DAY 31.

Betty, her grandchild Amanda and her brother Jack come to pick me up to Iron River. We stop by the saw mill first, because forestry is an important living in the area. The next stop is Crystal Falls where Betty’s and Jack’s mother came by train when she immigrated to the country. The stories are many as we drive trough the town and visit a monument for Finnish immigrants in the yard of the City Hall. There is a city archive from Iron River in the City Hall – the story goes that somebody got the clerks drunk in Iron River and stole the archive.

Jack wants to introduce me to everyone we meet on our way. And people seem to be quite happy to talk with someone who is from Finland. I doesn’t matter who we meet, everyone seems to have Finnish descent.

Iron River was a mining town and is suffering deep depression. The mines are still working but the process of the mining have developed and needs less work force. There are a lot of houses for sale in the town and some buildings are basically ruins. Churches are many, too. Each nationality that immigrated to US had their own church and the masses were in their own language. People don’t go to churches that much anymore and all of the churches are English speaking nowadays.

We do an interview in Betty’s wonderful log cabin in the evening. The situation is new to me, because there are four people to interview at the same time: Betty, Betty’s sister Faye, Jack and Jack’s son Rich. Betty is a person to whom everybody want to come to. Door opens and closes, people come and go. I try to adjust to the situation, but as an introvert person, I don’t necessarily keep up with the discussions all the time when there are so many people. I feel longing: I’m not sure if I have this close, warm family at home or belonging to a community. I’ve always walked alone, I suppose. But I wish I would have people visiting me when I’m 73 years old like Betty.

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