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Interview with Oke Flysjo

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Born in Borås, Sweden, in 1920, Oke Flysjo served as a truck driver in Sweden throughout World War II. He visited the United States twice before deciding to emigrate in 1949. He worked at a warehouse for Gamble Robinson Company from 1950 to 1962, and at H. Brooks & Company as truck driver and produce inspector from 1962-1982.

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1:52:43

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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 archives and library committee of the American Swedish institute. Today is February 8th 1990 and I have with me a member of the institute Oke [unintelligible - 00:00:18].
O FLYSJO: Alright.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Welcome to this interview Oke.
O FLYSJO: Thank you.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Could you tell us a little bit about your birth, and birth place, and your family; things like that?
O FLYSJO: Well to start off I was born June 26th 1920 and my kids call it the dark ages. And I was born into a poor family, my father moved from [unintelligible - 00:00:58] to Borås that’s in [unintelligible - 00:01:02] where he bought a [unintelligible - 00:01:06]. And we were at that time eight kids in the family. No, I’m wrong; we were only six 1922 we moved in there. And it was close to town Borås so he could sell milk to the people in Borås which is delivered in the evening and in the morning. And then by other else from the farm he managed to raise his family. But during the [depression] in the 20s all people were poor.

I remember we were six children going through school, at the same time we never ever got any new clothes because my parents they could not buy anything new so there were always people giving us clothing and the worst part was shoes. But the school provided us with [unintelligible - 00:02:31] which we could pick up as many as we needed and in the summer time we always went barefoot.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You call them tray...?
O FLYSJO: [Unintelligible - 0:02:44] clog...
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wooden clogs?
SPEAKER 2 Yeah wooden clogs. There was no [unintelligible - 0:02:49] are made in one piece of wood we had until we used them home but this wooden sole and then over was made of leather and they were twice comfortable if it hadn’t snowed and then the snow built up underneath and you could barely walk with them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was your father’s name?
O FLYSJO: [Unintelligible - 00:03:14].
L. HAMMERSTROM: And your mother’s name?
O FLYSJO: My mother’s name was [unintelligible - 00:03:20] III Neil’s daughter.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where were they born?
O FLYSJO: My father was born in [unintelligible - 00:03:30] close to [unintelligible - 00:03:39] in between Borås but actually closer to [unintelligible - 00:03:48].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Your parents then were from peasant families?
SPEAKER 2 Yes both.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Both of them?
O FLYSJO: Yeah. My mother was born into a family, they were five children in that family and both my [Murmur] and [unintelligible - 00:04:14] died before – I never saw them. But on my father’s side they lived close enough to be visited with them one time every summer by renting a [unintelligible - 00:04:31] and we were riding on the back of the [unintelligible - 00:04:32] the whole family. My father could afford once.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you traced your family back at all, any in genealogy at all?
O FLYSJO: Oh I have the [home] but I can't remember though my dad’s family go far, far back. My sister she had – she was interested in that and she had a lot of information from [00:05:00] [them].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were they from that same area all the years back I suppose?
O FLYSJO: Yeah my dad’s – yeah both – my dad was from [unintelligible - 00:05:10] and my mother was from Holland and my even my mother’s parents was farmer. And they have lived on the same farm for many, many years. I’ve been gone but I never saw either of them from my mother’s side.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You say they moved near Borås?
O FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is there a farm there?
O FLYSJO: No. They moved from – my dad he was a hired [hand] for a farm there. A big [unintelligible - 00:05:49] farm that’s [unintelligible - 00:05:53] of the farm that they call it [goods] when you have a...
L. HAMMERSTROM: Estate.
O FLYSJO: Estate [unintelligible - 00:06:01] you know whatever – that man had probably gotten – his father probably had got that from the king a few hundred years ago and then they go on from father to son and so forth. That’s what my dad worked for, so we get married my mother and then they moved to a place [unintelligible - 00:06:39] and it was an [unintelligible - 00:06:42] that outside was probably four or five miles from Borås was landmarked.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did he rent this [farm]?
O FLYSJO: Yeah he rented, he had it on what do you call it? On contract or something.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What type of place was it that you lived in, a house [in that]...?
SPEAKER 2 That was just a small very old farm [with a] house, no water, no central heating it was just kakelugn what they call it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: A kakelugn.
O FLYSJO: Kakelugn and wooden stove in the kitchen.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How did you get your water then?
O FLYSJO: Carry it in. Carry water in and flash out sewage out.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And were there other buildings on the farm there and then?
O FLYSJO: There was just a couple of other building on that farm but I [lived] there one year and I had no [unintelligible - 00:07:47] because I was born 1920 and I left that [unintelligible - 00:07:51] on 1921 when they moved to [unintelligible - 00:07:56].
L. HAMMERSTROM: How many – you said there were six children, how many boys and girls were there of each?
O FLYSJO: When we moved to [unintelligible - 00:08:13] were six in the family; there were two girls and four boys 1921.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And where did you fit in there?
O FLYSJO: Well I’m the fifth from the top.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see next to the youngest.
O FLYSJO: Fifth on the top and there’s five below me.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see.
O FLYSJO: So we’re 10 – we’re actually nine kids, very close together. My oldest daughter was 11 years older than I.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Your sister.
O FLYSJO: Yeah my older sister.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see. You were how many again in the family?
O FLYSJO: We were 10.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Altogether they had 10 children but at the time you moved here you were only...
O FLYSJO: We were only six.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Six children and others had grown up and moved out?
O FLYSJO: My older sister had already moved out because you only had to be 19 years old when they had to take the [unintelligible - 00:09:27].
L. HAMMERSTROM: To be a servant girl?
O FLYSJO: Servant for the farmers. They had to milk the cows and take care of the house.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have cattle then, cows and...?
O FLYSJO: Yeah at the – when we moved to [unintelligible - 00:09:45] my dad had a horse and a few cows but there was great potential to clear more land. And he [00:10:00] start clearing land immediately when we moved in and as we were able to work, because we were -- we had a chore to do when we were little five, six years old, there were things we had to do and work was the first and only thing my dad was concerned about, he could not get in to his head that education had an important thing in life, you know it was an important thing in life, back breaking work that’s the only thing he cared about. So we always got up no later, in between five and six every single morning and before school started we had chore to do and then school started at nine o'clock, we were in school from nine to about 3:30 or 4:00 sometimes when we had extra [unintelligible - 00:11:02] and then right home changed clothes and work until 9:00, that went for six days a week and on Sunday probably we had work four or five hours taking care of you know animals, cleaning barn and brushing and you know that’s the grown up and very little time for play. We were 10 minutes late home from school, we had it coming we'd get the whip; he used the whip he had a long horse whip with him and he wasn’t afraid to use that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sounds like a very severe father.
O FLYSJO: He was her was very severe.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about your mother?
O FLYSJO: She was very young; she was very kind, very human, very good Christian.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah I see.
O FLYSJO: She was you know religious all her life.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was he a tenant farmer is that the idea he had to put so much time for the…
O FLYSJO: No
CROSSTALK
O FLYSJO: He bought [unintelligible - 00:12:15].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
O FLYSJO: And that was a really poor farm when he got there, stone and stone and the stone came up by the millions in the spring after every frost there was just as many and we picked those stones we hurled away those stones and next spring was just as many stones and that’s one of the chores we had to do every spring.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How large the farm was it? Do you know?
O FLYSJO: It was [unintelligible - 00:12:49] I don’t know how many [unintelligible - 00:12:51].
L. HAMMERSTROM: One eight?
O FLYSJO: One eight I think was it…
L. HAMMERSTROM: [Unintelligible - 00:12:53] Okay.
O FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That wasn’t very large then was it for that.
O FLYSJO: No but he managed to have well, in the late 30s he had three horses and 11 cows and a bull, sometimes he had pigs here they were up to 40 pigs, he had some sheep you know always young, there was duck you know and he you know in the olden days nothing was thrown away even in the town, they had soup what we call that now the garbage, all the eatable garbage it could be fed to swine was collected -- certain container and that was collected by the city and then the city sold it to everyday, they got this in one certain place and they had it in certain [unintelligible - 00:14:10]…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Collection place.
O FLYSJO: Yeah and they sold this to people to came in…
L. HAMMERSTROM: To the farmers.
O FLYSJO: To the farmers who raise the pigs and they don’t do that anymore but that’s when I grew up and has vanished but important to the farmers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of crops did he raise?
O FLYSJO: Well mostly hay for the cows and then oats and rye you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Rye.
O FLYSJO: That’s those two, he always had this on flowers [unintelligible - 00:14:47] and the [unintelligible - 00:14:50] was good crop he had otherwise he had it for his to feed his pigs and to feed his cows [00:15:00].
