Dear Bud and family,
Who would have thunk? When the two young brothers, Jakob and Kresten, left their home in Denmark to come to California, the last thing on their minds was how their decision would lead to happy reunions more than 100 years later. Dealing with the immediate issues at hand was enough. New country. New language. New everything! To deal with the future beyond the current season was irrelevant. The two young men did well in the new country, but Kresten got sick with an unknown illness. He decided to go back to Denmark to get well and then rejoin his brother in California later. He did get well all right but he never made that second trip across the ocean, and the two brothers would never meet again. Being farm boys with very little formal schooling, the only form of communication at the time, letter writing, did not work very well. The last letter from Jakob was dated August 1904. The two brothers would carry on with their separate lives, including raising families of their own, on two different continents. But they never knew whether the other one “made it” or not. It would be late in the 20th Century before that letter from 1904 turned out to be instrumental in the two families finding each other. Well, it is not two families. It is ONE family. Along the way, this family has been enriched by a long string of spouses, children, and in-laws. A strong infusion of richness occurred when one of Jakob’s grandkids, Betty, married Bud and they raised their family in Woodlake, CA. I can not even begin to explain the strength of the bond that we found existed across the ocean within our family, and Bud was always a strong component in this bond. It is a privilege to know you, Bud. Your positive outlook and your fun loving nature is contagious. We are grateful that you were part of the deal when the family was reunited. It just would not have been the same without you. And we don’t care about the correctness of the terminology. You ARE our cousin. Thank you for being you! Thank you for all the wonderful memories. We love you.
Mette and Svend