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Recent Swedish Club Events (2011-2015)


More Swedish than Sweden: Lindsborg Kansas, Yesterday and Today, presented by Jennifer Horrell. Wednesday. April 29, 2015.

Jennifer's talk was about the history and founding of the town, and what it is like to visit Lindsborg as a tourist destination. Her perspective, however, is from the point of view of a person who grew up there and is still strongly connected to Lindsborg as well as to relatives in rural Dalarna. Those who attended enjoyed many digital pictures of the town and people, both from recent times and from the founding of Lindsborg.

Jennifer's presentation was both from personal background as well as academic: She has her basic B.A. degree from Bethany College(in Lindsborg) and she spend her junior year at Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany. She did graduate studies on Germanic Languages and literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, doing work in German and Swedish language and iterature. She also spent a year at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen, Germany studying Swedish language and literature. Finally, she has just recently come to Iowa City from teaching Swedish and Scandinavian studies at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.


Lucia Fest, Sunday December 2014

The annual Lucia Fest was held on Sunday, December 14 at the Celebration Farm, Timber Frame Building. There were 119 people in attendance: members and their families including 27 guests. There were two tables for the Julbord food, and plenty of Glögg, Barnaglögg and coffee. Musical entertainment was provided by Jeff Carlson and his family and friends, Ron Johnson (accordion), Evelyn Galstad (two solos) and her mother Allison, and Ed and Mailyn Holtum (guiter and vocal). Libby Holland, Marilyn and Phil Holland's granddaughter, was our Lucia this year. The Swedish club bought two Amana smoked hams which were cooked according to a Swedish-American recipe and it earned high praises from all present at the event.


Fall Social Meeting, September 21, 2014

The Fall Social meeting was held at the home of Bob and Birgit Coffman on a wonderful fall day that was cooler than expected, but otherwise pleasant. The event began at 3:00 PM and continued almost until dark. There was a tabled stocked with Swedish and Danish delicacies. Many members brought gifts of food and libations. Quite a few Swedish Vikings ventured outdoor which was nearly necessary since there were about 45 people in attendance (including children). Many "thank you"s were exchanged with comments about how wonderful an afternoon it was!


Lucia Fest, Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Iowa City Swedish again held its annual Smörgåsbord and St. Lucia Celebration at the Celebration Farm this past December. The festival began at 6:00 PM. We also had an univited guest this year: a snowstorm with about a half foot of snow! Although we had 105 reservations, there were 31 cancellations so only 74 attended.

The program began with a socialization hour with Glögg and Barnaglögg suppled by Jeff Charis-Carlson. Jeff (on keyboard) and and Tim Schulte on guitar provided pre and post Lucia entertainment with vocal help from Lucy and L'Engle Charis-Carlson. Ed and Marilyn Holtum lent their musical talents to the after dinner program along with Ron Johnson on accordion. Lucia's arrival was accompanied by Devin Hedlund on violin. And, of course, everyone brought a large dish to share. Bob and Birgit brought Gravad Lax for 105, so the there was some Gravlax to bring home!

Cindy Abrams assumed the primary responsibility of planning the Lucia Fest. She had numerous helpers, among them were: Jan Ahlberg and Bill Nowysz on set-up, Shawn Hedlund, Rosemary Plapp, Doug Madsen, and Rich Bender for "tear-down". Judy Best and Sharon Bender served as hostesses. George Woodworth provided Lucia Buns.

Sankta Lucia arrived after the Smörgåsbord serving (two serving tables this year!) in the person of Abby Abrams. Lucia was accompanied by her attendants: Kaisa Alman-Whittaker, L'Engle Charis-Carson and Lucy Charis-Carlson who distributed lussekatter and pepparkakor.

Anders Zorn Meeting presented by Mary Lynn Eckert. April 17, 2013

Anders Zorn’s roots were in Dalarna, specifically in Mora. Every year, during his lifetime, Zorn returned to Mora for Midsommar and painted his people, the peasants of the region. He always remembered that his roots were in Mora, even though he socialized in the refined upper classes of Europe and America during the rest of the year. What did your ancestors of the nineteenth century look like, what did they do at dances or in the kitchen? He recorded it! Mary Lynn had many JPGs of his paintings for the Swedish Club to enjoy. Anders Zorn has been known, ever since, as one of the ABC’s of nineteenth century Swedish Art. (“A” for Anders Zorn, “B” for Bruno Lillefjors, “C” for Carl Larsson.) In addition to this, Zorn was known for his ability to paint his subjects in such a realistic manner, that they seemed alive. Some appear to breathe! Mary Lynn included a section, in her program, that is about Zorn’s celebrated ability to paint nature: “Women in Nature”. There were over 220 slides, which were shown in about 50 minutes. There was time for refreshments and coffee


Lucia Fest, Sunday, December 9

The Iowa City Swedish Club held its annual St. Lucia celebration at the Celebration Farm, 14 Robin Woods Lane NE, Iowa City on Sunday, December 9, 2012. The Fest began at 6:00 p.m. and ended at about 9 p.m. Attendence was exceptionally good, with about 103 adults and children (a record) present for the festivities. Glögg and Barnaglögg were both available as members and their guests arrived from the cold outside. There was a big selection of food: herring and salmon, potato sausages and meatballs, vegetables, breads and favorite desserts. There also was a big music program following the appearance of St. Lucia and her entourage. Music was be provided by Ron Johnson (accordian), Devin Hedlund (violin), Jeff Charis-Carlson (electronic keyboard) and Tim Schulte (bass). The new location was beautiful, and there was plenty of parking! The success of this event, which was our largest and most successul to date, was the result of the planning and hard work of Swedish Club members Cindy Abrams and Sharon Scheib. Their work and planning was an extraordinary performance and one that no one who attended will forget!!

