Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 14th

September 14th…“BESIDES YOUR PARENT’S TEACHINGS, WERE THERE SCHOOL CLASSES FOR GUN SAFETY WHEN YOU LIVED IN MINNESOTA?”

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A television show Elliott enjoyed watching.

With the speed of lightning, Lucas McCain’s sinewy arm pumped rapid-fire shells out of his Winchester 44-40 caliber rifle.   After his almost dozen deadly deliveries of firepower, it was then we’d hear a crescendo of the rousing music to one of my favorite Western television shows from my youthful days on our farm.   Like the greatest majority of TV shows in my era, “The Rifleman” program didn’t spotlight on violence, but instead, focused on the many moral lessons that Lucas McCain sought to teach to his young son as they lived out daily life in the sometimes wild countryside of 1880’s New Mexico.   True, when evil arose and sought to destroy loved ones or the peace of the nearby town, “The Rifleman” sometimes had to enlist the power of that Winchester to thwart those who would kill or destroy for the sake of evil intent.

#897 Russell & Clarice Noorlun 25th Wedding Anniversary 6.21
Even during the 1966 25th Wedding Anniversary of Elliott’s parents, there was a 22 caliber rifle proudly displayed on pegs above the doorway

Cowboy shows were so exciting, but even as a child, I knew and respected the power of all firearms.   Our wise, Christian parents had taught us that a rifle or a handgun were a part of the American saga of life in a free country.    A firearm was, in a sense, like any other tool that could either be used wisely, or, could injure or kill if used UNwisely.   Our dear father, Russell, (who had been raised during the Great Depression of the 1930’s), had received a 22 caliber rifle from his own father that he cherished as a proud family heirloom.

#1065 KHS Gun Safety 1957-58 001
Elliott enjoyed Gun Safety Classes immensely.

The Spring of 1967 brought with it the excitement of a Gun Safety Class that was offered there at Kiester High School in my dear hometown of Kiester, Minnesota.  Dear Mr. Dale Wolfe, a very respected business owner in our town, was our teacher for the class.  I seem to recall that the class was sponsored by The National Rifle Association and that the curriculum was prepared for our age level to better comprehend and learn the basic tenets of gun safety.   We sat in classroom sessions for a certain number of weeks to learn first from books on the safe way to handle firearms, the parts of a rifle and pistol, etc..   Then, it was time to make a field trip with our class to take part in tests at the local gravel pit firing range.  There, we’d show our instructors how to safely cross a fence line with a rifle, how to assume the proper firing positions, how to NEVER point a gun at someone (loaded or unloaded), etc..  We even had our chance to try skeet shooting with the clay pigeons as we used a borrowed 410 gauge shotgun……that was an exciting first time experience for this farm boy!! 😉

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Humor was used to get a lesson learned 😉

I learned a powerful gun-related lesson, one day, when we were visiting the farm of our beloved family friend, “Grandpa” Harry Bauman.   As we chatted with Harry that day in his farm home, I noticed a big Winchester Lever-action 30.06 rifle in his gun collection.   This was the type of rifle I had often seen in cowboy movies and asked Harry if we could see him fire it for us.  He agreed, so we stepped out of the house and into his treed yard.  Harry chambered a shell in the rifle and told us to look over at a young tree sapling that had a main trunk of about 8 inches in diameter.  “Grandpa” Harry first told us to cover our ears with our hands for protection from the sound of the blast.  Bringing the rifle’s sight to his shoulder, he aimed, and then Harry pulled the trigger.  An explosion occurred that made every crow jump into the air from the trees around his farm.  We walked over to that young tree with our “grandpa” and saw how that bullet had entered cleanly on one side of the tree trunk, but totally shredded the back side of the tree.  That hour of power was something that has impressed me to this very day, and settled an even deeper respect into my psyche for the power that is wielded by the user of said weapon.

#1066 KHS Gun Safety 001
Serious business, but fun, too!

