Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 6th

October 6th…“AS A KID, ON YOUR FARM IN MINNESOTA, DID YOU EVER PLAY IN THE FALL LEAVES THAT YOU JUST FINISHED RAKING INTO A PILE?  TELL US HOW YOU FELT AND ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE.”

NFS 10.6h
Fall could also mean FUN for Elliott when he’d rake up those “Autumn Flowers” 😉

As ubiquitous as raking leaves has been to millions of kids over the ages, I can but nostalgically acquiesce to the same sensation of chilly, brisk winds stirring scents of Fall into my nostrils.

NFS 10.6c
Raking in a good time.

Crisp leaves below me crackled from the sweeping action of my rake and began to mountain themselves into pungent piles of pleasure.   Those same leaves that cooled me in yesterday’s Summer shade were now warming me in the crisp chill of a sapphire blue, autumnal sky as my young muscles leaned into every sweep of that rake handle; almost as if I were rowing a boat across an ocean of brown, organic waves.

NFS 10.6d
Pouncing on a pile of pleasure.

Then, from that mountainous marvel of mangled Maples, came a voice beckoning me to leave my senses and destroy, albeit happily, that which I just created by raking.  And so, with all propriety and logic set aside, I answered that sprite’s calling within me and happily launched myself airborne, landing deep inside that soft mountain of leaves.

NFS 10.6b
“Kerrrfluff” was the sound of Elliott landing 😉

A snap-crackling “KerrrFLUFF”!!! was the sound of my landing as I giddily disappeared inside that billowy mountain of crisp brown delight.  Now under a dome of magic, I entered a domain of inviting glee!  In kid heaven, I recall looking skyward and relishing the kaleidoscopic views of the brilliant Minnesota sky through the leaves above me.  What better use for these mangled, munched Maples, thought I, than to turn them into an instantaneous amusement ride…….for FREE, even!

NFS 10.6j
Ohhhh the Autumn joy, that awaited that boy, as his rake he’d employ!! 😉

Such were the simple, yet luxurious sensations of playing in the leaves of Fall for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

NFS 10.6g
Whether Fall, or any time of the year for that matter, this was Elliott’s mother’s favorite phrase!!!

 

 

Advertisements

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 5th

October 5th…“DURING YOUR YOUNG DAYS, IN MINNESOTA, HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THE BOREDOM OF MOWING THE LARGE LAWNS ON YOUR FARM?”

NFS 10.5h
Elliott’s father, Russell, jumped on board their tractor.

The cautious congregation of crafty crows clustered at the tree tops of our farm’s windbreak each morning.  It was as if they were CAW, CAW, CALLING Dad to start another day of working in our farm’s fields.  Sure enough, after consuming one of Mom’s delicious farmer breakfasts, Dad’s striped bib overalls flashed out of the back porch screen door and made a beeline towards our Farmall “Super M” tractor.  After reaching his steel steed, our father climbed aboard his red-painted powerhouse and swung his leg up and over the spring-loaded seat.  It was almost as if he were a cowboy, from olden days, swinging his lanky frame over a leather saddle and getting ready to ride his horse.  The difference this day, was that, unlike the cowboy with only one horse…….our dad had 44 horses (of power) under the hood of that smooth-running engine.  A slight pull to the choke and a foot push to the starter and that ruby red Farmall engine popped to life and away Dad headed for that day’s work in our fields.

#108=Elliott on tractor, circa 1957
Tiny Elliott LOVED tractors and couldn’t wait to drive one someday.

 

Ever since I was knee high to a burp, I had fallen in love with tractors.  Whether it was Farmalls (like Dad’s), John Deere, Case, Massey-Harris……you name it, I’d climb on it and hope for a ride.   Entranced I was, with the power and sound of those engines and the giant chevron treads of the massive tires as they churned their way through our fields.   Matter of fact, in the ignorant innocence of being a toddler, my love for tractors almost got me killed one day. 

NFS 10.5l

 

Our mother, Clarice, told of a time when tiny toddler me heard our father coming back into the farmyard from one of our fields.  My itty bitty legs started running towards the sound of that Farmall, totally oblivious to the danger of getting crushed to death if Dad didn’t see my small frame coming his way to greet him.   Mom shared that she went screaming towards Dad’s tractor with her arms waving and pointing to my minuscule body in front of his mighty machine.   She saved my life, I’m sure, that day, as a slam on those tractor’s double brake pedals brought pending death to a fast halt.

NFS 10.5e
Imagination Station activated.

