My name is Arvid Mautitz Nordman and my parents were Petrus Nordman and Brita (Bertha) Trapp who were born in or near Ostersund, Jamtland, Sweden, were married the 23rd of February 1907 and left for the U.S.A. the next day. They landed at Boston, Massachusets on the 8th of March 1907 and left immediately for Mountain Iron, Minnesota where they had friends who were recent immegrants. My grandfather Nordman and two of my father´s brothers, Andrew and Chris, came overa at about the same time, but grandfather returned to Sweden in a short time and Uncle Chris followed him in 1912 or 1913.
Petrus Nordman, who was a carpenter and millwright, came home from his job at a military installation at Keyport, Washington on December 31, 1918 to a New Years party, and on the morning of January 4, 1919, he died of double pneumonia -- a statistic in the big influensia epidemic -- at the age of 31 years.
My mother married Andrew Nordman, who was mustered out of the Marine Corps in 1920, on September 15, 1923, a marriage of convenience since he was supporting his brother`s widow and three children, a marriage that turned out to be a good one. Andrew was 51 years old when he died of heart failure on December, 1 ,1939.
I don´t remember much about my father, probably because he was away on construction jobs much of the time, partly because of the work and partley because he didn´t get along with Mother´s sister, Christine, who was living with us.
Mother ran the household and spent a lot of time caring for the livestock on the little farm on the shore of Salmon Bay that was flooded when the Hiram Chittondon locks were built.
I Wase born on January 19, 1908 in Mountain Iron, Minnesota which is in the Mesabe Iron Range some 30 to 40 miles northwest of Duluth. We moved to Seattle early in 1910, and I never saw Mountain Iron again untill after I retired and Arnold took me on a three-dag exploration trip. What impressed me the most were the enormous pits from which the iron had been extracted.
My first memory was of my Aunt Christine whacking my behind because I had crosssed Seattle´s Eastlake Avene from the house where my brother Roy was borne to stand in the middle of the street car truck untill the bell-ringing street car stopped.
My next memory is of being carried on my Uncle Chris shoulders across railroad tracks and under the Magnolia bridge to a small cottage at the bottom of Magnolia bluff where we lived for a while. All I remember about that place was waking up one morning with three inches of Elliot Bay all over he floor.
We next moved to the nordheast side of the Salmon Bay railroad yard where we lived in a small house not far from which was part of our little farm. It was there that at the age of about 4½ I ran down a hill -- out of control -- stubbed my toe on a cleated incline to the back porch, struck my head on the edge of the porch flooring and awakened with my father carrying me in his arms on the walkway by the Skinner & Eddy shipyard to take a streetcar across the Ballard bridge to a doctor in Ballard. The scar still shows.
It was while we lived there that I was beaten by a gander who grabbed me by the tassel of my stocking cap and whopped me with his wings. He left me with an impression. I was here, too, that I first tried til svear. I had watched and listened to the workers who built a trunk sewer line between the house and our barn, and as my father pried the cover off a box of apples, I grunted to match his efforts and said, ”Son of two bits.”
It was about 1913 that my father built a house at the foot of Thurman street on the northwest corner of the farm about where Nordman hill was graded down for easy access to the area now occupied by the Wharf Restaurang. I remember that we boys found many arrowsheads och stone axe blades between the house and the swampy shore of Salmon Bay where Indians had camped for centuries.
My brother Albert was born December 30, 1913 and he was a beautiful child with shoulder length curls before Mother finally cut his hair. The big snow of early 1916 stands out of my memory largely because of the igloo we boys built.
Late in August of 1916, we moved to Latouche, Alaska where my father was a construction foreman at the Guggenheim copper mine and milling operation.We moved back to Seattle and the house on Thurman street late in August of 1918.
As for childhood friends, none stand out. I suppose I was something of a loner, natually, and after my Father´s deadh fifteen days before my eleventh birthday, my duties and responsibilites as the man of the house and the exemples I must set for my younger brothers were drilled into me to the exclusion of my peers. The acceptance of those responsibilites did me no harm.
I first saw Emma Mitchell walking with Berta Mayes from Sunset to Moclips late in December of 1926. I was with Duffy Matsen, and she spoke to heim but didn´t look at me. At the New Years dance at the Aloha Dance Hall a few days later, I was introduced to Emma and Mrs. Mitchell by Bill Jones, a friend af the Mitchells.
