Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

Welcome Poppy Daydreams, Terry, and Hosinoniwa, new followers of my blog.

My 55-Year Old Sweater!

This, my favorite photo of me, is from the summer of 1962. In those days, I rode horses all the time and for some reason I entered a contest that had to do with knowledge of horses. It was a nationwide contest and I was one of the winners. The prize was a one-week stay at horseback riding camp in Falsterbo, a seaside community in the south of Sweden. While there I had a lot of fun, got to ride retired racehorses for the first time (like sitting on a cloud), met some nice kids, which resulted in a visit to a riding competition of some sort on the island of Oland. That's where this picture was taken.

You may wonder what that has to do with anything, other than it is always fun to look at pretty horses. Well, today's treasure is the very same sweater I'm wearing in that picture. Just the other day, I took it out to wear for the winter.

Here it is, still going strong. I actually got this sweater when I was around 15 years old, which makes it very ancient for a sweater. And it is also special to me as it was very much a part of my teenage years in Sweden.

When I was young, there were two fractions among teenagers in Stockholm. One was the more intellectual, better educated kids and we, yes I was among them, loved Dixieland jazz, which had a huge revival at that time, just before the arrival of rock & roll. We went to school dances and frequented a wonderful jazz club in a cellar in Old Town, the medieval part of Stockholm. No liquor was sold there, but you still needed to be a certain age to get in, so fake IDs abounded.

We dressed in these kinds of sweaters, called Icelandic fishermen's sweaters although they were actually made in Norway. We wore skintight corduroy trousers, shoes with thick soles, and above and beyond, you had to have a duffel coat. If you saw the film, The Third Man, you know the coat I'm talking about. The camel-colored hooded coat with big wooden buttons, that I believe the British also wore during the Second World War.

The guys in this picture are wearing their duffels. And that's a very young me in the lower left of the smaller photo, wearing my duffel coat as well.

The other fraction was the bikers. They dressed in jeans and leather and were our mortal enemies. I don't know what kind of music they liked, probably Elvis, once he became popular, but I'm not sure. I imagine early rock though.

One winter, the bikers and the Dixieland guys met to duke it out in an ice hockey game. It was a huge event among teens and it was covered by all the local newspapers. And we won 3–0, it says in this article:

All in all, it was a wonderful time to be young. I always had a crush on someone or other in one of the bands. Usually the clarinet player. I don't know why, but they always seemed to make my teenage heart beat faster. It was all very innocent in those days, and as my ancient sweater keeps me warm up here, it also reminds me of that place and time in my life and all that happy music.


  1. That is such a sweet story, and how awesome is it that you still have the memorabilia?
    Also, thanks for welcome!

  2. If you got the sweater at 15, and it's 55 yrs old, that would make you 70!!! NO WAY!!! I'm calling a math mistake or an out and out lie! There's no way you're out of your 50s, pretty lady!!!

  3. Wow! That is one heck of a sweater! Looks all warm and toasty! Such happy memories you had of your youth! It must have been a great time!

    Your sweater is a lovely treasure! (You're so lucky that it still fits!)

  4. Oh, Inger! I LOVE this post! My mother still knits ALL the time and she has made some of these sweaters in her time. I love that you have the one you wore as a teenager, and still wear it today. That is truly amazing.

    What a lovely set of memories!

  5. Oh how neat you still have that sweater!!!!! It's a beautiful memory sweater!!!!!
    What a treasure:)
    Happy day to you!!!!

  6. Oh Inger, I love this post!!! What a wonderful memory and how nice that you can still fit in your sweater from your teenage years! But this post says the sweater is 55 years old. And you got it when you were 15? You don't look to be past 50 - 55 yrs. old now!!

  7. That is so special that you have kept that sweater all these years. And you can fit into as well! I hate to say it, but I would probably have been in the biker gang and we would have been mortal enemies -- but I was two years old in 1962, so I guess I wouldn't have been all that imposing. ;)

  8. Inger this was really enlightening and revealing. You looked like a model! It's a wonder those clarinet players weren't running after YOU!
    The sweater is obviously a good one to survive that long. Don't you just love 'things' we have that bring up all those good memories.
    Great post.

  9. I enjoyed your post. I can relate to your saving the sweater. I am so sentimental and still hanging onto things that take me back in memory land. Gerry

  10. Terry: You are welcome and I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

    texwisgirl: I was 66 on the About Me photo above. That was 4 years ago, so I guess I must be 70 now. It's been a lousy summer/fall with two injuries, a lot of pain, and lately hassles with doctors who don't want to treat car accident victims. So -- I don't know what I look like now. Too skinny for sure. But thanks so much -- I appreciate it.

