ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The last Norwegian standing

Updated on August 2, 2016
Next two generations non speeking
Next two generations non speeking
I'm the last male non speeking norwegen
I'm the last male non speeking norwegen
Duluth, home town its all down hill from here
Duluth, home town its all down hill from here
The old mill in Fergus Fall, Mn on my way to school every morning
The old mill in Fergus Fall, Mn on my way to school every morning
My dad served in WW11 aboard LST # 643
My dad served in WW11 aboard LST # 643

As a kid born in a northern Minnesota" Duluth", was a terrible place to live. But what do kids know, we are taught, observe and forced sometimes to believe.

My Dad Floris Gilbertson was truly the last Norwegian standing when he could. My family grew up very poor but proud as many other families around the country at the time. Heritage was so much a part of your upbringing. The food we ate, what we drank and how we were talked to made a big difference in our lives.

My dad was the last speaking Norwegian in our little family and as usual the families weren't taught the old language. I'm not sure if this was by design or laziness. Our dad was the last to speak, not even our mother spoke the language.

Our grandmother on my dad's side Clara Nelsby was her given name and she didn't speak very much English. I only remember knowing her a short time when I was about 14 years old. It was funny to hear her talk, my dad thought it was funny also. At age 14 and trying to learn something new was hard. I was living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota then with my dad and step mom, who also spoke full Norwegian. There were words I'll never forget when my dad said the word" to, too or two, it all sounded the same listen tuooo. I can remember him knocking me in the head for not listening to my step mother, a little old fashen Norwegian discipline.

On weekends in small towns like Underwood township you could see the culture in the stores in the needlework, painting, rosemaling etc. The food sure was different, lots of potato dumplings made with bacon fat and bits of bacon then you would drizzle hot bacon fat over the top. This sure was good, you needed this for the long winters up there. There didn't seem to be a lot of imagination in the Norwegian food though. Growing up in this house was fun though not always understood. We would go out and shoot on weekends traveling the many dirt roads. Hunting was great in Minnesota then Pheasant was abundant, duck hunting was cold and wet and I know every other young man that was hunting went through the same stuff then.

Like every other kid I knew up there we all worked after school and all summer. Me and my dad worked on large trucks for Milkway's, inc. Bulk milk haulers from the local farms around northern Minnesota. I was fourteen then and driving trucks to and from the milk processing plant there in Fergus. My dad was the mechanic for the company and I was learning, I changed many a flat tire on those damm trucks and windshields. Hitting a full grown pheasant was hard on the trucks it seems like week or so we were replacing front glass on the trucks.

I guess the hardest thing I had to adjust to was school. The kids were different or I guess, now in retrospect maybe it was me that was the different one in the bunch. I was kinda of a punk from the streets of Tampa,Fa. I really didn't listen to well to older people nor did I really give a shit either. Life was pretty bad back in Tampa, the year before I had runaway heading north to Minnesota, I unloaded large chicken trucks in Cleveland just to get bus fair to Minnesota. I ended up on the streets of Chicago looking for a place to stay. That didn't work out so good for me either, I was sleeping in a door way of an apartment house when I heard shots fired from A gas station just twenty feet from where I was resting. I started running as fast as I could through streets and neighborhoods filled with people at one in the morning.

I ended up back at the Greyhound bus station and under arrest by the Chicago Police. Well that is another story but several weeks in a detention center somewhere in south Chicago was another learning experience for me. I guess Minnesota was out of the picture for me this time. After a couple months in lock up I ended up on a greyhound bus headed back to Tampa.

Life's hard for a young stubborn Norwegian kid living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. One morning I decided to go back to Tampa around 15 then, so I put on my parka two pair of paints two shirts a pack of Winston's and a Hamm's beer in my pocket. I started the trip southbound hitchhiking through many small town in Minnesota. The first night I fell asleep in a laundromat in a small town somewhere close to Minneapolis,Mn. The town set about 1/2 mile off the main road . It was late and cold as hell its January in Minnesota, freezing cold to me. I was awakened by hi ya sure who are you. I got up and run as fast as I could toward the main hwy. After walking through the snow in my candy apple red Chubby Checker shoes I was cold wet and totally exhausted already and I was still in Minnesota. Well the trip back to Florida took me about 5 days hitchhiking but I made it in one piece.

I do regret that my life with my dad changed that very summer. I came to Duluth several times and made the trip back to Fergus as well. I guess leaving my dad's like I did changed everything for me and my dad. I guess my dad was the last stubborn Norwegian alive, besides myself. If I had the life to live over I guess I would have ask more questions about my dad. What I know is that he was a Master chief in the U. S. Navy and served in the far east. He served in Ewo Jima during wold war 2 and really didn't like Marines to well. My dad received a purple heard for an explosion aboardship that killed his hearing. My dad to me was the last real Norwegian in the world , a tough guy that had principle about everything I will miss you my friend.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)