WAS IT COINCIDENCE? WAS IT IN THE CARDS? OR WAS IT A CASE OF SERENDIPITY? Either way, my path may have already been mapped out. I would like to share a short story that I hope you will enjoy. When my Mother was ill she surprised me with a story from her childhood. Ironically she shared this after I had acquired Le Fer Forgé. My best guess is that she waited so long to tell me because she was compelled to release this pain that she carried with her throughout her life?
My Mother, Tove, was born and raised in Oslo, Norway. Specific details about her childhood were rarely spoken of and I regret to this day for not having the maturity to want to learn more about her life. Cherish the time and discussions that you still can have with those around you that you love. Ask them the tough questions to get to know them better and document it all to pass it on.
The story begins with the news that my Grandfather and Uncle owned an iron works factory in Norway. What would the odds be of me coincidentally falling into the same line of work with no prior knowledge of this? I do not know any specific details of their operation but if I could speak to my Mother again I would want to know everything that I could. My mind wanders as I think about whether they learned their skills from their Viking ancestors. How interesting it would be for me to see any examples of drapery hardware that they may have manufactured.
My Mother told me that her Father was providing the communication in Oslo, Norway against the Nazi occupation. She mentioned that there was a trap door within the factory that led to a room with the communication equipment. My guess is that it was a quite primitive operation but nonetheless it must have been effective enough to show up on their radar. The Nazis would raid the factory based on their suspicions. They turned the place upside down, never finding a shred of evidence. It is unknown to me the amount of times they raided the factory but I do remember her telling me that it happened more than once. How traumatic it must have been as a young girl to be lined up against the wall with machine guns pointed towards her and her family.
The factory, their home on the beautiful Norwegian coastal waters along with most possessions were lost due to poor management as a result of the alcohol addictions both her Father and Uncle suffered from. Ever so often I ponder what it would have been like to visit the relatives of a family I have never met to put my eyes on the factory that I am sure had many more stories of greatness.
Chris Scarano, President