Post: Readers Respond

I am a new reader of Pietisten. I borrowed the current issue, Fall/Winter 2015, from a friend and I like what I read. The article by Jay Phelan caught my attention as this whole issue of racial bias has been on my mind for some time. Black lives matter. Yes they do, but as fellow human beings created in the image of God I need to affirm that all lives matter. No matter the color of skin, ethnic background, or nationality, we are loved by our Creator. It is a sorry state that we are living in when we have this racial tension and a national conversation is difficult because of political correctness. I think we need people who are not afraid of the PC police, whoever they are, to have the courage to step out and speak up. That is my view.

Paul Hanson, Des Moines, Wash.

photo described below

The longer I live, the older I get, the more moves I make, I seem to continually make new connections! This photo, taken in 1928, was at my childhood home (backyard) in Minneapolis. Pictured are Mrs. A. L. Skoog, Mrs. Joel Johnson, Ruth Lindstrom (my mother), A. L. Skoog, Joel Johnson, Winston Johnson (13 years old), Berdina Lundstrom (age 6), Elaine Lundstrom (age 9), Jeannette Johnson (age 11), and Dorothy Lundstrom (me, age 5). It amuses me, and places me in great awe, that there I am, in the photo, just inches from this great songwriter (Skoog).

My dad, Reuben Lundstrom, who took the picture, was a teacher at Minnehaha Academy, where Rev. Skoog also taught. My dad also was the organist and choir director at Salem Covenant Church in Minneapolis.

The Salem church helped support the Joel Johnson family who were missionaries in China. Thus, all these families were good friends. Years and years later, my adult family, husband Wayne Balch, and children, Candi and Peter, moved to Seattle. There we reconnected with Jeannette (Johnson) Adamson and her husband, Perry, and Winston Johnson and his wife, Irma.

Wayne and Winston were both organ students of the same teacher, Dr. Frank Van Dusen, at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. We were friends in Seattle for almost 50 years. At the memorial service for Jeannette, several years ago, I spoke at the service and shared this old photo, where as children she and I held hands – and rejoined hands in the mid-1960s!

Another connection, A. L. Skoog was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis years ago. My sister, Berdina, died at age 12, and at that sudden loss, my dad, rather hastily, bought a cemetery lot (for six) at Hillside Cemetery! A huge black Swedish granite tombstone was placed on the Lundstrom lot, only a few feet from the Skoog tombstone, also black granite. So my dad, mother and sister are buried close to the Skoogs.

Now in my 92nd year, I am enjoying new life, new experiences,

new family and friends — connections from church, Minnehaha, North Park, Seattle, and countless other connecting threads. This to me is a gift from God, to be so enriched in my later years with this history and background. Let us keep sharing thoughts, travels, and experiences in our lives. What a blessing! Tack, O Gud!

Dorothy Lundstrom Balch, Northbrook, Ill.