A COURAGEOUS BOOK
"Strong families, tales of courage and mystery, and the close relationship between
two peoples – Norwegian and American – fill this wonderful book. Part oral history and with more than
500 pages and hundreds of photographs, Astrid Tollefsen’s work can be appreciated by anyone whose ancestral relatives
came “from away” and became part of the American social and economic fabric." Barnstable Patriot, December 24,
"The 500-plus-page book, complete with scores of black and white
photos, is part national history, part family history, and all tribute to the struggles and achievements of those Norwegians
who ventured far from home. ..the love (of books) is evident on virtually every page of Following the Waters, which
is almost encyclopedic in scope."New Bedford Standard-Times, December 19, 2004
With foreword by Lars Fure, Norwegian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, it is hard-bound with dust cover, 514 pages, 400 photos and many extra features
including an extensive bibliography.
Featuring original art from renowned
James Nachtwey/VII --- photo
Arthur Moniz -----
Magne Adolfsen ---- oil painting
Gunvald Falnes ---- oil painting
Order today for the holidays, birthdays, weddings, graduations, and special occasions
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the Waters, Voices from the Final Norwegian Emigration, chronicles the lives of courageous and often peripatetic twentieth-century
Norwegian emigrant fishermen, who settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, founded the scallop industry, improved the fishing
industry and helped bring the port of New Bedford into the premier position it enjoys today. Some emigrants moved on to the Seattle/Alaska fisheries, a few returned to Norway, while still others stayed in the
New Bedford area.
This emigration, marked by great courage and fraught with loss of life at sea, brought great wealth to some emigrants
-- undreamed of when they “came over” from Norway -- while others suffered equally unimaginable personal losses.
In the tradition of the pendlers (best translated as commuters,) they often kept their own traditions, skills, lifestyles
and culture and passed it on to their children.
courage, daring sea rescues, strength, culture, history, traditions, loss at sea and patterns of living -- in addition to
the history and traditions of the New Bedford area are emphasized throughout this book. This is the oral history of their
emigration as told to and understood by the author. She interprets it to the
reader by setting it within this historical and cultural milieu.
"Following the Waters"
*22 Chapters, 514 pages, over 400 photos and artifacts + special
pages and mini-chapters filled with surprises!
* Based on 150 interviews in America & Norway as well as personal archives.
* Background history of New Bedford and Norway
* Stories of survival, ambition, & faith.
* Stories of the war years, the early days and major ship losses.
* Stories of the lives of the visionaries: those who invented or pioneered.
* Stories of controversial waterfront life, traditional family life and the role of the church.
* Stories of the second and third generations
and their success.
* Stories of the fishermen and their love for the sea and their boats.
* Author's personal story of discovering her Norwegian heritage
of life and danger at sea; great heroism, mystery, courage and tragedy
* Stories of Brooklyn, New Bedford, Seattle, Alaska and Norway
* Ethnic Humor, folklore and traditions.
* Extensive bibliography, notes, and appendix
Books available at:
Baker Books, New Bedford, MA
Arthur Moniz Gallery, New Bedford,
Euro-Phoenix, Fairhaven, MA
Norwegian Seaman's Church, NYC
Pacific Lutheran University,
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle
Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, Iowa
|The New Bedford Fisherman's map to Georges Bank
|New Bedford to Georges Bank: a path of triumph and tragedy.
"I waited for this book and it was more than worth the wait. My father's family originated
from Karmoy and Stavanger, so the book has a lot of personal meaning for me, but it goes far, far beyond that. It is Astrid
Tollefsen's dazzling achievement to have recorded important and significant histories of the close and mostly unsung relationship
between Norway and America --riveting authentic stories of deep family bonds, hardships and war, love and successes, and more.