L. HAMMERSTROM: How many rooms did you have in the house?
O FLYSJO: In that house -- when we moved in that house there was one large kitchen and another large room that’s all. And in the kitchen was an iron stove an old fashioned iron stove and in the other room was a kakelugn and that room was never used because we never had the time or woods or I don’t know what that only used for on during holidays like Christmas and Easter and when you would put in a fire -- that’s when I in the 20s when I grew up there. In the kitchen we lived practically in the kitchen.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of sleeping arrangements did you have then?
O FLYSJO: We all slept in the kitchen. Then because there an upstairs we start to come down like this. So it was above six feet high for about this wide up stairs and he finished that house and he got two bedroom, one in this south and one in the north. And we slept four boys in the north bedroom and all the rest of the family slept in the south bedroom and that’s when we were nine kids, my older sister were gone but we were nine kids and parents. So we left 11 people in that house and there was no water, no sewer and no other heating, the only heating we had in that house was the kitchen stove, cook you know [unintelligible - 00:16:47] it was a cook stove one you could fix the food on that’s all.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was it used wood then [unintelligible - 00:16:51].
O FLYSJO: Just used wood yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you cut your own wood then?
O FLYSJO: We cut our own wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You had a wood…
O FLYSJO: We had a forest [unintelligible - 00:16:59] but the owner before my dad bought that farm he cut all the valuable tree stock everything, he just cleaned it off all of it. And so there was no timber to get on that farm. So my dad whatever he need -- had to be out, he had to go buy the timber.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you ever been back there [unintelligible - 00:17:23].
O FLYSJO: I've been back there many times [unintelligible - 00:17:25].
L. HAMMERSTROM: What is it like now?
O FLYSJO: Now it is beautiful forest and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about the farm?
O FLYSJO: The farm was bought [unintelligible - 00:17:34] so they onetime [unintelligible - 00:17:37] home they had been out there the new farming of forest, we had cut down almost everything -- every tree was just cut [unintelligible - 00:17:54] they plant new.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is it just a…
O FLYSJO: That’s the way the farm trees over in Sweden are.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s a forest now.
O FLYSJO: Before [unintelligible - 00:18:05] the house is gone [unintelligible - 00:18:06] the city house was over 200 years old, it was with timber you know this timber, and it’s one over there, one over there and laid on top of each other and then there was moss was in between and then outside he had some board a certain kind and inside they had this, what do we call paper.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Paper.
O FLYSJO: The wallpaper they put [unintelligible - 00:18:35] and wallpapers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Like a log cabin then [unintelligible - 00:18:40] log cabin.
O FLYSJO: It was very low to the ceiling no more than six feet. Kitchen was a little above -- most of the places it was just about -- any time when I grown up, I'm over six so my head you know was…
L. HAMMERSTROM: How long did your mother and father live?
O FLYSJO: My father lived to 70, 90 he was 90, my mother was 89 and my father was born 1882 and my mother was born 1886.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And then they died 19?
O FLYSJO: 19 -- I should [unintelligible - 00:19:31] if I had known I have all the information.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You said your father was 90 when he died it was 1972 then.
O FLYSJO: He was 90, something like that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And your mother -- did they live on that place until they…?
O FLYSJO: No they -- 19 was it 80 no 65 or 64 they sold. [00:20:00] sold that to Borås city, Borås city said if we going to have, he couldn’t sell us anybody else because, he wants it, you know the sun, was glowing and glowing just like Minneapolis. You know, you say [unintelligible - 00:20:15] for instance and I wasn’t there 40 years ago but, to the airport and all the airport channeling. So that’s the same thing over there that they are growing. So they bought it and my youngest brother granted the farm from Borås city for 10 years, and then they wouldn’t renew it. Because these others say they were going to start planning [unintelligible - 00:20:45]. So, he bought another farm next door farm to, well our farm, and it was the best thing that would happen to him because he got something of his own.
L. HAMMERSTROM: All right, do you have brother and sisters still living?
O FLYSJO: Oh yeah. I have three brothers and one sister.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And they are all living in Sweden?
O FLYSJO: No, I have my, my sister, she lives in California. And, and the last one lived in Sweden. So there are five left and I’m the oldest one of the five. Five gone five left.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of, what are you’re eating and food, and things like that, the meals that you’re having.
O FLYSJO: Over in Sweden?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, when you were born there.
O FLYSJO: Well, I’ll say that there was one thing that we never really have to, I, back in Wanando we never had to go hungry because there is always plenty of bread and meat, and the fish and certain days per week so I can’t say that we ever starved. There were food we didn’t like but that’s our own fault but healthy husbands cost, you know, good food. You know we had potatoes and meat or chilled potatoes, chilled, salt chilled, you know well that’s, herring hog, we, my dad bought that by a big barrel like this. So, I may, you know because that’s, that’s cheaper in those days. Very, very, very healthy foods, you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And you ate potatoes there?
O FLYSJO: Oh, potatoes, we always had our own potatoes. And, so there was no problem. Tills and we could eat potatoes twice a day. At noon and after supper. See my mother, that’s one thing I know Wananda, Wananda from home was a black kettle and that was always on the stove and that was always coOkeng potatoes. Peels the peeling on and then she used that’s a full kettle with potatoes, she would peel the potatoes and then she mashed them and she mixed them in the bread and she made those big, huge for … [unintelligible - 00:23:13].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Loaves of bread?
O FLYSJO: Cup of bread and it was fantastic bread that’s it. I remember the last, every week, we would seven boys a leap in each, a leap and that supper was almost gone in no time at all and that’s no coffee [unintelligible - 00:23:27].
L. HAMMERSTROM: And we call it potato bread I think.
O FLYSJO: Yes potato, and that was you know, good bread. And then she, you know what they say.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did they have a celebration like Christmas and the family. Did you have anything special?
O FLYSJO: We had good celebration on Christmas. The first Christmas I had we Wananda, we had nothing. This poor [unintelligible - 00:23:52], she had [unintelligible - 00:23:54]. Nothing, absolutely nothing. Then when I grew up we had no nothing to play, we played with wood from when we carried from the store. We built some of the things with us and …
L. HAMMERSTROM: How long did you go to school then, how much would you…?
O FLYSJO: I started school in 1927, and I was through 1934.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You had seven years then.
O FLYSJO: Seven years and we went to school six days a week.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you also attend confirmation; was this a church school by the way?
O FLYSJO: No, that’s a public school, a public school.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you go to church school at all and confirmation?
O FLYSJO: Well, absolutely. That’s was a must. If you wanted to marry and be married in the Swedish Lutheran church, you had to be confirmed through the Lutheran. And that was about one year, we went two times even [00:25:00] 11 o’clock in the morning, or in the evening for two hours twice a week per year and then, then you were confirmed. So I was confirmed in April 1935. And then when I after seven years in school, so the school was through in June then we had six weeks of schooling more. Higher, you know, something to complete for, what you want to do when since you know, you want to be a carpenter and things like that, it wasn’t kind of you know to get [unintelligible - 00:25:44] on the lower level. You know, to see what you are interested in. [Unintelligible - 00:25:50].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was it kind of like apprenticeship or…?
O FLYSJO: Yeah something like that because you, not really apprenticeship because you couldn’t ride along and then you six weeks but then you try to find out you know, what you are, what you are fitted for.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What did you go into then at that…?

L. HAMMERSTROM: After school, you took this sort of like apprentice or getting familiar with different jobs and occupations and see what you could do.
O. FLYSJO: Yup. That was only for six weeks, and in October 1934, I started my first job. My dad got me a job in a greenhouse, so I worked for a florist for 2 years. I worked in a greenhouse and I helped in the shop over in a week and in Saturdays and Sundays, and whenever he will visit here, I help their delivery boy or by delivering the flowers to funerals and flowers to private home and everything was done by bicycle and this is a job I liked very well and I would probably, I’d stay with it for a long time if it hadn’t been for circumstances but beyond…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Beyond your control?
O. FLYSJO: Beyond control of it, we had a bad summer with lots of rain and suddenly, I had… What do you call, a slide or…
L. HAMMERSTROM: A landslide?
O. FLYSJO: Landslide that’s from a hill and that’s filled up the boiler room and ruined some of the greenhouses and there was no more work work. I was fired because there’s nothing to do. This was good in depression, so I was looking for a job, for…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sprint headed depression the same time that America did and I guess, in the whole world?
O. FLYSJO: This was [‘35], so I was looking for a job for three months and finally, I get on a little job where I worked as a delivery boy, making $11 a week, just to sit back and I have to manage the dollar a week for my needs. I have to pay $10 for food and boarding room. I managed to get a better job, delivering for a grocery store, also seven days a week through milk and groceries and I’ve worked there for a couple of years and then I quit and I’ve worked for a factory, cleaning out and [unintelligible – 00:02:46]…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of factory was that?
O. FLYSJO: What?
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of factory was that?
