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Kvam, Ingerid M. / The Skalet family : ancestors and descendants of Sever and Malla Skalet
(1996)

[Grant Marion Skalet and descendants],   pp. 40-49 PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 43

trees, animals, waving fields of corn or sorghum, fall colors, winter beauty, anything that
struck his fancy.
He was among the first in the Vermont valley, in the early '50's, to try out this
new-fangeled invention called television. The house was usually filled with friends, family
and neighbors to view either the television shows or his latest batch of slides depicting his
and Grace's latest excursion to a Sons of Norway event or a church convention, or maybe just
a little trip to a place of interest--like to a grandchild's dance recital or a water-ski show in
Avoca.
Similarly, in 1950 he bought the first known reel to reel tape recorder so that
greetings from Vermont could be carried to Grace's elderly aunt on a car trip via Route 66 to
Los Angeles, CA. He would sometimes hide the recorder under a table and record
conversations that proved hilarious when played back to unsuspecting guests.
Although Grace and Grant's first home was a tent in a friendly farmer's yard, Grant
soon left employment as a truck driver for Ryan, Schultz and Dahl to run a farm himself He
began farming in the Depression years when prices were so bad that he sold a calf for $5.00
so the couple could buy baby clothes and supplies for their one daughter they had. All field
work was done with horses. All milking was done by hand. He rented a farm near
Kievenville for six years. Then he came to Vermont to buy his own land. Always open to
the latest changes in farming, he modernized the farm with electricity, milking machines,
balers, elevators, and whatever he could do to improve the farm.
Grant was a herdsman extraordinaire who cared for his "girls" like pets. However,
when Grace got the opportunity to go to Norway for summer school, he sold his milk cows
and went to the "old country" with her. There he spent many hours researching archives for
information on the Steensrud and Skalet families. They found the home farm of each family,
and they found new respect for their roots.
Grant's low-key but intelligent leadership guided Vermont Church and the township
of Vermont over most of his adult years. He held many offices in these institutions, and his
influence is still felt to this day.
As a family man, Grant exuded love for his family: brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces,
nephews, and the extended family of the neighborhood knew his love. His ski hill and picnic
spots on the farm provided happy memories for so many of us lucky enough to know him.
To quote Shakespeare: "His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him that
Nature might stand up and say to all the world, This was a man!
GRACE was the youngest child and only girl born to Hannah (Bakken) and Gustave
Steensrud. With six older brothers, she grew up on a rugged farm in Vermont Township.
The boys teased her and spoiled her, but later in life, all looked to her on as the "rock" of the
family.
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