Axel Nielsen


reminiscences, family, Danish immigrants


"Reminiscences" is the title ascribed to the talk that Axel Nielsen made at the celebration of his parents' 70th wedding anniversary. His sister-in-law, Enola Nielsen writes, "He wanted to say something for the folks at the anniversary so he started writing a little in a yellow spiral-ring notebook. He'd write a little bit more each evening and it just kept going. I've seen the handwritten notebook, and he just filled up the page from top to bottom without ever scratching out a word or changing anything. No outline, no overall plan - not at all the 'right' way to write! Some of the older kids remember some of the details a little different, of course, but Axel wrote it just as he remembered it, in the way it came to him, and we think it's wonderful." And this is how he delivered it. Unbeknownst to him, Myrna Hall, a niece, typed and made copies for the family. A couple of years later when I was visiting with Axel about his folks and how they came to Junction City he offered to let me read a copy of his talk. After reading it I made a mental note that here was a story that was appropriate for publication in The Bridge. Axel seemed pleased and indicated that he would have tried to do a better job had he known that people other than family might be reading it. Axel has made a few additions to the story as he told it originally, and there has been some minor editing, trying not to impose on the delightful way the story is told.