brooch that was post up in – been belonging to the Russian royalty [beautiful] all kinds of diamonds in it. Here is the picture now so is – so -- she said that I like to teach by telling the story I don’t know if it was true or not. But she was part of the royal family I think she was just dreaming about, but she could have been true so she wanted to have a brooch made like that and she had the diamond her servants have old stuff but that was right, so she did have that all . So I made a brooch like that Russian who was real Russian [Cardinal] and all to work things that I have made through the years I have never had a picture taken on it. I wish I have.
INTERVIEWER: Yes.
T. NYBERG: And most of the drawings that used to describe it I should have kept them. You know. So here now this rate that brooch here that went through the store downtown and this said it’s such a beautiful piece. I know what [caulicles] you know really fancy a lot of work on it so they took a picture of it I didn’t know that so then they – then I retired before then took about a month -- a couple of month before they send that to me. So I have only one picture of all the pieces I have made. Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: I suppose something like that cost a lot of money?
T. NYBERG: Yeah of course she still had all her material herself.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: Yeah from old stuff.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: So she didn’t pay anything for the gold or the diamonds she had them all before so I [choose] to work here [unintelligible - 00:26:19].
INTERVIEWER: You’ve seen the price of gold really change?
T. NYBERG: Yeah [unintelligible - 00:26:23] whole after forever for years and years it was $25 and now it’s you know – but now of course it’s up in the hundreds so the different changes. Okay everything for the best.
INTERVIEWER: You have another ring there I notice on your other hand there what does that – it’s a…
T. NYBERG: There is a – really a story to that one too.
INTERVIEWER: Can you describe it? It looks like.
T. NYBERG: Yeah its Arab.
INTERVIEWER: Its --- yeah a head on a Arab with a stone and.
T. NYBERG: And it’s a diamond in the forehead.
INTERVIEWER: And then his got a turban on his head. Hasn’t he?
T. NYBERG: Yeah it’s a turban and it’s got sapphires – blue sapphires at the turban at the [vamp] here and on top of that from his also blue sapphire as you see there is a lot of air on it.
INTERVIEWER: Did you make this yourself.
T. NYBERG: I made this myself from a model that’s I’ve seen. What had happened there was a -- after the war we were advertising for an [ornament] you know pearl [earn] Europe. So here Iranian fellow came in and he was a silver smith from Iran. So he would say I was working – looking for work and as they had better much control who we could hire we could only have two apprentices. One apprentice for every four men you know so we could have one -- have two apprentices and that – that would have to reduce it four years apprenticeship because now they wanted we take him for apprentice have occasional training – training first. They would have to undergo for about two three years the combination high school and a trade learning so they know all the basics when they come to the shop you know. That’s why they call it [unintelligible - 00:28:12] but any how I said we can’t hire you but we will need a silver worker once we are doing the silver. We did silver but not – not that we speak off. I said we want the ornament that will [learned] in gold. I said but I will find out to see if I am [unintelligible - 00:28:32] if they can hire you as a third year apprentice because he had all the basics as far as working with metal anyhow. But he was a good worker a very good worker so we got to be pretty good friends so then we hire him. We got permission to hire him as a third year apprentice. They would hire him for that and gave him there the skill for the credit. He was very good he was set right by me and the first thing he said -- he was a Muslim you know was “Where is East from here? ” And we were in long range champ Merlina you know down town is mixed of North and South anyhow so I had the compass and I laid out on the bench and then we marked down a line for east and I said why you want the – to go east for ? I didn’t think about the praying business well he said “Three times today you know we pray. ”You know the benefit you did at home you know but every noon he looked at the east and sat like this and pray that was nice you know and he gave me a Quran whatever they call it the bible so he gave that so I got the [unintelligible - 00:29:49] it’s a wonderful religion [unintelligible - 00:29:52] wonderful.
INTERVIEWER: And…
T. NYBERG: But anyhow he got to prove a really good friend and he was a handsome and he was thirty – little over thirty years yes so little over thirty years very handsome man. And women were just crazy for him and the – Iranian you could not date a girl without the parents’ permission and also they had to have a veil on the head you know so he was just crazy for the girl. So here on one Saturday afternoon he went to lake Calhoun to swim – he was a good swimmer and there he – and one day he was telling me about it I had got seven phone numbers from girls at the beach. So on the evening he said he felt like having a date so I took him from the seven and call and it was a beautiful girl and she was half Norwegian but she was catholic you know. So at first – that was – I think it was 71 when I was flown to Sweden or whatever and then there he said “I have to get married who could not talk to men to talk to chairlady had her pregnant.”
