Arnfinn Bruflot Oral History Interview, 1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Bruflot, Arnfinn
Title
Dates
1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 file folders
2 sound cassettes
3 compact discs
Collection Number
t064-065
Summary
An oral history interview with Arnfinn Bruflot, a Norwegian immigrant.
Repository
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
98447
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
archives@plu.edu
Access Restrictions

The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Arnfinn Bruflot was born on October 19, 1904 in Naustdal, Sunnfjord, Norway to Lars Henrik Bruflot, a dairy farmer, and Anna Maria Gjengedal. Arnfinn had five older siblings: Nikolai, Jakob, Reinhart, Andreas, and Albert. Arnfinn began school at the age of six and went on to high school, middle school, and college. In 1928, he decided to immigrate to America, where he settled in Tacoma, WA. There, he was first employed at St. Paul Lumber Mill and was later employed as a painter. In the 1930s, he obtained an editing job at the Western Viking, a Norwegian newspaper. In addition to editing, Arnfinn wrote editorials, did artwork, and supervised. In 1948, Arnfinn married Ingrid Grolid and had one son, Norris.

Arnfinn had always had an interest in writing, and after he retired, he began to write more seriously. He has published four poetry books and a novel, including Juni-baten - 1969, Det Storkna Havet - 1970, Praeriekveld - 1973, Dei Kom til Amerika - 1975, and Inn I America - 1980. His writing is aimed at social developments and has received good reviews. Arnfinn believes that Norwegian heritage is very important and a good influence, and he has participated in the Sons of Norway, Nordlandslaget, and Northlight - Unique Light of Northern Norway. He has also been a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Arnfinn feels that America has given a lot to him, and he has no regrets about immigrating.

Lineage

Full Name: Arnfinn Bruflot. Father: Lars Henrik Bruflot. Mother: Anna Maria Gjengedal. Paternal Grandfather: Nels Vonen. Paternal Grandmother: Rise Vonen. Maternal Grandfather: Jakob Gjengedal. Maternal Grandmother: Martha Gjengedal. Brothers and Sisters: Nikolai Bruflot, Jakob Bruflot, Reinhart Bruflot, Andreas Bruflot, Albert Bruflot, Spouse: Ingrid Grolid. Children: Norris Bruflot.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This interview was conducted with Arnfinn Bruflot on June 30, 1981 in Tacoma, Washington. It contains information on family background, emigration, marriage and family, Arnfinn's writing career, and Norwegian heritage. The interview also contains two articles on Arnfinn and his writing career. The interview was conducted in English.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The partial interview transcription highlights important aspects of the interview. Numbers may be used as guides to important subjects. Two numbers separated by a slash indicate that the first number is for cassette and the second for CD.

