Shameful! Disgraceful! Monday, May 17 - Norwegian Independence Day and hardly anyone noticed. We herring chokers get no respect.
Here it was. The most important day in May, in the whole year, and what do we do this month of May? It started with May Day and Law Day. A few days later it was Cinco de Mayo. Then Mother's Day, of all things, with flowers and buffets all over the place. Then every highway, bar, restaurant and even some of the lakes are run over with fisher persons. The governor even caught as many walleyes as his wife.
All front page stuff.
And another week and we'll be filled with hoopla about Memorial Day - the whole weekend. Tons more tourists and traffic and parades and celebrations (and marching and taps, services and wreath and remembrance as there should be).
But with all these days in May, the most important one, Norwegian Independence Day, slips through the cracks. No music, no billboards, no headlines, no trumpets, horns or bugles, no saw blades, no 'nuthin.'
Nothing like the Irish, two months ago. We all had to eat their food, drink their green beer and watch their parades. Front page stuff, pictures and all. And they didn't even come here until they couldn't grow potatoes anymore, and got kicked out of the cities and the mines. And such ne'er do wells. Ever try doing something important with an Irishman, like fishing or tree cutting? Complete waste of time.
Even the Finlanders got it better up north with St. Urho's day. Imagine, us herring chokers even getting out ranked by the Finlanders. It's discrimination at its worst, pure, plain and simple.
It's a good thing I could celebrate Monday even if it was almost by myself. Cousin Jerry humored me and went along (somewhat skeptically). The red horses were running in Pine River. I was too old for the sport 20 years ago. But, one more "last time" resulted once more in one wet, old Norwegian and a cooler full of large red horse, a couple from the bridge and even one from the fast water below the dam. More than enough for a full batch of pint jars in Meg's canner and excellent lunch snacks for fall and winter. One happy old Norvegan, even while cleaning them. We entertain easily.
A cooler of fish acquired with an old-fashioned spear is way more fun than with the tried and true Norwegian spoon hook. Afterward, I checked the regulations and it was even legal.
But, back to the 2010 minimization of Norwegian Independence Day. Some fine country we have let come to pass. Next thing you know, we'll all have to have good health care. To lutefisk with all of you!
And next year, remember: Front page and lead stories at 6 and 10. Norwegians force independence from the hated Swedes, to be commemorated on May 17, a hundred plus years ago and yet today. "A tousant Svedes run tru da veeds, a shased by vun Norvegen."
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