Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..June 21st


Prankster Princes Russell (L) and Oscar (R) at a family picnic on the Noorlun farm near Kiester, Minnesota in 1951.

Never was there a more playful pair of princely pranksters that promulgated pleasing proportions of punny funnies!!!

These two happy cohorts in crime were our mother’s Uncle Oscar Bidne and our very own Duke of Delights…..our daddy, Russell!!

You see, our mother was a mere 11 years younger than her Aunt Esther Rogness Bidne. As a result, they saw themselves to be more like sisters to each other than aunt and niece. So, when Esther married Oscar Bidne, Clarice and Esther’s close relationship over the years manifested itself in many fine, fun foursomes of fellowship together in Dad and Mom’s early years of marriage.

Some happy tools of a prankster person. 😉

Men, in general, have this ubiquitous paradigm of wanting to have some kind of mischievous fun in daily life……..especially when it’s at the cost of someone else’s embarrassment. Oscar and Russ were like two proverbial peas-in-a-pod when it came to contriving, employing and enjoying a one-upmanship against some unsuspecting “victim”. Take for instance, the time when Oscar would wedge a pipe underneath the floorboards of an old Model A Ford so that the owner, no matter how hard he pressed down on the gas pedal, could not make that car go!! 😉 Or, the times that Russ would hook up wires and a switch from his battery to the metal door frame or metal wheels of his 1929 Chevy. At nighttime dances, his victim would be leaning too heavily in the open window, while chatting, with his bare arms on the car frame when ZAPPP!!!! Dad would hit the switch to give him an electric shock that made him crack his head on the upper window frame as he was catapulted away from the vehicle; with Dad giggling uncontrollably, of course!!! 😉 And heaven help the poor sucker that thought he could get away with “relieving himself” (like a dog) on Dad’s metal wheel rims in the darkness at that dance………..KAZOWIE!!!!! he’d get a shock that almost turned him into a soprano!!! 😉

The Noorluns owned a 1937 Chevy just like this one.

Into this story wanders our beloved and quiet maternal grandmother, Amanda Rogness Sletten. I remember Grandma Amanda to be the essence of gentility and proper decorum. Soft spoken and kind she was, with her vocabulary always hinged upon her godly morals of wanting to please her Lord Jesus in her daily choice of wording in any conversation.

Elliott’s sweet maternal grandmother, Amanda.

Little did our Norwegian matriarch know of the silliness that Oscar and Dad had cooked up for her inside our family’s old 1937 Cheverolet Master Deluxe one day. Wires had been run from the Chevrolet’s battery to the metal springs under what would be Amanda’s passenger seat. Of course, as in the past, Dad had a switch hidden to control the ON and OFF of what was fomenting into what would be an UPlifting and shocking experience for our totally unsuspecting grandma!!!

There was a family gathering at our farm that day and Amanda needed to have Dad run her into Kiester to pick up a few more things for the big meal that was being prepared. “Sure, Grandma Sletten, I’ll be happy to drive you to Kiester”!!! , said our prankster poppa with a wink in his eye!! 😉

What a SHOCK that was!!!!

A metallic “kah-TWANG” sounded as Amanda briskly shut her passenger door and settled into the seat that was about to give her a BUZZZZZ!!!

Small talk bantered between Russ and Amanda as they bounced along the gravel roads that led to our village of Kiester. It was during one of those gravel-induced bounces that Dad hit the switch that shot a battery charge to Amanda’s “posterior motives” that rested just above her now HOT SEAT!!!

True to the mildness of her sweet personality, Amanda did not curse or yell at Russell for the shocking experience. Instead, literally jumping off her car seat, she blurted out loudly in Norwegian……..“HAR DU SETT SLICKE”!!!! (which translated into English means “HAVE YOU SEEN SUCH”!!!

Stinker that he was, by this time Dad had shut off the switch to Grandma’s “hot seat” and began laughing so hard he about lost control and drove into the ditch with our Chevy!!! Do you suppose she was now wise to the trickster father of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son????………Yah shure yew betcha!!! 😉

Always ready for a good laugh was Elliott’s daddy, Russell. 😉


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