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Interview with Nancy Jensen and Aurine Casey

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Beginning in 1998, the City of Duluth (Minn.) Sister Cities Commission collaborated with the Iron Range Research Center to record a series of oral history interviews. Independent scholar Dr. JoAnn Hanson-Stone acted as the lead interviewer. The voluntary, self-selecting participants were second-generation Swedish Americans whose parents settled in northeast Minnesota in the early 1900s. The interviews were initiated to create supplementary material for a planned exhibit, “A Long Way Home: Swedish Immigrant Life in Duluth and Northeast Minnesota, 1890-1940.”

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Use of this oral history is governed by U.S. and international copyright law. Please contact the Iron Range Research Center for more information in regard to this oral history; http://mndiscoverycenter.com/research-center/archive

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Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 1

DATE : November 3, 1999
SUBJECT : Interview with Nancy F. Jensen and Aurine Casey,
Duluth, Minnesota
INTERVIEWER : Dr. Joann Hanson-Stone
PROGRAM : Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
City of Duluth Sister Cities Commission

It's Wednesday, November 31999 in Duluth, Minnesota. And I'm with Nancy Fransen
Jensen and AurineCasey. Aurine is Nancy's niece and, um, we are going to have a threeway
conversation about the Swedish immigrant grandparents in Aurine's case and parents
in Nancy's case. And we will start here in a just a moment. This is part ofthe Swedish
immigrant life oral history project.

Yes I am. I am•••just wanted to get some sense ofwhat family members came from Sweden
to Minnesota, and that would mean we have Axel Julius Fransen and we have Gerde
Christina?

mnmn
Fransen.
So I do

Uh uh. Gerde Christina Brogge.

Brogge, Ok

Brogge

And then could you just tell me a little about both sides, your mom's side of the family and

yourdad'ssideofthefamily. Whateveryou remember aboutwho emigrated and?...
Nancy: WellIhaveitwrittendownherethatmydadcamein 1902.


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 2

Aurine: And he's the only one in the family...
Nancy: ..and he was the only one of seven children that came to this country and from chatter that


we heard he wouldn't let anybody else come for some reason or other, I don't know why. But


urn, I'm not sure when my mother came but she... they went back in...what was it Aurine, 1907?


Aurine: Think it was back, 1909.


Nancy: 1909 ya, cuz they got...


Aurine: got a picture


Nancy: they got married in 1907, wasn't it?


Aurine: Ya.


Nancy: So uh...and they met over here. My mom and dad met over here.


Aurine: They didn't know each other.


Nancy: They didn't know each other, uh uh.


Aurine: Until they came here


Nancy: And my mom was born in Nursherking and my dad was born in Smoland. What else do


you want to know?


Urn, Gerde, what other members of your mother's family emigrated to United States from

Sweden?

Nancy: Wen, after my mother, my aunt was here, my aunt was the first one to come here, Anna

Anderson. And uh, she was married in Sweden, because my two cousins Margaret and Henry

were born in Sweden.

Ok


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 3

Nancy: And then my mother came and she stayed with 'my aunt, and that, incidentally, she stayed
. at first with her and that happens to be at Glensheen, in the carriage house, the carriage house was
new. And she stayed there 'til she married my dad, as far as I know.

And then what was Anna doing for the.. eh eh... living in the Glensheen carriage house?
Nancy: Maid, whatever you want to call it, helper, whatever, and her husband was horses, driving
the horse carriage or whatever it was.


Aurine: I can remember my grandma telling me that she was very sad, she was unhappy that she
came and she wished she was back.
Nancy: She was lonesome.
Aurine: She was very lonesome because her sister was very busy and she wasn't that busy.


She had time on her hands in a new land and..•
Aurine: very scary. Well, when she came here, what happened to her, Nan? On the way here that
was quite a story.


Nancy: When she came to, what is it, Ellis Island, she got separated from her Swedish group that
were coming to Duluth, and they put her on a train and they put a cardboard around her neck
"Duluth, Minnesota" and she had to go, she went all the way up through Canada and came down
that way and she was... it was scary...she was ...it was a long way to go on the train by herself and
come to Duluth.

She had to trust a lot of people.

Nancy: Right, right, and couldn't speak English, No, no just went by the sign on her neck. And
who met her I don't know, I'm just assuming that my.. her sister met her.

Well it looks like when we talked previously we thought that Gerde had emigrated 1903,
19M, something like that.

Nancy: Possibly.