Penfield Books Meeting, September 28.

Dwayne and Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret , owners of Penfield Books,Iowa City, invited the Iowa City Swedish Club for a wine and cheese reception to be held on Sept 28 at 5:00 PM to 7 PM at 215 Brown Street, Iowa City, to meet Judit Martin of Sweden, the Swedish-American author of “Augusta’s Daughter”, a novel.

This book, published by Penfield Books, is about Life in Nineteenth Century Sweden. Judit, an American, has lived in Sweden for decades. She has dual citizenship.

At the reception Judit told about her life in Sweden and in addition talked about her book.

After the event at Penfield Press, Iowa City, other receptions were held at Swedesburg (Sept 29) and at Vesterheim, Decorah, Iowa on Oct 4th.



Swedish Club Fall Social Gathering:

Bob and Birgit Coffman hosted the annual Swedish Club Social Event at 2513 Princeton Road, Iowa City on:

Sunday, October 14, 3:00 to 5:00 PM.

Wine, soft drinks, coffee and Scandinavian delicacies were served.


December Lucia Fest was held at the Kirkwood Room, Governor’s Ridge, on Dec 11, 2011. The celebration began at the appointed time of 6 PM, and went well past 9 PM. It was a full house! The weather this year had been wet and rainy, so there was only a little ice in the parking lot when the event was over. NO SNOW!

The room was set up with 9 tables and there were 86 in attendance (including children). There were six last minute cancellations! So, all who had signed up were able to get in!

Lucia and attendants: This year’s Lucia was Jackie Ross, the granddaughter of Jim and Roberta Swanson. Attending Lucia were five young daughters of Swedish Club members: L’Engle Charis-Carlson, Lucy Charis-Carlson, Courtney Chalupa, Kristi Maass and Kaisa Whittaker.

The Julbord this year had a delicious assortment of meats, cheeses, vegetables, salads and desserts. Many of the foods were Swedish in origin. Both Glögg and Barnaglögg were provided for the guests, along with coffee. Thank you Jeff Charis-Carlson for making the Glögg!

Lucia Music and Entertainment: Before dinner, as the guests arrived and found their seats, Jeff Charis-Carlson and Tim Schulte played lively Christmas selections on the piano and bass providing a festive atmosphere for those in attendance. Following dinner, Bryn and Devin Hedlund provided violin and vocal music, followed by renditions by Ed and Marilyn Holtum and the Hedlund violins who led the guests in group singing of Swedish Christmas carols. Finally, Ron Johnson (playing his accordion) performed “I Yust go Nuts at Christmas, on that Yolly Holiday” in a Minnesota-Swedish accent, which was also well received.

A guest from Sweden: we were honored this year to have a guest from Sweden: Linnea Gustafsson, from Jönköping, a student at City High School. Thank you for coming Linnea!

Thanks to the Organizers and Volunteers! Cindy Abrams and Sharon Scheib, co-chairs of this event, improved the organization and enlisted the aid of many Swedish Club members for this year’s Lucia Fest with really good results. Critical to the success of the event were Jan Kappes, who baked the saffron buns, and the committees headed by Jan Ahlberg, Judy Best, Sharon Bender and Rosemary Plapp.

“Seashore Meeting”, Sunday, Oct 30, 2-4 PM

Social Meeting and program at the home of Jan Alan, 815 N. Linn Street, Iowa City

This is the home where Carl Seashore lived and which he had architecturally designed for him and his family. The house is very interesting in itself, and Jan has much of the original documentation and some pictures! Jan gave a tour of the house and the garden, and regaled us with stories and photos of the Seashore family!

Coffee and/or a glass of wine and some cookies were served. About 31 Swedes and Swedish/Americans were in attendance. A fantastic meeting!

About Carl Emil Seashore:

Carl Seashore was born on Jan 28, 1866 in Mörlunda, Hultsfred Municipality, Kalmar County, Sweden to Carl Gustav and Emily Sjöstrand. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1870 and settled in Iowa. The name “Seashore” is a translation of the Swedish surname Sjöstrand. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota in 1891, having studied mathematics, music, and classical languages and literature. During his years in college he served as the organist and choir director of a Swedish-Lutheran church and his salary there paid most of his college expenses. Seashore attended Yale when that school had just opened its psychology department under George Trumbull Ladd. In 1895, Seashore was awarded the school’s first Ph. D in psychology for his dissertation on the role of inhibition in learning.[1]

Professor of Psychology, University of Iowa 1897 - 1937

Dean of the Graduate School 1910 - 1936

Dean Pro Tempore 1942 - 1946

Widely known (to this day) for the Seashore Tests for Musical Ability.