Norwood was “invaded” by over 60 Norsemen on Monday as the crew of the Norwegian barque, “Statsraad Lehmkuhl,” as guests of a group of Norwood businessmen and industrialists, toured four local plants, ate hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers, consumed dozens of bottles of Coke, and munched on lollipops to the delight of their hosts during their four-hour stay in a 95-degree temperature that failed to wilt their enthusiasm.
In case you are wondering why a group of hardy, Norse seamen would be enjoying lollipops, you must realize that the seamen’s ages range from 15 to 18 years and that free lollipops, even at those ages, were hard to resist, especially when they just came of! the packaging line at a local candy factory.
The blond sailors were brought to Norwood on buses as guests of the local businessmen through the facilities of the Boston Seamen’s Friend Society.
The young sailors were given the day off Monday after entertaining over 200,000 visitors to their ship and five other sailing vessels that took part in “Operation Sail-Bos-ton” as sponsored by the Bos
ton Yacht Club and the Massachusetts Port Authority. The 258-foot Statsraad Lehmkuhl and the Spanish barquentme, “Juan Sebastian de Elcano” were the main centers of attraction at the Boston pier.
The buses carrying the young sailors to Norwood made stops at the Plimpton Press, Bird & Son, the NorTronics plant on Morse Street, and at the Charles A. Briggs firm on Endicott Street.
They saw books being printed at Plimpton Press, boxes being made at Bird & Son, and intricate electrical work being executed at the NorTronics plant. It was at the Charles A. Briggs candy plant on Endicott Street that the sailors eyes popped when they saw lollipops by the hundreds dropped from the machines and the H. B. Cough Drops being packaged right before their eyes.
Their host at the candy plant, Charles Briggs, and his employees operated the intricate machinery and saw to it that the boys had their fill of anything they wanted.
Town Manager Walter Blasenak was on hand to welcome the Norwegian visitors, along with Selectman Walter Dempsey, Fire Chief Irving Dobson, Architect Harry Kors-lund, Arthur Gleichauf of the Norwood Board of Appeal, Richard Pennington, and several others.
Outside the Briggs plant, Timmy Connolly, caterer, set up his tables and the sailors enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers and drank Coke.
Mr. Briggs was in his glory as the sailors toured his plant. As a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy, he and the young sailors had a lot in common. Some of the sailors could talk a little broken English and they had several interpreters along with them to bridge the language barrier and make everyone feel at home.
After then stay at the Briggs plant was ended, they were loaded into the buses, along with 60 pounds of lollipops, and wound up at the Dempsey estate where they were given more soft drinks, took rides on the Dempsey burro and swam in his swimming pool. On the return trip to Boston, Selectman Dempsey had the buses stop at McManus Ice Cream Shoppe and one and all had ice cream cones and banana splits.
As the visiting sailors left each of their Norwood stops, cries of “Takk” were heard echoing throughout the town. “Takk” in Norwegian means, “thanks,” and their hosts were heard to reply in perfect Norwood English, “You’re Welcome, Come Again.”
Their ship-left Boston yesterday for a trip to Ports-mouth, New Hampshire, where they will once again experience some of the famed New England hospitality.
BY E. V. McLEAN
(All articles originally appeared in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)