Wednesday, July 22, 2015


SCPR "TOP 10" 

A NEW #1?

Early tomorrow morning my wife Mary and I will begin a trip to Sweden.

My grandfather Sven Augustus Olson emigrated to America in 1891 at age 17.  He settled in the-then "place for a Swede to first settle" in America:  Jamestown, New York.

He married a fellow Swede in 1900 and went on to build a quite successful logging business.

This day and age, of course, immigration is a "hot button" political issue.  Right, Donald Trump?

But in the 1890s, many, many Swedes emigrated to America and America was pleased to receive them.

No fences, no bashing of "those Swedes."  Only open arms!

Grandfather and his fellows were at the forefront of building our great American society as "a melting pot" of divergent ethnicities that has make us the most appealing nation on the face of the earth in terms of individual opportunity "to be all that you can be," our democratic-republican system of government and the economic, social and political power to extend freedom loving societies across the face of the earth.

Pictured above is the hand of our youngest daughter Kasi (Lake, 1996; currently a lieutenant colonel in the USAF [Medical Corps]) pointing to the name of her great-grandfather.  Kasi and her husband recently made a trip to New York City and one of the "must see sites" for them was the Statute of Liberty located on Ellis Island.

I have told the daughters many accounts of their Swedish great-grandfather and how awesome it was for a 17 year old to adventure across the Atlantic to take advantage of the opportunities America then had and still has to offer those with "the get-up and go and spunk" to venture into unchartered waters.

Former Stark County Commissioner Gayle Jackson is Swedish.  She once lived in Jamestown, NY.

One of the many blessings for us, in being the parents of three daughters, is that all them apparently inherited their great-grandfather's love of traveling adventure.

Since the eldest, Kirstin (Lake, 1990), graduated from Kent State University in 1994 and entered the United States Air Force as a public relations officer (now, a colonel in the U.S.A.F Reserve) at Moody AFB (Valdosta, Ga), it seemingly has been non-stop travel for Mary and I as we trekked across the country following Kirstin's frequent reassignments in the Air Force.  Her husband Mark (an Air Force Academy graduate) is also an Air Force officer.

During her time in the USAF, she spent time in Bosnia when things were hot indeed.  Of course, Martin and Mary Olson were not into visiting her there.

About two months ago, we received a telephone call from middle daughter Heidi (Lake, 1994).  Heidi is currently working on her PHD in English Literature at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

Did we want to go with her and husband Mark (a Canadian national) to Denmark in late July?

A couple of years ago, we made a trip with them to Stratford-on-Avon (and Bath [for Jane Austen devotees]) England and it was absolutely splendid.

Of course, I exclaimed with one caveat.


Could we make a side trip to Sweden.

"Sure," she said.

Only a few days later she called back and said "You know what, Mark and I talked it over and we think we should make the entire trip as being to Sweden."

"Alright!!!" I bellowed out.

So tomorrow, the trip begins.

About four years ago, we were off to China with Kasi and her family.  Kasi's husband was born in China and lived there until he was nine years of age.

Kasi met and married husband Will when both were Air Force medical doctors in residency at Wright Patterson AFB located in Dayton.  Now both are on there way to Hawaii where Kasi will be practicing preventive medicine in the context of global health.

That China trip also was of the awesome variety.  But it is a far cry from in many respects from the life we enjoy in the freedom loving United States of America.

And now we will get to visit them in Hawaii.

Won't that be sweet?

I think that nearly all of us like to get back to our roots.

Myself included.

To walk the streets of Oxaback, Karlstad and Uppsala, Sweden - where my grandfather and grandmother once tred the streets of and where kin still live - will be awe-inspiring.

During the time I am Sweden, the SCPR will be - as promised - during the first quarterly update of Stark County Top 10 Elected Officials.

Tomorrow will be the first installment.

As always, thank you for reading The Stark County Political Report.

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