Farm life and boyhood moved along methodically to the point where I was now old enough to mow lawn for the family, but still a bit too young for any major tractor/implement driving in the fields.  Happily, I’d learned to drive all our tractors around the farmyard and could do minor chores with these machine marvels.   It’s just that I hadn’t had the experience of working the more intricate machinery in the fields, yet.    I’d seen and enjoyed riding aboard the tractor with Dad many times, over the years, and was fascinated by every operation he could perform, such as mowing, raking and baling alfalfa.   Plowing, planting crops and even combining our crop of oats.

NFS 10.5m
When Elliott mowed lawn, he pretended he was harvesting corn silage.

My dilemma was this; old enough to mow lawn, but too young to run a corn Silage Chopper in the cornfield.   So, to pass the time on that large lawn of our farm, I just turned on the “Imagination Station” and my mower became a fancy Silage Chopper….presto…….fun!!   As the grass shot out the side chute of the mower, I envisioned it filling up a silage wagon that we’d offload to our tall silo.  Round and round that massive lawn I’d go working my own “farm” and having a pretty good time, too.

NFS 10.5g
Harvesting oats with a Combine.  Just another way of passing some farming fantasies for Elliott.

My work, as a son, was made into fun, by an imagination, on the run…………so says this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This “Super M” was just like the one on Elliott’s farm in southern Minnesota.

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 4th

October 4th…“DO YOU HAVE A GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN?”

POEM – “So Glad I Know, Homer & Joe!!”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

NFS 10.4d
Elliott was 14 years old in 1968.

I sat in church, On a Sunday morn,

In the Fall of ’68,

Listening to our pastor teach,

The truths of God so great.

NFS 10.4i
The original building of Battle Ground Baptist Church.

Now I’d been raised, In a Christian home,

By parents who loved me so!

I was raised on godly principles,

To do right was the way to go.

NFS 10.4c
Elliott needed and wanted to make a public confession of his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

As I sat there during the sermon,

Preacher’s words really touched my heart.

His Spirit was inciting, My soul to confess,

And make a public start.

NFS 10.4b
Elliott wanted the world to know that he loved Jesus.

“Not to worry ’bout persons, On left or right”,

“The decision’s ‘tween you and God”.

“Choose now who you will follow”,

“As upon this earth you trod”.

NFS 10.4k
Elliott made his decision for following Jesus and went to the front of the church for prayer.

So as the organist played the hymn,

Of song, “Just As I Am”,

I stepped from pew, And walked up front,

To seek the great “I AM”.

NFS 10.4e
The honorable and much loved, Mr. Joe Smith.  One of Elliott’s “fathers in the faith”.

Just then, two gentle, Godly hands,

Touched upon this young man’s shoulder,

T’was dear Joe Smith and Homer Johnson,

Both godly men, Much older.

NFS 10.4l
Homer and Joe led Elliott in the “Sinner’s Prayer”.

They ushered me, To quiet room,

To pray and talk to the Lord.

And afterwards, They counseled me,

To “feed” upon His Word.

NFS 10.4h
Joe Smith shared this quote in Elliott’s Sunday School times.

During Sunday School, I still recall,

A quote that Joe Smith used.

Its power has, o’er all these years,

Into my soul infused.

How fast that life will zip along,

And if we live for Christ,

We need to share with all we meet,

Why, in love, He sacrificed,

His precious life, On Calvary’s Cross,

To give to us His gift,

Of eternal salvation, And Heaven’s Home,

To where He’ll give us lift.

“Only one life, Twill soon be past”,

I heard brother Joe Smith say,

“Only what’s done, For Christ will last”,

I remember so clear to this day!! ><>  😉

NFS 10.4f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 3rd

October 3rd…“TELL US ABOUT ANY OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES YOU ENJOYED AT BATTLE GROUND HIGH SCHOOL.”

POEM – “No Sort For Sport”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

#1068 BGHS 1968-69 El on Wrestling Team 001
Maybe Elliott was trying to look like a growling Battle Ground “Tiger” in this photo.  He’s front and third from left.  From the 1968-69 Bengal yearbook.

“Yer too puny, They’ll kill ya on the field!”,

When I asked Dad to play Football.

Better to have a living young man,

Than dead or crippled from fall.!

NFS 10.3g
A wrestling head injury for Elliott.

So then, while wrestling, I made a wrong move,

With my head being hammered to mat.

Coach took me to hospital, Concussion severe,

As I groaned while I laid there kersplat!

NFS 10.3h
For Elliott, it should’ve been call the LOW JUMP.

And then there was Track, Where I chose the High Jump,

I hoped to be high reaching star.

But the more I practiced, The worse I got,

As I lowered and lowered the bar.

NFS 10.3i
Short Stuff Elliott.

Too short for Basketball, Can’t swing a bat,

Too slow for the Cross Country Squad.