INTERVIEWER: No.
T. NYBERG: Had to take get married or I said – well I said I will see you when I come back but he said then he was catholic and went through the catholic priest to get married.

T. NYBERG: When the priest brought out the papers would have to sign that the children if they read that the children would be catholic. He just got up and said, “No children of mine is going to be catholic.” So, he got up and took this bride to be with him and went. So, they went out to the courthouse where the judge married them. So, he really didn’t think he was married, he didn’t feel like that. But she was a beautiful girl, you know half Norwegian and half German I think but the other part mother was a catholic. So, here we’re seating at the bench working morning we started at eight o’clock and right after about 8:30 the telephone rang and it was for him. So, he [unintelligible - 00:00:49] came and threw the tools out there at the table and ran out and in about two hours he came back but he lived down by [unintelligible - 00:00:58] Avenue in apartment and so he just walk down there.

He had a car but then he said the wife was on the phone and she dropped the phone and she was not feeling well, so then that day before or even the night he wasn’t feeling too well, it’s kind of strange, and he was always looking at the knives in the kitchen so he was kind of scared. So, he -- when she fell she passed out there in her apartment so when he came home she was laying right off the bed. And so he took her in the car and brought her down to general hospital, county hospital and brought her into the waiting room and put her on the bench there that take care of my wife and then he went. I came into shock. He said I go back tonight and see if they could fix her but then here mother was there in the hospital because we called her mother so she was in the hospital.

Then they found out that she had nervous breakdown three, four times before, she had been two years in a psychiatric ward and that's what she had. So, he never -- from the hospital he brought her back to the home to the mother, he said, “You take care of her I don’t want her.” And of course then about two weeks after he packed up and ran to the west coast and he always said he was going, this was before when the child was in [unintelligible - 00:02:24] and his father had a sport club over in Iran and all the royalty came to this club. So, the father was -- had much connection with the shop. So, he went to west coast and he work in the shop there and they had the land there from him and I could hardly read it because it was mostly Arab but I could understand somehow, anyhow. So, he said the -- he thanked me for being so nice to him and good friends and all that stuff. So, I wrote to him to the other city and I got the land back and said [unintelligible - 00:02:59] he moves out he has no [unintelligible - 00:03:00]. So, I select the house to deal in Iran, I always walk in front of his force because I know he was going to go back to Iran, so I never heard from him since.
INTERVIEWER: And was there some connection with him in the…?
T. NYBERG: That’s why he look so much like this.
INTERVIEWER: I see, oh. You made that?
T. NYBERG: Yeah, so I called the -- because I had a model for it but this is casted in sand, is not the last process like a Rex model.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: So, then [unintelligible - 00:03:28] of diamonds for eyes and then this diamond here and then the sapphire is there. So, I always called this as my Arab friend.
INTERVIEWER: All right, it’s quite a memento.
T. NYBERG: Looks like it. I always wear it.
INTERVIEWER: You were at [unintelligible - 00:03:40].
T. NYBERG: Yeah, he came in the winter time he always had, not in the summer time but he had just like have long scars all around his head. So, he…
INTERVIEWER: Well Ayub that's quite a skill that you had over the years.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, I had it a long time.
INTERVIEWER: Have you ever any other hobbies at all that you were interested in?
T. NYBERG: Well, not really…
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: Because I've haven’t had much time…
INTERVIEWER: No, you're a [unintelligible - 00:04:06].
T. NYBERG: My wife getting sick and so forth and so on.
INTERVIEWER: Yes and things and working.
T. NYBERG: But never had a -- as far as looking back over the life, we had a wonderful life and we’re on another vacation of but I'm not sure and…
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a cottage or anything…?
T. NYBERG: No, no. All this we had three, four time step ahead decided that one and then she got sick then so I cancelled it out. And we also have the plan -- we went to Florida for two months right after New Year’s for many years after my retirement and then we decided to move to Florida. So, we had picked out a house for us and everything and -- but then she wasn’t feeling too good so when I came home, I was like call them I said no, cancel it out because Manhattan is the best place for us.