O. FLYSJO: That was where they made silk stockings. Then those machines have to be cleaned every day and oiled and I did it for a while and finally, I got to – I quit then I was going to work for my dad. My dad had three horses. What he have taken on the timber, logging with hauling timber, also the forest. We were three boys and my dad was the boss and he didn’t do any work, so we had to haul timber out in the deep forest off through timber where ways where the trucks could pick it up. I worked for three months for him.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Would you cut the trees down?
O. FLYSJO: No, we just haul it up.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Haul it up.
O. FLYSJO: We were all got the tree to haul it up. The timber weighs where the truck is going to get this, and he promised to pay me some but I never saw a nickel. I worked for three months and I’ve said, “That’s enough with that, because I couldn’t live on this.” I got the job with the – what do you say, a [stop] farm.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Nicely, you had on…
O. FLYSJO: What you have been raising… no, vegetables.
L. HAMMERSTROM: No vegetables, no.
O. FLYSJO: For what do you call… well, now I’ll tell you it weighs with your balls and things, we did it [unintelligible – 00:04:23]. On the weekend, he was selling his [unintelligible – 00:04:28], so on the town square.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: I worked for him for three months and I’ve got in to a wholesale of fruit and products in Boras, and I worked in their warehouse and I was the truck driver. I did that for 13 years. I worked up for the last, say, 1949. [00:05:00] I quit on Thursday and I left on the boat on Friday.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of wages were you getting there for that?
O. FLYSJO: That could have been pretty good wages, very adequate for my needs. I’m single and I did some traveling in Sweden. I was all traveling whenever I could and I went through France and Germany, Holland, Norway, and I was always on the go. Anytime I had vacation, I went some place and then 1947 – actually 1946, I have an uncle who had lived in Minnesota and moved on to California and he had taken up turkey. Well, he raise turkeys, he had a turkey farm, he had about 10,000 turkeys during the season. He’d… What do you call? Grow turkeys, so he came home and I guess it’s 1946 over Christmas and I got interested in going to America and he was telling all kinds of things about America and I got really heart about America and then in the summer time on 1947, my dad’s brother, was about the same age with my dad, came from Minnesota. He had been in America since 1906 and that was his first time back to Sweden and we got to be real buddy-buddy. I was with him all over during the time he was in Sweden and he talked and talked and talked about how good America was, and he taught me into his, “You could do much better in America. Come and work for me. I have greenhouses and I have work for you. If you want to come and work for me,” so after he left, I send a letter to him about and on 1948, and I said, “I’m ready. I’m quitting ahead and I will come,” and that took about six months for him to get the paper signed because he had to sign the paper that he have could provide work for me, as I wouldn’t be through a burden for the government of United States and he got that signed. By November 1949, all the paper and I got my Visa and all my paper, immigration paper ready, so I left Sweden, the 18th of November, 1949 [by virtue].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was there quotas?
O. FLYSJO: There was quota.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Quota as in?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You really get in on that?
O. FLYSJO: I was able to get in on the quota for Sweden never. They have such a big quota, so they’d never fill that quotas at that particular time.
As I said, I left Sweden in ’49. That was in November and we had some bad weather but I was never sick. Many were sick, but most of them are very nice and I…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you sail from Gothenburg?
O. FLYSJO: From Gothenburg to New York.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Straight to New York.
O. FLYSJO: Yup and we arrived in New York on a Saturday, which means at the end of work, so we have to stay on the boat for the weekend and on Monday, and racing and the doctors, so the doctors which the same thing, they saved us from going to Ellis Island by coming aboard the boat and take care of it. When we were all cleared for landing, we went on and I had my cousin. I had a cousin who worked as a teacher in New York. She was going to come down and meet me at the boat. I had one suit case or two suit cases and then I had a big… What do you call this covered?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Trunk?
O. FLYSJO: Trunk, and that trunk was sitting down in a hole, so when that took some time to come up and I got that and she never get to see me or find me because I was more concerned of getting my trunk and I got the trunk and there I stood with my trunk and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was this on board ship or?
O. FLYSJO: No, this was on the pier.
L. HAMMERSTROM: On the dock.
O. FLYSJO: On the dock. [00:10:00] I couldn’t take that’s one with because I had air fare from New York to Minneapolis, so a cabbie came and he asked me if I want to go ride and I told him, I have this trunk and I have to take care of that one. When he said, “That’s no problem. I’ll take care of it,” and so he took me to… What do you? Express and we send the trunk from New York to Minneapolis and everything was all set and but I have nobody to take me to the airport. I didn’t know what to do and he was a very friendly guy, so he said, “Oh, forget about it. I’ll show you. I want to take you on a tour on over New York.” I don’t know, a couple of hours we’re just driving around and he tried to tell me, in Italian and in between Italian and English and then nice Swedish, we were getting along pretty good, and then he took me all over. He showed me most of the Central New York and then he took me all for coffee and he was a good, young, [from NSA] because for two hours, we’re riding around that and he only charge me $20. I think I got my money worth…
L. HAMMERSTROM: I should say.
O. FLYSJO: From that, and he really went out of his way to take care of me in New York.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Could you speak English then?
O. FLYSJO: I’ve been able, yes or no, you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: Well, a little bit, not so much. We managed, yes or no and maybe I was, you know, and that was a very interesting…
L. HAMMERSTROM: That was very unusual, I’d say.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know, I knowing it to New York cab drivers…
O. FLYSJO: Well, nothing up there. He took me off and he treats me on coffee and you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: By the way, how long did the voyage take?
O. FLYSJO: That took ten days.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What did it cost you? Do you remember?
O. FLYSJO: $220.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That was for the voyage?
O. FLYSJO: That was for the voyage, and then $37 for an airfare ticket from La Guardia to [Gothenburg].
L. HAMMERSTROM: La Guardia, yeah.
O. FLYSJO: We had this marking, two inch of marking of that sign, from La Guardia through Wold-Chamberlain.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wold-Chamberlain.
O. FLYSJO: That was my second time I’ve been up in the airplane. I’ve had long time from Stockholm to Gothenburg and that I travel with Sweden, traveled by air, so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I meant to ask you about your last name. Was that the family name for many years?
O. FLYSJO: No.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How did your dad get that?
O. FLYSJO: Well, my dad never got them. My mother never got it because their name, a few on son and they’re seeing with their rest of life. But in Sweden, after that particularly time, we had been for hundreds of years, we had so few name. Either of us; Johansen, Johnson or Carlson or Anderson, and Jonathan. That’s during the name, so in one apartment house, it could be two Johansen on first floor, three Johansen on second floor and it’s four or five Johansen up on the top, so it was absolutely impossible for the government to keep track of, keep it in order so they suggested a whip of any cost, whatsoever, anybody who want to take a new name, all the cost sue, who was involved, they would pay it. It would cost something and they suggested to create new name and we had no problem, because we have a lake and the name of the lake was [Flewhen] from [Flewhen] was close to [Flemader] on the same – it was just a few hundred meter from walking on the land on [Flemader], the lands of [Flemader] on the land. [00:15:00] We decided to take the name [Efrit] and we did…
L. HAMMERSTROM: You say, we, your whole…
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, the whole, all with my mother and dad.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When did they do this?
O. FLYSJO: 1947 or ’46, I think it was, ’46.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you ever have to register for the military service?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you serve in the military?
O. FLYSJO: I served in the military for five years, from 1939; I was in the first time, 1939, the date that war broke off in Germany. We were mobilized with the trucks because I was a truck driver and the military took the truck and the driver right then and there. It was no question asked, so whether be it. I wasn’t old enough to be in service, I was only 19 years old, and we have to be 20 years before you have to do your first military service, so but I have to stay with the truck as long as the truck was mobilized, so I was in for a month or something like that, and then they released the truck and they released me because then they would establish and only, everything was a call. Nobody knew anything, what was going on.
Then I was back home, working. All the gasoline disappeared. The day that the war broke off, there’s no more gasoline or anybody more in the military and for doctors, and to begin with, it was for taxis but then they had already the charcoal burner and you know what, I will work so just expanded on that, so the taxi…
L. HAMMERSTROM: They operate the truck with a charcoal…
O. FLYSJO: Charcoal burner, within gas, that’s same to use the gas.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see; the gas.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, so they cool the gas down so they could get more gas into the chamber because the gas was too hot to go right into the motor, so they have to go round and round and round and then they filled it in. That works pretty good also on charcoal. Then we have another [agrigas] where we used chopped wood, really fine chopped birch for hard work.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you have to carry that on the truck as in …?
O. FLYSJO: Well, we carry it up with us and then jumped it in the [agrigas]. I’d say, big [agrigas] and then just burned for trucks and buses and we used this all for old trucks, what I worked for this whole supporters, all the time during the war, a [V-Gap] rubber wrapped for the [trucks]. For the big [trucks], we have to use car rubbers, you know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Tires?
O. FLYSJO: Tires. There were no big tires for truck.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Truck tires.
O. FLYSJO: So it goes, we had more and more wheels. We probably have 20 wheels instead of six, but we managed during the war.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was this is Boras or?
