Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 19th

August 19th……….”ONCE ALL THAT FIELD CORN WAS HARVESTED AND IN THE WIRE-MESH CORN CRIBS ON YOUR FARM, HOW DID YOUR DAD GET ALL THE KERNELS OF CORN OFF OF THE COBS FOR THE ANIMALS TO EAT”??

On that late October morn of 1962, there was only one “General” in command of his small army that day on our farm, but I sure did see A LOT of Colonels around………well, o.k…….. I’ll reword that to kernels …..of corn, that is!!! 😉 The “General” I mentioned earlier was actually our “general contractor/business owner”, Leroy Aske.

What may have seemed archaic in comparison to today’s high tech corn harvesting operations, our farm family, at the time, considered this truck-mounted corn shelling operation to be “right up town”. In years past, our father and his agrarian fathers before him used to do everything by hand, so this fascinating, gas-driven device on wheels and truck frame was a godsend.

Elliott enjoys his little sister, Candi’s, birthday party in October of 1962. Late October was when the sheller crew often came to their farm near Kiester, Minnesota. Big sister, Rosemary, is a bit hidden, at a distance, in the family kitchen.

T’was a very windy fall day that found me to be one elated, eudemonic Elliott basking in the wildness of the winds that had dried down our ample corncribs that were full of the marvelous maize that had been harvested from our cornfields just a month or two before. Even with the earflaps of my winter cap pulled down, I could hear those exceedingly chilly, dry winds as they sang a song while they whistled through the wire mesh construction of our corncrib walls. Those whipping winds had accelerated the drying of the corn to the point of being able to now be shelled and hauled to the Kiester Co-op Grain Elevator in town to be sold and added to our family’s income.

Ya know, it even seemed (teasingly) that Leroy Aske (pronounced Ahh-skee), and his crew, appeared to know when my little sister’s birthday was each year, for that was when we’d hear his caravan of grain trucks and his sheller truck grinding their gears as they slowed down to navigate the driveway into our farm from the south.

Notice the opening at the bottom of the corncrib’s boarded doorway. That is where the “drag line” was located to pull the corn to the sheller.

I swallowed in awe right along with our barn swallows above me as their lyre tails harped a silent salute to the marvelous mechanical wonder of Mr. Aske’s corn sheller in all its metallic glory . To take this all in, I leaned up against the trunk of a shade tree near the corncrib to observe while Mr. Aske slid the truck’s stout shift lever into reverse gear. The transmission gave out a pumping whine and the whole truck moved in gentle jerks backwards towards the doorway of the corncrib until a crew member’s whistle and a loud holler of, “WHOA”!!!, stopped the rig in a perfect spot to catch the corn.

Built into and cutting straight across the center of the round cement flooring of our corncrib was a long, narrow, rectangular trough. Within that trough lived a chain-driven series of vertical, metal plates or paddles all interconnected with the chain drive. When energized by an engine’s power source, those vertical plates, conjoined to the chains, and would actually drag the ears of corn above them out of the crib and into the corn sheller……thus, this system was known to us as the “drag line”.

Auger to the left makes a pile of empty corn cobs. Auger to the right loads corn into grain truck to be sold. Large, hooked pipe on top was the cleaner fan blowing chaff and corn husks to their own pile. Incline elevator at the rear of the sheller truck carried ears of corn from the crib up into the sheller machine.

Our father, Russell, smiled broadly as Leroy revved up the engine powerhouse of his truck and pulled levers, pushed buttons and did whatever was necessary to bring his sheller to life. Boards, that had closed the doorway of the corncrib during harvest’s filling, were now yanked away to allow workers to fork and shovel out the ears of corn into the roar of elevators that lifted the corn up into the sheller. Even in my little boy mind, it was obvious that engineers had truly created a machine that could multi-task this operation.

Depending on usage, this tool was known as a potato hook or silage hook. Either way, it came in handy in pulling the ears of corn down to the “drag line” and out to the sheller.

