Among my Aunt Aurora’s things, I found the clipping of a letter Grandpa Victor wrote. The letter was published in a small Swedish newspaper after Victor had spent months visiting his homeland in 1947. In the letter he quotes from a letter written by someone else using the name Bulla-Ren, he expresses nostalgia for the Sweden of his youth, and he tells why he chose not to return permanently to Sweden. The letter is in Swedish. I translated it with help from Google Translate.

Here’s the letter.

After a six-month stay in my ancestral village Bullaren and surroundings and my birthplace Helgebo, I would like to mention here some of the impressions I have received after my visit after many years of absence in a foreign country. A writer (signature Bulla-Ren and probably a Swedish-American) had an article in Bohusläningen in the summer of 1947 about Lake Bullaren. There is no more mysterious or beautiful lake in the world than that, but it seems that the people who live around it do not notice it. As Bulla-Ren put it: “Where are all the young skaters with their happy faces and open eyes? Boats full of happy youth? Where is the music, the song and the happy laughter? It looks as if it was not the same Swedish race and mood. Maybe these are the difficult and anxious times?” When traveling either on the new or old country road on the west side of Lake Bullaren you can not fail to notice the many and large changes that have taken place in the last forty years. Where it used to be a heather meadow, it is now a large forest and to travel through it slowly on a bicycle or on foot is as if in a dream you were driving through a fairytale land. New houses and homes have grown up, but from time to time you get to see the opposite. Many of the old crofts and back cottages with their inhabitants are gone. Only a small pile of stones after the chimney remains of the house. And the inhabitants? Well, most people probably rest in Mo cemetery under the green peat. They had neglected time and were not allowed to see or talk to them. At the thought of it, it feels like the heart wanted to tighten. Likewise when I saw the marks of the blacksmith Törnkvist's house and Väderhagen, where the youth (myself included) used to gather to dance to music on Jew’s harp (played by Augusta Långström) for lack of another instrument. Then there was life in the hatch! Peasant daughters and maids red-cheeked and with clear and healthy glances were mixed about each other and danced with and the area’s male youth night long and then went home on dewy paths. If this becomes visible in “Vikingarnes” newspaper Bohusläningen, it would be please me in my attempt to vent my emotions.
- To those who are acquaintances and perhaps old drill comrades from the glorious [Army Regiment] I 17 I would like to send a heartfelt greeting for shown hospitality and friendly treatment in every way. I would not mind being with you and in my old homeland for the rest of my life, but because my home is now located here and I have my children and most relatives here as well I have to return here. But it felt depressing when I no longer saw the old ones’ familiar faces and when Bohus rocks and islets no longer were in sight.

A living for old Sweden and its people!

Route 1 Box 132 Iron River Mich. USA Victor Holm

The Augusta Långström whom Victor mentions might be his first cousin, the daughter of Anna Maja Olofsdotter and Ivar 0lof Långström. Augusta was twelve years older than Victor. The Bohusläningen newspaper is still in business.

Responsible: Albert Holm
Date: 24 July 2021; Updated: 2 Aug 2021