INTERVIEWER: You're still going to stay in your home until…?
T. NYBERG: I still got my own house and I hope [00:05:00] I can keep it…
INTERVIEWER: Keep it up.
T. NYBERG: For about for a long time.
INTERVIEWER: Did you interest in sports at all or anything like that?
T. NYBERG: Well, I listen to the -- I get tired I’ll listen to the whole play.
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 00:05:14] about the baseball I just about start in at the [unintelligible - 00:05:18]. I like to see the end and the same with football also. I took up golf, I played golf for a while but now I haven’t done it for some time. So, about…
INTERVIEWER: Were you into sports in Sweden after all the…?
T. NYBERG: Oh, yeah. We were playing ball you know
INTERVIEWER: Baseball or what do they call it?
T. NYBERG: Baseball, it was something like softball here.
INTERVIEWER: Yes.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, oh, yeah.
[CROSSTALK]
INTERVIEWER: So, they call it football over there, soccer?
T. NYBERG: I've never played soccer but right in front of our house was just flat so all the children in the neighborhood -- my mother let’s say she’s must have been angel because she always treated them on some goodies when they were there and all the noise we made and she never complained.
INTERVIEWER: And how was your baseball, I didn’t realize that…?
T. NYBERG: Oh, yes we had baseball.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, I wonder how that caught over there.
T. NYBERG: That was where the probably the use of flat place in front of our house it was prefect to play ball.
INTERVIEWER: Sound like from America come back and grab the kids playing baseball.
T. NYBERG: Well, this was a softball, a little bit different…
[CROSSTALK]
INTERVIEWER: The idea though.
T. NYBERG: No, no, it’s the same thing. So and the soccer of course is the main played ever, I never played, it is too rough. I didn’t want to get hurt.
INTERVIEWER: did you like to read or anything like that?
T. NYBERG: Oh, yeah both my wife and I are good readers.
INTERVIEWER: You read both Swedish and English or…?
T. NYBERG: Oh, yeah. I have a lot -- I picked up at our [temperance] we have book sale and also we have rubber sale every spring now there used to be [unintelligible - 00:06:57]. So I take care of the books it will sale. So, I had chance to pick up some big Swedish history, so I'm reading it now that it’s about that was printed in Sweden in 1834. So, it’s different Swedish than it is today which is a little bit different.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I know.
T. NYBERG: But the letters are the same, it’s not that old German lettering but I can read on it then I have to get backwards something like the German language, a little bit backward. But I'm also reading about [unintelligible - 00:07:31] now.
INTERVIEWER: Gusta who?
T. NYBERG: [Gustavosa]
INTERVIEWER: Vosa, oh yeah, yes.
T. NYBERG: That liberated Sweden from Denmark but turn over and I read the history about him he could never have liberated Sweden if it wasn’t for the help from the [unintelligible - 00:07:46] and he dint pay them for many years so they were going to sue him for the money that he -- so he had to put lean on some of the castle that he taken back from the catholic church.
INTERVIEWER: He also like took a lot of the silver from the churches you know there is this bells and churches and stuff.
T. NYBERG: They did that but he brought lots of them back, yeah. But he had promised that the people that he would give those castles back to the original owner but he didn’t do that, most of them he gave to his own family. And then he also told on some other they were not built they were built for -- really for [unintelligible - 00:08:36], the castles and were not.
INTERVIEWER: This is [unintelligible - 00:08:41] newspapers, Swedish newspapers or…
T. NYBERG: Not, no, I read them here in the institute.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, yes Swedish-American tribune then?
T. NYBERG: Well, you know the French-American got [unintelligible - 00:08:51] published…
INTERVIEWER: Yes, you remember reading that I suppose.
T. NYBERG: Oh yeah, I could remember that…
INTERVIEWER: Were you a subscriber to it…?
T. NYBERG: No, I didn’t but I did the [unintelligible - 00:09:01], I like that one better because the [unintelligible - 00:09:05] at that time was more religious I think than -- and then also it was temperance.
INTERVIEWER: When was this…?