O. FLYSJO: It was all in Boras.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
O. FLYSJO: And oil, I was so scarce, but we managed to get enough so we could run and the tires, even for bicycle. I was in a distance but I couldn’t go by the bus. I was a few kilometer from the bus line, so I was entitled to ride my bicycle to work. I got bicycle tires, during the war.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was the sympathy of the people around you or your sympathy for the allies or for Germany or how was it?
O. FLYSJO: We were turncoats.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Turncoats?
O. FLYSJO: Whatever that was. They changed. Just trying to stick with the allies but when Hitler put the pressure on or during, or then they gave in. They gave into Hitler.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you mean the Swedish government?
O. FLYSJO: Sure, they gave in to him, because the left him go through Sweden…
L. HAMMERSTROM: On the trains?
O. FLYSJO: With the trains.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: From Norway, full clear down to Denmark, so he had already Denmark and Norway. He didn’t take Sweden because he didn’t have enough… Sweden at all, he had already immobilized enough troops and materials and build the bunkers, whatever that take men too much manpower to take Sweden, so he says, “The heck with the deacon shifter.”
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:20:00] Of course, he got what he wanted.
O. FLYSJO: Well, he got what he wanted. They put pressure on them and on the government and he said, “That’s this.” So they gave in. But we work for the allies, so all the iron deacon master, give us time to race over, in the top of Norway and into England by boat from [Narvik] and Hitler took what he wanted. He wanted iron metal or both England and Germany, naturally.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was there rationing party there?
O. FLYSJO: Everything. There wasn’t a thing that wasn’t rationing in Sweden. More on potatoes they said you can buy so much, but they weren’t have their own car but everything else like meat, then you couldn’t go into a taxi and buy anything. You had to have a coupon for a sandwich or a cookie or anything or coffee. We didn’t never had any coffee. I’ve sure got I don’t know what, for the made of this, that’s what I think. But Norway…
L. HAMMERSTROM: You never recalled out then again in the service after that?
O. FLYSJO: I was in and out all the time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I thought you mentioned you were too young there.
O. FLYSJO: Not too young, but then they were all when there must be the beginning in the war was on from 19…
L. HAMMERSTROM: 39.
O. FLYSJO: 39 to 1945. I must have called in. I did my last service 1945.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where were you?
O. FLYSJO: Right before, so the day, almost the day the war was over and I left so I have it. Anytime there was hard time, they called us in.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You worked continually on the military service?
O. FLYSJO: No, not in and when they got little quiet until that was to gone, but then like when the German went in Norway, then quite the way, we’re in down again, then I head over there, done by service. That was…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Your training?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, training was going on in 40 days but I ended up doing two years without any lethal. Of course, I did my [Van Plates] that they call it. That was one year and I was just through with that when they added another here, the [Rain Scalp] right on top of it, and then I was home and worked for a few months and back in, it was in for three or four months and then back home probably a month and did back in. Well, he has that, the wind blow.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of skill that you have in the army then?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I was…
L. HAMMERSTROM: With the army or air force?
O. FLYSJO: With the support.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Support? I see. Could you provide a truck?
O. FLYSJO: I was the truck driver and then we have to provide food and material, whatever that were needed.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How did you feel about your military service?
O. FLYSJO: I’ve had putting it aside. I didn’t mind at all. That’s nothing as hard, because there’s no positive and overall, we never saw any really bad. The only thing we saw came in from Norway, was the people, was how they suffer in Norway, because they inflict what do you call this trying to escape this [drizzling].
L. HAMMERSTROM: All right.
O. FLYSJO: The fifth calendar, whether they’re calling. I sold up Norway. So, well, 45 when the war was over.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was there a lot of rejoicing at that time?
O. FLYSJO: It was just fantastic. The event, [even had enough], even in Sweden.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did that take long to get back to normal or like no more rationing and things like that?
O. FLYSJO: I think that lasted a year, before we can go get that. You know, there were no cars in Sweden. No private cars, whatsoever. There was only a few taxis. I think you could have comfort them in the thousands, in the whole country, on their own cars.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Must say public transportation?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, they have to go by public buses and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Buses, trains?
O. FLYSJO: Trains. Then the dumbest thing in Sweden was that we were driving…

L. HAMMERSTROM: Today is 5th of April, Thursday, and we’re continuing the interview with [Oke Flysjo]. Due to mechanical difficulties, we were unable to finish at the last interview.
Well, nice to see you again [Oke].
O. FLYSJO: Nice to see you too.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah, I wanted to ask you about your citizenship. When did that take place and where?
O. FLYSJO: In Minneapolis. I knew when I came here up, I wanted to be an American citizen, so after one year of filed papers for intent, and I got them and then I had to wait for four more years and I could be an American citizen. But we climb and at that time was we couldn’t speak and understand English and write English. When I had been in Minneapolis for only a month, little by month, I got a good friend. His name was [Lloyd Johnson]. He took me down to one of the vocational schools, elementary school in Minneapolis where they talk English. That’s a school. They had 47 different nationalities who all tried to learn English, and then when I took my paper, my test for being an American citizen, I passed this real easy and I think, then we were over 200, at the same time, down at Minneapolis in the Mayor’s office. Hoyer was the Mayor at that time. I’ll never forget that time. We got the papers and we’ve all come as all to American citizen.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When was that, they have brought?
O. FLYSJO: That was 1954.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah. Did you have difficulty in learning English in it?
O. FLYSJO: I have no problem at all. It was very easy for me to learn. When I start working for Gamble-Robinson, there’s one portion there, who talked a little bit Swedish. Well, fairly good Swedish and when we were working, I was always trying to learn more and more English and so if anything I didn’t understood, he helped me up with that. Within a year, I was pretty good, up ever for talking English, but going to classes three times a week and two hours, each time, held tremendously to learn the language.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your wife speak Swedish? She was from Almelund in Minnesota?
O. FLYSJO: Yes, she was the secretary, so she spoke fluently English and there was no problem, but she did understood a lot of that Swedish because in Almelund, it was mostly Swedish farmer and in the church she went through in Almelund, the Sunday schools was taught in Swedish and the sermon up through 1929, was all in Swedish and then they start changing over to English and many people in that community never learned to speak English. They never bother with it because every time they’ve got together, it was all Swedish. In 1954, when a mass of Almelund for the first time, to meet my wife’s relation, where it is filled for part Swedish.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When you start having children, did you speak Swedish? Did they learn Swedish?
O. FLYSJO: Never. There was never a Swedish words book at our home because my kids were not interested in Swedish and my wife was not very interested in talking Swedish either so, I just have to try, as I could to speak English. [00:05:00] As we all, was made fun of my book in English. The kids had a heck of a lot of fun because that’s all funny, compared to…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have they’ve been interested at all in Swedish heritage?
O. FLYSJO: My oldest daughter is the one who had shown most interest and she have even tried to – learn to speak Swedish. I think it was ’68, she was with us to Sweden and then she felt pretty fully because she couldn’t understand what they were speaking, what they are saying. But she still understood some, with the young people. They talked a lot of English over there in Sweden, so she was getting along pretty good.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you or the family keep any of those Swedish traditions back Christmas time, things like that?
O. FLYSJO: Absolutely, completely Swedish. Swedish music and Swedish food and all the custom before and you know, like the Christmas gifts, they were all on Christmas Eve. Only the stockings were up for Christmas morning, so that’s the tradition we’re all with it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You have grandchildren, do you?
O. FLYSJO: No. Not yet. I had one – my youngest daughter is the only one who’s married and I only have two daughters and I have one passed away, right you know, so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes. When did you join the Swedish Institute, American Swedish Institute?
O. FLYSJO: I don’t think I joined it before 1965, because…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What led you to join, by the way? Anything that you want…
O. FLYSJO: I used to go work down there because that was my only link with Sweden when I first came here. I was introduced to the Swedish Institute and every month or sometimes, I was on there every Sunday, just to read the Swedish paper. We had those papers from Stockholm and so, that was one interest.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I know you’ve been a guard here. How long you’ve been doing that?
O. FLYSJO: Off and on, for the last four or five years. I don’t know exactly.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: I was on Wednesday for a long time and then suddenly, I got so many other interest so I didn’t show up and then my wife called in and cancel it, so I was out for some time but then I started on Thursday again, so now I’m guarding Thursday.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you bond to any other Swedish organizations here?
O. FLYSJO: The only Swedish organization I belong to is [unintelligible – 00:08:01] on [17th lake] I joined that 1950 with another Sweden…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are you still a member?