She sets these accounts in clear historical frameworks and brings the past to life again. Her book is a true education and
a profound delight. The stunningly rich , well-organized and comprehensive contents are graced by both excellent and sensitive
writing and an elegant presentation in a beautifully-produced volume. Imagine not knowing what to expect and then receiving
something so fabulous? I'm also proud of my Norwegian-American heritage and now I'm proud of sharing this heritage with author
and historian Astrid Tollefsen who has paid our mutual heritage one of the best book tributes I have ever seen. She's on my
shelf right next to O. E. Rolvaag and everyone will have to buy their own copy because I'm not letting mine out of my sight."
|The late Tonnes Kvighaug of Southern Norway, a young, skilled fisherman out of New Bedford.
|NAL Stavangerfjord, the emigration ship of choice, third class stateroom.
"Following the Waters"
has been supported, in part, by
generous gifts from the:
*Office of the Norwegian Consul
General in NYC
* Nordmann's Forbundet in Oslo.
* Sons of Norway, Minneapolis
* Karmoy Kommune
* City of Stavanger
and individuals who care.
the Waters" ISBN number 0-9746515-5-9, LOC 2004095080, copyright 2001. All rights reserved. Interviews, content and concepts are the exclusive property
of Astrid Tollefsen and cannot be reproduced or used in any form without the express permission of the author.
|A New Bedford Yankee bride with her Norwegian husband: Aletha and Olav Berg in the thirties.
"Ideals are like stars.
You will not succeed in
touching them with your hands.
But the seafaring man who
follows the waters,
follows the stars
and if you use them for your
guide, you can reach your
JFK, in a speech quoting
19th C. philosopher,
Some book comments:
"I LOVE your wonderful work.... I
am very impressed with all the work you have done and it's a very important contribution to the history of the emigration.
Congratulations!" Kristin Brudevoll, Executive Director, NORLA,
Oslo, Summer 2005
"The book is delightful with
history, interviews, humor, tragedy and the story of a great people and nation....I was particularly pleased to read of your
pilgrimage of Faith. I learned much about the fisherman's life and the tragedy that is part of setting out to sea to make
a living. What steady hard working families you describe. It was nice to meet them. With finishing your book I feel lost.
What book can take its place You're a good writer. Keep it up! The late Rev. John Reynolds
"I read every page and I feel I am
through a looking glass into my life.
I love it, I love it!
Thank you, Astrid!" --
Barbara Medhaug, Daughter and wife of a Norwegian emigrant
"Well, now I have the book and
I must say I am impressed. It is a powerful piece of work and should be in the home of all Americans with Norwegian heritage,
in my opinion."
Harald Koksa, Oslo, retired chief
engineer, NAS OSLOFJORD
The fascinating material about WWII,
both here and in Norway, is worth the price of the book in itself. Wonderful all new stories and materials never before documented.
Thank you.... Anonymous reader.
impressive and unique... a very fine book which fills a niche that was previously unexplored." Hans Storhaug,
Director, The Emigration Center, Stavanger, Norway
written, impressive book." Dr Kjetil Flatin, Senior Advisor: The Norse Federation, International Headquarters in Oslo.
the stories of the Alaskan fishery and how the Norwegian fishermen from New Bedford founded the scallop industry there. Truly
remarkable men and stories" a reader from Seattle
You don't have to be Norwegian to love it!
"I have read every page and
I love it. Now I am going to read it again. It is like going down memory lane for me"
Erling Berg, fisherman and
son of a fisherman.
"A wonderful glimpse
into the life of little known but fascinating people. Can't put it down." Mary Tracy Douglas,
"Her book paints
a colorful portrait of the community in Massachusetts, New England. She deserves praise
for preserving parts of this important history." Espen Tjersland, Former Editor, Nordisk
"This book is unique in
its careful interweaving of interviews with fascinating first-hand and second-hand narratives; it is a must-read for anyone
interested in moving and authentic personal stories about Norwegians' lives in the United States, and in Norway, too in the
past century." David S. Martin, Ph.D Professor Emeritus, Gallaudet University,
Faren kom fra Karmøy
for å fiske. Astrid Tollefsen var bare 22 måneder da Sigvart Tollefsen omkom i USA. Men de norske fiskernes historie skulle
og måtte fortelles.
