Norwegian Farmer’s Son…February 16th


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The number 13, for some people, is considered unlucky, but have you ever pondered that that same number, in a person’s first year as a teenager, is also magic when it comes to hormones that begin to flow in a young person’s body and psyche?  It was surely that way for this youngster in July of 1967.  Day, by wondrous day, my childhood boy mindset of “girls got germs and probably worms” morphed into, “Hmmm, I’m beginning to think that Miss So n So is pretty cute after all!!”  Twitterpation became rampant whenever a lovely young lady smiled at me more than once.  I was now in her trance and I thought I was “in love” 😉

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Elliott and his family were moving away from their farm to Washington State.  Although there was no fancy moving van.  We filled our pickup canopy and two cars full and that was it.

One chapter of our family’s life was closing (Dad had sold our farm) and another chapter was opening (Dad’s new job would be as a school custodian in Battle Ground, Washington).   As news of this life change spread through our family ranks, my mother’s Aunt Esther Bidne invited us to her home in Emmons, Minnesota for a farewell family gathering.    A girlfriend of my sister Candice was invited to attend the “goodbye party” as part of our family that day.  Her name was Marla Kay Hagedorn.

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Marla Kay Hagedorn is front row, far right.  She was the recipient of Elliott’s first sloppy attempt at kissing 😉

Dad brought us, in our 1963 Dodge Polara, to the curb right in front of Aunt Esther’s cozy little home there in Emmons.   With her customary hugs n smiles at the door, Aunt Esther showed us kids to the basement while the adults poured themselves some coffee and settled into the Living Room for hours of visiting and memory sharing.

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Board games helped pass the time, that is, until Elliott and Marla got bored of board games.

The clans had gathered in mass for this “goodbye bash”, so we had lots of other cousins joining us in the basement of our host home.   Someone’s little transistor radio, juvenile chatter and board games were the norm of entertainment for us youngin’s in the basement that day.   Over the past few months, Marla and I had grown to be “chummy” friends.  This was definitely a different kind of chummy.   During that summer, Marla had joined her brothers and myself by pullin’ off our shirts and playing baseball with her in her farmyard.  Soooo, that day, when we got bored of the board games, we went across the room of that basement and sat on the couch to chit chat, etc..   What happened next bewildered and perplexed me all at the same time….and, there was a tinge of wowsa mixed in with those feelings.  Marla got up from sitting next to me on that couch and, all of a sudden, without my inviting her, stood up, made a step in front of me and sat down ON my lap.  OH MYYY!  Blushing commenced full force all over my face.

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Even the Kissing Gourami fish knew how to pucker up better than THIS boy did!

The cousins across the room were oblivious to our cuddling on that sofa and continued on with their board games, ignoring us.  Now I had seen “smooching” in the movies and on television shows, but had never experienced this human phenomenon for myself …..yet.  Was today to be the day?

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Elliott’s technique wasn’t much better 😉

Hmmmmm”, I thought to myself, “This gal is now sitting on my lap, why not try this grown up thing called KISSING?!”   Marla’s head was turned towards the game activity across the room.  To get her attention, I called her name, “Marla?” and when she turned her face towards me, I planted the sloppiest excuse for a kiss right on her lips!!!  It was only too obvious that this was the first kiss for both of us little whippersnappers.  Our teeth even CLANGED together and we about drowned in the “car wash” affect of not knowing what the dickens we were trying to do.

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Elliott was now in pubescent shock!

After we untangled our jawbones, I thought to myself, “If THIS is what kissing is all about, you can count me OUT!”  In retrospective hilarity, from the looks we both gave each other afterwards, we were of the mutual conclusion that this kissing thing was truly overrated!!  At least from the first timer’s experience of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.  😉

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