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Voice Recording
0001

 

Stories of the Past
Voice Recordings and Transcripts
Hank Christopherson
 
Voice Recording 0001
Interviewed Hank Christopherson
Date 10.07.11
SUBJ. Kjartan Christopherson Family, the Stonesons
SYNOPSIS: Hank talks about Ellis sponsoring Lorne, the depression, Lorne's education, letter carrier case which Roy ended up printing a long lost negative of Hanks company on his personal page, along with small photos of an early girlfriend.
Type in Red equals additions from original recording.

Roy: This is just a tape recorder...right.
Hank: Uh

Roy: I am just going to turn this on, this tape recorder.
Hank: oh.

Roy: Because I'm just here to be with you...right.
Hank: Yeah.

Roy: and you. I love the photos and stuff, right. But, I wanted .. you've given me a piece of dad back
Hank: Yeah.

Roy: and bridge our gap, and see Dot and see all the others, and all that.
Hank: It's strange Roy how people think if you've been through bad times it is something bad, but I think it was the most wonderful thing that happened to all of us. We didn't have anything...

Roy: Oh really.
Hank: ...We didn't have a pot or a window to throw it out of, but you had your family.

Roy: I actually found a census. I think it was 1900 of the Stonesons right. You know, the census I think up in Blaine [WA].
Hank: Blaine.

Roy: and he, stone I think is listed as a laborer or a farmer, I can't remember. cause he is listed...
Hank: Oh Stoney Stoneson

Roy: He did a whole bunch of stuff, right.
Hank: Yeah.

Roy: But the kid, the boys were listed as working in a Salmon
Canary, Henry, and the other was doing something like that.
Not carpentry, right.
Hank:They came down here, they must have been doing some. They arrived down here in 1928.

Roy: OK.
Hank: And ...San Francisco, and I had a wonderful meeting with Bertha. We had to set it up a couple weeks before. I took her to lunch down at Franciscan Restaurant [San Francisco]. You know, Fisherman's Wharf.
We got there about noon time. So we got a nice table and view of the bay and everything. So I said 'Auntie Bertha, said it is a wonderful occasion. I said I can't tell you how happy I am...just the two of us so but I said I think we need a little cocktail...

Roy: Laugh.
Hank:...so we ordered some drinks. I don't think we ate lunch until 3:30 or 4. But ...slowly drinking and she gave me so much history on them at that time, which some I already knew.

Roy: kind of ???
Hank: But it was just the most wonderful afternoon. I think we were ...4 or 5 O'Clock...Laughs."

Roy: I had a date once. We went to the Cliff house ..it was a French gal after work and I asked her...I actually, I used the House Phone [in Women's Dresses Dept.]. You know, they have...it was three-stories over at Stonestown. I worked in Stonestown in 1980.
Hank: Yeah...it was one of the stores there.

Roy: Bullock's at that time. It's Nordstroms now. The brick one at the South end, and she is over in the fur department right. I went to the Womens Dress and I called her up in the fur dept...laughing, and I asked her out. ...redacted... She goes...okay, right, kind of leary. So I think we got off at 3 or 5 and went over to the Cliff House and they had the big great fire place (Hank: Yeah), and we just sat there talking right. We never got a table.
Hank: I go there once in awhile for lunch on Sundays or dinner.

Roy: Yeah we never got into inside...and we were there, I don't know how many hours. Like you say 4 or 5 hours talking, just talking.
But now, when, so you said that ..... and Bertha drove their Cadillac up to ...Baldur.
Hank: Baldur

Roy: and where was the Shanty at [Kjartan and Gudrun Christopherson Shanty]?
Hank: The shanty was 6 or 7 miles north of town. The old Shanty.

Roy: Kind of like Argyle [District] right
Both: Argyle was between, would be similar to a county here, like San Mateo, right

Roy: It's not a city
Hank: No.

Roy: Like a County, like an association of farms.
Hank: Like a county...Argyle. Getting back to that incident, and I was reminded of it today. This morning I was talking to this woman and...but I could rlate to what she was saying

PRIVATE - 2 mins. someone elses story similar to Lorne

Hank: But when I got to thinking about Lorne left to come down with Ellis [Stoneson] and Bertha. I could still visualize it.
When your driving up the ? wind road to get out to ...the whole bunch of us were back at the house. ALL of us kids were just sobbing, uncontrollably.

Roy: You said Don was 18 or both like 18.
Hank: No, no. Don was..., Lorne was about 14 I guess. 13 or 14.

Roy: And Don was a couple years older.
Hank: Don was a couple years younger. Roy: Oh younger? Hank: yeah, and the point I am trying to illustrate is, you know, we were talking about Bruce, and it happens with a lot of kids. And...it kinda affects your whole life, and even for yourself.

Roy: Mom put me in the 4th grade twice, right. They kept. I was suppose to go in the 5th grade, and the Principle and teachers said I think you need to leave him. And of course back then, they did not understand a lot of things, so they went off what was the normal thing to do...??? the end they just hold the person back.
Hank: Well I used to see a lot of things, you can't help it. But you can't say anything. This goes back a long ways...
Hank: But I know (cough), I know probably you were discriminated against becaise you couldn't speak. It used to frustrate me a lot of time.

