Tuesday, October 09, 2007

500 Years Before Columbus...

As Carnaby and I enjoy a Scandinavian heritage, we'd like to wish you all a Happy Leif Erikson Day! When we were kids we'd celebrate our Viking heritage every year by sacking a neighboring subdivision -- ah, the glory! the spoils! -- then we'd return to quaff mead and recite poetry by firelight

Full they were of fighters
and flashing shield-boards,
western war-lances
and wound-blades Frankish;
cried then the bersarks,
carnage they had thoughts of,
wailed then the wolf-coated
and weapons brandished.

Mother would present us with an entire roasted pig, and the celebration would carry on all night. Sadly, Carnaby and I eventually outgrew this revelry of childhood, much like Halloween, but we still reminisce about it every year.

From the 2002 Presidential Proclamation of Leif Erikson Day: "More than 1,000 years ago, Leif Erikson and his crew journeyed across the Atlantic seeking unknown lands. Their pioneering spirit of courage, determination, and discovery helped to open the world to new exploration and unprecedented development. Each October, we join our friends in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland in honoring this historic voyage and in celebrating the strong transatlantic bonds that exist between those countries and the United States."

As we of Scandinavian heritage never tire of pointing out, Leif got here 500 years before Columbus!

So on this day, join us in raising a glass (or two) to the intrepid spirit of these courageous men. Skål!


Blogger Russell said...

Dang, plundering the subdivision?

My childhood was so tame, I wish I could have donned the horn'd hats of yore and bellow "Ég er víkingur frá Íslandi!"

10/09/2007 8:16 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Yeah, well, after a while you just get bored with the looting. I mean, how many Big Wheels does a kid need?

Interestingly, the Icelanders are the only Scandinavians whose language is still pretty close to what the Vikings spoke. (Incidentally, the Icelanders were Norwegian, and Carnaby and I are Swedish, but that doesn't matter much. We'll claim our link with notoriety anyway!)

10/12/2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger mikej said...

My dad's people were all Swedes, which probably explains why I've always wanted to sack a subdivision. Unfortunately, I was brought up by my mother's Irish Catholic family, who wouldn't allow it. I have gotten pretty wasted on glögg over the Christmas holidays, though.

10/12/2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

"[H]ow many Big Wheels does a kid need?"

I'd put them up on pikes, as warnings to the other kids...

10/12/2007 11:10 AM  

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