With a 1,500 bushel capacity or more, per corncrib, it took a number of hardy workers to shovel, fork or even use a silage hook to keep the moving “drag line” below them full of corn for the sheller to “eat”. As the ears exited the corncrib, an “incline drag” carried the crop up and inside the sheller. The machine stripped the kernels off the cobs and sent the kernels of corn through a long auger that deposited the “gold nuggets” into a waiting grain truck that, when full, lugged it’s heavy load out of our driveway and on to Kiester’s elevator three miles away.

The sheller had a powerful circular cage cleaning fan aboard that would blow the light, thin corn husks far away into their own gradually growing pile. The empty corn cobs were separated and sent up a separate auger called the “cob stacker” which they could then be loaded into a waiting truck or allowed to “mountain” on the ground nearby. Our farm home kitchen contained a side by side stove that could operate by gas on one side and burn wood, coal, or in this case, corn cobs on the other side. Mom was grateful for the free corn cob fuel for our kitchen stove even if it did burn rather quickly and needed to be stoked more often from a corncob pile near our house.

In his early days, Elliott’s father, Russell had to hand pick and shell his corn the old-fashioned way.

Corn harvest had come a long way from the time of doing everything by hand. And, even though today’s modern methods are amazing, in 1962, it was a fascinating adventure to to watch for this awe-struck Norwegian Farmer’s Son! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 18th

August 18th…….”DID OUR GRANDMA CLARICE FEED FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS THAT CAME TO HELP ON YOUR FARM NEAR KIESTER, MINNESOTA”??

POEM – “Delicious Pay” by N. Elliott Noorlun created December 13th, 2018

Reminds me of, The days back when,

Our farm table was, Surrounded by men.

In from the field, And hungry for,

Some great cooking that, Our mom had in store.

Whether putting up silage, Or baling hay,

They all showed up, To save our day.

A grand farm meal, Was just one means,

Of showing love to heroes, In bib overall jeans!!! 😉

“Queen of Her Kitchen”…that was Elliott’s sweet mother, Clarice, who fed untold numbers of family and farm neighbors who blessed us with a helping hand when needed their strength during various harvest times on their farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota.

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 17th

August 17th…………“WAS ANYONE YOU KNOW EVER INJURED DURING A CORN HARVEST IN YOUR AREA OF KIESTER, MINNESOTA”?

Vociferous, flying V’s of velvet-winged Canadian Geese flirted with the early morning full moon above our farm. In the frosty chill, their untold hundreds above us trumpeted what seemed to be their goose approval of what was about to transpire on our family’s acreage below. Honking along to each other’s song, these large, majestic waterfowl could have stopped by for some snacks of our corn crib’s contents, but, instead, they were drawn to the anticipated luxury of a cozy winter’s comfort in the more amiable reaches of our warm, southern United States.

Elliott’s family farm crib loaded with field corn for their animals to enjoy over the long, frozen winter months of south central Minnesota. Looking southeast.

It was early fall and Dad had fired up the old Farmall Model F-20 tractor whose muffler was near non-existent. As a result, when the old beauty came “alive”, staccato reports of noise from that old engine could be heard all the way south to the Chet Ozmun farm and north to Charlie Heitzeg’s farm, too. As the F-20’s years of service came and went, during its early years for our family, our father was blessed to now be in possession of enough tractors to allow the F-20 to take residence and stay attached to his two row, International-brand corn picker.

Once that trusty old tractor’s engine had warmed up, the pulling power of 20 horses moved that machine and our farmer father out to the ripe, golden cornfield to begin picking that year’s crop of field corn. Pheasants chattered with anxiety as they leapt into the sky and out of the way of this human and what they saw as his noisome nemesis. This two row mechanical marvel, though, was truly a miracle blessing to Dad in comparison to the fact that, in earlier years, our corn crop had to be picked by hand, one ear at a time and thrown against the high-sided “bang board” of a wagon pulled by our draft-horse team, “King & Colonel”.

You can almost see the snap rollers that ripped off parts of Harry Bauman’s finger tips.