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Anrine Casey
November 3,1999
Page 4

When we had talked and then Axel, your dad
Nancy: I've got that he came to America in 1902.
MmMM
Nancy: So,let'sseewhen....Thisisthemarriagelicense.Whatisthedateonhere,theyear?
Aurine: They both met here. They did not know each other in Sweden. They met here and were


married here.
Nancy: 1907.
Aurine: And then they had my mother ...was born, and work--was hard to find good work-and


my grandpa wanted to go back to Sweden, so they sold everything.
Nancy: But this was in 1909, now
Aurine: ok


--~Nancy:
...cuz your mother was almosnwo or she was two years old-----~-----------

Aurine: Right, right
What was your mother's name, Aurine?
Aurine: Name was Gunhild Aurine June Fransen. ,
Ladies: Heh heh
And the reason, I think this is really interesting to have you here is that June was born we

think, 1907, we know, and then Nancy when were you born?
Nancy: Not until 1923.
So there was quite a difference.



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
PageS

Nancy: S-s-s-s-s-s-s16 years difference
Heh heh


Aurine: And there's 12 years between Nancy and I. She was kind oflike my sister for many years.
Nancy: I was 11 when you were born.
Aurine: Oh, sorry.
Nancy: Va, I was 11.
Aurine: 12
Nancy: Thanks a lot.
Heh he heh heh


But what's helpful because you have, Aurine, you have memories that your mother had,
sounds like, had talked to you about, so, and that was before Nancy's time. So that's wh!-,I~
_
--~r"'e"'ally
appreciate that you're here we can fill in some of the blanks.

Nancy: That was kind ofa happy time even though they were surprised that I was born, because
in 1922 they built a new house, and then I came along in 1923. And they were, it was kind of,
they weren't so sad after I got here and I was born at home. So.


What was the address of your home?

Aurine: 831 Grandview Avenue and my mother lived in West Duluth when she had my brother. I
was living with them when they had an apartment, my mother and dad. And then my mother, my
father passed away then my mother moved back to 831 Grandview Ave when she was a widow.


Ah ha, so you had, the house stayed in the family basically.

Nancy: When we got married in 1946, Hank and I, they changed the house into two families, so
we had the upstairs apartment.



SwedishImmigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3,1999
Page 6

Amine: And I was lucky to get there. Nancy would have me as babysitting.

Nancy: And I babysat her.

He he heh hehh

Amine: Before that, though, I used to come and stay an awful lot for weekends at grandmas's.

Grandma and I used to go to a lot of movies together on Saturdays.

What kind of movies would you watch?

Aurine: Anything.

Laughing

Nancy: Movies were a fairly big thing in those days. That wasn't heh heh .. No VCR or heh heh

Amine: We used to go ..have..take a bus down to the movie and then eat at. ..was it Old Jailhouse,

where they used to have chicken in the basket, across the street from where from the casino is

now?

Nancy: From Sears?
Amine: Ya, across the street from Sears. And then you take the bus. Sometimes even go to a
double feature.


Now I have to ask you Aurine when were you born?

Aurine: 1934.

So this would have been in the late 30s, and then early 40s during World War II?

Aurine: Probably, when I was 9, 10 years old, I would think.

Nancy: Ya.

Just want to place it in time. You were saying that Axel, and Gerde, and Gunhild when she


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 7

was two years old re-emigrated, decided to go back to Sweden. Can you tell me anything

about what you heard of that experience?

Nancy: Well, all we had, we had a picture ofthem on the carriage house steps, ofmy mom and
dad and sister and my aunt and uncle. They were saying goodby and they were going to.....they
sold everything and planned to go back to Sweden to stay. When they got there there was a strike
going on. I think it was in May that they.....They stayed for three months and they turned around
and came back because my dad couldn't get a job over there; there was a strike going on. And
where they went from there I wish I knew. .

Did you know where they went in Sweden, did they go back to one of their home? Or you
know where their family was? Do you have any idea where they.....?

Nancy: Ijustassumethat theydid,youknow. So.SoHertingeror Smolen,one ofthetwo I
imagine.

Could you tell me a little bit about what Axel did prior to coming to the Unit4ed States?
What kind ofwork?

Amine: It was carpentry work, I think he was doing, he was a handy man, independent
--contractor.

Even in Sweden, it looked like he was going to school. He might have grownup on a farm
and then went off;

Nancy: Most people, most ofthose people were farmers, you know, they were. But I have no
idea what my dad did over there. Aurine probably heard more.

Aurine: We read someplace, didn't we, what was it?

A joiner.

Aurine: That'sit,that'stheword,andwefiguredthatwaskind ofsomethingwithyourhands.

