Mail from Australia

I received an email. It was from a Facebook friend. It´s part of the story that his last name is Wallin. He had been to Australia. Just recently. He had been to see his 92-year-old uncle there. He lived in Laurieton in New South Wales.

It seemed a little like Evert Taube’s song Himlajord about the Australian farmer John Löfgren when my friend told me that his uncle was born in Falkenberg. Interestingly, the 92 year old had shown my friend a book. To me that brought up a lot of memories and associations, because the book was written by my dad.

Along with this, the mail also contained a drawing of the house where the 92-year-old uncle lived as a child. I immediately recognized the house. It was built in the style that my grandfather, builder, was inspired to build when he was in the United States in the early 20th century.

The mail confirmed that it was my grandfater who built the house.

In addition, the mail contained a page from the book my dad wrote and that my friend the Australian traveler had read while visiting his uncle. There was the following little reflection. It’s my dad, the author, who describes his thoughts on a walk outside Falkenberg in 1962:

”Why don’t the  Falkenberg citizens go for a walk like they used to do, still in the 30’s, on the walk round Tröingeberg? I stand there watching the old citizens’ families from Falkenberg on a Sunday. I’m back to my youth now – don’t I see Mailman Wallin with his wife and their row of children coming there with the good postman making his observational landscape comments. ”

And there I see – to this day – both the father of my Facebook friend Wallin and the now 92-year-old uncle taking the Falkenberg Sunday family walk.

In Laurieton, New South Wales, there’s the uncle, his book, his memories and the drawing of his childhood home in Falkenberg, that a good friend of his drew a long time ago.

In Falkenberg, not so long ago, I took a photo. Not of the same house, because I didn’t know anything about these Australian connections. But the house I photographed was my father’s childhood home and my grandmother’s and grandfather’s home when I was a child. And I see that it is the same builder, the same building style – that of my grandfather.

Ellington