As our Norwegian Farmer revved up the F-20’s engine, he pushed levers and let out the tractor’s foot clutch. The tractor’s power-take-off (PTO) created a clankety, rattle, chain-driven roar that emanated from the metallic machine as it became a corn-thirsty “beast”. Chain-driven teeth “ate” the cornstalk, ripping it from the root ball at about 6 inches above ground . The cornstalk was then pulled through “snap-rollers” whose pass-by clearances were so narrow, the ears of corn were snapped (more like POPPED) from the stalks and sent through the machine and elevatored up and into a wagon following the cornpicker.

Harry Bauman was so loved by the Noorluns that he was called “Grandpa Harry”! 😉

I would surmise that farming and combat during a war could’ve almost gone hand in hand when you think of the potential danger and death that could await you as a farmer. Especially when you take into account one military person’s perspective of combat being “Long periods of monotony, punctuated by sharp moments of sheer terror and pain”.

Such an occurrence of pain actually happened to our beloved “other grandpa” Harry Bauman. In the past, during one of his early years of running a similar cornpicker, cornstalks had become clogged in the “snap-rollers”. With the machine still running, Harry had attempted to free the clog, only to have his hand yanked into the “snap-rollers” when the cornstalks flew through. He painfully lost most of two fingers with only stumps for the doctor to sew up.

Numerous wagons, burgeoning to their brim with our elongated ears of that year’s golden corn harvest were pulled by tractors to our three, tall, wire-framed corn cribs to hold and dry the corn to perfection.

A very long, vertical transport device, known as a corn/grain elevator, was cranked up high into that early fall sky and positioned at the top of the corncrib’s metal roof hatch. The elevator was the means to lift the harvest from the wagons up and into the corncrib.

Our tried and true Farmall Model H tractor was driven nearby the elevator and a very long, wide pulley belt was attached to a spinning drive wheel from the tractor to the elevator’s gear mechanism. As each wagon load of corn was backed up to the active elevator’s hopper (catch basin), the farm helpers began to disgorge wagon load after wagon load until each wire corn crib was filled to its peak.

Just like the lady in this painting, Elliott’s mother, Clarice, employed not only her cooking talents, but also her love for meeting the needs of her hardworking husband and crew members that helped bring in the harvest of corn.

No matter what operation was being carried out by Dad and our faithful neighbors, our beloved mother, Clarice, was always constant to see that everyone’s tummy was chock-full of delicious home-cooked food and coffee whenever there was a break in the harvest action. Whether the crews came into our farm house to feast around our modest kitchen table, or Mom took the meals out to the field, either way, Russell Noorlun’s lovely bride was a yummy part of the total success of the harvest day that God received our praise for.

Now, with the corn safely sheltered into the tall corncribs, we stepped back to feel the prairie winds begin to whip through those cribs to begin a thorough drying time so that the corn would be ready for the next phase of harvest; that would be shelling the kernels off their cobs before hauling it to market.

What a delight it was to live in those dear days of farm life. We were not rich monetarily, by any means, yet we were wealthy in treasures that were beyond a bank calculator’s abilities. God is to be praised for that golden corn and those golden years that enlarged the grateful heart of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

See how big corn grows in Minnesota? Just teasing. Pretty cute, ya? 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 16th

August 16th……….”DID YOU AND YOUR DOG, “SPOTTY”, HAVE QUIET TIMES TOGETHER ON YOUR FARM THERE NEAR KIESTER, MINNESOTA”??

In the vespertine gold gilding of the clouds above us, happy winds caused innumerable corn tassels to appear to be tickling the empyrean heavens themselves.

“Spotty” was a kisser!! 😉

The resulting laughter of the sky above our farm translated into the laughter of myself sitting in soft grass as “Spotty” (our Parson Russell Terrier) slathered me with dog kisses as I found repose at the end of our cornfield just west of the family’s treed windbreak. Not only was I diminutive, as a little farm boy, but I was held in awe to be engulfed in the marvelous magnificence above me of the golden sky that was ebbing these final moments of another farm day in wrappings made by God.

