Why Lindsborg, Kansas, you ask?
Good question, permit me to explain.
On a recent Thursday I was party to an expedition to Lindsborg, a tiny community south of Salina that celebrates its Swedish heritage proudly.
By way of explanation, Good Wife Norma and her sister, Ruth Tallmadge, are both card-carrying Swedes. Their father, John Garling, served in the Swedish military before arriving on this country’s shores at Ellis Island with little more than a trunk of personal items and handful of money.
GWN has been to Sweden twice, once accompanied by Ruth, the third Garling sister, Margaret, and their mother, Elsie.
The reason for our visit to Lindsborg had a much less touristy and more specific intent.
Are you familiar with the traditional Swedish Dala horse, one of which you see here? It is perhaps the most iconic, universally recognized symbol of this idyllic Scandanavian nation.
Each sister has had a Dala horse for many years, both now in need of a makeover.
Ruth’s was ruined when a previous husband attempted to re-letter it with his last name many years ago. The result was so bad it would have been funny had it not mortally wounded her one and only, beloved Dala.
The problem with GWN’s was more complicated.
In the photo you see our name is spelled Moseley’s. This error of grammar is as common as it is egregious and, for a newspaper editor, insufferable.
That punctuation can only be one of two things, either singular possessive as in, “That is Moseley’s underwear, for God’s sake run away,” or a contraction to represent ‘Moseley is’ as in, “Can you believe Moseley’s going fishing? Again!”
I have grappled with this maddening error for all my 30 years in print journalism. Image if you can (you can’t possibly) the torture of having it displayed in vivid red right next to my very own front door your entire adult life.
No one in search of a competent editor would knock on a door emblazoned with so hideous an abomination.
And there you have it, the dual mission for our assault on unsuspecting Lindsborg. Seemed straight forward enough … but then a twist.
In wandering about the wonderful and well-stocked store (hemslojd.com) waiting for the artist to arrive after lunch and assess the shortcomings of our Dalas, high up by the ceiling in a back room I spied a wiener dog rendered in the same bright ethnic flair.
A Dala Dachshund? Could it be? It was.
Any visitor to this corner of page 4 on Saturdays will instantly understand the potential ramifications for GWN and her three-wiener household.
Arms flailing in shameless excitement, I raced to fetch her.
The outcome was predictable. As soon as ‘Moseley’ is painted on both sides (absent the mortifying apostrophe-S of course) and it is shipped to us her world will be a better place.
Ruth and Jim, who have their own brace of tube dogs, bought one, too.
Get ready, folks, a new sheriff is comin’ to town. Challenge the Dala Doxies at your peril.
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