T. NYBERG: At the beginning or probably end of the 1800s or beginning…
INTERVIEWER: Yes, it was a temperance, yeah. Now, you didn’t see until in the early 1930s I suppose or something like that?
T. NYBERG: The Institute sold it in ’43, I think, ’42.
INTERVIEWER: 1940, 1940.
T. NYBERG: ’42 did the Swedish tribunal [unintelligible - 00:09:32]. So, now it’s called Swedish-American tribune but being published out in the west coast. So, otherwise I -- the books and so forth and so on, I got a lot of Swedish books at home but my wife never read it, care to read the Swedish stories because they were too hard to comprehend at the same time.
INTERVIEWER: Have you done much reading about the immigration or anything [00:10:00] like that?
T. NYBERG: Well, not the one [unintelligible - 0:10:02] after I came -- after my mother passed away, I was not interested in emigration because it had to be less and less anyhow.
INTERVIEWER: I suppose the [unintelligible - 0:10:13] become American as fast as possible in those days…
T. NYBERG: Not really, I just wanted to have a happy life, that’s all. And I liked to [unintelligible - 0:10:23].
INTERVIEWER: Yes
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 0:10:24] like Minneapolis, so whenever I have company, the first thing [unintelligible - 0:10:31] I take them out and I show them Minneapolis and the park [leaves] and lakes and so forth, yeah. So I do that for the institute, I take a lot of people, they go visit to Sweden [unintelligible - 0:10:40] I take them along and show them the city.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, great, you’re a good ambassador…
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 0:10:45]
INTERVIEWER: You -- and I understand you take tourists for your institute both in English and in Swedish.
T. NYBERG: Oh yeah. Last summer I had lots of -- the last year, you know the [unintelligible - 0:10:58] 88, when we celebrated the 350th anniversary of the colony, it was big groups here. The every group that we have here was 700 people, women with the gymnastic. And one of the women called me and said she was a friend of my relatives in Sweden. [Unintelligible - 0:11:20] registered in a hotel downtown. So I said; if you have time today or tomorrow, whenever, ill come and pick you up and I’ll show you the city. She was a widow, that woman, very nice person, very educated. So then -- so I picked her up at the garrison and then we were about Swedish nursing home; Agustana Nursing Home here. So she wanted to see, she was interested in old people. And I had this sister in law living there in the south care unit, so she’s not sick really, but she said -- when she saw that she said; ‘I have never seen such a beautiful and well-kept old people’s home in Sweden like you have here.’ but obvious there’s some old people’s homes in Sweden and they are all clean and nice too, but its probably a little different efforts really here.
INTERVIEWER: So you’ve been in -- and also you have a public tour every Saturday that you…
T. NYBERG: Every Saturday we have a public tour and we have wonderful tour guides here but so, and no one else [unintelligible - 0:12:31] and I understand we’re going to have one next Saturday too, a big one. So we have tourists coming in all the time. And this year has been wonderful for Sweden. Every month -- every week, therefore for over a month, they came every week. And then of course they wanted to go see the emigrant region of [unintelligible - 0:12:55] and so forth and [unintelligible - 0:12:59].
INTERVIEWER: What impression do you get from what they think of the institute here? Are they…
T. NYBERG: I’m surprised. Well not surprised because we have a beautiful building here. And it looks like a castle. So I always [unintelligible - 0:13:15] across to the institute and to Minnesota, and then I always tell them that [Jim Ross] was born in southern Sweden only eight years old when he came here with his parents. And all his life, that he has loved Sweden. Kind of unusual, I think, for an eight year old boy. I always mention that to the Swedes. That remember Sweden with all its traditions, like he did [unintelligible - 0:13:45] to [whole] life. So then he organized the institute, as we were happy that he had an idea that he wanted to live in a castle. To have a place here, that no one else had. So the Swiss, they come there, say [unintelligible - 0:14:00] two men from paper in Stockholm. Well educated men, they were journalists. And they said -- they had the flags up, Swedish flag and the American flag up, side by side, and they said that we came in from Park Avenue and see the Swedish flag and the American flag together. Two countries united into one here in Minneapolis. He says that he has got a feeling that the Swedish flag means something. Because the Swedes they like the flag of course but, they can take it or leave it, most of them. But here when they see it in a foreign country, and they see it together with the American flag, they say that -- he pointed to his heart ‘it’s felt straight here. Then I said that’s what we want.