Construction---

Aurine: mm


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
PageS

related
Aurine: mm.
And it sounds like then•••when..maybe you can tell me a little bit about what he did


then...when he got here to make a living in Duluth after he emigrated
Amine: He was a very hard worker, seven days a week.
Nancy: Well he was a chauffeur
Aurine: In the beginning
Nancy: inthebeginning,andheandmyuncle,mymother'sbrother, wereone ofthefirstonesto


drive a car in the City ofDuluth and I can remember them talking about thatthat was Oscar.
Aurine: uh huh
Nancy: And I don't know, he as I say he worked, they lived...one place where they lived was the


---upstairs-ofa-garage-ofa-place,and-my-dad-was-the-chauffeur-for-them-and-my-mother-did-their-------washing
and took care ofthose kind ofthings, it's likea maidI suppose you'd callher.

Domestic service.
Nancy:MM rom,that'sagoodwordforit.Sothen, andthenIcanremember,Idon'tknow ifthis
is important to it or not, June, my sister, was a very sickly child, she had scarlet fever, she had
diphtheria, and it left her with rheumatic fever, and so that when I came along 16 years later I was
going to be the healthiest child in town and I was spoon fed oatmeal until I was ten. And I'll never
forget it.


Aurine: Lots of cream and butter.
Nancy: Yes
Ha hahaha



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 9

Nancy: So, but my mother always blamed herselfbecause she had to go out and work when June
was smalland couldn't be home to take care ofher.


Aurine: I also can remember my mother telling me that she got to play with the children of whom
my grandmother was working for, she played with them but whenever they had a birthday party
or something big going on she was never invited. And I remember her telling me that she had cats
for a pet and she always taught me that cats had nine lives cause they lived high up on top ofthe
garage and the cats would always jump down and she thought that they shouldn't have lived from
that jump. But my grandpa was a very hard worker. What I remember ah growing up and visiting
grandma and grandpa is that my grandpa worked seven days a week and he cut lawns for all these
big homes by hand with these hand lawn mowers and he had all this different machinery and then
in the winter time he did the snow shoveling by hand, took care oftheir furnaces and changed
their windows, the screens and the storm windows on all these big homes.


Mm mm, So it sounded like he had a business--a self-employed...

Nancy: He did, His own business.

Mmmmmm

--~AuFinec-And-my-grandma-took-care\)ftJre-bouk'-s.----------------------


And he did that his entire working career here in the....

Aurine: And I can also remember grandma was so excited when he bought a Fra.... was it a Fraser
truck?


Nancy: No no no no no

Aurlne: What was the name ofit, that it looks like a car but it's a truck?

Nancy: What is the name ofthat car that ... an Elt Edsel. They bought an Edsel.

Aurine: And grandma was so excited cuz it kinda looked like a car and she didn't have to go in a
truck anymore. Always was in a truck and it wasn't the style back then to do that.


Nancy: Before that, Aurine, before that--see, my dad always had a truck, but in 1933 we bought


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 10

a Pontiac, a four-door Pontiac, brand new. And in 1934, no 1933, we went to the...we drove,
your dad and your mom, your mom was pregnant at the time, and myself, we drove to the
Chicago World's Fair.

Aurine: I didn't even know that.

Nancy: Didn't you know that? It was a brand new, brand new Pontiac, and we drove that, your
dad did most ofthe driving.
Aurine: Well, when did mother buy her car?
Nancy: 1929
Aurine: Oh, OK.
Nancy: See, she wasn't married. That was.. I was five years old then when she bought that. But


uh, no we drove to, as I say, to Chicago inI934, and then....so the Edsel came later.


Aurine: But I don't remember-yes, it was when I was older-but I don't remember them having
a car.
Nancy: They did have a car because ....
Aurine: I remember him having a truck
Nancy: No, that's what I learned to drive on
Aurine: Oh they must have .,.. it that long
Nancy: I was II years, well I was 10 at the time, but I was II when you were born, cuz that was


in July and you were born in October. It must have been '34 when we went to the fair. Sure, it
was, not '33, it was '34 sure cuz she was pregnant.
Aurine: Because I was born in October.
Nancy: Sure, right, right.



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 11

Do you remember anything about that trip?
Nancy: No, just that it was awfully long, I mean that was 500 miles and I think we made it in one
day, which was an awful lot in those times, coming home we made it, coming back, and well we

didn't stop coming home, you know we started out early in the morning, we weren't there very

long, you know, four days, I guess, something like that.

Aurine: That must have been a big thing.

Nancy: Oh it was, it was to do that.

And to drive rather than take a train.

Nancy: Oh, yes.

You know trains......

Nancy: '34, yeah,

Trains I'm sure were running in between.....

Aurine: And that was unusual for grandpa to take a day offofwork, though, wasn't it?

Nancy: Right.

Aurine: Cuz, he wouldn't even take a Sunday offto come down to the cabin.

