Historic Musings

by Amelia Kanan

I just thought I would share a funny little quip I found while conducting a bit of research on a Swedish/Detroit piece I’m working on.

My great-grandpa (Far Mor, as we say in Swedish) Charles J. Koebel was a founder of the Swedish Council of America. Curiosity had me google his name that led me to an article from the ’80’s. Far Mor had already died but Mor Mor (his wife and my great-grandma) was still alive and kickin’ plus, by then I had popped onto the scene. It was just in time too because although I was only 5, the Council chose me to welcome King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden when they came to visit Detroit. On my end, it was a big deal. We prepped for weeks, went shopping for weeks and practiced speaking in Swedish for weeks. Not to mention, I got scolded for weeks by our family’s own queen bee, Mor Mor on things like behavior, etiquette and not being able to squeeze into the traditional Swedish dress that was made to fit a 3 year old. However, after reading this article, Mor Mor presented a very different side.

In this article, after a very positive, exciting quote from another American Swede…Mor Mor is quoted, in a very different tone:

“But Ingrid Koebel, 83, whose late husband Charles Koebel organized Detroit’s Swedish club, said she wasn’t too excited because, ‘I’m not into royalty anymore.’ Koebel said she already met King Gusaf three times. Still, she was proud to watch her great-granddaughter, Amelia Kanan, 5, present the Queen with a bouquet of Michigan-grown flowers. Amelia had been waiting nervously for the couple’s arrival. ‘I never met a Queen before,’ she explained.”

I now understand where I get my attitude towards celebrity-ism and the “I’m over it” mentality.

Well, that’s it. Now I need to get some real work done. If you want to read the whole article, click on this.