O. FLYSJO: I was a member after many years and then suddenly, I doesn’t pay the dues and I was up but I rejoined it again, so I’m a member again right now.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: I go out to their doings.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are there any other groups that Swedish interest groups that you…
O. FLYSJO: The only group I had sure interest for, has been the Good Templar on Cedar Avenue. I’ve been with them. I had some friends who were interested in it. I’m not an absolute Good Templar and they knew that I wasn’t but still, I was welcome there and I would run through their doing. They had dances and they have their Good Templar Park up by… What’s the lake up there in…? I have to think of it. By the big lake, they have a beautiful park and they’ve rent up the cabins. Remember, so we have rented a cabin. When the kids were small, they were up there. It’s the only place we really could go, feel free to take the kids on there, have a good time and there was a lot of sweets there we put on; pancakes, breakfast or whatever you call and dinner.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You mentioned that you would belong to the Teamsters Union. Do you still belong to them?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, I still belong to Teamsters. I joined the Teamsters 1950.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: When I started working a little.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you belong to any other non-Swedish type of groups in the country?
O. FLYSJO: Nope. That’s the only one I have belong to. But well, if you call AA a group, that’s one I have been affiliated for a long time. [00:10:00] I really like the people in that group.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The Alcoholics Anonymous?
O. FLYSJO: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Up at Fridley?
O. FLYSJO: We had one in Roseville.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: We’re meeting at church there every Thursday and I did go to that, after I had been into Cleveland and I did that for four or five years and then I dropped off and started drinking again and then went by to Cleveland again and I had joined this group now at AC [unintelligible – 00:10:38] Nicholas, this Opportunity Center that’s for senior…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Senior?
O. FLYSJO: Citizen and they have a wonderful group there. I’ve been going through every Friday.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How long have you’ve been alcohol free now then?
O. FLYSJO: I’ve been just got back here, a couple of set back here, a year now.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You think you’re [unintelligible – 00:11:13]?
O. FLYSJO: I’ll make it now, I think. I’m pretty sure.
L. HAMMERSTROM: With the help of that group?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. That’s really helped a lot.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, that’s very good.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have any hobbies to tell or you’re interested in on your spare time? You’ve got a lot of interest, you say.
O. FLYSJO: In the first thing, I’ve been a collector of Swedish records, so I have a big collection of Swedish records from some I bought in Sweden and most time I bought in this country and in the Institute have lots of Swedish…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What is your favorite type of Swedish song?
O. FLYSJO: My favorite have all been all time music and dance music and then…
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about the singers and that, any?
O. FLYSJO: Okay. All the Swedish singers you can even think of like [Hector Bou] or [unintelligible – 00:12:22] and Harry Brandelius and Harry Brandelius is here to the Institute for a years ago and then…
L. HAMMERSTROM: We have groups that come here once in a while and sing [unintelligible – 00:12:39].
O. FLYSJO: I always so tight to go to them when they have camera lights and when they’re Stockholm Accordion, they would have 50 minutes long. It’s really interesting and the fiddlers are being there from more on and any, so any Swedish doing, I tried to attend it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you recall years ago, they used to have Swedish movies here at the Institute?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. They’re still having Swedish movies here at all in Sundays. [Unintelligible – 00:13:12], they’re having that time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I mean in the Swedish language itself.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. While they have that license here that they have anytime invitation; it was very popular here in Minnesota and then they had this [Foot Vandrana] and [Vandrana] and the last letter, that was all showing here on the theater and then now, it had been on video and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you read much in Swedish at all?
O. FLYSJO: I have only one Swedish paper and I have that since the first two, when I first came – we have that in Sweden. The name is [unintelligible – 00:13:52]. My mother had that and then…
L. HAMMERSTROM: I think we have it here at the Institute.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, it’s here. Then she started sending this to me last week and she knew once I always read it, so she strapped on and as long as she was alive, she’ll send it to me and then I start getting it myself, so I have that and I like that. I read that every word in those papers, every single week. But I’m falling behind right now, so I think I’m one year behind because of too many other things.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about books?
O. FLYSJO: I don’t read many books. I have a lot of Swedish books like Strindberg … What’s his name? Albert Engstrom and I have several hundred, just what I had sent over.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You’re quite a library then of Swedish records.
O. FLYSJO: Well, I have a library of Swedish books too and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: So you’ve maintained their interest that way?
O. FLYSJO: Yes. By reading, I think I keep up the Swedish and so. [00:15:00] Then it’s a little that’s news for in [unintelligible – 00:15:02] what’s going on in Sweden but not enough. I wish they had more news. It is a good reading though. I like it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You say you have other hobbies and interest that keep you so busy?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I have computer when I’m fooling around with a little bit but I have a lot going on.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What do you use that for? Is it the games?
O. FLYSJO: I’m mostly playing games on it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: But I’ve got to learn more because I have a good computer and so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of computer do you have?
O. FLYSJO: I have Laser PX, that’s about shares on all books and I have three drives. I have in there, even hard drive one and that’s really…
L. HAMMERSTROM: And a printer?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: A printer with it?
O. FLYSJO: A printer too, yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You do much writing on it?
O. FLYSJO: Well, my wife over with it, I’m sure she loved it so much and push the button and it will print it off.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have a Swedish wheel for the printer?
O. FLYSJO: No.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have a printer? I have it online.
O. FLYSJO: You have?
L. HAMMERSTROM: A Swedish wheel, I print them pretty Swedish.
O. FLYSJO: Well, that could be interesting.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I’ll write Swedish that way to.
O. FLYSJO: Where did you get that?
L. HAMMERSTROM: I bought it from downtown here; that was office out. They happened to have that, so.
O. FLYSJO: I’ve got to find one also.
L. HAMMERSTROM: They’re available around then at different languages, you know. You have to know where those characters are on the keyboard though. Any other interests and hobbies that your… Besides the computer and?
O. FLYSJO: I’m going to use of that gambler. Also, I’ve been an alcoholic. I just love gambling. I just go to…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What called… horses or cards?
O. FLYSJO: I have slot machines and Black Jack in Las Vegas. I tried to go there with my wife.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: She doesn’t want to go there because she thinks I’ll lose so much money but that’s just up in my basement. I have a side in my basement where I have all this. I have four slot machines from Las Vegas and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you purchase them there?
O. FLYSJO: No, I purchase them here, here in Minneapolis.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: I draw Poker and two or three different kinds and all the…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Interested in the horse races out of Canterbury?
O. FLYSJO: I’ve been there a few times but I never gotten the interest in it because I don’t know enough about them. I think it’s just as good as I don’t know anything about the gambling because I will just be gambling on it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about the lotteries that are coming up in Minnesota here?
O. FLYSJO: My wife is worried about that, that I’m going to buy, stop buying them. I have not, in my life yet, bought a [Polter].
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: We talked a lot.
L. HAMMERSTROM: No, I forgot to shut… okay. You got a lot of things going there.
O. FLYSJO: I have a pretty good size of lawn and I like to keep that up.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How about gardening? Do you have a garden?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I have a garden. I like to grow whatever to grow around.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You always seems to be a good Swedish trait, the love of flowers and things.
O. FLYSJO: I grew a lot of flowers. I buy at least ten dozens Geraniums and they grew in the fall. It’s huge, they’re big and they just start blooming when a vitamin and plant them in May and up to frost, just people come and go by. I have a long trip, next to my driveway and they all come in and the beautiful Geraniums. It takes a lot of fertilizing and [crooning] and things like that but you believe, I have the good look with it around. I like flowers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: As for your member, how it wasn’t sweet and all that?
O. FLYSJO: Right.
L. HAMMERSTROM: By the love flowers there, you go there now and visit and it seems like it’s…
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, flowers are all over.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes. That’s a good climate bar, I think, there too.
O. FLYSJO: It is. My son and my wife, we went to Liseberg in Gothenburg and we saw the bushes. Fantastic, how much flowers they have on and inside an amusement park. There are flowers all over. It makes it so much nice and clean.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you ever been out to the Arboretum here?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, I have been out there one time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: In Como Park?
O. FLYSJO: Como Park, I go there every fall. I have so many pictures from their beautiful flowers. Last time, on myself, I put it all on a video. I can sit and look it over and over on it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:20:00] Sometimes, you’re a photographer too?
O. FLYSJO: I’m crazy about video.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Video tape?
O. FLYSJO: I’ll take tape and I copy tape from a movie, whatever going on and I have a video camera.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. How about a regular camera for taking prints and things and slides?
O. FLYSJO: I used to have that when I am in [Jeusef]. I have one camera with me all the time. I take…
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know you concentrate on…
O. FLYSJO: I have this big shelf of just photo album from the day I was born to this day, today, put up in my house.
L. HAMMERSTROM: About ten feet, you were talking about there.
O. FLYSJO: About ten feet, so that’s just albums. From the beginning, when my mother and father got married and then talk about photos, I had a wall like not quite as big as that one, but half the size of that big.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is it about 8 X 25, something like that here?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, and I had every picture from my family, my wife’s family, from their great, great grandfather and all the way down to my kids, on each side. From her side and my side, the whole wall was full of old pictures.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you done anything about writing the history of your family?