INTERVIEWER: Reminds me, in our new auditorium, at one wall where the screen hangs down, it shows Uncle Sam and Mother Sweden, and they come together and they [unintelligible - 0:15:00] there and says after friendship had been established, we shook hands, we were all sons and brothers of the -- sons and daughters of the same fatherland, and the two come together.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, and you know what, knights have their Swiss too, I always showed them, of course, it is the history of the emigrant coming in [unintelligible - 0:15:19].
INTERVIEWER: Yes
T. NYBERG: And all of us showed them that they were this, the lady is standing looking over the landscape of Sweden [unintelligible - 0:15:28] from memory.
INTERVIEWER: Oh I know that if Swedish Americans are going back to Sweden to visit their homeland…
T. NYBERG: That’s an airport, that’s a [unintelligible - 0:15:36] but here, this is -- in one of those hills I was born one day.
INTERVIEWER: Yes
T. NYBERG: And there’s going to have plucked flowers and picked berries and [unintelligible - 0:15:51]. There’s no place on this earth that’s so dear to me. So I said, let’s show us just what about all these Swedes here think about homeland.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, right.
T. NYBERG: Even if we have not heard from them all the time. Well I said, they think, that’s why they think about the homeland. And it was like the mention about that shaking of hands, that is same thing as what happened to my wife and I of course. You know she was born in this country but she was from Swedish parents. It tells that soon friendship was formed, that’s what it said. Soon friendship was formed, they shook each other’s hand, because they were sons and daughters of the same [unintelligible - 0:16:35].
INTERVIEWER: That’s right
T. NYBERG: They’d have to catch you there…
INTERVIEWER: Yes, that’s right.
T. NYBERG: So very nice.
INTERVIEWER: So what do you think of the future of the Swedish heritage here?
T. NYBERG: Oh I think the institute is going to on forever.
INTERVIEWER: You do huh?
T. NYBERG: Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: But the emigration has stopped, but then you’ll have fewer and fewer…
T. NYBERG: These younger, your teens -- some of the younger people, I have some young people, like yesterday I was at the dance yesterday, and some young people came in, I’m not sure husband and wife or not, but then they had a little child with them and they said they were both descendants of Sweden -- from Swedes. And I said -- they were so interested in every single thing in the institute, and then they went to thank me, they said that this is nicest that we have looked at this building for years with the label of my name there, but they know that they should belong to it because I gave them a blank form to fill out for membership. And I’m quite sure that they’ll do it, because they said they drive by here at Park Avenue and see the, like I said the Swedish flag and the American flag and they feel like they should belong.
INTERVIEWER: Well I keep thinking, it gets further and further diluted like my -- I married a Swedish woman, or of Swedish heritage. My children are all Swedish, but now they have married non-Swiss. It’s going to be diluted. I was just wondering about what the future is here? I know there…
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 0:17:58] just one instance here, my oldest [unintelligible - 0:18:04] next to the oldest sister have got three children; a boy and two girls. And the girl married a German fellow. His father was Irish, and he was -- and my sisters they belonged to the same Lutheran church and the kids were brought up Lutheran. And he was catholic, but the mother was Irish catholic. When he got into our family, we had known him for a few years when they were going together, very nice fellow. So he just liked his -- really loved his folks in laws. And his father told her, my sister was a good baker. She had recipe for rye bread and coffee bread and cardamom bread and all that stuff and they took all those, and they baked Swedish coffee bread and rye bread and there was a good fisherman, he went off to west coast for salmon fishing and he would bring salmon back and he wouldn’t invite all relatives [unintelligible - 0:19:05] not Swedish at all. So when he was older, he got sick. First he had a heart attack then he got cancer.