My ever-faithful little canine companion shadowed my every move on our farm in those days. Together we enjoyed these insouciant buddy/buddy moments of quiet reflection here next to the family cornfield that reached out far towards the west end of our boundary fences.

My chores had been completed for the evening milking and, being Friday, I had no worries for educational edification until the following Monday, so all was well in our world.

Earlier that previous spring, “Old Man Winter” had finally surrendered his grip upon the land and warm, brown earth was visible once again there at our farm located on the fertile soils of south central Minnesota. I recalled my first few naked foot steps of hesitant and pin-pricking sensations after freeing my feet from winter’s boots and socks to go barefoot once again. By daily repetitions, my “Ooocheee-OUCHeee” footsteps progressed from tender feet in spring to shoe-leather-thick calloused feet of now early September.

Elliott holds his gift of a coin bank from his paternal Aunt Doris Hawley. He could also take many of these happy farm life memories “to the bank”, as well!!! 😉

Rising from my supine soft setting, “Spotty” and I decided to relish these last rays of ambient sunlight by enjoying a little walk into the peaceful cornfield. As my tough, bare feet shuffled through soft, ebony soils, “Spotty” was joyfully filtering scents, with his little nose to the ground, in hopes of picking up a rabbit’s trail. I couldn’t help but enjoy the parallel kissing to my cheeks by cornstalk leaves that at least were drier that “Spotty’s” kisses had been a few minutes earlier. As the waning sunlight made our quiet cornfield walk visually more challenging, I reversed our course back towards the windbreak and followed along our field road that took us back towards the barn’s staccato chatter from the milking system vacuum motor that puttered out of the barn wall exhaust pipe.

As if on orchestrated cue, the “tah-pah-kitah, tah-pah-kitah” sounds of the vacuum pump went silent. Dad had shut down the system for the night as he finished milking our dairy herd and sanitized his “Surge” milkers for the next morning’s operation. Both “Spotty” and myself were in boy heaven and covered from head to paw in good old Minnesota dirt as Dad emerged from the barn and shut off the lights. I could tell from his glancing gaze, as he and I made our way in walking towards our home, that I was destined for the bathtub that evening while Mom finished bringing a delicious supper to our table. In the “pecking order of life”, I then told “Spotty” that he was in for a bath the following day. You could just see the “no way, not ME” look he gave to this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 15th

August 15th………“WE WERE CURIOUS, GRANDPA, FOR CREATING YOUR STORIES HERE, DID YOU TAKE ANY COURSES IN WRITING IN HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE“?

POEM – “A Wannabe Writer” created by N. Elliott Noorlun in 2014. Many of my learned readers out there can easily discern, from my many grammatical mistakes, that I barely escaped basic English classes in my school years. When it comes to knowing how to properly punctuate sentences, I trip over my own feet….A LOT! Nonetheless, I have greatly enjoyed TRYING to be a writer as I’ve shared my heart about growing up on our farm and the years beyond. Hope you enjoy my poem regarding this issue. 😉

A professional writer,

I’ll never be,

But, it’s still a lot,

Of fun to see,

What happens when paper,

Meets the pen,

To share what happened,

In the way back when.

And when my grandkids,

Are grown and can read,

They can learn of the life,

Their grandpa did lead.

Elliott gets a fun ride from big sister, Rosemary, in those happy days gone by on their family farm three miles northwest of Kiester, Minnesota. 😉

And have a taste,

Of my daily joy,

That happened to a,

Once upon a time boy!!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 14th

August 14th…….“GRANDPA, AS A LITTLE BOY ON YOUR FARM IN MINNESOTA, DID YOU EVER HAVE BAD DAYS WHEN YOU FELT NO ONE LOVED YOU EXCEPT GOD”?

POEM – “When All’s Undone” created by N. Elliott Noorlun

I wonder if I’m, The only one,

Who has some days, When all’s undone?

Facing strife, From sun to sun,

Do you have days like those?