O. FLYSJO: Nope, but what I’m doing right here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It is what we’re doing here, huh?
O. FLYSJO: Well, the kids have asked me to make a video. They said, “You have the video camera and why don’t you make a video of all the things?” I promised I was going to do it for them and I have the girls one day, go by and another one, and nothing. I have all the equipment and I need for to do it and I have bought them. I see some little deal that you have to have a new computer, set them and ensure the movie and you set the camera and then in that camera, we’ll pick it up and put it on movie…
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: On the video. I have one done, first one. My kids, when they were really small up for what about six, seven years old, I had taken. I had an eight-millimeter camera and I found for them a film through video, I had an outlet, who did it for me and so expensive because it’s over $200.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I understand it is.
O. FLYSJO: For 30 minutes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, I understand it.
O. FLYSJO: I think I’m going to do it myself now.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
O. FLYSJO: When I get time too.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you ever do developing of …?
O. FLYSJO: No, I never done that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. You have that tape recorder still that you want to work with?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you ever done anything like this or history or?
O. FLYSJO: No, while I haven’t sure, I recorded a lot now and the camera I have take – if I take in a video, I got the sound over there, but I have lots of tape recorder. I have that with me to Sweden when I was in Sweden, the first time I had the tape recorder so I can sit and listen to my parents.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wonderful.
O. FLYSJO: When I have them to get going with my video tape, I can sit in the sun from I had cassette players from my kids was small. I have this wheel. This wheel was [Pappler] then I bought this one when I was single, and the kids had a lot of fun with that, when they go out and had their friends into. It’s all within something to do.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
O. FLYSJO: I love instant travel and I haven’t been in this country by long before I had been in most of the states because every time I had vacation when I was before I was married, I just took my car and then I drove up. The first Christmas, I drove from Minneapolis to Miami. I only had one week and I have very little money. I don’t think I even had a $100 but the gasoline was cheap. A galloon I guess is 23 cents and I had a new car, so there was no problem, so I drove it down to Miami and I was there Christmas Eve on Miami Beach. But then it have a change from my work, but the boss then wanted just today.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That was so fantastic with it to change, so.
O. FLYSJO: About my first trip to Miami, and another trip I took, I used for the weekend, go up to Canada over, go up to Duluth and then North Shore.
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:25:00] Beautiful.
O. FLYSJO: Beautiful drive up there, up to International Falls and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your wife liked to travel with you?
O. FLYSJO: Well, she doesn’t like to travel like I do. Then I took another trip for 14 days. I go up to bus, off to San Francisco and all the way down to San Diego and then around in the Dallas and up all the way, that took me 14 days took a bus. In between five and six hours a mile, I drove in 14 days. But then we have taken many trips off to California because her mother and father is a farmer in Almelund, Minnesota. They sold the farm and moved to San Diego, because there are some they have in San Diego, so that’s what they do and tried it to San Diego and anytime we want to see them, we went all to San Diego. If we didn’t go Sweden, we went to California.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are they still living, your folks?
O. FLYSJO: No, they’re both dead right now.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
O. FLYSJO: But she had her brother there and then she had her sister living in Las Vegas right now.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
O. FLYSJO: There’s always the reason to go to Las Vegas.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Then lots of trips there, fine trips there.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, so that’s we’ve made many tips to buy car, to California.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you been to Atlantic City, they’ve got the gaming there now.
O. FLYSJO: I love to go there, like the waterfront, big casino.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, I read about that.
O. FLYSJO: They showed it off on television already.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. It’s smart travel. He lets somebody else take the risk and he worked on somebody else when he…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, just wondering what you think of the Institute’s future here and as far as this Swedish heritage and things like that. What do you think?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I think it still make it. You know, people you have to make small propaganda, how wonderful it is and how important it is to people. For the last few years, I’ve been a guard and I found Swedish and anybody who want to know anything or ask anything but they had this guided tours, but people split up and they want to know anything and I tried to give them whatever answer I can.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I supposed you did.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, and that people are all really in this building and they think it’s a fabulous building and they think that’s the Swedish. We should take care of it. We have something here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You’re optimistic about it then?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I think they will make it. I think they will be here. If you’ll able to get someone, they said they will make the repairs she has to make.
L. HAMMERSTROM: As far as you meet the lot of Swedish visitors.
O. FLYSJO: I have talked to Father [unintelligible – 00:28:33] who doesn’t talk much English and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: I’m sure they’ll appreciate some…
O. FLYSJO: They’d like to talk Swedish, so any time there’s anybody and when I’m guarding, I want to talk Swedish and that’s all I had to do. You know, talk to them and so. I like that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I supposed the Swedish has changed since you left 10 years ago?
O. FLYSJO: I didn’t expect to find this the way I left it. The first time I was back in 1953, there was no [left] and everything was the same, as when I left, it was just a few years. But when we came back the first time with my wife, 1965, things have start changing but they’re still pretty good because the American money was good and everything was relatively cheap in Sweden, so we have a wonderful figure with that five weeks. But from there on, they’re going the other way. Less and less on money and I haven’t enjoyed it as much in the later time. I’ve been over at ten years in between, that was over ’78, ’88 – ’68, ’78, and ’88.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you planning on any other trips?
O. FLYSJO: I’m planning one, after five years for Christmas with them. [00:30:00] That will be ’93.
L. HAMMERSTROM: 93?
O. FLYSJO: From there on, I don’t know. But my wife, she thinks we can go other places other than Sweden or California.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, okay. I think we’re at the end of the tape here and I want to thank you so much for.
O. FLYSJO: You’re welcome.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s been a delightful interview and very interesting. I really appreciate it.
O. FLYSJO: I like this country. I’m glad that I’m an American citizen and I think; if a country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to be a citizen on it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
O. FLYSJO: I’m glad that I did take that trip right away.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wonderful to hear, and I appreciate.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, this was very good because I have another meeting at 12:00.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay. Well, thank you.
O. FLYSJO: With other people in the church.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Thank you.

L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay, you got fired and what did you do then?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. No, that’s a good friend of my cousin. He’s a [Johnson] too. He called me up and he said, “I want to come up in there.” I said, “Take the bus downtown and I’ll take you around in the produce district, on the market, just take up on 7th Street.” I met him downtown and he took me around down there and we went through different fruit houses there and we got to Gamble-Robinsons who was out in 52 at that particularly time and talked to the foreman there, or supervisor. He took on my name and this wasn’t Thursday. I didn’t take very much of it, so I was back from my uncle’s place and at 5:00 on Saturday morning, he called and asked me to come at work and I didn’t do anything about buses or anything and I have a long way from [Adverse] Street on to 33rd and the [Johnson’s] because there was a street cross line, the end of the line and I finally walk on it and got the street card on there and it’s kind of late and he said, “Get in.” When I showed up, there at Gamble-Robinsons and he said, “I thought that you’ll never going to show up.” “But that’s all right,” he said. “You can start working at anyways.” I start working on Saturday, and then he said, “Come back on Monday.” I started working on Monday at 5:00 and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: In the evening or morning?
O. FLYSJO: No, in the morning.
L. HAMMERSTROM: In the morning, 5 in the morning?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, and I didn’t know really what’s going on. I didn’t understand enough English and but I was a heck of a good worker, because I wanted to work and I was used to hard work and this man needed, kind of took a liking to me, so he provided. He said, “If you can get your Social Security number and getting all the set, or as long as I have work, you can work.” I work and started 5:00 and I’ve worked 14 hours long days, 10 hours another day and worked long hours and in the end of the week, he put us on to what’s supposed to work 44 hours a week, 40 straight in the first week and the salary, 4 hours for overtime. It was fantastic because I got a $1.23. That’s good pay in the ‘40s or ’49, it was.
L. HAMMERSTROM: About 1950.
O. FLYSJO: You know ’50, 1950 and I start working for them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of work were you doing?
O. FLYSJO: Yes, unloading trucks and cars. He had also lots of things came by, well loaded cars.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: It was not too many; it was all produce; fruit and produce.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Fruit and produce, I see.
O. FLYSJO: So there was it. I like that. I didn’t mind at all, and I got in the Union and I’ve worked from 5 to 1, three times and on those three, all afternoon. I couldn’t do anything about, but this I have to mention too. The Union, being there, [Sue] there told me. “You slow down. You’re working a way too fast and you’re working too much.”
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this the Union?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, that was the Union. “You slow down. You don’t want anything like that,” so I was kind of handy so they gave me, “So we have another job for you.” They gave me two. Scraping out two big coolers, one wet coolers on, where you store all the vegetables. That time, everything came packed in ice. Hitler’s [come calling in] crates weighing 120 pound with ice and we had lift up and the coolers had to be clean and make room for new stuff and rotated. They gave me that job and it’s all they wanted me to do. “We need it for anything else, we’ll tell you. Otherwise, you just walk around or see if it’s clean,” and I kept this clean and I don’t rush as on and everything was just perfect in there. They got it nice in me and they’d want to give me better and better job there. I work for them for 13 years and I was the Warehouse Superintendent when I quit.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Superintendent of?