I am so deeply grateful for growing up in the age of American life when gun ownership was looked upon as being as normal as “hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet”!!!   We all, especially as Christians, need to embrace God’s respect for life and living out His principles in our daily walk with one another…..especially when it comes to handling of firearms.  Sadly, our society today looks upon gun owners as evil unto themselves, rather than respectful American citizens that have every right, according to the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution, to lawfully own a firearm to use to protect, defend and even feed our families if the need arises to do so.   Even in the Bible, one sees that it’s not the inanimate object that is evil, it is the intent of an evil heart that kills.  In Genesis Chapter 4, we see that Cain killed his brother, Abel.  Likely, it was a wooden club, or a rock that was used to carry out that bloody deed.  Do we then outlaw all rocks and large pieces of wood?  No, of course not.  Let us, as Christians, always seek to respect the beauty and sacredness of life, first and foremost.  Then, firearms, in the hands of a law-abiding and godly citizen will be merely a continuation of the saga in America that can be a tool and not a terror.  So shares the heart of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

#1067 KHS Gun Safety 1957-58 001
Gun Safety Class at Kiester High School 1957-58.  Family friend, Jerry Meyer, is front row, left, with arm in cast.

 

 

 

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Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 13th

September 13th…“NAME THE SCHOOLS YOU ATTENDED FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION.”

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Nourishing and Kind Mother equals “Alma Mater”

 

 

Unequivocally, the tender nourishing of a mother’s love is what sets the foundation of her child that came from within her and helps that cherished little life set its roots in the soil of love itself.  Then, when those roots are established and mature from years of nurturing, that young life can then be placed out into the world to grow and blossom as it brings forth the beauty of his or her life that is a sweet fruit all unto its own.

 

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Elliott’s early “Alma Mater” where he attended Kindergarten – 6th Grade in above building and 7th Grade in the lower building in Kiester, Minnesota

The two words, “Alma Mater”, from the language of Latin, speak well to this scenario, especially in light of today’s sharing about the schools I attended over the years.   For the sake of my children and grandchildren, let me first paint a picture (so to speak) as I explain what “Alma Mater” means to me, and how there was a parallel for me in my own tiny life.  To begin with, from one source, I found that “Alma Mater” means “a nourishing and kind mother”……….

#144=Elliott in Mom's arms; circa September 1954
Elliott and his “Alma Mater” in September 1954.

What a poignant picture is painted in my heart when I reminisce of how our blessed mother, Clarice, would cradle me softly against her warmth, there on our Living Room couch, as she’d read children’s Bible stories to us.  Or, there at our farm table, how she’d “nurture” us via her sacrifices of time and hard work in preparing meals for our tiny tummies to be satisfied.  Wanting God’s very best for me, she’d watchfully see to it that I learned what and what not to do in daily toddler life so that, later, I could survive in a world that was not always conducive to showing mercy to little ones who made too many mistakes.  Truly, our beloved mother was my first and deepest caring tutor of life and, as I found out the hard way sometimes, it was in my best interest to heed what mother said in her teachings.

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From one “Alma Mater” to another.

For my generation, when it came to furthering our education, our loving parents decided to entrust us into the care of another “Alma Mater” to meet our needs for learning the ABC’s  and other forms of curricular knowledge.  That extended “Alma Mater” would be our public school system nearby in our hometown of Kiester, Minnesota.

Kiester bus 1959 001
Elliott’s chariot that took him to his early school days in Kiester, Minnesota.

Thanks to Marie Meyer, her husband, Manville, and other sweet folks, us Noorlun kiddos were transported to our “Readin’, Writin’ and ‘Rithmatic” classes at the Kiester Public School in our dear hometown that was three miles from our farm.

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As in any human endeavor, there were highs and lows to the experiences of being in the public school system.  Some years, my teacher for a particular grade level was an absolute gem!!!  She was loving, understanding of my needs, patient with me and most encouraging to see me excel in my studies.  Over the years, I even had a “puppy-love crush” on a couple of my teachers……even if I WAS in Grade School! 😉

#824.1 BGHS Graduation Announcement
Elliott’s Washington State “Alma Mater” from 8th Grade (1967-68) through 12th Grade in May of 1972.  Battle Ground High School in Battle Ground, Washington.