Nancy: His day began at 3, 4 o'clock in the morning, and he would go because he he'd have to
get those furnaces going for all these people that he had jobs, he would come home have
breakfast, a huge breakfast and probably a coffee royale, and lay down for a half hour and then
he'd be gone again 'til lunch, he'd come home for lunch, and he'd go back to work, and he'd
come back at 5, 6 o'clock at night and he put in big long days, worked hard.

Aurine: Every day.

Nancy: And I can remember snow storms when couldn't get the car out and he would walk to his
places. He'd put the shovel over his shoulder and down the hill he Would go, pick up a bus and


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 12

thumb his way if someone would pick him up so he could open up these places. I mean there were
doctors and lawyers that he worked for, judges, and urn they had to get out and he had to open up
for 'em, so I mean, and as I say, people can't believe how hard, and I tell these stories and they
don't believe me. But I mean he's a tough Swede.

Hahaha

Aurine: I got to know my mother's cousin Jahn in Sweden, we went to visit him, and it's the same
thing for his sister. Jahn,--all he can remember is working as a child and his mother and dad
having their own business and just working hard all the time. They started out with a restaurant.
He says he can't....that's why Jahn eats so fast, he can't (check ifthis is can or can't) remember,
cuz he just had a little break to eat and he'd have to run back to work.

So both, I would imagine, your mother as well, you know if she was keeping the books.

Aurine: Yes, she did.

She was part ofthe business. They might not have looked at iUike that then but (ha ha ha)
but she worked out of her house.

Nancy: Oh sure, sure, no there was no office or anything. Un un. No, we had bills made up, I can
remember, had little bills, pieces or paper, bills made up and she sent em out, you know mom sent
em out. And uh..

Accounts receivable?

Nancy: You know I mean, he didn't do badly, I mean but if you think ofthe hours he put in, I '
mean it was tough, because we got a new truck here and we got a new truck there. We had that
'34 Pontiac for years, '33 I think it was we got it the year before?and that's what I learned to
drive on. Now we had, shouldn't tell these things really, a one-car garage, the house was eh....the
garage was under the house, but when we got the other car we managed, came in this way and
then this way and we managed to get the (do you remember that?)

Aurine: No..

Nancy: We managed to get the car in there and which would be right by the laundry tubs and
what haveyou, Well my folks went out at night and they would take the truck many times, so heh


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 13

heh I would have to push that because of'the Pontiac .wasn't used much and the battery would
run. In down those days they weren't the same as this so I would take and push that thing out and
once I got it you know down the hill then I could drive it cuz the motor would start so I would
use the car.

Aurine: And I can also remember grandpa sharpening all his own tools in the basement. He had

one ofthose wheels and you'd put your foot on, and go round, and I used to play with that.

Nancy: Used to sharpen his own lawnmowers.

The blades?

Nancy: Mm, the blades, and now I'm talking about push lawnmowers. You know what I mean.

, And he used to like to get 'em from Sears. Sears had the best lawnmower and then they still have
as you notice with their heh heh equipment and stuff. Sears has got a good name.

That's good, you know. He knew what was good and he used it. These are going to be
because of the differences in June and Nancy's ages--this is what I also find very
interestingis thatwithinthose16yearsalotchangedin thelife ofDuluth.Iwas...We had
talked about language, what language was spoken in your house when you were growing

---up.-Do-you-remember-Swedish-being-spoken-at-all':'

Nancy: No, they wanted to learn English. So very little was spoken in Swedish, I think. June
'could talk it better than I could. I couldn't. I took it in school but that wasn't the same as....when
I was in high school I mean. The folks both had a little bit ofa brogue. Remember that? I mean.
You know.

Aurine: I can remember grandma gettin' a Swedish paper of some kind and she'd be real happy
when she got it but she wouldn't read it to me or we didn't ... I just learned the numbers and
that's all I know.

Do you know if it was a Swedish American newspaper published in the Swedish language?

Aurine: No, I don't know.

versus coming from Sweden?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3. 1999
Page 14

Nancy: I think it was. Swedish American sounds familiar to me...that we would get. It came once


a week, ifI'm not mistaken and, uh...
Did they have Swedish newspapers around, Swedish American like the Swenska Posten or
something? .


Nancy: Not really. Not that I'm familiar with.
But your older...your sister June. who was 16 years older could speak.
Nancy: A little bit, ya, in the beginning, mm mm, but she lost that, too, and when you don't talk it,


you don't. ..you know. June understood it much better than I did, but as the years went on, I
mean,myfolks,too, Imeanitwas SwedishAmericanthattheytalked,youknow,itwasn'treally
Swedish anymore.

Kind of a combination of English...
Nancy: Right
and Swedish words?
Nancy: Right, right
I know what that is.
Nancy: Yes.
You said you took Swedish in high school. Could you tell me what high school you went to


and...?