It seemed that no sport, Was ever to be,

No winner’s trophies to laud.

NFS 10.3j
The only kind of exercise Elliott can do….run AMOK! 😉

It didn’t take long, For me to learn,

To escape from getting contusions,

Was to play the sport, Of “Running Amok”,

And “Jumping To Conclusions”!!! 😉

NFS 10.3k

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 2nd

October 2nd…“DID YOUR TEACHERS, OR STAFF, AT BATTLE GROUND HIGH SCHOOL EVER TEACH YOU A SPIRIT CHEER FROM THEIR GENERATION?”

#816 BGHS 001
Battle Ground High School “Tiger Stadium” was where Elliott, and the rest of the student body, waited out the Bomb Threat scare and learned the old cheer leading yell.

Mrs. Magsig’s English Class jumped inside their one-piece student desks when the old-fashioned fire siren began to scream out in the hallway of Battle Ground High School.  You’d think us teenagers were kernels of popcorn on a well-oiled skillet, as far as the knee-jerk reaction.  Our wits now about us, we began to file out of class for what we thought was another traditional fire alarm evacuation drill, but it wasn’t.  Administrators and staff were not wearing the “business as usual” face and were directing this herd of pimple-faced youth out towards, and into, the District Stadium that graced the south side of our impressive football field there in Battle Ground, Washington.

NFS 10.2b
A Bomb Threat at Elliott’s school.

Whispers were filtering through the crowd that some kids had seen the local police department patrol cars on campus.   Now THIS was getting interesting.   Once every student body was accounted for, and seated in the Grand Stand, various administrators confirmed that, yes, there HAD been a telephoned threat that a bomb had been placed somewhere on the High School campus.  IF that were the case, we youngin’s all hoped that the Stadium had been cleared of any bomb first. 😉   Thankfully, it was a gorgeous Late Spring afternoon and so we were instructed to be patient while police, custodians and other staff members made a thorough search of the main school building and adjacent classrooms.

NFS 10.1b
“Give me a “T I G E R”…TIGERS!!!

To pass the time, announcements were made about upcoming events at school, we sang the school song, we even had our fine school cheerleaders lead us all in a number of school cheers.

#949 Mr. Pat Pettichord, Principal BGHS
Mr. Pat Pettichord, Principal of Battle Ground High School.

Our much respected High School Principal was Mr. Pat Pettichord.   I heard, years later, that, in 1936, a very young Mr. Pettichord was a top contender for the United States Olympic Team that eventually traveled to and competed in Berlin, Germany.   Sadly, it was told to me, that only a severe sickness kept him from likely making the team.   Needless to say,  young Mr. Pettichord had grown up in a generation that was not too distant from days of horse and buggy transportation.  So, it’s only natural that his parent’s generation imparted some nuances into his generation of school life in the mid 1930’s.  Being a fervent supporter of his generation of “Tigers”, our well-liked Principal was prepared to share with this “captive audience” one of the cheers that his generation enjoyed yelling at games.

NFS 10.2a
1936 “Yell Kings” (albeit from somewhere in Oregon)  The year when Pat Pettichord was a youngster and student at BGHS.

With his rugged good looks and ramrod-straight walk, Mr. Pettichord approached the microphone to give us a cheer from his days at Battle Ground High.

“In my days here, as a Tiger, this was one of our yells……..HORSE AND BUGGY, HORSE AND BUGGY……TEAM, TEAM TEAM!   ALL FOR BATTLE GROUND, STAND UP AND SCREAM!!!”   Between laughter and pride for our fearless leader, we yelled right along with “The Boss”!!

 

 

Assistant Principals came up and whispered in Mr. Pettichord’s ear………sure ‘nough, the Bomb Scare threat was a hoax …….no bomb……awwww, now that meant we all had to get back to class.   That whole experience was more fun than scary for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

NFS 10.2d

 

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…October 1st

October 1st…“DID YOUR HIGH SCHOOL, IN BATTLE GROUND, WASHINGTON, HAVE GAL AND GUY CHEERLEADERS?  DID ANY OF THEM REALLY SHINE WITH EXTRA SPIRIT?”

POEM – “Jim In The Gym”  by N. Elliott Noorlun

#1072 BGHS Jim Dunning 1969-70 001
Jim Dunning is front row, right, in this cheer squad photo from the 1969-70 Bengal yearbook.

When it came to spunk, When it came to style,

His grin was seen, A country mile.

Any student could tell ya, Whether chunky or slim,

There was just no topping, Our Jim In The Gym.

NFS 10.1f
Jim was Tiger proud!

We guys who sat, In bleachers high,

Could hardly stand by, When this “spirit guy”,

Would get us all, To growl with him,

Yup, that was our rousing, Jim In The Gym.

