Thursday, April 28, 2022


My blog has been dormant for an entire year but I choose today to revive it for very personal reasons.
I have only been posting life stories at my Facebook, where creating a post is a very different proces than creating one here as I quickly discover.

I begin with a single photo taken on Saint Patricks Day in Hus 9 (The original name in 1925). Here you see Ann Frodi and me, two dual citizens of Sweden and the United States looking happily at  the 22 or so visitors she invited to the even she created for my 90th Birthday. She asked me to allow her to follow Swedish tradition with  the modification that it was not to be me who  would arrange the event but she herself. I agreed since she would do this far better than I and since she has so many friends who live on one of these islands that many  would be able to come without too much  difficulty.

After posting a new entry with one photo, Ann and me, I  walked to my Arboretum - at the lower end of Storatorpvägen, a long existing road that leads the several lakes that have the Swedish name Delsjöarna. Then I walked with double poles all the way up to Lyckan a red wooden building that serves coffee, Annika's favorite Banana Bread,  and my favorite single waffle with whipped cream and rasberry jam on top. We'll get to that but first back in history. When I first came to Sweden with Ann she took me to this small house on the lower edge of our forest. There we met a truly original couple, Carl and Hedvig in this house when it was far  simpler She had known them from the time she was 13 years old and had been given responsibility for a pony that she rode on all the trails in our forest. That was at least 40 years ago and in those 40 years I have run and walked on most of those trails and know them almost as well as she does.

Adding friendships in my new home
In Linköping almost all my friends and acquaintances were younger people who had come to Sweden as Asylum seekers from a long list of countries / I name those of some of my closest friends there: Areas in Iraq that were originally a cradle of civilization where predecessors of modern Assyrians lived, and the overlapping area that is now autonomous Kurdistan, Eritrea, and Iran including the Kurdish region in Iran. My only age-mate friends were Swedish women who were volunteers at the Red Cross as was I. I may be the only one of that cluster who is still living. In Göteborg, all my first friends were in Ann's family and then gradually those who came to my 90th birthday event. But here in Örgryte I hope to find a few new friends and to do that I joined Örgryte föreningen,a group of people who want to keep the history of this area alive and to keep is best qualities alive as well. When Covid 19 partially released its grip it became possiblefor this group to have its Spring meeting - Dinner for 200 and a presentation by political figures from most parties followed by questions and discussion between audience and the political figures. This event was held at the building at the foot of the bedrock cliffs that are the black foreground of this picture taken last night at 21:00 h. I had the extreme  good fortune to be embraced by 3 men who were arriving just as I was completing my long walk up the mountain. They were  especially welcoming, and I got to tell part of my story to one who professionally overlaps in some ways with me. He took me in, helped me meet others whom he already knew and I was over the friendship threshold. A wonderful evening. I simply add that here in Göteborg there are many churches built before or in the middle of the 18th Century and then the additions like this one, Nya Örgryte kyrkan high on the top of a remarkable bedrock peak. 
Later this summer I will introduce first two former students to my forest and the islands and then, if all goes well, my two children in America just reaching the age of retirement.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

 Facebook has given up on me and I am giving up on Facebook. I am posting pictures from my power walk in my forest today October 23, 2021. 

My forest, Delsjöskogen has thousands of trees, some of them at least 500 years old. The sun was shining through the leaves today, leaves that soon will be on the ground.
This is an historic road, very, very old, name Storatorpsvägen after the area where I live. Just run down this road until you come to the castle and you are just a short walk to my home Iskällareliden 3B. I used to run like the man in green, now I walk here with my walking poles and I did today so that I could visit Lyckan Cafe at the top.

