”Who am I? What’s my name?
Where I’m from, how I came,
doesn’t matter dear,
long as I’m here!”
(A Fella with an Umbrella, Irving Berlin)
If you recognize the above quote, you already know a few things about me. I love music, and old musicals like Easter Parade from which those lines were taken. Music and movies are major interests of mine, and while I have never performed that particular song, it is representative of a musical style I’m very fond of.
Also, the philosophy fits, insofar as I’m not really fond of repeating the old story of why someone with a name like mine wound up in a place like this. I’ve told it for nearly fifty years, after all. But I realize Don’s Pages are missing a biography, so this is it. The old site had a long, detailed bio, but let’s not do that again. Thinking about that one is likely what got me started on the song. - It doesn’t matter, long as I’m here!
But I suppose a few facts are helpful. I was born in California, to an American father and a Swedish mother. When I was still a child, they divorced, and I have lived in Sweden since then. I’ve always felt like an outsider because of this duality, not quite belonging in either place. Americans would say ”oh, he’s so Swedish”, and the Swedes, well, they disagreed.
The difference between a Los Angeles suburb and a Swedish village is pretty big, and then there are all the cultural differences on top of that. What made it easier, was the nearness to nature, the surrounding woods which I always felt connected to. My early years I spent walking in the woods or playing the piano, which I was found to to have a modest talent for.
I eventually moved to the town of Eskilstuna, and to my surprise I find myself still living there. I have had some small success as a performer, but have mostly been doing other things for a living. I got hooked on Macintosh computers in the 90’s, which unfortunately has meant a lot more time spent in front of a screen than in the woods. Rediscovering my love of biking, I began taking bike trips during the summer months. My many interests, which also include dogs and photography, kept me busy in periods of unemployment. Turns out, the Swedes don’t much care for Macs, or Irving Berlin.
Yes, I left out the details to keep this biography short, and it probably does little to answer the question of ”who am I”. Who are any of us, but the sum of our experiences up to now. I will say this: I am as curious and excited about the future as I’ve ever been. I haven’t stopped learning and making new discoveries. What’s next? To quote a Swedish proverb: ”He who lives shall see.” And I’m still here.