Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lars-Olov Strandberg 80 Years

The “grandfather of Swedish fandom” Lars-Olov Strandberg celebrated his 80th birthday last weekend in Stockholm. He’s been active in the Swedish fandom since the 1950s, been one of the founders of the Scandinavian SF Association and the Tolkien society Forodrim, and has served in many fannish organizations over the decades. He still goes to conventions and does his photo show at Swecons (the place to see the Swedish fen in their youth in funny clothes). Many Finns who’ve attended Swecons remember the friendly guy who came to greet all then new people—including us foreigners—and make sure everything was ok and they were having fun.

The birthday celebration was an open house at Forodrim’s clubhouse, which was packed with friends, relatives and fen of all ages. The occasion was merry, the food good and the speeches admirably short. In a manner very characteristic of him, I think Lars-Olov spent equal time conversing with old friends and playing with the smallest kids.

Lars-Olov holding an A4-sized card with a photo and lots of signatures
I brought him greetings from the Finnish fandom: a congratulations card about 50 people had signed at Finncon (with a picture taken at the dead dog). Everyone who signed also donated a little money, so in total we gave 100 euros to Rädda barnen (Save the children), Lars-Olov’s preferred charity.

Congratulations once again, Lars-Olov, thanks for the nice party, and here’s to the next 80 years!

photos
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