O. FLYSJO: Of the warehouse.
L. HAMMERSTROM: On the warehouse, you say?
O. FLYSJO: For Gamble-Robinsons.
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:05:00] I see.
O. FLYSJO: I was hiring and firing and anything I wanted to do. Taking care of everything around for the day, see what’s coming and keep track of the salesmen, tell them what the heck is seldom moved. I had a rather good job from there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How long were you a Superintendent?
O. FLYSJO: I’ve lasted for about 3 years. I worked nice too. I had all – you see, 1954, I’ve got married in ’54 and then I start working night because I want to make more money, and then I got another job during the day.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where was that, the job?
O. FLYSJO: I work for a guy out in the [Dyna]. He had first ever from another produce house but I didn’t like that because he was too close. I was fighting, I have a bad feeling in between the different houses, so even he gambles and want me to go and work for anybody else. He said, “Stay away from it.” At the end, I will say I could do anything I want to but I figured, I might as well stay well with the company, but I’ve worked also. I started working produce and been out in [Dyna]. I carpet cleaned the rugs. We picked up some carpet like this; have to clean in the house. But the other one, like where I am [unintelligible – 00:06:31], pick them up and clean it into his basement and over to [Dyna].
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was the name of that company?
O. FLYSJO: [Caragushon] and it was an oriental, from some part in Europe. I worked for him for 2 years or something like that and that was all. He paid me cash. I worked so many hours and I just did. But then he told me, he said, “You’re too good for this job.” He said, “You know what you should do? You should take up upholstery.” I took him up on the outside, so I went to a vocational school for 2 years and I was just part time because I had still to work my work. Instead of going six hours, I went three and this, so I learned upholstery on the vocational when they had that. He thought that that was pretty good, so that teacher there, he is a – “You can come in. Instead to come at 3, come anytime you want after 12.” Usually now, when I woke up, after I had slept, I worked nice and I slept a little bit in the morning then I went on at about 1:00, so I got almost six, five hours at least every day and the only other pay for three, so they helped me out because I was kind of short of money.
I learn as much as I could. He was so mad at other students in there because they were high school and this was a vocational and they were supposed to learn something, and they didn’t want to learn anything, not attending as learning on and fooling around, so I was the only one who wants to learn, so he spends a lot of time with me. He even taught me how to tough, put this diamond squares in. You know, we’d never be in attempt to, but I learned that so I was pretty good. When I was through with the school…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What did you do with that then?
O. FLYSJO: I started my own shop.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Started your own shop.
O. FLYSJO: I had a garage, I had bought some property up in Northeast in Saint Anthony and there was an old house but it wasn’t got the right size, and it was a dirt floor in the garage and I put in wood floor on top of the dirt and that was good enough for as long as I need it and I go up knock. I had my shop there. I put in the stove and I got herbs, I could be there in the winter time, and I did my own contacts and that picks up [gen] porch and chairs and things like that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you doing this the same time you work the Gamble-Robinson?
O. FLYSJO: Same time I was working. You know, on the extra.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sure.
O. FLYSJO: I always want to have something to do.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That’s what you, after you retire from Gamble-Robinson?
O. FLYSJO: Well, when I quit Gamble-Robinson in 1962, so this full man and then [unintelligible – 00:09:39], he came to Gamble-Robinson at 5:00 every morning and I was working there. In the last few years, when I was working there, that was Tuesdays when there was corner grocery stores and those guys came down a hole, all slug out and come down there and they picked up and bought their own things and picks it up until they took it with them.
[00:10:00] Again, the company wanted to have a display off, showing off what they have to have, fortune fair, everything.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sure.
O. FLYSJO: I built a display. Every morning, I built a display, more beautiful display and I put it up and give away the place and that’s even the big shops for the company for the Gamble’s was big then, wholesaled house and in 49 states and in Canada and so, I had a good in [between].
But when I’m gone, he did only one thing with them. You could not make any money and I want to make money. That wasn’t enough good to me, to start 5:00 in the morning, be off at 1:00. It was a half day, that’s why that’s not a job on the site, but that’s Romano came around and he have been nice to me. Finally, he took me out. He said, “I’m taken out for lunch today and he had not a salesman with [Britain], and the brand [branch] made that, he said, “You know, I know exactly what’s kind of company the $84 on Rock Island and they were starting out their own in the hotels and they were selling [tepanese] and [apple bombs] and so forth and he said that “I want you to come and work for me.” He kept on and kept on and kept on for the longest time, but that’s all I had. The good one, when I work, well finally, I gave into him so I quit that job.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That was the Gamble-Robinson?
O. FLYSJO: That was Gamble-Robinson. I quit 6:00 in the morning and I was working for Brooks out there at 6:15 of the same day.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was the name of that company?
O. FLYSJO: H. Brooks and Company and they were done on Rock Island at that time.
L. HAMMERSTROM: But they were set and run up here in Minneapolis?
O. FLYSJO: See if we got Rock Island’s fruit house but right in Minneapolis. That was the beginning. I worked for them for 20 years.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are you a farmer or a …? No?
O. FLYSJO: Yes, that’s common labor when I saw it over them. They were kidding me about Gamble-Robinson. For then is pushing it too, whether on for me, but really they were giving me all kinds of bad things, because I was so high then and I took a job with them, being nothing.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
O. FLYSJO: But then I worked for them and I was a student plus a truck driver and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: You’re a truck driver?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, well both.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Both in warehouse and…
O. FLYSJO: I worked in the warehouse, loading trucks; we have to load the truck before we could go out. We start at 2:00 in the morning and they lower the trucks and then we took them up and then we came back and then we’ve worked in the warehouse and their biggest problem was they could not see anybody going home. They have their 8 hours or 10 hours. They wanted to work at people, 20 hours a day. I tell you, he said, “If you read on [unintelligible – 00:13:17] over now, made on Gamble-Robinson, they wouldn’t give you an overtime for all the money in the world,” but yet, he said, “We don’t care. The more you make money, we make money.” They kept on, I kept on.
Suddenly, I was so involved with them. Nobody wants to work on Sunday. I was alone in the bottom, I have to. I couldn’t say no. I had to work because I was the last one and has been going for this. I and another fellow, we had to come in to work every Sunday. I worked on Sunday, probably four or five, six hours and then they moved from Rock Island to 2521 East [Hannapin]. There was an old, crap building there, who’d he had taken over. From there on, I started 7 days a week, holiday and Sundays for 20 years.
L. HAMMERSTROM: My goodness.
O. FLYSJO: The highest I ever worked was 94 hours in a week; double trip to Duluth. I was only one time, what happened, went all over from La Crosse in Wisconsin and to Stevens Point and I don’t know how I go over the rim, but working, working, working and then on Sunday. Saturday, about 10:30 and 11, those two boys, he said, “It’s all in you. Take over.” They had a cabin, so he had a family. They had the big bulls and they were making so good money that they didn’t care anymore. They put me in charge for the weekend. Everything who came in, I have to take care of. [00:15:00] I’ll tell you, that I was their fruit inspector. Anything they bought off track or anything come in, I had to inspect it. If I didn’t want the chocolate or watermelons and they were not good, they didn’t cut it good, that turned it on and they got a federal. The federal inspector, I knew him. I always work with him and they came and asked me, “What’s the type of the problem? Is there a problem?” I just told them, “What’s the problem? Nothing.”
Most of the time, they never override me because I’m running been in it for as long time as I had. That was completely no problem. We learned the produce.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you doing this inspection all the time?
O. FLYSJO: All the time, up to the last day I worked with them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: If I was also in this work and their car was on the Rock Island, he called me up on around and said, “Go to Rock Island and inspect this one. If it’s good, we’re going to hire them.” They both probably have a car of peaches or whatever it was or we’ll share this or anything. But they had to make damn sure I’ll inspect.
There was time, on a Sunday, I could have 14, 15 railroad cars to open up, take the temperature inside and make sure – That was my job?
L. HAMMERSTROM: I know. What kind of salaries were you getting at the end there?
O. FLYSJO: I made more money than the owner.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was that right? That is always overtime hours in there?
O. FLYSJO: Sure. One of the owners called me in, in the office after he signed my check and he said, “I don’t make this kind of money. A thousand dollars in one week?” I said, “Yes, you could. You see, I stay here and I work and you take off for the lake, that’s only the difference in it when you go through.” They’re all in the sense that, “You don’t want to work?” “I work because I have to.” He has left and he signed the check and I never heard a word from him.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When did you retire then?
O. FLYSJO: When I was 62.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When you’re 62.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did they have a pension system or were just…?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. We have the Teamsters.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The Teamsters, okay.
