Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Creative Ancestors

My 9th great-grandfather, Wyllem Coucheron, who arrived on the shores of the kingdom of Norway in 1657 was a map designer and officer. He was given the task of designing the fortress in Halden, in southern Norway and  create the town structure of the neighboring town of Fredrikstad, which is now called "gamlebyen". He was an architect, an engineer, and a creative man.

That I have ancestors like that makes me happy. I believe it's true that traits and talents are inherited through the generations. My father was the most creative person I have ever met. He always had a homemade solution and an idea. He was also an architect, like Wyllem, a contractor, furniture and kitchen cabinet maker, a garden designer, a carpenter, a musician, an inventor of great ideas, and an excellent artist. Hundreds of oil paintings and pen and ink drawings he made - now decorating homes in several countries.

But he was at a loss when it came to technical or mechanical problems. And languages he struggled with. I used to laugh at how he made foreign words harder to pronounce than they really were.

Today I am proud when Arnfinn says, "That's a Bertran Eljarbø type of idea." Be it, that I find a clothes' hanger to keep the window open on stormy nights or an broomstick to use as a clothes' rack. I like hearing that I am following my dad's inventive ways.

Is heritage important? Do we feel like we belong to a lineage, to our forefathers? I like the idea that I love my mother, she loved hers, and so on. It makes me feel like we are all tied together in a special bond.

Linnea and Michael chose to have their wedding party in an old 17th century building in gamlebyen designed by her 10th great-grandfather (the one above). It is on Wyllem Coucheron Street, named for the man who worked there so many years ago

Today's art is not mine, but paintings by my father. Enjoy.

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