from "Dadda" by Alexander Lee

   In 1910 Dadda made a trip back to Norway. { KMC: A record of this can now be found online at the Ellis Island database] He brought his wife, Mormor, his daughter Anna (my mother) and her two children, Alexander and Marian, and Aunt Helen, mother’s sister. I was all of 3 years old, so don’t remember too much about that trip, except that I remember playing with a snake, and making a boat from an orange crate – which sank immediately and my new boots got full of water. We climbed a steep hill and when we arrived on top holding Dadda’s hand, I am reported as saying "It’s kinda hard but we have to do it."

   But Dadda must have had a wonderful time, as a rich American returning to his homeland. He saw his brothers and other kin and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

   Dadda made another trip back to Norway, with two friends – successful business men all. I'm sure he had a marvelous time. On his return, he was interviewed by reporters from Nordiske Tideden and the Evening World. Dadda is reported to have bragged a little about his success in this country.

   The newspaper stores appeared a few days later. The World even had a picture of Dadda surrounded by his sheep. ( MMP: April 10, 1925)(SPD: She had a copy of the article framed and hung.)(KMC: it will be posted on this web site soon)

   A tax man visited Dadda shortly after that, wanting to know more about Dadda's wealth. That was in April 1910 (MMP:?)

   My oldest son, "Lee" has made several trips back to Norway, during business trips to Europe. He has spent a great deal of time and energy tracing some of our ancestry. He has established that Dadda was descended from one of the several Kings of Norway that reigned in the 800's A.D. He was always a king to me. ( KMC: he and thus we, are descended from all the early Kings of Norway and thus much of Europe's royalty, this includes Charlemagne. His ancestors are purported to include Queen Boedicia and members of Ceasar's family. A genealogy article I read estimated that two thirds of the current population of France and about half of that of Germany are descended from Charlemagne who had 22 children .)

   Dadda made more trips to Norway. The last time he went, he brought back some blankets that he had had made from wool from his own sheep in Hempstead Gardens. He kept a few sheep across the road from his house. We children sometimes rode on the back of the big, sturdy ram. Sometimes, when we played over there, he would suddenly bump us from behind. Dadda had collected the wool from the shearing of the sheep. When he had enough, he sent it to Norway to be made into blankets.

   When he brought the finished blankets back with him, a Customs official insisted that he pay duty on them. Dadda threw a Norwegian fit, and said, "They were made from my own sheep. I sent the wool to Norway to be made into blankets."

   "Well, there's a new story, but you will still have to pay duty," the Customs official said kindly.

   "My picture was taken with my sheep, and was in the paper about a month ago. I refuse to pay duty on my own wool."

   Another Customs officer heard the discussion, and looked at Dadda, grinning. "Hey Carl, I remember reading that story in the 'World.' He must be Henry Lee. He owns a lot of barges and tugboats." So he did not have to pay duty.




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