O. FLYSJO: That’s a good pension.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, when you’re used to work, my wife, she said, “Move your bed onto Brooks and stay there. You’re never home anyway.”
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah. Did you continue your upholstery at all at that time or didn’t you?
O. FLYSJO: There was no time for upholstery.
L. HAMMERSTROM: No, I thought…
O. FLYSJO: No time with that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you been doing it since then you retired.
O. FLYSJO: Well, I have. Sure, we’ve done a few things but I’ve been too lazy.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: After all I work, all those hours you put in, while the time to… Yeah, she…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Take it easy.
O. FLYSJO: I like to do upholstery but then, I had it under my basement. But then, I said, “What the heck. We don’t have and able to do this,” so I finished off my basement, putting a operation room in the basement and so then, I had only one side and gosh, I didn’t need it because if you work like I have worked that much, you should have been able to save something and you know, what the heck?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sure, yeah.
O. FLYSJO: There are other things I’ve been more interested in. But I’ll do it, anytime that we’d want to. I can take out eventually.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Now, how about your marriage? How did you meet your wife?
O. FLYSJO: That’s rather interesting. I don’t know if she remembers, we had a ballroom dancing up in a building around a lake in Linden. They played all time and modern. They had a really good band that’s playing. They played on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So that’s where I met her.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. What was her name again? Gladys, you said?
O. FLYSJO: Grace.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Grace.
O. FLYSJO: Sedlund.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sedlund?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: S-E-D-L-U-N-D?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: She’s what?
O. FLYSJO: She’s a…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Scandinavian or Swedish?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, she’s from Almelund, Minnesota.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Almelund.
O. FLYSJO: Almelund.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Very Swedish community.
O. FLYSJO: Yes, very, very Swedish and she grew up on a farm up in Almelund and she went to high school in Taylors Falls.
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:20:00] She was born in the United States?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: With her folks?
O. FLYSJO: Her folks were born in United States too.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. Could she speak Swedish?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, she could speak. She didn’t talk English before she starts school.
L. HAMMERSTROM: All right.
O. FLYSJO: She’s up in Almelund. They all start Swedish.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: Her grandfather came from [Blekinge], that’s on her father side and her grandparents on her mother side came from Sweden, so but both her mother and her father is born in this country.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Was that on a farm?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, and they both spoke Swedish, so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of education did she have? Grace?
O. FLYSJO: When she was through with high school, she went to business school.
L. HAMMERSTROM: In Minneapolis? Here?
O. FLYSJO: Here in Minneapolis and she worked for – what the heck? It was kind of rental of pictures. I forgot what the name of it. But she worked there and then she start working for the federal government up in the veterans.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see, the Veteran’s Bureau.
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, she worked at that for many years, up to the day when she quit. Now, she works up the term, that year for township. I don’t know, for some reason, she kept on the work almost a year after we got married, before she quit.
L. HAMMERSTROM: When did you get married?
O. FLYSJO: 1954.
L. HAMMERSTROM: ’54. Where was it? Did you have a church wedding or what?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah, we do. At that time, we both belong to [unintelligible – 00:22:01]. I met her first with a dance then I went to Sweden in ’53, we were going steady for a while and then we broke up anyway and a sound or a picture out from the boat and then she said, “Why don’t you call me?” On that picture, she said, “Why don’t you call me when you get back to States again?” and that’s I did and we started going out again and this was in January, and we were married August 28th in the same year. .
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where were you living before when you’re working there, or when you’re single, where were you living?
O. FLYSJO: I lived on South Minneapolis for the whole year. I had a housekeeping room that I have in the 3rd when I worked for Gamble-Robinson, and then I moved out to another, moved in with other fellow. We’d love to get it up on that [unintelligible – 00:22:58] for a while, and then suddenly, I moved out to – there was a salesman who work for Gamble-Robinson. He said, “I have a spare room. Why don’t you – I’ll lend you that spare room for $45 a month and you can – I have a stove and a refrigerator down in the basement, you can use that and you can have with those, if you want to fix your own and if you don’t then you’re going to eat with yourself.” So I moved and I left with them, so I was married then.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What is the address was that?
O. FLYSJO: It was 4847 Abbott Avenue, South.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So you were closer to that, Mount Olivet in there?
O. FLYSJO: Yeah. Just to, when he came up, we’re out and I’m glad, he belongs to Mount Olivet and their pastor was [Llourd]… Maybe that Youngdahl is. Lyn Chris? Lyn? Something Lyn. Well, anyway, he came to the house and he convinced me that I should join Mount Olivet. I went to and then I got involved with the young people and then adult, single people and then Grace start coming there too and we started going out again and we were married a month, all of the time in 1954.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Who was the pastor there? They have many pastors there?
O. FLYSJO: Youngdahl was the pastor.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wasn’t he? Okay.
O. FLYSJO: Youngdahl. Reubin K. Youngdahl was the pastor and Carlo…
L. HAMMERSTROM: When you’re married?
O. FLYSJO: No. He was too busy, so we had to call on [Anderson maybe].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
O. FLYSJO: I don’t know. I didn’t even try to get him, but I was a very good friend of Youngdahl because he just loved to talk Swedish stories and talking about the King to the Prince [Bertil] and all those. [00:25:00] I was in to sit in their camp. Camp…
L. HAMMERSTROM: You’ll find in North Shore?
O. FLYSJO: The North Shore, yeah. I was up there, before when they first started, almost. The shop of us builds and they have a few cabins up there. When he took me into [grow up that work weeks], so I don’t know. Three or four years before we were married, I’m on top there where work weeks and so I know this Youngdahl very good, and Francis, his secretary, who was in charge, we became friend and all I’ve asked them. We had a good time. We had a good fellowship out there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What church you belong to, now then?
O. FLYSJO: We did stay with Mount Olivet up to 1956, when they started a new church up in Saint Anthony Village. That’s [‘70] Lutheran Church. They had a very first meeting at my cousin’s house and I was working with Grace that ended us meeting.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Were you living up Northeast then?
O. FLYSJO: We were living up Northeast in the same place as we’re living up.
L. HAMMERSTROM: We’re you renting?
O. FLYSJO: No, we bought that. I bought a three hectares of land and an old house.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. What was that address?
O. FLYSJO: 3516 [High Quest].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
O. FLYSJO: Then we build a house after we sold the lots. It was we got enough for the lot, so to build a house. We build a two-story house and no more than the lot and sold the rest of them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What year was that, that you do that?
O. FLYSJO: 1960.
L. HAMMERSTROM: 1960.
O. FLYSJO: Yup.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You’re married in 1954, so you lived other places?
O. FLYSJO: No, I left out on the same probably.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
O. FLYSJO: We are in a very, very old house. It’s an old summer cottage changed into a living quarter. Just we had it on. It’s [susceptible]. We put in, there was no heat and Central Heating, we’ve put in Central Heating System in those house.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How many children that you have?
O. FLYSJO: Well, I had three girls and a boy. We lost one girl, very tragic circumstances. She was murdered in her own apartment in Saint Paul, 1987.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Not too long ago?
O. FLYSJO: She was 28 years old.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is she married then or?
O. FLYSJO: No, she was single.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Single.
O. FLYSJO: She had her own apartment. She had three small poodles, dogs, in with her. Somebody came in, stabbed her 20 times and hit her, go with the head with a blunt object. I don’t know, they never found it and…
L. HAMMERSTROM: They never found out who did it?
O. FLYSJO: No. The dog never barked.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That’s strange.
O. FLYSJO: The dog never barked. That means that there was somebody the dogs knew because when I’ve been over there, I went over to ring the bell or sometimes, the dog’s bark feels fearfully and now, even now, we still have. We took one of the dogs, so I still have one of her dogs at home. She’s a [shogo] small poodle, very small and that’s the dog bark, just – if anybody comes to the door, so he thinks that somebody who knew her way around. Now, I only had two girls and a boy.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are they all grown up and working and?
O. FLYSJO: My oldest daughter, she took up teaching. She is in Special Education. She likes teaching and at present, she’s teaching in North Branch Special Education and then my other daughter is married, that’s the only one married and she is in Denver, Colorado and her husband is where he went to Medical School and is a doctor right now, as an intern in Denver, Colorado. He’s on his second year right now and I think he have to do four years, if I’m not mistaken, internship.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And your son?
O. FLYSJO: My son is in computer repair/maintenance. They work for [AquaSoft Sonographic], that’s a new company and he’d been with them since he graduated from [Raumbadi].
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:30:00] I see.
O. FLYSJO: He have a good job, job in [unintelligible – 00:30:08]. My wife, she work for the school [lunch] in Saint Anthony. She’d done that for 16 years. She used to work 8 hours, she got around in 4 hours and she got around for 2 hours and 15 minutes right now because they’re getting their food from somebody else. They don’t cook anything more than all did. Just get their food from [low price] and school districts. She liked it. She has one to work…