It all started when I was out and about looking for good roads to Vlog about. A YouTube comment on County Highway O - VLog 4 from 'Gio P' asked if I had ridden on Cty. Rd. 7 south of Welch, MN. I decided I would check it out!
This was the original VLog that I'd filmed when visiting the town of Vasa before I took Goodhue Ct. Rd. 7. I stopped in the parking lot of their church and saw there was a plaque. Always looking for stories, I found that the name of the town, Vasa, was named after the 'George Washington' figure of Sweden, Gustav Vasa I.
He broke away and gained Sweden's independence from Denmark, broke away from the Pope and declared Sweden Lutheran, and brought Sweden into a new age. The town was founded by Swedish immigrants, hence the name. Upon looking at a gazebo, however, there was a Swedish flag that was tattered and torn flying above it. It seemed old.
I finished the rest of the ride and posted the video onto the Swedish Subreddit of Reddit. I also sent the video to a few Swedish friends of mine. The response was something I'd never expect.
After posting the video on /r/Sweden, many Swedditors wanted to know if there was a way to send a new flag to Vasa! I was very surprised.
I got in touch with the county clerk's office who got me in touch with Audrey, the chair of the Vasa Museum Board.
She provided me with an address that Swedes could send their flag to in the event one was sent. The video you can watch by clicking on the image above or the link below was my call to action to have a new flag sent.
I got in touch with an old friend, Niklas, a born-and-raised Swede who studied abroad in Mankato when we met.
He offered to send a GIGANTIC flag to Vasa, one so large that it wouldn't even fit above the gazebo! A new flag pole would have to be put in the ground to fly the flag.
Over the course of the winter the flag arrived! Come spring a new flag pole would be put up and the flag will be flown...
The flag has finally been raised in the city of Vasa.
The congregation of the local Vasa Lutheran Church gathered around as I raised the flag donated from Nick, a friend in Sweden.
Thank you to Nick, the couple who had donated the flag pole, the Vasa Historical Society, the Vasa Lutheran Church, everyone!
It was just one of those "Dad Projects" that he'd always say he'd get around to. For roughly 2 decades, my dad's 1983 Yamaha "Midnight" Maxim occupied garage after garage collecting dust, aging, watching the world pass by.
Bill Clinton was president the last time this engine started. After he first bought the bike in '83, he would meet my mother and take her on rides around San Francisco and across the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. As his interest in motorcycles waned during my childhood in the ‘90s, the Maxim end up sitting neglected. I
n the 20-Teens, I grew up to fill his shoes, so to speak, and I became a biker myself at the same age he was when he had first purchased the Maxim. My father, now approaching his senior years, got back into motorcycles as a Harley guy. Still, the Maxim weathered through the years.
After 4 seasons on 2 wheels myself, I've decided to take the restoration of the bike into my own hands. Operation: Maxim is the process of me stealing his bike while he's out of the house, fixing it, and surprising him with it. Enjoy!