So he went in the hospital, and I went to see him, he was just ten blocks away from my house anyhow. So I went to see him every day, and then one day we were all alone, his wife had gone out to the coffee shop in the -- and had coffee, and the daughter also. Well he knew he was dying, but I didn’t think so because he was so bright, I didn’t think he could die. He said that -- you know he said when my folks are at that funeral and such a beautiful sermon, and they sang that Swedish one that everyone sings, you know, at the funeral. So he said, would you take care of we get the same singer, that soloist and also sing the same songs as they sang to him and they sang at my mother in law’s and father in law’s funeral. Sure I’ll do that. I thought he would live for months [unintelligible - 0:20:12], the next day he died. So then I came to the pastor and I said that he would’ve wanted to hear he joined Lutheran church. His wife never told him anything about religion. He went to Catholic Church, and he went to the Lutheran church. So then he met the pastor, Pastor Anderson at the time. And the pastor was a wonderful pastor. And he liked the pastor Anderson right away. So he said to his wife; he said ‘I’m not taking instructions from the Lutheran church since he [unintelligible - 0:20:45] and he was catholic turned Lutheran and he was one of our best members. He took well of it so I asked the pastor then if they could get hold of the same organist and the same soloist. Sure, he said. We got that. So we had them and they sang the Swedish song and…
INTERVIEWER: sounds like he was an adopted Swede.
T. NYBERG: Yeah that’s right. That was there and also his children, all his three children are very, they have been visiting here in the institute. They’re interested in the Swedish culture.
INTERVIEWER: Alright good, right, well I’m not saying we hope that there will be an interest to preserve this building too.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, well I told my nieces and nephews, they’re mixture, they are married to mixed people [unintelligible - 0:21:32] and I said; ‘you can honor both cultures both the American and the Swedish, but the Swedish and your heritage.
INTERVIEWER: It would be interested to come back here another 25 to 50 years to see what it’s like…
T. NYBERG: Now when I talked about the institute, to my group of tourists, you know I always say that they preserve our Christmas tradition with plundering Christmas tree and so forth that I don’t know if the Scandinavian countries do that. I’ve tried to -- No one that I talk to can remember any plundering Christmas tree. That’s a very good tradition in Sweden. Because we have some of those cookies and fruit and candies on the Christmas tree, and I kind of remember when I was small, we looked forward to plundering Christmas tree, much more so than Christmas Eve.
INTERVIEWER: And that was, what date was that? January?
T. NYBERG: It’s at – the Christmas Eve, of course, the plundering Christmas tree?
INTERVIEWER: The plundering…
T. NYBERG: They do it here in the first Saturday after New Year.
INTERVIEWER: That’s right.
T. NYBERG: So close to the Thirteenth Day. The 12th day after Christmas, Swedes call it the Thirteenth day.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have any favorite room or part of this house here that you like the most?
T. NYBERG: Well I have a niece; the first thing that she come to go is on the third floor. She said this is the floor that I like because she likes old things. But they don’t show enough of it. She always said that…
INTERVIEWER: They can’t show everything to her of course.
T. NYBERG: No you can’t, but they could show more and my favorite room is both the music room and the dinner hall – dining hall.
INTERVIEWER: The dining room, yes.
T. NYBERG: The dining room and music room, because the beautiful wood carvings in it.
INTERVIEWER: Yes. What do you think of the stoves that Mr. [Unintelligible - 0:23:32] bought? The kakelugn.
T. NYBERG: It’s because we had two of them at home.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, did you? Were they elaborate or were they…
T. NYBERG: Oh, they were all white.
INTERVIEWER: All white, yeah.
T. NYBERG: We had one oblong kind of square but a little oblong and then we had one round in the corner. And that’s what’s in [unintelligible - 0:23:50] in, my bathroom, I mean the bedroom. So everywhere, in the winter time or fall, my mother had all kinds of crucifix [unintelligible - 0:23:59] on the mantle, you know for the mantle like [unintelligible - 0:24:04] so we took it off every night and put it on the table. She never said a word to us about it. Never was she in order. We took them all off, put them on the table and then we put our clothes on the mantle. So they were nice and warm in the morning when we got up…
INTERVIEWER: What did they burn in that…?
T. NYBERG: Lumber birch wood because that’s the best you know. Hard wood you know.
INTERVIEWER: Some of the stoves we have here look like they burn coal the one in the second floor especially.
T. NYBERG: There’s some here that have never been burnt.
INTERVIEWER: Oh that’s for sure.
T. NYBERG: But we never used them. But we still can still use them today I like them people, they used to, they can’t imagine the first one you see it, why are they so tall? You know, and why it’s so tall is because, the channel
INTERVIEWER: You explained
T. NYBERG: Channel is that they are trying to heat.
INTERVIEWER: Yes, yes.