Nancy: Central High School.

And what do you remember about Swedish classes. and when did you graduate? Like I'd
just like to get a sense of when you were taking Swedish in high school.
Nancy: Graduated in 1941. So I suppose it would be '40-'41.



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 15

Did you take it all your like four years? three yearg?

Nancy: No, two years?

Foreign language requirement? Do you remember your teacher?

Nancy: Johnson.

Ha ha haha ha

Male, female?

Nancy: Male.

AUlllot of kids in the class? Was it a popular class?

Nancy: We had a full class.
urn hum


Nancy: You know, 1 don't...25, 30, whatever you know in those days, I mean every seat was just


about filled, so, urn.
Do you know if the students were pretty much of Swedish descent?
Nancy: Most of,em, sure.
Mm mm, Do you have any idea how long Swedish was taught at Central? I'm sure after


you left you were off into your life.
Nancy:Mmmm
I know it was taught at Denfeld, too, and just was curious.
Aurine: That was Johnson teaching at Denfeld, too.
Hahaha



Swedish Iinmigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 16

The same teacher?
Aurine: I don't think so.
I'm going to ask Nancy some of your earliest recollections of your family home. You said it


was on Grandview?


Nancy: Yes.


What was it like living in your own home? You know just did you have your own room,


did you?


Nancy: I shared a room with my sister. They had built the home. It was two bedrooms upstairs.


Aurine: A beautiful view ofthe lake


Nancy: Ya, and they gave us the front bedroom, it was the same bedroom I was born in as a


matter offact.
Aurine: I can remember Nancy had beautiful dolls and she ended up giving 'em to me andllien I


gave 'em to someone else and I wish I had 'em to this day...Shirley Temple doll I remember you
gave me.
Nancy: Paul was upstairs going through stuff. And we got a suitcase of dolls, I don't know

they're probably from my kids.

Aurine: I think they're from your kids. I think you gave me everything.

Nancy: Probably. So anyway.

Aurine: But you had a very nice bedroom. I can remember ....

Nancy: It was a big bedroom, four big windows that looked out. Ya.

Do you, can you remember anything about what your routine might have been at home

when you were in, let's say in grade school, high school? What grade school did you go to?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 17

Did you have responsibilities and jobs at home that you had to do?
Nancy: Well,IwenttoChesterParkanditwas fairlynewschoolwhichwas nice. Wewalkedto


school. Did.Ihavejobstodo?No, well,IenjoydoingthingsoutsidesoIusually mowedthelawn
anddidallthose, shoveled snowanddidallthose things.
Amine: It was tough. You had a big hill.
Nancy: Oh, yeah, no I ...and as I say, I didn't, no, I was spoiled, I didn't do anything.
Hehheh
Aurine: Didyouplaythe piano, Nan?Didyoutakepianolessons? Didyoutakealongtime?
Nancy: I took quite a while.
Aurine: Didyouevertakeanyotherinstrument? Violin? Likemotherwasa ..my mother played


theviolin. Shewasverygoodat playingtheviolin.
Nancy: Yes.Shewasverygood.
Aurine: She was chosen...
Nancy: ShetookfromFloton,ifthat namemeansanythingtoanybody.Hewas reallyquiteawell


knownviolinist andteacherintown.So...andshewasverygood.Andwe'll get apicture ofher?


Yes.
Aurine: Isittruethatmotherboughtthe piano?CuzIkind...
Nancy: Yes, yes, yes
Aurine: ....ofthoughtmotherboughtthe pianoandthenshedidn'thavetopayroomandboardor


something likethat.
Nancy: Yes, yes, yes.



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 18

Nancy: And you have that piano, don't you?
Aurine: No, I do not any more.
Nancy: Oh, ok.
Aurine: Mike would not move it.....
Nancy: Ok.
Aurine: ....into our house 'cause he said I never played so he asked everybody and no one wanted


it so...ok

Nancy: Ya.

Aurine: ...then, which made me feel real bad cause it was a neat piano.

Nancy: Yes, it was a good piano.

Let's talk about your mother.. yes, June. Urn, did she play in recitals? You know. How far

---Idid-she-take-violin-playing?-~----------------------------


Aurine:Idon'tknow,butIcanrememberhertellingmethat out ofherclassshewasaskedto

playandbeontheradio.Out ofherclass, ofallthesethattook, shewasthe onlyonechosento

do that. We have a picture of her, and then shortly after that I think she was sick.

Did she ever playas a young adult or when you were growing up? Did she ever play?

Aurine: Yes.

And where would she play, you now, what occasions?

Aurine: Just with the family. Once in a great while.

Nancy: Whichbirthdaywasitwefixedup the violinandgave itto herbecause the violinhadbeen

sitting for a long time?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3,1999
Page 19

Aurine: That also reminds me, uh I don't know if this ls true or not, but my mother told me that

her grandfather made her a pair of shoes when she was in Sweden and they were high topped

black leather.

Nancy: Don't we still have them?

Aurine: And you and grandma had them bronzed for mother. and [they] had a little hole in the
front and I have 'em now and that's where my mother wrote a note in those that they were from

Sweden.

So that time that they went back for that short period?

Aurine: Ya. Her grandfather.

Sssssss

Aurine: Her grandfather. I don't know, her grandfather made the shoes, orwho, but that's what I
remember her telling me ifit's right or not, and her mother was kind ofupset because she had
boughten her some cute little black patent leather, but my mother liked wearing those high
topped.

Nancy: Heh heh

Aurine: 'Cuz she had a big hole in the front ofthem you know.

Let us just bring us back to the music. 'Cuz I want to get a sense of if Nancy you played the
piano when June played the violin? Was it a family get together, people just started playing
music?

Nancy: No. Mn mn. You see, when I was five years old, see, June was out working and she was
through playing the violin then, 20, 21, she was through playing, she didn't play any more. Why,
they don'teventhinkIknewthat sheplayedtheviolin,you knowwhatImean,that wasn't
something that was....that I knew until later.

When you were living, you know, as a youngster, with your parents, do you have any
favorite activities family activities you remember when you were growing up with your
mom and dad? And maybe June, ifshe was around?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 20

Aurine: Well, you used to come a lot with my mother and dad, we used to ... my mother and dad
would go on vacation and I was an infant and Nancy would come with us because my grandpa
was too busy working.

Nancy: I spent all my summer vacations when they were small, when John and Aurine were small,
I spent the two weeks at Welkins Lake just about every summer for about five years there, at least
five years, I think it was. No, I had thought that was great because it gave me a chance to get out,
cuz my dad worked all the time, he never took a vacation.

Aurine: My grandma loved playing cards.

Nancy: They did a lot of entertaining, my folks.

Aurine: They'd have..J can remember them like on a Sunday they'd have people over all day and
I used to go there and she'd have dinner and stuff, then I used to be able to wash the silverware
and then you'd count it and put it away. And I can remember like through the night, and then
they'd have supper even and still play cards.

Did your parents belong to any Swedish organizations?

Nancy: They belonged to Svidgett Hall?? Oh, name some other ones and they probably....

Vasa

Nancy: Vasa, yes. They belonged to Vasa. Yes, they belonged to quite a few.

Aurine: Didn't grandpa belong to the Elks club too?

Nancy: Not the Elks Club.

Nancy: Let me think. They went to Owls.

Aurine: Oh, the Owls. That's what it was. The Owls Club.

Heh hehheh.

,



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3,1999
Page 21

Nancy: That was years later.
Aurine: Ok.
Nancy: My dad went to Owls.
Aurine: I remember them talking about that.
Nancy: That wasn't the same thing.
And what, do you have any idea what happened? Did you go along with them on occasion?
Nancy: Oh, yes, I went along with them. It was the dances on Saturday night, sure. I went along


with 'em. My dad loved to dance. Mother wasn't too excited about it. And he always used to say
he'd pick out the fattest ones there 'cause they were the lightest on their feet (laughter). But he
loved to dance right up to the end, right up to...oh when he wasn't so young any more; he loved
to dance.

Whendid yourfather passaway? Whatyearorhow oldwas he when he did....?
-----Nancy:-86-when-he-died-.----------------------------


We can figure that out from the birth date.
Nancy: I'd have to look.
Aurine: He's couple years, he was he...
60....
Nancy: When did he die, Aurine?
Aurine: I don't have that.
But I know I have his birth date, so if you tell me he's 86, he's 86 and we can figure it out.
Aurine: Andhe,urn,where was the name ofhisplace,Nan...Mothertook care ofhimfor awhile



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 22

at the house.

Nancy: She took care ofhim during the night, I took care ofhim during the day because your
mother worked and he stayed here during the day and they went to George and Betty's out at.....
SIDE 2.
Now what is your address?
Nancy: 2424 west 23,d street
and a nice view of the lake. urn, which I really appreciated when I came down Morris


Thomas Road. even that hill here. really nice. Just a couple of closing questions. When you
think back on your family history what do you think about your parents' i!\lmigration to
. Minnesota from Sweden? Is thereany•••?Howdoes thatmakeyou feel ifanything?You


grew up in a Swedish household. Immigrant household.
Nancy: Well, I can remember feeling different that my folks both came from Sweden. You know,
in those day and age, I mean, have your parents speak with a brogue wasn't the greatest thing.
But, I mean, as far as I was concerned I was very happy, I was a happy child except that I was


---:spoiled-fotteno-And-l-had-two-mothers;-like-hermotherJune-spuilcd me just as muclJ.<a"'srm"'yy--------mother
did.
Aurine: And then Nancy spoiled me.
Heh giggle
We're passing down the tradition.
Aurine: I was pretty spoiled, though. You and grandma did a lot ofthings for ine.