Then came the Summer of 1967.  A new chapter of life and a new “Alma Mater” awaited me in the town of Battle Ground, Washington.  Our parents, Russell and Clarice, had sold our farm, there in southern Minnesota, and it was westward ho!!! for us!   In comparison to my former school, this new educational facility was gigantic in its campus proportions alone.  In my new “Alma Mater”, I was NOT considered to be High School yet, as I had been back in Minnesota.   I was deemed a Junior High School student that resided in the two-story brick edifice that had once been the original High School.  My foray into a new educational realm was both frightening and exciting.   Being the new kid on the block, I was victim of a few mean-spirited bullies as I trepidatiously navigated the unending hallways of lockers.  Eventually, though, I began to meet and befriend new buddies that welcomed me into daily student life at Battle Ground.

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Always grateful!

I give my Lord thanks for every sincere educator, over the years, who tried to help me succeed in gaining knowledge that I came to use in adult life.  Some of those dear souls bordered on sainthood, in my young eyes, and I could’ve easily attended their respective classes for a full six periods per day.

#142=Clarice&Elliott at Heitzegs; circa March 1955
Still the first and the BEST “Alma Mater” is Elliott’s mother, Clarice.

Yet, with the recent passing (June 23rd, 2017) of our cherished mother, Clarice, I am reminded that she retains the ultimate title of  “Alma Mater”………..the nourishing and kind mother of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

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Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 12th

September 12th…“DID YOUR FARMER FATHER ENJOY PLAYING PRANKS OR JOKES ON UNSUSPECTING FAMILY AND FRIENDS?”

POEM – “Our Prankster Playing Papa”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

#38.1=Dad n Mom picnic (1948)
A laugh a day was Daddy’s way 😉

Our prankster playing Papa, He really loved to laugh,

Especially when, Someone else, Received his latest gaff.

You never knew, What laid in store, For yourself or family member,

For in Dad’s head, His mind just sped, With a new joke’s glowing ember.

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Newborn he or she?

Just like the time, As little boy, We saw a calf new born,

And I was the target, Of Daddy’s joke, One early Summer’s morn.

“Son, go out to that newborn, And lift its little tail”,

“Single barrel? Or double?”, He meant female or male.

He laughed so hard, As I scratched my head, Had no idea what he meant,

But Dad laughed only louder, As his body doubled bent!

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Plastic Pooo!

And ohhhhh the shock, That Dad would cause, There at our supper table,

When he’d toss the plastic pile of poo, On the plate of neighbor Mable!

She’d turn from conversation, With her head turned to one side,

And SHRIEK with shock, As Dad would laugh, To the point he almost cried 😉

She’d say, “OH RUSS, you stinker!!”, But then she’d laugh along,

While conversation returned to normal, Just like a family song.

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Puketastic!

Or when a cousin, Would come to stay, Some days upon our farm,

Now THAT was Daddy’s cue for fun, And causing some alarm.

He’d take some plastic puke he bought, And drop it on their chair,

So when they’d come, To sit on down, They’d jump in shock or stare.

Chalk another one up, For our Dad’s laugh, It rang throughout the house,

I’ll bet it scared, The birds outside, And even local mouse.

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Elliott’s daddy loved his toast burnt black.

Girl cousins, When they came to stay, They dare not make a fuss,

Just like when they, Became the joke, That came from Uncle Russ.

Now Dad, He liked his toast burnt black, As it lay there on his plate,

The rest of us, Preferred it “gold”, The type that most folks ate.

Those early teenage cousin girls, Quite feminine, Dainty folk,

Were about to be shocked, As Dad said this, As gleefully he’d poke,

“Ohhh Uncle Russ, That toast is burnt!”, “It’s really not the best.”,

“AWWW, GO AHEAD AND EAT IT!”, “YOU’LL GET HAIR UPON YOUR CHEST!”,

Well, that’s the LAST thing, A little lady, Would ever want to hear,

But Dad just laughed, A hearty howl, And grinned from ear to ear!!! 😉

#340.1 Russ Noorlun 1953
Our Russ! 😉

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 11th

September 11th…“TELL OF AN EMBARRASSING MOMENT IN 7TH GRADE AT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL IN KIESTER, MINNESOTA.”

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Gullible Gus (Elliott) was goo goo over girls!

With each passing year, life deals us a new “hand of cards” from a continually changing “deck”.  This is another way of saying that, in my younger years of little boyhood, girls had germs and were lower than worms!  Yet, as if overnight, hormones began flowing inside of me, during that school year of 1966 – 67, that were transforming how I viewed the opposite sex through what could now be described as “rose-colored glasses”.   Amazingly, girls now magically became feminine sources of twitterpation and hopeful romance.  I often found myself daydreaming of becoming the princely “knight in shining armor” for one lovely young lady or another.

