As I grew up, surrounded by Norwegians (my family), I was told many stories about the heroic figures in our past. My favorite was Leif Ericson. He was admired for his love of adventure and his fearless explorations, including establishing a settlement in North America in 1,000 A.D. He was described as being a thoughtful, kind and handsome man. My hero.
Moving to Astoria a few years ago, I discovered I was surrounded by Scandinavians. but I was shocked to see a large road sign pointing out “Lief Ericson Drive.” My frequent Norwegian relatives were equally shocked to see our hero’s name misspelled. “At least write a letter to the newspaper,” they told me.
I went to City Hall for some background and they gave me copies of previous efforts to correct the spelling, dating back to 1934. A bit discouraging, but Norwegians are known for being stubborn.
I might be timely to try again, since a monument has been approved to be constructed at the Peoples Park by the Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Foundation. On behalf of all us perfectionists who want our heroes’ names spelled correctly, please consider this situation.