This weekend is a celebration of all that we'll dream of for 2017, and all that will be put to rest for 2016. So, as we party out one chaotic, unexpected and historic year, I've managed to get around to finally editing photos from another celebration: the Hobølulu Hoedown. In August, I was en route to Trondheim to prep the Nidaros All-Stars for their first roller derby playoff ever. On the way, I thought I'd stop in Oslo, to visit my friend Linda, a ref for Oslo Roller Derby, one of the first people I ever met in Norway, and the warmest of hearts. She let me know that her friend Signe was having a Hoedown the weekend that I was visiting. At the time I had no idea what that was going to mean. All I knew was that it was on a farm about an hour outside Oslo. Immediately, I agreed I was in.
Signe and her boyfriend Kasper are an incredible couple. Signe played derby and I had seen her play at the World Cup in Dallas in 2014. She's got a presence that is hard to forget. She's also an incredibly accomplished metal sculptor. Her work is found across Norway, popping out of lakes and making itself just as cozy out in marka as it is in a gallery. Kasper works on classic cars and motorcycles, and to my delight, also dabbles in leatherwork...and brews beer. They are such a down-to-earth, welcoming and creative couple. They have a gregarious bulldog. This was a bbq with bells and whistles at the live-work-home-studio they'd bought themselves recently, in Hobøl, on the outskirts of Oslo. It's a MCM paradise that was formerly owned by a carpenter who made much of the home's mod touches himself, even the old cement pool. Signe and Kasper carry on the making tradition so befitting of the carpenter's homestead. They even crafted a special bar and sign just for the Hoedown festivities.
Linda and I met up with Sarah, and American expat (who I found out grew up not an hour from me! teensy tiny world!) living with her husband in Oslo, and hitched a ride out to Signe and Kasper"s. On our way out, we came across a gorgeous navy classic Chevy that had broken down on the side of the road. Without thinking twice, our new driver friend hopped out of his van, and lent a hand, as has been the norm in my experience, though stereotypes have said otherwise. ;)
Although this Chevy wasn't en route to the Hoedown, it would have fit right in. We found ourselves in amongst miles of rich golden wheat, gently rustling under a late summer sun that was muscling out the post-rain, slate blue sky. Diving and disappearing into gilded grain fjords, Sarah's Australian Sheepdog Zoey kept us occupied by fetching sticks. After some tinkering, we got the hot rod back in business with a jump and continued on to the party.
I am so grateful to have had a chance to meet so many new faces, and time to get to know familiar ones better. Rarely have I been to a party with just so many genuinely rad people. The night capped with Signe revealing yet another talent: drums. In fact, her entire family played in this surf rock band (mom, dad, both brothers and Signe), and their music shimmied and jived throughout the elegant metal structures and motorcycle parts in the couple's studio. Many a Kasper beer was raised.
My thoughts the night I got home:
I just stepped out of the ultimate episode of Flash Dance meets Lillehammer meets Mad Men, with a side of Grease or maybe Cry Baby, hosted by a crazy cool welding artist whose family compose a complete, rad garage band and who can craft anything (including the evening's bar) and whose partner is a chopper-tinkering, woodworking pro in his own right. Stopped along the way to fix a stranger's vintage car, before being surrounded by more custom vintage cars and intricate metal sculptures, and played catch with a sheepdog in a field waist-high with wheat. I smell like campfire and met some wonderful people. I just went to my first hoedown...or maybe it was a hullabaloo...in Norway.
Happy 2017 Folkens!
(Scroll down for a full image gallery!)