Nancy: We were happy to have you. It was fun.
Aurine: Grandpa would fix his own breakfast when he took off early. Grandma wouldn't get up.
Then he would fix. Then he would come home and then grandma would fix a breakfast...


Nancy: Whatever he did when he left at four in the morning mother didn't know but he'd come


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 23

and then mother would have a big breakfast.

Aurine: Would fix, like this oatmeal or something. Then he'd come home again in a couple of

hours and then have something then he would always watch As the World Turns.

Nancy: Or it would depend on the weather. It would depend on hisjobs. But it wasn't a steady

thing if he did do.....
Amine: But when I was going to grandma's pretty regular when I was pregnant then he'd come,


he came home and he got interested in As the WorldTurns and he used to watch that with

grandma.


Nancy: Sure.


So this was later?


Aurine: Oh, ya, this is much later.


Nancy: That was around....


Aurine: This is 1957.


So Nancy's memories are from....


Aurine: Ya, better, ya


Earlier?


Aurine: Mine was when he came, maybe when got older and he had to come home and get some


more energy heh heh heh....
I got two more questions and then 'cuz I got the tape rolling.
Nancy: Let me tell you before we get offofthis, 'cuz I can remember your folks, your mom and


dad, you know, they lived in Sampsons' house on 40th there cuz they had the apartment upstairs

and it was a nice apartment. They couldn't have the front bedroom, do you remember that?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3,1999
Page 24

Amine: No, no, see I was an infant.

Nancy: They couldn't have the...you know why, that was Walters, and Walter was kind ofthe
pet.

Aurine: I thought my dad was.
Nancy: Walter was.
Aurine: I always thought my dad was the pet 'cuz Walter always said he had....
Nancy: Walter was kind of And that front bedroom, I mean I don't know how the setup is now,


the apartment, because I know the gal that used to live there now she passed away, Kollage?
Amine: Va.
Nancy: Dja you know her Jan?
Aurine: Va, she had made arrangements for me to even go there, and bring my husband..


--Nancy.-Elid,lIwrea:lIy?
Aurine: ...and everything, Va, and we couldn't get the...
Nancy: How sad.
Aurine: Ya, cuz I would have liked to have gone to it too.
Nancy: But, I mean, it was funny because, I mean, it was a nice apartment but you didn't have the

.front, ya, you didn't have the front ofthe house, you know what I mean, you had...you came up
the back stairway,
Aurine: I remember them being mean to my mother
Nancy: Yes, they weren't nice to your mother.
Aurine: They were very mean to her.


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine 'Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 25

Aurine: Because my grandma Sampson didn't like girls; she only liked boys.
Not much you can do, when you're married to a boy.
Nancy: Then they moved to 2315 West 7th and I'll never forget that 'cuz I spent an awful lot of


time there. Heh heh heh

It sounded like that was maybe a common practice that people newly married not having
maybe a lot of money would sometimes end up living upstairs of the family house.
Nancy: Ya.
I mean it seems like it's a common experience.
Nancy: In our case I think...
Aurine: I think Grandma Sampson liked mother better than she liked her boys. She liked my


mother better.

---Nancy;-Well,--your-mother-was--------------~--------------

Aurine: So nice.
Nancy: Oh, she was so nice.


,

Aurine: She took care of her.
Nancy: June was nice June, everybody's knew she was nice June. It was just terrible.
I wish I could have met her and have..
Nancy: I do too. I do too.
asked her these questions too. I think it would have been great. Nancy when someone asks


you about your ethnic background how do you answer them?


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Anrine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 26

Nancy: I don'tthink Iget askedveryoften but I'mveryproud ofit, very happywith"..I think
being Swedish is great. .

And that was my last question? How do you feel about being Swedish?

Aurine: Well, I think it's really great when they ask me because I can say I'm a full blood Swede.
Both sides and they met here. And being in Sweden I liked many more things in Sweden. They
knew how to do a lotta things over there better than the United States...I really fell in love with
Sweden. •

You're a third generation. You're second generation born here in the United States in your
family. Your mother was first generation born here. They count the immigrant generation
as the first, typically, so you'd be third. And I'm also third or fourth, depending 'cuz I had
some great grandparents that immigrated with my grandparents as children so.