    Sharon: It's a great sweater and very warm.

    Judy: Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Dawn: You are so right, it's a happy memory sweater. What a neat thing to say.

    Chambray Blue: Thanks for the age related compliment. I don't mind mentioning that I'm 70. I have had a setback this summer, but I'm working on coming back, getting strong, hiking, walking, and so on.

    Nancy: You probably would have been a cute little biker chick at the age of 2!

    Jabacue: I did some modeling, but my heart wasn't in it. Thanks for the compliment though. You are so funny! I had to leave Sweden to get chased by boys -- too many pretty young girls grow in Sweden.

    Gerry: So good to hear from you. I don't save that much stuff, but this sweater was special. And warm -- it must have been packed away for the 30 plus years I lived in So. California, so it is still in great shape.

  11. I love that pic of you with the horses. That is a great pic. And how wonderful you still have the same sweater! To me that says the sweater was well made and well taken care of! :)

  12. Inger - awesome post! It truly is amazing how some certain things just stay with us year after year. And, I loved the pics:) Thanks for sharing. It is always interesting to see where other people come from -- what makes them tick, their influences, etc. I love both Dixieland Jazz & Rock, so I don't know where I would have fit in... And, I'm a sucker for musicians, too:)

  13. Oh my goodness! 66 in your photo?! Wow you are a beauty! I'd have guessed MAYBE 52 at most. :)

    I know you had your car accident and doctor issues this year. Better days still ahead!!! :)

  14. That was lovely! How lucky that you still fit into the sweater!xxx

  15. That was awesome, I love your sweater and I'm glad you saved it. It is very, very special. I just love your picture with you and the horses.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

  16. I love the photo at the top of you with the horse and your beloved sweater. How sweet that you still have it after all these years. I don't believe I have an article of clothing other than a scarf for that length of time.

  17. I love everything about this post: the beautiful photo (you do look like a model), the sweater, the story. Just lovely.

  18. AJ-Oaks: Thanks, it is my all time favorite photo of me and the only one I keep out in a frame.

    RAchael: It has been interesting for me to share my treaures and contemplate things. Those days were just a small slice of life, later I got to like rock as well. Well, you know me and The Band, etc.

    texwisgirl: Thank you, but it is just a fluke of good genes. My sister had one chromosone too many, Down's Syndrome, so that was a close call that has kept me grounded all my life. And I am working on building up my strength because good health is so important after all. Thanks, though.

    Tracey: Yes, I am lucky to never have had to deal with food as an issue. But I did smoke and managed to quit that almost 20 years ago. Phew! My greatest accomplishment yet.

    Deborah: I'm glad you enjoyed my trip back to the past.

    Nan: While living in LA, I never thought I would ever wear it again, but now it is one of three wool sweaters that keep me warm up here in the winter.

    Tina: Yes, and remember the bullying? After all that I ended up have such a wonderful youth. I wish all those kids who died would have known that all that will end and life can be fun again.

    Terry: Thank you so much. It's incredible to me that one can put something out there that others will find interesting and enjoyable.

  19. and it fits!!! How cool is that!
    And a nice trip down memory lane for all of us and the things we did in our late teens.

  20. Inger, that was a wonderful picture you just painted, sweater & all!...:)JP

  21. Polly: Yes it fits, a bit hard to take on and off with my bad shoulder, so I'm wearing another one right now. But it still fits and it's just as warm as ever.

    JP: To paint a picture with words, something I always wanted to do. And coming from you, a wonderful story teller, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

  22. What wonderful memories! And how cool to have a sweater like that which has lasted all these years and is still going strong. Moreover, how wonderful to still fit into it, lol!

  23. What a lovely post. And, how wonderful that you have that sweater still. Though, I have to admit that the first thing I noticed when I looked at that picture was the flared riding breeches. Sigh, wish that they would come back in style. They were such wonderful hip hiders.

    At our school, we had the college bound kids, clean cut and maybe a little on the snotty side and the hoods, black leather jackets, slicked back hair and motorcycle boots. I was a college kid, but, sigh, I always got crushes on the hoods.

  24. Love the sweater and the memories... I still have a sweater I knitted and wore back then too! I made Chuck (and Chad) one of those off white islandic style sweaters. Neither of them wear them - too warm for California.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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