When no matter, What you do,

Other folk, Condemn anew,

It makes you feel, That friends are few,

When all you sense are foes.

On days like that, I would turn to flowers,

For with their quiet, Mystic powers,

I could find peace, That would flow in showers,

From my God who always knows.

For with each petal, Of tender color,

He’d remind me that, There is no other,

That He loves me deeper, Than a brother,

His faithful love……always shows!! ><> 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 13th

August 13th……….“WAS FARM LIFE DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN AS WELL AS FOR ADULTS? SHARE A STORY WITH US, GRANDPA, ABOUT ONE OF YOUR SIBLINGS SUFFERING AN INJURY”.

Elliott’s wunnerful brother, Lowell, and little sister, Candi, a year or two before the time of her getting booted by that cow. They’re admired “Joker” the Shetland pony.

A cataclysmic, cow-created, cacophony of kid crying erupted in our family barn one late afternoon during the second milking of our Holstein dairy herd. Our little sister, Candice, had been attacked by the cloven, clobbering clout from one of our cows.

Usually, “The Girls” ambled into our barn, for the afternoon milking, in a placid pattern of nonchalantly walking to their specific stanchion stalls and settling in to eat and drink to their tummy’s delight while we washed their udders and began the milking process.

The Shetland pony, “Joker”, really lived up to his name!! 😉 Candi and Elliott see his ears back in anger, ready to bite!

The pristine jewel of that Minnesota morning had greeted us all as we stepped outside the back porch door of our farm home to view cawing crows “waving” at us with their wings from above the billowing green canopy of our treed windbreak surrounding our farm buildings.

With brother Lowell now home from the Air Force to assist our injured father on the farm, my sister, Candi, and myself enjoyed having some playtime that morning with big brother and our fairly new equine elf, “Joker”. That ornery Shetland colt was cute, at first, but, as time went on, “Joker” truly lived up to his name as he laughed at every attempt we made to try to “break” him for riding. Between our big brother’s help and that of our father’s, us two little farmer kiddos would jump aboard that stinker pony and hang on for dear life as that four-legged whirlwind would buck and spin and eventually deposit our butts to the grass below. Both Candi and I thought for sure we heard him give us a horse-laugh for being the victor once again. 😉

Elliott celebrates the 7th birthday of his sister, Candi, in October of 1962. The following summer she got cow clobbered! 😉

Our family, in a sense, were two families in one. Lowell and Rosemary had been born in the 1940’s and us two (Candice and myself) came into the fold in the middle 1950’s. As the wee ones, Sis and I adored big brother, Lowell, (and Rosie, too, of course) and always wanted to help out in his daily farm chores.

On this particular day, Candi wanted to be our elder brother’s shadow in the barn and was given the task of washing the udders (milk bags) of our cows while Lowell strapped on the vacuum-powered “Surge” milking machines to “harvest” the milk from our Holsteins. What a brave little soul she was! Candi was a mini-munchkin compared to those towering bovine bodies that had to be made to moooove over to let her in between them. She then would use her small bucket of soapy water and a rag to clean their teats from being out in the muddy pasture all day.

Our little dynamic farm girl moved from one cow to the next in getting her job done for big brother. About halfway down the fifteen cow lineup, she pushed her tiny frame in between another two bulging bovine bodies and began washing the udder of, what turned out to be, a very volatile animal. It could have been a number of issues that brought the cloven kicking calamity. Maybe the cow had an injured teat which was sensitive to the touch, OR, the soapy wash water and little sister’s hands may have gotten too cold to the cow’s sensitive udder area.

In the blink of an eye, that cow began to kick and thrash our little sister repeatedly beneath her and with one final KAHPOW of her hoof, sent our sweet little sister flying across the manure gutter, thus landing on her face on the sidewalk behind the herd and hitting the wall of the barn.

Lowell came on a run from the other end of the barn and scooped poor crying Candi up in his arms as he ran with her from the barn and up to our farm house. “Oh Candi! Oh Candi! Oh Candi”!!!!, was all our brother could keep saying as his little sister, now bruised and bloody with cow mess all over her, kept crying from the fright she had just experienced.

