Saturday, September 22, 2012
Guest Blogger about His Boyhood In Sweden
Here I am in front of my old apartment building on Dragerbrunsgatan (number 53). We lived here for around 6 months in 1963. The school I went to as a 9 year old has since burned down, so we couldn't visit.
Around the corner from the entrance is the same bakery we used in 1963 to buy treats. One of my favorite temptations was this little elliptical shaped almond cake with frosting. Deb and I bought one and shared it while walking toward the Storatorget.
Here is the name of the street. You can see the address range posted on the corner at the intersection.
Our units were the ones to the right that were slightly off-white in color. They seemed in pretty good shape for being over 50 years old.
Here is a view of the courtyard behind the apartments. Notice the balconies to the left. I think we were on the second floor, but our unit is off the picture to the left. The entry to the courtyard is locked, so we were taking these pictures through the fence. We used to play here (Paul, Kris and Wes) and do I think my Dad tried to scare us by pretending to be a drunk man out there (or maybe it really was a drunk man!). We also used our old cereal boxes and slid down the stairs. The bicycle ramps make that possible (see picture below).
Now on to the walking outside mall. This ornate building was at the center of the "Centrum" open market area. Next to it was Ahlens. This store had all sorts of things from clothes to pots and pans. Perhaps like a Carson's Department store. At Christmas time we went and looked at the toys. I especially wanted a small toy steam engine. I did get this, but I don't remember the details (was it a gift? Did I contribute from my allowance?). I just remember wanting it so bad and then finally getting to run it and make the attachments work.
Finally, there is a picture of the grass area outside the castle. We used to ski and sled here in the winter. Unfortunately, this is the scene of a terrible accident. My brother and I were coming down the hills on this cool sled that had a steering wheel. We were going fine until we came to the walking path that had not retained its snow. The sled hit the gravel and slowed down very fast. I fell off, but poor brother Paul ended up with his face under the runners and in the gravel. The blood rushed quickly and I ran with him to our apartment just four or so blocks away. His face has since recovered, but I know my parents refused to let him look in the mirror for at least a couple of weeks. He was all swollen and disfigured. We also have a movie of us skiing here. A bit of editing allows Kris to recover from a fall and Paul provides some humor as he attempts to get up with one ski over another.
My newest memories are forming even now as I was able to meet the head advancement officer for Uppsala University and get a cool tour of the campus, which dates back to 1477. I guess almost 50 years is not that long of a time period, considering!