#1074 BGHS Jim Dunning 1969-70 001
Jim Dunning

Oh sure, girl cheerleaders, Were nice to see,

As they rattled pom poms, And yelled with glee.

But our “Black and Orange”, Growls were for him,

None other than loyal, Jim In The Gym.

NFS 10.1a
In our church ministries at Battle Ground Baptist, Jim cheered for High Schoolers, too!

When after High School, Jim worked for the church,

And even then, He was quick to search,

For ways to lead, High Schoolers to Him,

They saw their Youth Leader, Our Jim In The Gym.

NFS 10.1e
Jim Dunning really shined for Battle Ground High School…and the Lord Jesus!

For me, High Schoolers, Were out of my league,

Their hormones and antics, Gave me fatigue,

But that young man, Had a vision for Him,

Whether church, school or home, He’s our Jim In The Gym. ><>  😉

#1073 BGHS Jim Dunning 1969-70 001
In 1969 – 70, Elliott’s Tiger Cheer Squad even sported sharp-looking black & orange plaid!! 😉

Norwegian Farmer’s Son…September 30th

September 30th…“TELL US ABOUT HOW SPECIAL YOUR HOMECOMING FESTIVITIES WERE IN YOUR CHILDHOOD HOMETOWN OF KIESTER, MINNESOTA.”

NFS 9.30d
The frost on the earth and the town of Frost, Minnesota had something in common when it came to HomeComing Festivities in Elliott’s beloved hometown.

Each Autumn, with celestial clockwork, our good Lord bequeathed a crown of fine silver frost upon the rich farmlands of southern Minnesota.  That regal mantle of silver elegance ushered in the finishing rush of local farmer’s harvesting and also ushered in the delightful time for our hometown school to “Welcome Home” former students to the alma mater (dear mother) and join in a rousing week-long celebration of family known as “HomeComing”.

NFS 5.13b

NFS 9.30e
Go Team Go

This school tradition had its genesis in the early part of the 1900’s around our nation.   HomeComing, in our community, pivoted around a traditional football game with a local rival community school.   Oddly enough, with all the chilly Fall weather in our area, the opposing football team was from a town nearby called, FROST, Minnesota.  Kinda cute, ya? 😉  Be that as it may, our farming village would plan for at least five days of celebration that would include the following (and more)…..wonderfully decorated floats (on flatbed wagons, pickup truck beds, etc.), funny class skits at pep assemblies, a roaring bonfire rally, the big game night, and following the game, was a glorious HomeComing Dance in the High School Gymnasium.

#1012a KHS '63 HomeComing
Elliott’s sister was Queen of HomeComing in 1963.

Since the farmlands around us had received its crown of silver from The Lord, our school also chose to place silver crowns each year upon a King and Queen to rule over this celebration of joy and alumni visiting school once again.  Tradition, throughout most educational facilities of the land, lent that, as qualifying mandates, in order to be a King and Queen, candidates should have made significant contributions to school life and even that of the local community.  Nominees would then be brought to the forefront of the student body and a secret ballot system would be used to vote for each year’s King and Queen of HomeComing.

NFS 9.30c
King Warren Meyer and Queen Rosemary Noorlun in October of 1963.

Our most beautiful sister, Rosemary, was amazingly active in her days at Kiester High School.   Just a sampling of her activities included Band Officer, Future Farmers of America Chapter Sweetheart, Cheerleading, etc………you name it, she was part of it.  Our darling mother, Clarice, used to make comment that if the family car were a horse, she’d just have to point it towards town and it would find its way when you consider the zillion trips Mom made to ferry big sister so she could be involved in the life of our school.   We were all so proud  when Rosie’s classmates honored her by voting for her to be Queen of HomeComing that year.

NFS 5.13d
The school gymnasium morphed into a fantasy elegance fitting an evening of celebration and memory making moments as young, formally dressed students made the promenade and danced the night away.

Our “Bulldogs” usually trounced the opposing team each year, so next on the agenda of the gala evening was to dress impeccably well and take your beautiful lady to do the promenade around the dance floor and then enjoy dancing and fellowship with fellow classmates and visiting alumni.

#165=Elliott's 4th Grade class 1963-64; Ada Leland - teacher
Elliott, second row far left, and his class were allowed to visit the grand ballroom.

Being just a little “ankle-biter”, at the time, I was too young to attend the dance that night.  But, we WERE granted permission to have our teacher give us a tour of the festive decorations that morphed our normal gymnasium into a place of magic and color that would come alive that evening for the High School generation of my sister.  Placed delicately in my memory’s haven was that HomeComing time for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

NFS 9.30f