#29=Elliott (8th Grade 1967-68)
Elliott at the time of his “bursting forth” incident.

All of those wannabe romeo daydreams came to a disastrous end one day in a class we called “Phy. Ed.” (Physical Education).  We were being taught the basic rudiments of basketball in this particular class period.

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Elliott’s pants were too tight!

My fellow students and I were divided into groups and each queue gathered in front of different basketball goals to try our hand at what was called a “Granny Shot” (which is two hands on the basketball that is then swung low, from between the legs, and up to try and make a basket).   Standing behind me, in line that day, were many of the girls that I had hoped to impress with this new surge of “girl appreciation” feelings within me.  Well, I impressed them alright, but not as I had planned.

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Elliott came BURSTING forth!

For us, that year, wearing street clothes was the normal Phy. Ed. apparel and not the loose fitting gym shorts that older students wore.  I wore a pair of dress slacks for the occasion that I had begun to grow out of, so they were a bit too small in the waist and behind parts.   It was my turn, up at the Free Throw Line, to make that Granny Shot.  With two hands on the ball, I bent wayyyyyy over and squatted to make the shot for a basket.   RIIIIPPPPPP!!! went the crotch seam of my too tight dress slacks.  Those slacks split wide open from the waist band belt loops all the way to the base of my zipper in the front.

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The girls howled with laughter!

The whole line of girls behind me exploded in laughter at my “exposure”.   A couple gals almost fell to the floor of the gym in convulsive giggles from what had just happened to this farm boy.

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Elliott was embarrassed big time!

I was totally mortified as I shot straight up, spun around, and grabbed for my “rear attributes” that had been split open for all the little ladies to see.  Red-faced was an understatement for me as I backed my way out of that gymnasium full of girly giggling and guffawing.  I headed straight for the High School office phone to make an emergency call to my home to beg my mother to PLEASE come to my rescue  by bringing me a change of bluejeans or other pants to wear for the remainder of that class day.   Needless to say, the office chair that I was sitting on was the only place of secure modesty for me until my mother came to school to rescue this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

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Elliott running to the office to call home for new pants! 😉

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 10th

September 10th...”WERE YOU EVER IN A ROCK N ROLL BAND?”

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More of a comedy act, really! 😉

POEM – “We Boys Made Noise”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

We boys made noise, In the days gone by,

When every kid, Would at least try.

To be “The King”,  And try to sing,

And pluck a tune, On that guitar thing.

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At least they had fun!

Even though six strings, Were made of junk,

We’d see ourselves, As the kings of hunk.

I’m sure we all thought, That we were cool,

To please the girls, And make them drool.

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Dream on, boys, dream on!

Good thing we stayed,  Inside garage,

As we attempted to make, A tune massage.

Larry n Steve, n Clyde n me,

Us 60’s kids, We shared some glee.

Our sound rattled the tools, And stirred up dust,

But moms n dads, They never cussed,

So we’d turn up the amplifiers for fun,

And watch those dogs n kitty cats run!

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A top ten hit song in Elliott’s pretend rock n roll band days.

A popular song, Back in our day,

We tried to emulate and play,

We must’ve played it, A million times,

In hopes that folks, Would throw us dimes,

Or maybe dollars, A recording deal?

To thoughts of stardom, Our minds would steal.

To this day, When I hear that song,

It’s back to those teenage, Days I long.

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Bible verse on the shop wall.

But you know what touched my heart the most?

T’was a Bible verse, Owned by our host.

It was on a plaque, In a father’s shop,

That caused my teenage, Eyes to pop.

No matter the music, Or what I do,

My loving Lord, Is watching, too.

It’s the music of, Our life He sees,

So it is my aim, for Him to please.

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Elliott’s rock band could’ve been called “The Quivering Quibble Quackers”!!! 😉

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 9th

September 9th…“IN YOUR OPINION, TELL ABOUT SOMEONE YOU THOUGHT WAS THE SMARTEST CLASSMATE BETWEEN THE GRADES OF KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SEVENTH GRADE THERE IN MINNESOTA.”

