02 April, 2012

Emma Sophia Hanson

Mom(oma) and Grandpa Hanson
My mother was born May 25, 1918 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She was number six in a family of eight children. Her father, Hans Olaf Hanson, and her mother, Christine Hugdahl,
were both immigrants from Norway, who met and married in the US. Mother's siblings were Conwall, Sigurd, Alphild, Raymond, Violet, Laura and Glen.

Emma Sophia Hanson at three.
The parents spoke only Norwegian at home, but the kids refused to learn the language. So they understood, but never spoke. One has to remember that everyone wanted to be an American and the way to assure that was to speak English. Her parents never insisted they speak Norwegian.

Emma and her mother.
They lived in a Norwegian neighborhood. The house they lived in was built by my grandfather. It had three bedrooms, one for the boys, one for the girls and one for the parents. Mom said that she slept between Alphild and Violet. She used to pretend to be asleep while they talked about their dates. 

Mom at 14. First Confirmation

Emma at 16
The most beautiful girl in the family was Alphild, with full lips that the other girls didn't have. Mom never talked much about her childhood. Except to say that her mother never lost her temper, always treated them with love and dignity, she had little more to say. She was a good role model for my mother, who lost her temper with me twice, once when I was about ten. I hid in the coal bin until she cooled down. The other time I was sixteen. I was teaching Jimmy how to dance and the tub ran over, and through the ceiling. My dad was on the way home and my mother was furious with us.  

My grandmother died of bronchitis, when mother was 16. She quit school to take care of her father's house. So she never finished high school. 

Grandpa Hanson seldom lost his temper. But he had a dark side. When he got fed up with someone he never forgave them. So for example, their neighbor was a gossip and grandpa got very angry with her and never spoke to her again for over 25 years. That is one way to hold a grudge.

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