Hjalmar Georg Lundstrom
He was my Mother’s father, my Grandpa, and your Great Grandpa. He was born in the Houtskär region of Finland in something like 1885. His Dad died when he was very young and he and his brother had to work hard from an early age.
- He was a fisherman and a carpenter and came to the United States around 1903 to stop being a fisherman and to escape being drafted into the Russian army.
Lesson 1: At all costs, avoid being drafted into the Russian army.
- He found my Grandma Aina Helena Sundburg when they were young and poor and working in Brooklyn. She was a maid and he was a carpenter living in a single men’s barracks (different world). Grandma didn’t take him seriously – they dated – they didn’t date – and dated again. She finally went back to Finland to consider her options. He showed up to be with her. They got married and had six kids.
Lesson 2: If you want something, prove it.
- Once he had a mishap and cut off the end of his nose with a circular saw. He walked over and picked it up out of the sawdust and taped it back on with electricians tape. It healed. No problem. Just a little white scar around the tip of his nose forever after.
Lesson 3: Fuck it, move on.
- He designed and built houses, had six kids, wrote poems and played the violin.
Lesson 4: Get busy.
- He died at 95 years old, asleep in his bed.
Lesson 5: Die at 95 in your sleep, my boy.