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Elliott’s classmate, Steven Rebelein, was one of those stars.

Gaze into an ebony sky on a clear night to marvel as the stars are winking at you from a zillion miles into the universe beyond.  Their light, emanating from its original source, is a constant beam.  Yet, when that beam reaches earth’s atmosphere, fluctuation in that gaseous mixture around the earth causes turbulence that refracts the light in one direction and then another, thus we get the “twinkle” effect.

#1060 KHS 1967 Steve R. 001
Elliott’s much respected classmate, Steven Rebelein, was even chosen to be President of the 7th Grade Class of Kiester High School in 1966-67.

A friend of my youth was, in my humble opinion, just like one of those constant rays of starlight.  His name is Steven Rebelein.  Throughout my young years of observing daily life with him, it seemed no matter what fluctuations in life tried to detract him (like the twinkle of that star I mentioned earlier), Steven remained steadfast in his quest to be the best.  Whether it was one of our Grade School teachers preparing us for a test, or whatever the element that compelled the moment; Steven’s “engine” was always poised to “put the petal to the metal” and speed into his paperwork with that pencil flying.  Even as a Grade Schooler, I was impressed with this fine young boy who would soon grow into a fine young man.

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Steven’s Senior Year of 1972 at Kiester High School in Kiester, Minnesota.

Even though my family left Minnesota in 1967, I was blessed by the Evert & Oda Meyer family who saw to it that I received “The Rambler” yearbooks of 1967 and 1972 from my old school there in Kiester, Minnesota.  Via that printed media, I found it to be grand to see all my former classmates, including Steven, as they each shined throughout the remainder of their high school years.

I’ve always held the conviction that NOW…..TODAY…..is the time to share how we care about loved ones and friends!!!  Once they enter eternity, it’s too late to let them know how they impacted our lives in a positive way.  Therefore, that is why I’ve enjoyed sharing these happy memories about this Grade School and High School pal.  Oh sure, it’s a given that I wasn’t there for, what would’ve been, our daily High School years together, but I wanted my children and grandchildren to know that ALL of us sparkle and shine in our own universe called LIFE, just like Steven has done in his orbit of life there in Minnesota.

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Thanks, Steven, for shining so brightly!

This is my way of honoring a kind friend from the golden young days of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

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Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 8th

September 8th…“DID YOU EVER SAY SOMETHING, AS A CHILD, THAT MADE SENSE TO YOU, BUT MADE SURROUNDING ADULTS LAUGH?”

POEM – “This Boy Became Coy”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

Did you ever notice, How oftentimes,

Your foot can fit in your mouth?

With words well-intended, They end up back-ended,

And silliness heads them down south?

Such was the day, On our farm while I played,

That our “Vet” rolled into the yard,

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Our Honorable Dr. Henry Blohm.  Loved and respected by his entire community!! 😉

Dr. Blohm was his name, And our cows were his game,

That dear man, He worked really hard.

Now being a kid, With not much “under lid”,

There’s so much that I didn’t know,

When it came to family title, The wrong way I sidled,

And my ignorance was about to show.

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I was always intrigued, By Doc Blohm’s lead,

As his knowledge was used on a cow.

I was great big fan, Of this dear man,

As he showed his medical know-how.

With ol’ Doc’s arm inside a cow,

I ventured forth to say,

That I had seen his lovely sister,

In school just the other day.

“I don’t have a sister”, He said to me,

With understanding smile,

His answer made me scratch my head,

And think a little while.

With my First Grade brain, There in the barn lane,

As I gazed at his muddy apparel,

#161a=Elliott and First Grade class; circa 1961
Dr. Blohm’s DAUGHTER, Carol, is back row and straight above Elliott during their First Grade year together.

“Well, SURE you do, She’s in my Grade”,

And you know her name is Carol”.

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Well, Doc and Dad, Just howled at this lad,

With laughter n smiles galore,

I’m sure even Mom, Could hear from the house,

As laughter poured out the barn door.

Right away this boy, Became very coy,

And retreated with blushing face.

With head hanging down, I’d been made the clown,

And departed with saddening pace.

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When in doubt, DON’T, And then you won’t,

End up like this humbled gent.

“For even a fool who keeps quiet,

Is considered intelligent”. (Proverbs 17:28)

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