When you enter Lyckan (Happiness Cafe. you see these wise words: We Do Not Have WiFi, Talk To Each Other
Pretend It's 1995 

There on the left is Banana Bread to take home from Annika, she had requested on WhatsApp but I was one step ahead. On the right a waffle with fluffy cream and hallonsylt (raspberry jam)

Everybody was out today, Saturday in Sweden
This is my first blog post in a long time, I know it does not provide the access Facebook gives but my Facebook no longer works and it is serving all the wrong people so good reason to give it u´p

Saturday, May 30, 2020


This is an invitation to thinking philosophically about how many different lives one can life in a So-Called Lifetime. Sometime after I was a bit along in my 7th decade it struck me that life in that decade was much better than I had ever had been led to believe might be possible. I bought a very fine notebook from Germany, the first of many like the one you see here. I gave it the Title My So-Called 10th Life. The name came from the television series My So Called Life, make of that name what you will.

We are going to work backwards from today Saturday, 2020-05-30 in The Year of Corona in Sweden. I was up with the sun - remember we are at 58 N Latitude and I drove out to Ullstämma Naturreservat and started running, destination, THE TREE IN THE POND.

The Tree in The Pond, a Salix, died not long after the pond was created in 2011. Still standing after all these years, trees can do that. The text on the hat says Keep Vermont Weird, in the picture because that is where I was supposed to be today 5/30 but am not for well known reasons. The T shirt was chosen because it names the first 10 km race I had ever run in in my life, 10 km along Stångån a river and canal that runs through Linköping. After running I wrote in my 15th Life Book as always.

I find my 15th Life easy to set off from those that preceded it, 14th and back through time. A new disease helped in setting it off against all others, the disease now referred to as COVID 19, the disease that led to cancellation of my Icelandair flight to Boston.

Now I want to take a GIANT LEAP, back to 1967 followed by 1971, with two pictures showing superficially what became the greatest single transformation in my life up to that time and perhaps ever.

1967 from a picture of the Faculty of the Department of Geology, University of Rochester. I had at that time applied for a sabbatical that would take me either to Finland or Sweden. It became Finland where I became Fulbright Lecturer in Geology at Oulun Yliopisto (University of Oulu) then the northernmost university in the world. I was to give lectures on the subject of Mountain (Orogenic) belts since I had been working in one of those for many years starting when I was a doctoral student at Yale.
We four, Marjorie Hay Lundgren, Gary Lundgren, Julie Lundgren, and I were off to Finland on the Oslofjord a couple of months later. We had all learned quite a bit of Finnish and I had also taken an evening course in Swedish, taught by Kjell Westin, who left Sweden when he was 18. The story of how Finland changed my life forever is long and will not be told here but the outcome was that as a result of reading Swedish language newspapers I learned for the first time about chemical contamination of fresh water from fossil-fuel emissions and about the chemical contamination of fish with mercury, processes I had never heard about in the US. We came back to a USA shaken by events of 1968 as a result of the Vietnam War, but also a USA where adverse environmental changes were taking place, completely lost in the background with Vietnam in the foreground. I created a new course, Geology and Public Policy, to introduce that field of research in my department, and strangely I also became head of the River Campus Faculty Senate. Here I am on the steps of some River Campus Building with three students, 1971, but not sure if that was in connection with Dandelion Day or Alternative Graduation. Not sure who the students were, have to ask Scott Brande who gave me the picture quite recently. 

Now we take a giant leap back to 1949 when the two of us shown here graduated from East Providence High School and went on to Brown University which at that time had a separate college for women, Pembroke College where my mother also had gone. These two pictures are in part my way of thanking Joan Carmody Theve for making contact a few years ago to remind me that we had grown up in Rumford, RI, in houses 100 yards apart, going through 7 years of school there, a gap when I moved to Seekonk, and again in the same school East Providence High School and then to Brown/Pembroke.

The pictures came from an OnLine copy of the yearbook and my page had been colored but Joan's had not.

The Year of Corona seemed like a good time to start this project. Thanks to Joan, Marie Vacca Halka, Jeff Halka, and Scott Brande, the last 3 all students at the U of R in the 70s and friends for life with Scott the most recent addition.

Monday, April 27, 2020


Joe Biden, Democratic Party choice for Presidential candidate states that he will choose a woman as his running mate - Vice President. Then, not another word from his bunker, where we see him at a desk - invisible. Little mention in the New York Times either, with the exception of a column by Michelle Goldberg supporting Warren as her choice - mine too as noted in a comment.

