Nils Bjork

To my buddies from 40 years in the past.

With Dad deceased, Mom put her trust in the GDA probable powers that be (Mr. Witherspoon I suppose), where I found myself surrounded by cornfields at a small local 4 year Quaker college in southwestern Ohio. Soon feeling unfit for my school's parochial educational focus, I fooled myself into the dream of being a "Renaissance Man" by transferring my sophomore year to Shimer College -- at that time one of Time Magazine's 7 "trumpeted" experimental colleges (Reed, Antioch, St. John's etc.). Affiliated with the University of Chicago, with the curriculum based on the Hutchins educational plan with 3 years of required courses, focusing basically on original texts, with 90 minute round table discussion classes, the school of 500 on those rolling hills of western Illinois was my wind of deliverance.

My stint at graduate school at the University of Minnesota ended abruptly, not due to the possible improper hookup of a 44,000 BTU water heater as the source of my constructed apartment's sauna (fond memories of late night bashes with outside cool downs rolling in the 88" of snow we had that year), but precipitated by our Government's 1967 ruling, that the Selective Service Administration's all able bodies 1A young males could no longer utilize their 2A educational deferment beyond 1 year of Graduate School.

Consequently, that next fall I was greeted with open arms by the Mt. Morris, Michigan Junior High principal as the badly needed Math teacher for 7 daily fifty minute classes of approximately 40 students each. Nobody knew I had flunked Webb Dann's freshman Algebra class, but everybody soon learned that I was adverse to the use of the wooden paddles used for butt end corporal punishment. It was our school's attempt to engender an appreciation for learning in a community, where my college degree $6100 income was insignificant to those of students' 8th grade diploma parents working at nearby Chevrolet, Fisher Body, and Buick.

Two years later I was away from the States venturing to Europe to investigate our family's Swedish and German roots. Studied German at the Goethe Institute in Lüneburg, worked as an English instructor and class counselor at an idyllic Aufbaugymnasium mit Heim (boy's boarding school) at Michalebach an der Biltz near Stuttgart Germany, traveled frugally throughout most of Europe, worked for Mini Trek, an English company taking wealthy tourists throughout the Sahara, bought a Land Rover and traveled through Africa and parts of the middle east, thankfully had some good friendships and significant others, confronted a few near death experiences, worked with Shearson Lehman in Hamburg Germany as an independent options trader, married a German Fräulein, returned to the States in 1980 to pursue a good business opportunity.

The last 22 years has been devoted to the growth and maintenance of Brentwood House, an independent sales representative agency in the gift field, from which our family derives our sustenance.

Being very concerned about our species' over population and the negative impact that we are making on our environment, Marlies and I had initially intended not to have any offspring. We changed our minds (another story). We now find ourselves as older parents; and according to our young ones, we are significantly challenged in performing what they consider appropriate parental duties. Our daughter Sonja is a junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, coincidentally my home town (my 92 year old Mom still can't grasp why her granddaughter would want be at a men's engineering university as it was years ago); and our son Lars, now graduating from GDA this June, will be going to Occidental in CA this fall.

We stay busy at home with community involvements in our northern Virginia Fairfax County, and seldom venture out beyond the bounds of our traffic congested environment. Consequently, for any of you who are venturing to the DC area, either on business or for pleasure please don't hesitate to touch bases with us. Yes, time is precious, and for a classmate that most of you never really knew, I'm sure it's not the top of the list of your commitments. Nevertheless, it would be great to speak with you by phone, have a meal out, or drop by our home for a quick visit. We're just a hop, skip and a jump from Dulles International, and easy access by Interstate 66 from Reagan National.