T. NYBERG: Very economical to heat the building [00:25:00] of the home anyhow.
INTERVIEWER: And the window is always spaced by spectacular…
T. NYBERG: Oh [unintelligible - 0:25:09] window.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah.
T. NYBERG: Because I see no regular painting.
INTERVIEWER: Where did you see it?
T. NYBERG: At [unintelligible - 0:25:15] in the golf club.
INTERVIEWER: And…
T. NYBERG: And they were amazed, here first I came in there just, I went there especially too easy to see this work of a painting, or even painting. And I was amazed at the coloring that we have in the window here. It’s so much like the original.
INTERVIEWER: Right, looks like the original.
T. NYBERG: Yeah, like the original.
INTERVIEWER: Oh
T. NYBERG: But, these are made in Stockholm, you know, the windows. And of course today they must have been real artists that painted like [unintelligible - 0:25:50], you know, they painted and burned it you know.
INTERVIEWER: Matched that.
T. NYBERG: And, it’s so much lightened.
INTERVIEWER: Isn’t the original painting more dark or something like that?
T. NYBERG: A little bit darker…
INTERVIEWER: [Unintelligible - 0:26:01]
T. NYBERG: Something like the other windows that this whole sun shining up.
INTERVIEWER: Yes.
T. NYBERG: So you know the sun brings …
INTERVIEWER: It has a – almost a third dimensional effect, it almost seemed like you could see a depth there is.
T. NYBERG: Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: The chimney smoke and so forth…
T. NYBERG: That’s right, oh it’s wonderful. But I was on the town square where I lived up to [unintelligible - 0:26:22] city. But the buildings are not like that.
INTERVIEWER: No.
T. NYBERG: And the guard said, at first I have a [unintelligible - 0:26:30] after this I will have to live with [unintelligible - 0:26:34] you know, it was almost 600 years ago. But then of course a few years after that we went back, it was about two years, I think. Then the Russian came and raided. And burned all the churches and [unintelligible - 0:26:49], have you been there?
INTERVIEWER: No, no I haven’t.
T. NYBERG: You should be because some interest and there are some churches there, 20 churches [unintelligible - 0:26:55] they’re just a skeleton left of them. But then that big cathedral it’s beautiful. And we have services there all the time, it was interesting, but I’ll talk to the curator there and she said – we never told her about the window, I had a picture with a -- a postcard with me of the window. She never knew; she had never heard that it was a window made to copy out the painting, because it’s not from at the time you know. So I say, you know, I’ll fill that spot and not if it was, I think it would be the only window in the whole world that was made to copy the painting.
INTERVIEWER: I think you said once that it looks like there’s a figure added to it too…
T. NYBERG: The figure that we have on the left side…
INTERVIEWER: The man that’s carrying a [unintelligible - 0:27:49].
T. NYBERG: Carrying the urn, holding the urn, it’s beautiful [unintelligible - 0:27:52] if you think about that. When he’s holding that money urn and he’s kept all these savings in the urn. And on the opposite side is a rich businessman, he’s got a beautiful box there, inlaid box, that is only but real to the king. But that one with the urn is not an original
INTERVIEWER: I see.
T. NYBERG: It’s more on the open spot. So I think that the one that made the window decided to put a poor business man in there, so even after the window…
INTERVIEWER: He still looks pretty well dressed and pretty affluent, that man.
T. NYBERG: I tell you, they have a play there, every summer they were practicing when I was there, because I was there first part to join, they would probably have a play of [unintelligible - 0:28:37] every summer. And the children and everybody dresses in those costumes. Look like you put you back 600 years when you see those people.
INTERVIEWER: Yes. Well, Tori, this has been a wonderful interview, I want to thank you so much…
T. NYBERG: [Unintelligible - 0:28:54]
INTERVIEWER: Filmed up two tapes here so, time went fast didn’t it?
T. NYBERG: They’ll listen to it 100 years from now.
INTERVIEWER: Yes.
T. NYBERG: We will listen to it.
INTERVIEWER: Well thank you…
T. NYBERG: We will meet up here.
INTERVIEWER: Thank you so much.
T. NYBERG: You are welcome.
INTERVIEWER: Very good.