KARMØY: «Following the Waters» er den poetiske tittelen
på den mursteinstykke boken om fiskeriutvandringen til New Bedford og Seattle. Læreren og offiseren som første gang besøkte
Karmøy og Norge i 1966, har siden tatt mange turer over Atlanteren for å dokumentere livet og døden på scallop'en eller på
laks og King Crab-fiske.
– Jeg har et slags minne om min fars nærvær og
kjærlighet, sier hun forklarende.
Sivert og Henriette Emilie Hansen Tollefsens barnebarn har alltid følt seg
sterkt knyttet til farens norske røtter i Skudenes. norgesbesøkene har blitt mange. Mange dro Stort og smått har fått plass bak permene. 500 sider med over 150 intervjuer med nordmenn og amerikanere. Og
en del historie. Nordmennene som fulgte havene var mange. I alle fall i New Bedford and Fairhaven. Rundt 5.000 på det meste.
Fiskerne først og fremst fra Vest-Karmøy, håndverkerne ofte fra Lista. Tollaksens tidsspenn er fra 1920-årene og fram til
i dag. Fiskernes etterkommere får også plass. Som filmmanusforfatter Brian Helgeland, som for noen år siden gjestet Filmfestivalen.
Courage. «Mot», sier Astrid Tollefsen og smaker på ordet. Hun har møtt mange fortellinger om mot under arbeidet. Boken forteller
for eksempel om norske fiskere som med primitivt utstyr drev overvåking av tysk utbåtaktivitet utenfor den amerikanske kysten
Rikdom og ruin Tollefsen forteller at de måtte ut for
å finne et levebrød, mange av disse fiskerne fra Karmøy. Silda forsvant og det de kunne var å fiske. Men ikke kunne de språket,
og ikke visste de alltid mye om hva de gikk til. Likevel våget de skinnet.
- Mange tjente gode penger. Noen
ble amerikanere i sinn og skinn, andre dro hjem igjen og bygde opp en tilværelse for seg og sine i gamlelandet. Andre pendlet
mellom USA og Norge i årevis. Noen ble også borte på havet. Og ikke så rent få slet og søkte trøst i flasken. En liten bit
av historien det også, selv om mange nok hadde foretrukket at jeg ikke nevnte så mye om akkurat det, sier Tollefsen.
arbeidserfaring også fra Den amerikanske marinen, vet hun litt om sjøfolks liv. Erfaring hun har brukt i arbeidet med boken.
The Waters» er full av svart/hvitt illustrasjoner. Ikke minst har Astrid Tollefsen vært sjenerøs når det gjelder å samle sammen
norske gjenstander og fotos fra USA.
"Dear Astrid,"Not only is your heart and soul in the book, but also the hearts and
souls of those you wrote about." Elen-Carin (SofN leader)
Author, Astrid Tollefsen was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is the daughter of Sigvart Tollefsen, of
Skudeneshavn, Norway, and Muriel Caswell Tollefsen of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Just after the “Great
’38 Hurricane,” her father, a fishing captain and owner of the F/V Valencia, drowned at sea when his boat sank in a freak storm. Raised by her selfless Yankee mother
under difficult circumstances and always searching for her father and the sense of security and warmth he gave her, she worked
her way out of poverty, earned a master’s degree from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and did post-graduate work
at the University of California, Irvine.
She served as a teacher and naval officer and in senior executive positions
in both educational and non-profit organizations Her
last position was as founder and CEO of a fund-development consulting firm.She was listed in the 58th Edition of Who’s Who in America, 2004, and in Who's Who of American
Women 2006. Ms. Tollefsen says she enjoys writing more than any other endeavor. Her first poetry was published
at the age of sixteen and she has written career-related materials and newspaper and magazine articles throughout her lifetime.
This is her first book.