Jan 13-13

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2013: January: Jan 13-13
June and Russell Bergh    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Nora Dee
Years later    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Nora Dee

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 07:44 am:

Not long after each New Year arrives, the mailman brings catalogs from the Burpee folks and others, reminding us that summer will eventually return. Today's Shoebox Memory is from one Copper Country summer in the middle of last century. In the first photo Captain Russell Bergh gives the orders as his lovely bride June navigates the amber waves of grain with her Jari Sickle Bar Mower. The Captain was so accustomed to living aboard anything that sailed the Great Lakes, they say he walked with a list when on land.

That futuristic looking machine in June's grip is still being sold today out of St. Peter, Minnesota (wonder why we only hear about St. Paul?) Jari has somewhat of a cult following among antique collectors, with this assortment recently showing up in a blog from a farm in Vermont:

Courtesy of Butternut Valley Farm

Fast forward a quarter of a century later to the second photo above, this is how I remember June. She used to come in to Still Waters and play the organ for chapel services, often accompanying Pastor Hart of First Baptist. As you know if you've been a long-time visitor to Pasty Central, Still Waters was the Home for the Aged where this Internet journey began. June was a cheerful lady who brightened up the lives of the residents with her visits. She had outlived Captain Bergh by another quarter century when she passed away in 2009.


Our thanks to Nora Dee (one of Russell and June's many grandchildren) for sharing these memories out of her Shoebox. And thanks to her hubby John Dee for finally bringing some snow to the Copper Country this weekend!

John and Nora
from JohnDee.com

Have a good week :o)
Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 08:44 am:

I think this has to be one of the best shoebox Sunday! This was really inspirational about the love between a husband and wife!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 08:53 am:

Thank you, Nora, for the Shoebox Memory, and I'm sure those in the UP thank John for the snow.;)

By Phyllis Bergh (Brinkleysmom) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 09:09 am:

Since Dad was always out on the Great Lakes, he wasn't usually home to celebrate birthdays. He'd call Mom from whatever port he was in and ask her "What did I get you for your birthday this year?" That year she must have answered Jari mower, for she would tell me the story of the year she answered "a rototiller"! They had a great marriage in spite of Dad being away a lot with his sailing career. Thanks for posting the photos, Charlie, and Nora, for sharing them!

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 09:38 am:

The Bergh's daughter, Mary Ella, was a student aide in the Suomi library when I was the librarian there. I recall that once, prior to the Jacobsville road being "elevated" and paved, she flipped her car over on her way to "work," and when the theater group staged "Charlie Brown" Mary Ella played Lucy. June was for a short time a member of the Organists of Keweenaw. As mentioned, always upbeat.

By S. Hill (Azfinn) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 01:28 pm:

What a lovely Shoebox Memory today. Mary Ella Bergh and I were in the Suomi College acapella choir together, and we were roommates when the choir toured four states. What a delightful and cheerful person. Many great memories. It is nice to learn about Mary Ella's dear folks today. :o) On another note, speaking of seed catalogs, I remember as a kid growing up in Houghton going around the neighborhood selling packages of vegetable and flower seeds for our school fundraiser. Living here in Phoenix, my sons found that quite humorous. Our Suomi choir director lives near me, and I see here quite often, so I will forward today's story to her.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 01:51 pm:

I'm glad John Dee finally decided to bring the Keweenaw some snow; I want to see some grand statues when I come for Winter Carnival in less than a month....... ;-)

(Of course, we all know John can't actually control the weather, at least I hope we all know that!!)

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 02:20 pm:

A word of warning...be sure and turn your speakers down before checking out John's journal this evening...I've got a feeling there's gonna be a big YIPPEE!!;)

By Kathleen Holyoak (Kholyoak) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 03:55 pm:

I have such fond memories when I was director of the
Suomi Acappella Choir. Mary Ella Bergh had such a
cute smile and bubbly personality and I loved having
her in the choir. Now that her father has passed,
I cannot imagine her joy as she greeted him into the
next life. And . . . I cannot imagine the thrill
for him to have her waiting with open arms.
Condolences to June for the loss of her husband.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing this with me so I
could add my comments.
Kathleen Holyoak, Arizona

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 04:10 pm:

Third pic looks like a scene from the first Star Wars movie.

By Sally/Hocking (Twinb) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 04:39 pm:

Oh, how awesome Charlie...thanks for the story of dear friends!
Love the photos. He and June and my folks sure liked kidding
around a lot! He always had a smile for me and I always enjoyed his
return from the 'big waters' when he got a break. Missing Maryella
so much. We racked up some long phone calls. She would have
known in her last days and hours the joy that awaited her when she
left her mortal body and was in the presence of Christ...with her
mom and dad close by...I can only imagine.

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 05:57 pm:

Whoops. Misunderstanding here. I brought up Mary Ella's name because it was through her that I met and visited with the Captain and June at their lovely log home. As far as I know Mary Ella is still up and kickin'!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 07:04 pm:

I was wrong...John said "HALLELUJAH".;)

By stix (Stixoutwest) on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 07:17 pm:

Lots of wonderful Bergh memories, some I won't share!! Just
kidding!! Thanks for the pics!! Great couple....great family.

By Phyllis Bergh (Brinkleysmom) on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 09:35 am:

Jan, I tried to e-mail you but was unsuccessful. My sister, Mary Ella, passed away Sept. 11, 2012, just shy of 7 weeks after learning she had stage 4 liver cancer, which most likely began as pancreatic cancer.

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Monday, January 21, 2013 - 11:49 pm:

Russel was the very first captain of the Ranger III but only to deliver the vessel from Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay Wis. which is now Bay Shipbuilding. This was in 1958 after he retired from the Coast Guard, he was working for Roen and they were contracted to deliver the boat to Houghton and sent Russel to be captain for that trip.

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