Only In Sweden do we see the 10 most likely candidates lined up in a single row in Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish New York Times. Beneath each picture is a text presenting reasons why Biden might choose one of the 10 and a following text presenting reasons for him to choose one of the others.

Why doesn't the New York Times do something similar? I am sure that an article based on the DN article with similar pictures would elicit 2000 or more comments.

I present them here in keeping with one of the major reasons for my creating this blog, to present a subject that not a single columnist has ever even mentioned in the Times, the archaic system used by the US Census Bureau to classify Americans, a system in which each of the 10 above would be assigned to a a fictional race or races.

In America, even in the 21st Century, some of the women shown above will be seen almost first and foremost as the person to be chosen by Biden because she is said to belong to a particular race and could therefore draw voters to whom race-based choice is important, either as a plus or a minus.

In Sweden, in the 2019 national election, we would never have seen candidates presented as belonging to a race although one party, the SD party did make clear that it would really prefer to support candidates who are so-called ethnic Swedes, people who practice customs that the SD party sees as demonstrating the candidate's "Swedishness".

I have stopped submitting comments to the New York Times as of this date; the final one was in print yesterday, 26 April. I will be following the discussion of VP choice as carefully as possible and every time a race-based argument arises, I will try to report it here, rather than submitting a comment as has been my practice ever since in 2013 I read two books that changed my life: Authors Professor Dorothy Roberts, Professor Kenneth Prewitt.

Photographs from Dagens Nyheter - 26 April 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


This is the first post under the English title JOIN ME AT THE RED CROSS IN THIS TIME OF PANDEMI.

It is Tuesday, March 17, here in Linköping, Sweden, my birthday. Ordinarily I would be spending 2 hours this afternoon at the Red Cross with my two Iranian-born colleagues having conversations about everything under the sun with a group of visitors that surely would include 5 or 6 young men from Eritrea, maybe 2 or 3 young women from Somalia and maybe even new arrivals from yet another country.

Men det är Pandemi i Sverige, bäst om jag stannar hemma men skriver här för att säga till alla mina vänner där, besök bloggen, skriv till mig via Gmail eller även här på bloggen.

Nu skall jag ut i skogen, tidigt på en tisdag morgon i Sverige.

Hör av dig, Idris, Abdi, Mohammed, Sara, Zari Abraham


Sunday, March 8, 2020


Saturday, March 7, my birthday present to myself, Bus4You to Stockholm to hear Igor Stravinsky's Pulcinella in its original form with soprano, tenor, and bass soloists. Review below. I came up from the subway at Kungsträdgården planning to walk to Berwaldhallen. Went astray-construction prevented me from walking where I wanted to. Gave in, would find a taxi but none in sight. Cobblestone Street, fell "Flat on my face" - yes literally. Done it before. At first you are just in shock. One less tooth on the upper right.

Strangers gather around me to help me, pick up my scattered belongings. Ask if the should call for an ambulance. Me, no, going to a concert, can anyone help me find a taxi. A Swedish couple volunteer. Walk me slowly and carefully to a taxi station. Tack snälla. On my way to Berwaldhallen, enter in the nick of time. Ask the ticket taker if I have blood on my face. No. Enter, enter heaven.