Roy: Kids are pretty brutal.
Hank: But when you have that defect that, this went on til you were eight years old before you could speak. You knew, you were perfectly intelligent but it was all 'al al al you can't make sense out of it.

Roy: I had trouble with like 'S'.
Hank: It wasn't because you were stupid. You just, anyone that has this thing and you were born that way, you just can't form words. But there are so many people that are very impatient with that stuff. It is so terribly frustrating...to the individual. I am sure you still have nightmares about that ####.

Roy: Actually there were a few people that throughout the two schools right...
NOTE: 1/4 way in and typing/pausing every few words, so Roy is going to type only story of Lorne.

Roy: To go back to Lorne, I always found his smart and..., was he naturally aware and smart as a kid or did he get it from what Ellis when they brought him down to go to school.
Hank: Who.

Roy: Lorne
Hank: No, but he...

Roy: He...like Ron, he was mischevious, right. His whole life he was mischevious. The best word we could come up for him.
Hank: Lorne was a good student and he always got good marks.

Roy: He could comprehend it all.
Hank: Yeah, but it broadened him out a lot more ...had he been living back there [Canada].

Roy: What about the language. Did he speak fluent Icelandic.
Hank: He did after he got in the Army and the war...college and he went over to Iceland. he wrote my mother 16 page ltter in Icelandic perfect grammar. Roy: wow. Hank: Lorne was quite a linguist and he could speak, he spoke Spanish. I guess he took that at Balboa [school in San Francisco] and I don't know what else, but as time went on...

Roy: German.
Hank: he could speak French, German, ..Icelandic of couse, and maybe some of the others, he had a knack for it. I've often thought too that that a lot of time you get subjected to in your younger years which influence your life, throughout your whole life. Sometimes used to think that, Lorne was as smart as he was, he didn't have good business acronym(sp)

Roy: But...
Hank: No he always got goood grades.

Roy: But he worked to get it right?
Hank: I don't know. maybe he did but

Roy: Some people breeze through school.
Hank: No but a lot of times and in the old days , probably happens to a lot of people, thinking because you come from a background like that maybe your not quite as good as some of these other people, I don't know, it's something about it. if you could work at something you enjoy. I think that's ...how happy you'll be in life.

stopped at 18 mins and 28 seconds
Hank: Drove down Chestnut Ave...Kenny Realty....redacted...
police friend end 26:03

Hank: Ellis and Lorne. It changed the lives for our whole family, because you get to a place where. What I call opportunity to do things.

Roy: Be in the right place at the right time.
Hank: Right,

Roy: What was, the four of you served right [at this time Roy was still finding service photos and should let them speak].
Dad never spoke of WWII, he never spoke a single word. I found about 60 pictures. I had one when I was 18. I found one of his plane, crashed over a field.
Hank: He was over the South Pacific for a long time...

Roy: Luzon, his Discharge paper said Luzon, Luzon Island.
Hank: Oh.

Roy: I guess he went to AUS or came back through AUS. I think he was discharged from Australia..and Lorne and Sig met up in France right?
Hank: Yes, France and Germany I think.
3534

Roy: I was trying to piece the pictures you had. Sig gave you at least 50 photos. There is one of ....a staff car or something and they are in Germany cause there is a Spechen Die Duestche sign [Roy's H.S. German is rusty]. Lorne is driving and Sig is on the other side [cat-redacted] Lorne is looking left and he is driving , sig looking over.
I think they stopped and took a picture or something.
Hank: Yes

Roy: Something about a Black...I think the picture said it. "The car was Black with Red Upholstry.
Hank: gets up: I just came across this stuff last weekend.

Roy: Good to get up once in awhile.
Hank: Yup
This is..you know for carrying letters...writing paper that is to write letters home. My names inscribed on there. My dad [Kay] bought this for me in 1943. gave this to me as a present when I went into the Army. ...this thing has been all over the United States, been in Cairo, Egypt, been in Karachi, which is now Pakistan, Shabough? China, quigming? Shanghai. Back here, ha, ha.

Roy: It's in good shape....
Hank: The thing I got a kick out of going through it again is the...I knew I had this stuff, Guess that is the reason I went into it to show somebody...just happens to have a card my mother [Gudrun] sent to me. It's July 3rd 1945...I think...1943! It's a birthday card ...I guess she written...letter, kind of fun going back and looking at these things....use every inch of the paper. The other reason I pulled this thing out I wanted to show my friend the time...I never had been in an air plane until...this is 1943 also. Took the plane from New York to Philadelphia. What is this about [another paper]
Roy: Aircraft order form...National Aeronautics 47 ST [garbled] for the enclosed remittance for the x amount of dollars, please send the x copy to aircraft spotter something book at the rate of 1 - 9 copies...$1.00 each. National Aeronautics Council...

Another point in time Hank told Roy that Ellis or Henry called each one of Gudruns sons entering the military to make a promise to write their mother, Gudrun.
End of Recording

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