Carrying his beloved little sister into the house, Lowell tenderly settled Candi into the arms and care of our mother Clarice. As anyone acquainted with farm life knows, the matriarch of a farm family is on duty 24/7 to be a first responder as to doctoring and kissing the boo boos of her entire family when there was a sickness or injury.

So, with his little sister now in the tender loving care of our mother, Lowell, still caught up in the highly emotional moment of his little sister’s injuries, went back to the barn and, before continuing milking the rest of the herd, he gave that ornery cow a good old-fashioned “spanking”. All in all, it was one exciting day on the farm of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son!! 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 12th

August 12th………“GRANDPA, IS THERE A FAMILY PHOTO COLLECTION THAT WAS STARTED BY OUR GREAT GRANDMA CLARICE BACK IN THE EARLY DAYS? WHERE WAS IT KEPT”?

POEM – “I’m Coming Home To Hug You, Mom”!! created by N. Elliott Noorlun. September 30th, 2015. Since moving to Hawaii, in 2010, every spring it was our tradition to fly home for my mother’s birthday on March 30th. While we were home, it was also a joyous tradition to pull out the shoebox of family photos and reminisce about our early days in Minnesota and northern Iowa. This poem is based on those sweet times of sharing. Mom’s been Home in Heaven now since 2017, but I still love looking over our family photos and remembering those joys of yesteryear!! ><> 😉

Elliott enjoys a Viking snuggle with his Norwegian momma, Clarice Arlone Sletten Noorlun.

I’m coming home to hug you, Mom!

Dear one who gave me the gift of life!

For now’s the time to show you’re loved,

I’ll announce it gladly with drum and fife!

The Noorlun family photo treasures in an old shoebox held closed with a fabric ribbon.

Let’s sit and dig, Through the old shoebox,

Of family photos so sweet!

Filled with memories, Of days gone by,

As we snuggled near your feet.

While you read us Bible stories,

That pointed us to God,

So I’m coming home to hug you, Mom!

For your life I here do laud! 😉

Elliott is getting momma hugs at nine months of age in September of 1954. 😉

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 11th

August 11th………..“IT’S BEEN SAID THAT FIRST-BORN CHILDREN ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR LOYALTY AND FAITHFULNESS. DID YOU SEE THAT HONORABLE TRAIT IN YOUR BIG BROTHER, LOWELL”??

Lowell Noorlun joined the United States Air Force in November of 1961.

My hero came home to “save the day” for our parents and our farm!!!

Mrs. Martha Throntveit was a blessing in helping baby Lowell come into the world during that February snowstorm of 1943.

The eldest of we four Norwegian siblings, our big brother, Lowell, entered the world’s stage during a howling blizzard in February of 1943. His “coming out party” was destined to be a home-birth within a small cottage on the Wally & Genevieve Mutschler farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota. In those days, our parents were hired as farm workers for the Mutschler family (whom we love deeply to this very day) and the use of the cottage was part of their payment for their labor. Being their firstborn child, Russell, on behalf of his beloved, Clarice…….braved the frozen tempest of snow-clogged roads to travel the 27 mile round trip to Scarville, Iowa to fetch a wonderful midwife named Martha Throntveit to assure the blessed arrival of our brother into this new life.

Tiny Lowell is “center stage” on the family picnic table in the summer of 1943. His father, Russell, supports him from behind.

That coming summer, Dad steadied his tiny baby boy on top of the Sletten family picnic table so Mom could record the moment with her 1931 Kodak box camera. Little did they know then, that twenty years later, this itty bitty baby boy would, in a sense, don a “Superman’s Cape” to “save the day” on our farm.

Elliott is in his hero’s arms. Circa 1958 on their family farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota.

Even though I was a full eleven years younger than my brother, my human perceptions of life around me were just as keen, from a tiny perspective, as any adult as I drank in our daily farm and family life around me.