From that time on, there were many dances. Wi did a mean Charleston as a recall it, and we seemed to enjoy each others company, whether dancing, walking the beach, playing card games with Emmas´s father, carrying the portabel record player, marshmallows and other equipment for Emma´s mother and her neices from the Emerald Cottage to the beach and back up the hill and saying goodby at the front gate.
The proposal? Well, it was late december, 1929. I had started college in September at Washington State at Pullman and Emma was going to Western Washington in Bellingham. We seemed to miss each other´s company, the big stock market crash was fresh in our minds, but in spite of all appearances, i felt that if we started at the bottom, there would be no way to go but up.I thought she might be willing to take a chance, and I decided to ask. She lay on a couch and I sat on the floor as we whispered so as not to disturb her mother asleep in a bedroom with a cretonne curtain over the doorway about six feet away, and i said,”Emma, will you marry me?”. She said, ”Yes” before I had a chance to list some of the pit-falls we might be facing. She told me later that as soon as I left the house, she awakened her Mother and told her about it and then cried. I thought later that she still might back out.
We said nothing about our plans to Emma´s Father, John Henry Mitchell, lest, according to her mother, he might take after me whith his ”five-shooter” as he called it.
On August 15, 1930, Emma and my mother talked Mr. Mitchell out of hos car, ostensibly to take My Mother and me shopping, but we drove to Shelton instead. We went straight to the courthouse where we got a marriage license. In those days, there were no regulations that required blood tests and other tactics such as a three-day cooling off period, so, by about 10:30 A.M. We found a Reverand Dark who married us in the dining room of the home next to the church with our Mothers as witnesses.Two things stand out in my memory of the service, mundane though they were. First the fact that Reverend Dark wore a shirt without a starched collar and as he spoke, his brass collar button bobbed up and down, and second, that the round dining table was piled high with books, clothes and papers so that they had to be shoved aside to make a place where we could sign the papers. Emma seems to remember most my nervousness and our dinner at the Acme Restaurant in Aberdeen on our way home.
We first set up housekeeping in a two-room apartment in a house in Pullman, Washington early in January of 1931 where we shared a bathroom with a hillbilly family named MsGan. The hallway to the bathroom was lighted with a red bulb which amused our college friends. After a few weeks in a rented house in Seattle in February, 1931, I gort a jobb at the Moclips mill from Paul Smith and moved into the Mitchell summer cottage at Sunset where we lived until the end of June, 1940, We remodeled the Emerald Cottage several times untill 1938 when we built a larger house around it, and we had a lot of ”fun”doing our thing -- survival. Those were the days of the Big Depression, and we and our friends were all in the same boat-- not much money, but enough potatoes and clams that we carried from one house to another to play cards and talk.We brought our children with us and it was not unusual to have six or eights babies asleep on the top of one bed. We had ”fun” whwtever we did. Still do.
We had severel acquaintances we considered friends, but only Stanley and Genevieve Newlun woould I class as close friends. The fact that I was a supervisor and was being groomed for management made no difference in their attitude towards us. In the late 1940s, Stanley often worked at the Beawer mill while the Moclips mill was down, and he often ate his lunch in the office and talked with me. When the Union voiced their disapproval to him, he told them that he had eaten his lunch with me before I become a mill manager and he saw no reason to change.
All books must end and for Petrus Nordman, it was in the Lakeview Cementary in Seattle, Washinghton, just norrth of Volunteer Park. Bertha and Andrew Nordman are buried in Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquieam, Washington. Th Sykes and the elder Mitchells are in family plots in Philadelphia. Emma´s mother, Emma Mitchell, Alice Hammond (Emma´s sister), Virginia Jean Hammond, Harry Hammond and Grandpa Hammond are in the Tacoma Cementary in South Tacoma. John Henry Mitchell and William Mitchell share a crypt in the mausoleum nest to the Tacoma Cementary in Aberdeen, Washington.
And for Emma and me, we both request that i hope be no funerals for either of us, and that our remains be crematet, sealed in urns and the urns buried in the grave of Emma´s mother, Emma Mitchell in the Tacoma Cementary.