Monday, April 26, 2010

Lively History

As part of a school project, my daughter recently had to write yet another family tree. This time I finally convinced (and drove, literally) her to ask my grandmother about her history. I washed the dishes, cleaned, and eavesdropped as Talen conducted her interview. Here are some highlights - I hope you find them as interesting as I did!

My great-grandmother Asta (pronounced "ous-ta") was born in Iceland. She grew and she grew ...


She traveled to Europe to earn her certificate as a house painter. She and Karen Hansen used the following as their business card:

It must have been effective because she was seen working: 


Grandma does report that the women did encounter some trouble - from other women - who didn't like that these two were working and taking jobs away from the men. A pioneer of women's lib! 

Here she is later with my great-great-uncle Magnus on the left, little Grandma front and center, and tiny baby great-uncle Pudge as a baby on the right. The gentleman holding Pudge is my grandmother's stepfather (her father died when she was 9 months old.) The snazzy dresser in the beautiful knitted sweater is Halldor Laxness, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Can you imagine how interesting conversations must have been?
(and let me point out to those that know my dad ... never mind ... you see it too, don't you??) 

All photos are pictures from a book published about Asta's life:
The tapestry featured on the cover was created by another family member (I think it as Asta's sister but I'm not positive) and the figures each represent one of the siblings ... Asta is third from the left, Mangus third from the right.)