All the key ingredients of hero worship were manifested in my elder brother. Big brother was handsome, strong, made me laugh, showed his great generosity, sacrificed and thought of others before himself, even going the extra mile when inter-family dynamics were not always in his favor. And what mattered the most……….Lowell invested precious amounts of his time in my little boy life and gave me the sense of having value. I saw him as my “young father”.

In the blink of an eye, the years flew by and soon my hero brother was out of High School and itching to see the world. To energize that adventure, Lowell joined the United States Air Force. November of 1961 was bittersweet for my family and especially for my little sister, Candi, and myself as we watched Lowell climb aboard that Greyhound Bus in Blue Earth, Minnesota. He was now in the hands of “Uncle Sam” as his next destination was for Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Elliott was thrilled to receive his very own “dog tag” as a gift from his big brother, Lowell, while in the Air Force. “Axtel 4-3415” was the family farm’s phone number at the time.

Although we missed big brother deeply, he was always reaching out to us in gifts that he’d send back home from his travels as he rendered service to our nation. The Air Force was very good to our brother. Lowell was thrilled to travel, meet new friends, get his food, lodging, clothes and even money in his pocket!! 😉 With such a mutual admiration happening between our brother and military service……Lowell was actually looking forward to making it his career choice……..until. A fateful day, in July of 1963, saw our farmer father badly injured and sent to the hospital in critical condition. Even when Dad was finally released to go home, there was to be a lengthy period ahead needed to convalesce for full healing to take place. Who was going to help our mother keep the farm going now? Lowell was stationed way up in Alaska, at the time.

“Uncle Sam” took Lowell TO the Air Force on a Greyhound Bus and brought him BACK home to their farm on a Greyhound Bus. Via Blue Earth, Minnesota, that is. 😉

Here’s where the first-born loyalty and faithfulness of our brother came to shine. When Dad and Mom communicated the gravity of their needs to our eldest sibling, it was an open and shut case and Lowell was mature enough to know that family came first. Together, they would seek and secure an honorable “family hardship” discharge so our brother could come home in our time of need for his young muscle and energies. Even though Lowell was thoroughly enjoying his life in the Air Force, his love of family and farm superseded all else. Pretty soon, our brother was boarding an air tanker flight from Alaska to Minot, North Dakota. From there, “Uncle Sam” sent him by train to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and from there, a Greyhound Bus brought him back to Blue Earth, Minnesota (where he had first left us) and home to our farm to “save the day”. Truly, my big brother, to this very day, is a hero to this Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!!

Elliott (R) enjoys the fellowship of his hero brother, Lowell, in 2017.

Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..August 10th

August 10th……….“WHAT WAS A GIFT, GIVEN TO YOU AS A LITTLE BOY ON YOUR FARM, THAT YOU STILL HAVE AND USE ALMOST SIXTY YEARS LATER”?

POEM – “Uncle Gene’s Gift” created by N. Elliott Noorlun on September 27th, 2014

Elliott’s Uncle Gene Greenspun was a toy manufacturer in New York City. A very kind, handsome and intelligent man!!

To you this may not seem like much,

But to me, It opened a world,

Of tiny wonders around me,

That this “looking glass” unfurled!!!

Elliott’s gift from around 1961-62. A jeweler’s loupe (magnifying lens) with wire head band.

Sixty years, Or so ago,

My uncle gave me this,

And for all the joy, It brought this boy,

His gift was like a kiss!

Elliott now thrilled at the tiny world around him using his jeweler’s loupe

From rocks and leaves, To bugs on a crawl,

To watching my blood veins bulge.

The magic of, That mini-world,

I did happily indulge.

Now here in, My latter years,

With failing eyes and sight.

My uncle’s gift still blesses me,

To see with memories bright!!! 😉

Elliott’s lovely Aunt Lillian, (his dad’s youngest sister) who was a model in New York!! She, along with her husband, Gene Greenspun, gave Elliott the little, but GIANT, gift of the jeweler’s loupe that opened up worlds to him on the farm and even helps his aging eyes to this very day!! 😉