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A note about how Norwegians got their names

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A Young Morris Growing Up

Ole and Sissel met in Fessendon, North Dakota, were married March 28, 1913  and moved to Minot, North Dakota. Morris was born 24 July. Ole and Sissel spoke nothing but Norwegian at home, so the boys learned no English. When Morris started first grade at the age of seven, he had to learn it from the start. He told me of two memories from his school days: On his first school day, his mother made him a  lunch that any good Norwegian mother would be proud to give her son: a cheese sandwich with very stinky cheese. It was a warm day and the cheese got smellier and smellier. By the time lunchtime came around, no one wanted to be anywhere near him and his sandwich. So he sat alone under a tree, crying, and eating his sandwich. He begged his mother not to give him cheese again. And then he remembered all too well the times he had to stay after school until he could say "yellow" and "jello" to his teacher and know when it was correct to say the "y" sound.... yah. Doncha know. It wasn't easy.


    Ole, Sissel, Morris, 1913                         Sissel and Morris, 1913                          Morris in his baby carriage, ready for baptism

            Sissel and Morris in the tomato patch - perhaps on his 1st birthday 24 July 1914                       Morris and pipe, 1914

                 Morris helping Far (Dad) build the house in Minot                Carpenter Ole - his father taught all his sons


     Morris, about 1917-18                            Arnold and Morris, 1918                             Morris, about 1918


Arnold and Morris, abt. 1920                              Morris, Dorothy, Sissel, Arnold picnic on the barren plains of NoDak


         Morris, about 12, 1925                              Morris with his first bike, Sissel looking on with pride from the porch


Arnold, Morris, Dorothy, 1923-24                                   Morris in the cowboy hat on the Hagen farm

Self timer picture taken by Ole - the famous belly and short, little Sissel      Arnold, Morris, Sissel - calendar on wall says March 1924