Torske Klubben? What is that? We were delighted to be asked to share a set of music at Madison WI's Norwegian heritage club, Torske Klubben. Madeline, being from Stoughton, WI, has quite the connection to the regional Norwegian community in middle Wisconsin. Stoughton is host to one of the largest Syttende Mai festivals (Norwegian independence, May 17th). That being the case, she's practically Norwegian. It was a bonus, however, that my heritage actually is part Norwegian. In preparation for the event, I did a bit of research into my family’s Norwegian ancestry. One story I found was that of Martha Jorstad:
In 1866, at the age of 9, Martha Karine Jorstad left Norway bound for America by way of sailboat. After 13 weeks, and just 5 miles off the coast of Quebec, the ship wrecked. After making it to shore, she then made her way by cattle car south to Chicago in time to live through the great Chicago fire of 1871.
It's not something I think about enough, but we all in this country are connected in one way or another to an ancestor or two who had to endure an epic journey in order to step onto this land. Some families have really done a wonderful job at documenting ancestry records, and others not so much. It's never too late to start a collection of documents. It's something that'll be cherished by future relatives.
People continue to make epic journey's to this county today, whether it's legal or not. One of the odd jobs I worked in New York City was as a delivery driver. I would wake at 3am and catch a ride up to the warehouse in the Bronx with my boss, organize boxes by address, stack boxes onto pallet, and by 6am, I would head into Manhattan in a box truck. "Mexico", who was actually from El Salvador, was a co-worker of mine. I have fond memories of our deliveries together, our conversations always somewhat broken. He endured quite a journey from his Latin American home in order to make it across the American border and to New York City, illegally. What can I say, turns out one of my ancestors jumped his navy boat while near the American shore, lived under the radar for 5 years, and then became a citizen.
Madeline Fendrick and Brian Peck
We're happy to share with you stories from our journey as artists. Stories from the road, and stories from our home base in Stoughton, WI.
Logo Art by:
Robert Peck (Brian's Dad)
Cover Photos by: