Hyllingsbrev til Tonya
Oppdatert: 23. jan. 2022
Dette brevet ble sendt Tonya per e-post på hennes navnedag, 13. juni 1998:
USA Oslo, 13 June, 1998
In appreciation of your extraordinary accomplishments on ice and elsewhere, denouncing all false rumours and ill-willed slander in circulation, we take the liberty of addressing you personally. We think you ought to know that in distant Norway you have an organized group of ardent admirers. Bearing in mind your splendid performance and sympathetic attitude at Lillehammer, which touched us deeply, the question of whom to name our patron and protector was an easy one. The choice was spontaneous and unanimous! The statutes of our association states it bluntly in paragraph 4, which reads – in its entirety:
Vannforelagets hoye beskytter er Tonya Harding. (The patroness of Vannforelaget is Tonya Harding.)
Eventyrplassen Vannforelag (a somewhat in-translatable name due to a pun, but literally something like: The Adventure Square Water Supply Team) is a tongue-in-cheek, hose-in-hand association comprising 26 men in a local community in Oslo. On our fair square, deserving of its name, we provide ice in winter and fun all year through. Twice a year we arrange public festivals for the neighbourhood, including barbecuing of lambs, presentation of our hymn, games for the children and a late night banquet, tuxedo requested.
These being strenuous efforts, we have meticulously built up a well-functioning organization, now trimmed down to 41 operational committees and sub-committees. It goes without saying that Vannforelaget is a non-profitable, idealistic association based on voluntary contribution by – name you – consenting adults.
The highlight of last winter’s ice fiesta was no doubt the merit of one of our more spectacular divisions, “Ice Girls”: members of Vannforelaget playing a game of bandy in drag, accompanied by melting music and enthusiastic comments. We assure you our kids were in heaven.
Being an ice girl yourself, an outstanding one, at that, you get the idea why we have selected you for patronage. We hope you regard it as a compliment and an honor!
There is another important reason as well. We prefer to call it “the Norwegian connection”, which goes beyond Lillehammer! In Norwegian the word “harding” carries two meanings: a hardy chap (or gal!) and a person from Hardanger, a beautiful county on the western coast with breathtaking fiords and waterfalls and glaciers – our “beaver state” as it were! We like to think that your family tree is firmly rooted in Hardanger soil, which is not unlikely, considering the amount of people with Nordic origin in your territory. The names often tell: Senator Walter Mondale, who ran for presidency against Reagan, can trace his name and family to Mundal, somewhat north of Hardanger. Further north, under the midnight sun, we find the remote cradle of Al Gore: a small place called Gaare (“aa” is pronounced “o”).
We are eager to know if you can corroborate your Norwegian connection. Anyhow, Norway might not be so distant after all. And we are looking forward to the day you show up in person on our skating rink. Consider yourself permanently invited!
Our homepage on the Internet is still in the making (this phrase sounding familiar?). In its present state it is, alas, not very hospitable for non-Norwegian visitors, but we will see to that. It does offer some photos, though, and a rough outline of our modest organization. And of course a few links to serious Tonya Harding-sites! You will find us on http://eventyrplassen.home.ml.org. We sincerely hope the links can be reversed!
Apart from exchanging links and getting in touch, a message from you, or possibly a signed photo, would be met with enthusiasm. And, of course, we have no obligations if you want to publish this letter on your homepage.
by “The Founding Fathers”:
Ole G. Johansen Christian Schoyen Lasse A. Warberg Jorgen Gaare
President Master of Ice Head of Comity Committee Ideological leader
PS. Our summer festival and banquet will in fact be held this very day, Saturday, June 13. Why? Today is your saint’s day!