Aurine: Oh, what I like about over there, really I think is great is everything is so clean, and
everybody rides a bike, they take their time about things, they go to the farmers to buy your food,
even if you live in the city, and even in the hotels-that we stayed you do not find plastic bags, not
one plastic bag anyplace over there, and ifyou go to the grocery store, you bring your own
containers, and I wish we did that here. And another thing I like, I wish they'd have at our hotels, _

----iSffiat they always have covers for the blankets, to cover the whole blanket, and that's clean and
sharp for you every time. Another thing I like, they always serve you a nice breakfast.

It's the duvet, right;

Aurine: And they do not do that in the United States unless you went to some hotel that's was
way....

Nancy: You see, you know what, it's too bad that I don't know 'cuz the book I'm looking at is
from our family. Everything from when I got married. It will tell you just about everything. 1941
my dad was operated on for a fractured skull. They thought he was going to die. He fell down.
We didn't know what happened to him. He fell down. It was New Year's Eve and he went to take
careofaplace,anditwaslikeatrapdoor, ifyourememberyouopenupthose,youneed togo
down, and he fell there and he had enough presence ofmind after laying there for quite a while, to
get up, he drove home in his little old truck, came home, and there was something wrong with
him, he went to bed, and my cousin Margaret happened to be in town, and she was a nurse and
she came to the house and she said, told him that you better get somebody get the ambulance here


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Anrine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page 27

and get him to the hospital right away. So we got him to the hospital and on New Year's Day he
was operated on, 1941, and, ya, I know my cousin Margaret was in the operating room with
Doctor Kline and she came out ofthere, she was just amazed at what he did because he took a
blood clot out ofhishead,dugthen,tooktheolddrill,you know,theold...drillinhisheadand,
and. After that my dad always kind of slowed down a little bit, he wasn't quite as...it took a lot
out of him, it took a long time for him to come back and that was 1941. I remember 'cuz it was
the year I graduated from high school

And what hospital?

Nancy: St Luke's.

Was there a special relationship between the Swedish community and St Luke's? Do you
have any idea?

Nancy: I'm not aware ofthat.

Aurine: Well, what I remember, most Catholics went to St Mary's and others went to St Luke's.
That's what I remember.

'Cuz I'm just curious 'cuz I'm not surpriselnInn your dlld-went1lrSrLlIlre's-(belrheh-)I--------


and ....

Nancy: Well, I tell you, too, because that was the doctor, Harry Kline was, and I think your
doctors were more..they went to other places, but that was where Harry was, Dr Kline was.
Well, I'd really like to thank both of you for doing this and let's hope to heck.... ,
Aurine: Don't you want to know the names ofmy kids?
Oh, ok, sure I'm sorry.
(laughing)
Aurine: Well.... Nancy.
Boy girl boy girl



Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey
November 3, 1999
Page2S

Now you need to tell me who you married, when, and the names of your children.

Aurine: I hadtogoallthewayto Miami,Floridatogeta husband. NoonehereinDuluthwould
many me.

Nancy: Oh, comeon.

Aurine: Andwegotmarriedin Duluth,March1,1957, andmyoldestdaughter willbe,wasjust
42inSeptember,andshe'sgetting marriednowthedaybeforeThanksgivinginLas Vegas. Terry
Aurine Casey.

Her birthdate•••

Aurine: 9/12/57. And then I have a son that was, he was Michael Christopher Casey, Jr., my
husbandnamedMichaelChristopher,Sr.andhewasbornMay20, 1960 andatthattimewewere
living atEngerGolfCourse, when hewasbornandNancy's husband wastheproatEngerand
my husband...

Nancy: And manager,

Aurine: andmanager,ok.Andweusedto ..My..thatwasbackwhentheyhadpopinbottlesand
everynight we'd go downto that basement andgetbottlesandbringupandhe'd sweep andclean
the wholeplaceand I uh worked on call and that was a neat, neat experience to be able to have
havedonethat.Not many people havelived atEngerGolf Course.

Hehheh

Aurine: Andthenin 1961I hadanotherchildthere,MaryJune Caseyandwhenshewasabout 3
months oldweboughtahouseinLakeside, andthenI hadPatrickClifford named aftermy dad.

1964hewas born,Feb. 6,andmyfatherpassedawayJan 1,1964, andIthinkPatrickisvery
muchlike mydad..

MmMm

Aurine: Verymuch. SoI hadto tellyou.


Swedish Immigrant Oral History Project
Nancy F. Jensen
Aurine Casey


November 3, 1999
Page 29
Yes, well thank you. Forgive me, forgive me.

Aurine: That's ok, you're forgiven.

When I have two people sometimes I forget things. But I really do appreciate the fact you

have come together and done this. And I will make sure you get a copy, each of you a copy

of the tape.

Aurine: I want to thank you. It brought us back.