Toivo Kantor had red hair, cheeks full of freckles and a huge infectious grin that seemed to split his face.  He knocked on the door of the Lahti residence. 

"Come on in …" yelled a feminine voice. 

Toivo was a mechanical engineer and new to Oregon.  He was a recent graduate of Minnesota's College of Science Engineering and Technology.   He had just accepted a job at the Port Westward Industrial complex. 

Toivo first met Sulo and Annie Lahti  while shopping at the Quincy store.  Annie noticed Toivo buying TV dinners and immediately took pity on him.  It did not take long for Sulo and Annie to convince Toivo that he needed a home cooked meal.

Toivo entered the Lahti home.  The entry way sported a collection of shoes and raingear.  Delicious smells drifted from the kitchen as Sulo opened the inner door and ushered Toivo in. 

Sulo Smiled, "Clatskanie is a long ways from Mankato Minnesota, but I think you will like it here."

"I am sure I will," said Toivo. "Everyone seems to be really friendly.   A nice real estate lady has been showing me around, and even invited me to a Kiwanis meeting at Humps."

"Have a seat," said Sulo as he ushered Toivo to a large over stuffed chair.  "We have some more guests coming."

"Hallooo" said another voice.  "Anyone home…. I smell food."

"Sounds like Doc Harry, our other guest" laughed Sulo. "Come on in Harry, I would like you to meet someone."

The door opened and a large man wearing a sports coat and a very loose neck tie walked in.

"Harry," greeted Sulo.  "I would like you to meet our new friend, Toivo Kantor.  Toivo is an engineer from Minnesota.  He'll be working at Port Westward.   Doc Harry is a retired school administrator," continued Sulo.  "He is an expert on just about everything."

Harry Laughed.  "Not everything… From Minnesota huh?  That's where you got the name of Toivo?"

"My parents were from Finland." Said Toivo.

"Kantor," asked Harry "is that a Finnish name?"

"It is if you're a Jewish Fin," laughed Toivo.   "My parents aren't Lutherans or Catholics, they're Jews."

Annie stuck her head into the living room.  "You guys had better come into the kitchen.  Dinner's almost ready…except for Sulo, from the sounds of it, we have an upset two years old and it's your turn to change her."

Harry laughed "You don't want to wait for Sulo?"

"He'll be back with little Emmi in a minute," said Annie.  "In the meantime, we can all sit down and sample some of Sulo's home made berry wine."

"I'm intrigued," said Doc Harry.   "I had no idea that there were Jewish Fins."

"There are about 3000 of us," said Toivo.  "Most live in Helsinki  and Turku.  Jews have lived in Finland for many years and we all consider ourselves Fins.  Some Finnish Jews have become famous:  Max Jakobson, was the former Finnish Ambassador to the United Nations.  The late Dr. Simon Pamet was a famous composer and conductor, as was the late painter Sam Vanni.  Vanni was a member of the Finnish Academy and the European Academy of Science Art and Literature.  Rafael Wardi, a Finnish Jew, is a well known painter and in 1979 Ben Zyskowicz became the first Finnish Jew to be elected to Parliament.  He's still a member of Parliament today."

Next Page