St. Olaf Stories

Real life stories by Rose Nylund

Sing Along

I know how we can make the time go faster. We could sing a work song, like they do on the railroad. Just follow my lead. 

Gonna stuff a chicken
(Gonna stuff a chicken) 
Like my Mama taught me 
(Like my Mama taught me) 
Gonna take the chicken
Down to Mississippi…

Missing But Not Forgotten

I’m sorry. I know I’m behaving like a fool. But I got a right to sing the blues. I lost my teddy. 

Big Sven, Little Sven

It kinda reminded me of a party back in St. Olaf when I was a little girl. Big Sven and Little Sven were celebrating the first anniversary of their smoked herring hoagie house, when Big Sven…

Sales Staff at Tuttles

They already look at me strangely. Because of the time I tried to special-order a double breasted navy suit with a drop-seat in the pants for cousin Wendell.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Oh, my birthday! I completely forgot! Well! I’d better make a wish and blow out those candles before Mr. Hickenlooper has the entire volunteer fire brigade up here pumping water on my clean kitchen floor. I swear, that man will look for any excuse to make that siren sound through his nose. Inga Lundqvist told me just this last week…

I know. Shut up, Rose, and blow out your candles.


Gee, I love to bake. Back in St. Olaf, I always baked all our birthday cakes. Charlie loved ‘em.

1900 Hours

Check. At 1800 hours, we enter the suspects’ domicile. At 1830 hours, we sit down to dinner. After wine is poured, at approximately 1840 hours, I begin telling the story about Uncle Hertis and the three skunks and the fountain, which should last about… 

Citizen’s Duty

Now if we can do anything to assist the police, I think we should. Their job is hard enough as it is. I should know. My father was a policeman. Saturday and Sunday, he and the other farmers became volunteer policemen. Of course, the only crime in St. Olaf was that more people didn’t practice better oral hygiene. So most of the time they just sat around jailhouse and took pictures of each other behind the bars in goofy poses. 

Neighborly Welcome

Oh, I just love to welcome people to the neighborhood. In fact, back home, I used to run our town’s volkomm wagon. Oh, boy, was that fun! Whenever a new family would move in to St. Olaf, we’d all hop on the tractor and ride out to the neighbors’ farm. 30 or 40 of us carrying vats of smoked fish and big pitchers of freshly-squeezed potato juice. While cousin Dat played “Getting To Know You” through the hole in his windpipe.