Container(s) Description
Cassette
64, side 1 008/12 : PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Born October 19, 1904 in Naustdal, Sunnfjord, Norway.
64, side 1 029: PARENTS
Lars and Anna Maria. Father, a farmer of mainly cows, some sheep, goats, and horses. Sold dairy products.
64, side 1 067/13: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
(See family lineage)
64, side 1 074: PATERNAL GRANDPARENT
Risa, typical Norwegian grandmother.
64, side 1 095: NORWEGIAN SCHOOL DAYS
Started age 6, ended age 14. One year later on to high school (Ungdomsskole or Folkehøgskole).
64, side 1 125/01: NORDLANDSLAGET
Getting money to send students to Norway's high school.
64, side 1 138: MIDDLE SCHOOL
Worked hard, shorter period of time, on to college. Depression came surplus of educators, etc. College was in Nordfjord.
64, side 1 182: DECIDED TO COME TO AMERICA
Heard stories, had obligations to meet.
64, side 1 209/02: FAMILY'S REACTION TO EMIGRATION
Mixed emotions.
64, side 1 217: INTEREST IN WRITING
Started as a hobby. Wrote for local paper. Serious after retirement.
64, side 1 225: JAKOB SANDE
Great inspiration to him.
64, side 1 242: POETRY
Wrote poems, made first page on National newspaper.
64, side 1 249: FEELINGS ABOUT COMING TO AMERICA
Mixed, open options. August 10, 1928 landed in Quebec, Canada (see counter I-290).
64, side 1 268/03: BOAT TRIP
Passengers from same valley. Went from Bergen to Southampton, England and then to Canada (nine days).
64, side 1 290: LANDED QUEBEC
Able to talk a little French, knew German better (See counter I-249).
64, side 1 290: BLAINE
Immigration station (U.S./Canada border).
64, side 1 314: JEFFERSON HOTEL (TACOMA)
Stayed upon arrival knew person from valley living now in Kent.
64, side 1 323: LANGAUGE DIFFICULTIES
Knew a little English, didn't like it in school, knew Latin better.
64, side 1 344: IMPRESSIONS OF TACOMA
Very nice, good feeling, different from now.
64, side 1 359/04: SCANDINAVIAN ORGANIZATIONS
Member of Nordlandslaget, Sons of Norway (see counter I-627, II-523, and II-576).
64, side 1 388: SETTLING IN TACOMA
Employed at St. Paul Lumber Mill. Talks of recently published book dealing with mill. Job descriptions at mill.
64, side 1 459:
Kept journal recollections during life.
64, side 1 466: EMPLOYED PAINTER
St. Regis. Fit well into occupation. Howard Johnsen as artist worked there too.
64, side 1 522: HAWAII
Hired as a painter during the war. Largest convalescent hospital.
64, side 1 547/06: CITIZENSHIP
Right after he got married (1948).
64, side 1 583: SCANDINAVIAN ORGANIZATIONS TODAY
Not real active (see counter I-359, II-523, and II-576). Visits to Norway.
64, side 1 600: EMIGRATION DIFFICULTIES
No real difficulties. Best part getting married. Met wife at a dance. Son attended Pacific Lutheran University.
64, side 1 627: SCANDINAVIAN TRADITIONS
Wife was young when her mother died so she missed out on learning the traditions.
64, side 2 001/07: WESTERN VIKING
Employed in the 1930s. Employed also at St. Regis at the same time. History of the Western Viking (see counter II-253) Andrew Bjerkeseth (?) was the editor. Hans Lavik bought the Western Viking later. It was first located in Tacoma and then in Seattle where it was purchased…
64, side 2 /08:
by Washington Posten, but retained the Western Viking name. Decorah Posten was the largest paper in the U.S. and Norway in 1920.
64, side 2 72:
Paper served the Norwegian community. Wrote an editorial against Weyerhaeuser.
64, side 2 125: POETRY
Published in Riksmaal - Bokmaal. Goes into detail regarding the Norwegian languages including Nynorsk.
64, side 2 253/09: WESTERN VIKING
One of the three Norwegian newspaper today. Most have merged (see counter I-011). Scandinavian papers are The Western Viking of Seattle; Nordisk Tidende of Brooklyn, New York; Vinland of Chicago, and Nyverd which was started by Norman Black in New York.
64, side 2 286: PURPOSE OF ETHNIC NEWSPAPERS
Kept up ethnic culture. Losing cause since people from the "Old Country" are dying out.
64, side 2 345/10: ETHNIC INTEREST
Fine, beautiful, always take pride. Language unifies a nation.
64, side 2 359: PUBLISHED WRITER IN NORWAY
Four poetry books, one novel. Receives good reviews.
64, side 2 402/11: PHILOSOPHY OF WRITING
Aimed at social developments.
64, side 2 438: RETURN VISITS TO NORWAY
Lots of changes. Industrial country (lots of pollution).
64, side 2 455: KEEPING CORRESPONDENCE
At least every Christmas.
64, side 2 479: RELATIVES VISIT
Cousins, not immediate family.
64, side 2 482: IMPORTANCE OF NORWEGIAN HERITAGE
Very important, good influence.
64, side 2 496/12: CHURCH LIFE
Member of First Presbyterian Church (19 years).
64, side 2 523:
Active in Nordlandslaget, Northlight - unique light of Northern Norway (see counter I-359).
64, side 2 576: SONS OF NORWAY
Not as active today, busy writing (see counter I-359).
64, side 2 590/13: WRITING CONTACTS
U.S. and Norway. Member of Tacoma Writers Club.
64, side 2 605/01: DESCRIBES HIS POETRY BOOKS
1969 - "Juni-baaten", 1970 - "Det Storkna Havet", 1973 - "Praeriekveld", 1975 - "Dei Kom til Amerika", 1980 - "Inn I Amerika".
64, side 2 645:
Recites Norwegian poem from "Dei Kom til Amerika." Reads a second poem called "Bygdefolket."
65, side 1 005/02: TRANSLATES FROM TAPE 65
Whoever was able to cope made it. Dreams in their hearts.
65, side 1 040/03:
Recites a poem on the social scene regarding smog and pollution.
65, side 1 073: FAVORITE NORWEGIAN AUTHORS
Current and past. Fire and Flame by Kjartan Floegtas who won the Nordic prize in literature. Tarjei Vesaas, Halldis Moren Vesaas.
65, side 1 109: PUBLISHING HOUSE
Third largest in Norway. Had to be persistent. Name is Norge Samlaget.
65, side 1 125:
125 His work describes what it means to be an immigrant. People in Norway read his work and that gives him a good feeling. Another successful American-Norwegian author is Ole Roelvagg who wrote "Giants of the Earth."
65, side 1 143/04:
No further trips to Norway, would like to travel in the USA.
65, side 1 157: CLOSING STATEMENT
Immigration - beautiful experience, no regrets. The "Old Country" is fine too. New country has given him a lot. Many have given some and gotten some.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Norwegian language
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Education--Norway
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Marriage
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ocean travel
  • Personal Names :
  • Bruflot, Norris
  • Bruflot, Arnfinn--Interviews (creator)
  • Grolid, Ingrid
  • Bruflot, Lars Henrik
  • Gjengedal, Anna Maria
  • Corporate Names :
  • Nordlandslaget Nordlyset (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Sons of Norway (U.S.) Norden Lodge No. 2 (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • St. Paul &Tacoma Lumber Company (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Western Viking (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Family Names :
  • Bruflot family
  • Gjengedal family
  • Grolid family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Naustdal, Sunnfjord (Norway)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Authors
  • Farmers
  • Newspaper editors