Here is the review: I will translate parts later in the day, still early here in Linköping.
Både fräckt och sprudlande när Barbara Hannigan står på pulten
Musik av Aaron Copland, Joseph Haydn, Igor Stravinsky
Solister: Marta Swiderska, James Way, Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel. Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester. Dirigent: Barbara Hannigan. Berwaldhallen
Betyg: 5. Numera undviker jag ordet ”spirituell”. Inte för att jag ogillar det, tvärtom! Men i dag kan det dessvärre missförstås som ”andlig”. Denna dess engelska betydelse är det sista som passar för den kvicka och fyndiga konsert som Barbara Hannigan presenterade i Berwaldhallen. 
Haydns symfoni nr 90 och Stravinskys ”Pulcinella” hör nämligen till musikhistoriens mest spirituella skapelser. I Hannigans händer och med Radiosymfonikernas alerta gestaltning blev det en av de mest sprudlande konserterna i Stockholm på länge.
Det var också en uppvisning av virtuost blås. Redan i öppningsnumret – Aaron Coplands 1920-talistiska ”Music for the Theatre” – bröt Dag Henrikssons fräcka klarinett igenom som ett eko av en välkänd blå rapsodi. Undrar vem som kom först: Copland eller Gershwin? Bägge kom att definiera en amerikanskhet i musik; Copland med mindre jazz än europeisk tradition i bagaget. Som här i ett elegiskt solo för engelskt horn med återklang ur Dvoraks ”Nya världen”.
Joseph Haydn komponerade sin nittionde symfoni år 1788 för en parisisk elitorkester som, föga förvånande, upphörde året därpå. Och franska revolutionen hade nog knappast det sinne för humor som Haydn demonstrerade i symfonins final. En blåsning som fungerade klockrent även på 2020 års publik! För det rungande C-dur som utlöste våra applåder var alls icke slutackordet – utan följdes av en fortsättning i Dess-dur. Humorteamet Haydn-Hannigan fick oss dessutom att gå på det en gång till…
Efter detta utsökta samspel fortsatte Barbara Hannigan att utmana Radiosymfonikernas solistiska bril- jans i Igor Stravinskys ljuvligt spralliga ”Pulcinella” – här i den kompletta versionen med sångsolister från 1919. Ett helt epokgörande balettverk som med Picassos dekor angav tonen för den neoklassicism som skulle prägla konstmusiken i decennier. Stravinsky hade tittat tillbaka till 1700-talet bara för att, som han sade, få se sig själv i spegeln.
Camilla Lundberg Dagens Nyheter

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


New York Times Columnist Ross @ gave us a column on 9 February under the headline THE AGE OF DECADENCE in which he told us that “The real story of the West in the 21st century is one of stalemate and stagnation” – the West, not just the USA.

I submitted a simple comment suggesting that he was telling the real story of the United States of America – only – not of the West of which Europe is a part. I used a simple comparison of bus service in my USA New England and bordering New York State and in my SE, mostly Linköping and Göteborg. My final comment is at the mini URL above in Comments ALL about 5 down.

I write this today, February 11, in case anyone reads that final comment and goes to my blog to see what I might add here or even just to get my Gmail address.

In my first comment stating bluntly that taking a Greyhound bus between Albany NY and Boston MA is to experience American decadence I noted that taking Swedish Bus4You on a similar trip between Göteborg and Linköping is always a great pleasure.

Two readers replied:

One, John from New York told me in effect that the reason that Greyhound is so terrible has to do with American demographics, not like Swedish. The other, Carl Bumba, told me in effect that the explanation for the difference is that the “role of bus transport” in America is completely different from the role of bus transport in Sweden.

My instant reaction was to wonder what they really meant by those statements since they offered no explanation nor did they say that they had visited Sweden.

I post this today 11 February to suggest what they might have had in mind was something having to do with the people who take the bus in the USA and in Sweden. The idea comes from a reply to an earlier comment by me on the same subject filed by Concerned Citizen – Anywheresville USA, here CC.

CC wrote that in America only poor people take buses so there is no reason to provide high quality service. CC and more recently other Americans asked my why I would take a bus since they would expect someone of my social class to simply rent a car and drive.
I suggest that maybe that is what John had in mind, the demographics of American bus riders, lower SES status, any bus will do. And maybe that is what Carl Bamba also was hinting at, that the role of bus transport in America is to serve only poor people or perhaps certain minority populations.

Until they decide to explain, I leave this as an illustration of why we need a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as president. Neither will fix bus service but they at least understand the need for public transportation of European quality and the roads and rails on which that transport must run.

Composed in haste in case a Times Reader looks here today. I am off to the Red Cross to spend my afternoon with asylum seekers and other immigrants who are learning Swedish. All of us, them and my Red Cross colleagues, will get there by bus or bicycle.

2020-02-11 13:16 h CET