June 14 may not be the summer solstice, but being readily adaptable to circumstances, we celebrated like it was. Dr. Daniel van Heeckeren graciously invited the Swedish Cultural Society of Cleveland, Ohio to hold its annual celebration at his home in Gates Mills on that date, and we happily accepted.
Our president, Bo Hammerling, recently moved to California and vice president, Marianne Johnson was still recovering from illness, so the second vice president, Ingemar Svala and secretary, Peter Carlsson pitched in to organize what turned out to be a fantastic Sunday afternoon for the 74 participants. The Cleveland weather, never predictable, presented us with 80 degrees and a beautiful, cloudless afternoon.
First order of business was to decorate and hoist the maypole! While that was in progress, Rolf Bergman, who had prepared 10 Swedish questions, posted them about the area to be answered by those who wished to do so. Prizes for the top three winners.
Here is a sample of his multiple choice questions:
1. Sweden’s National Day is June 6. Which is one of the names on that date (namesday)? Bo, Gosta or Birgitta
2. The bones of which Swedish king are being examined to determine his origin? Erik IX, Gustav Vasa or Birger
3. What word is written on every Swedish fish candy? Swedish, Sverige or nothing written
4. What is the name of the princess baptized June 8, 2014? Viktoria, Estelle or Leonore

Of the 10 questions, and they were pretty tough, the highest score was 8, won by a guest from Sweden. Second place got six correct, and six entrants tied for 3rd place with scores of 5. I guess we had better pay more attention to the land of our heritage.
Our manly crew, under the age of approaching infinity, garbed the maypole in lush greenery then awaited donations of spring and early summer blooms with which to complete the task. Alas, due to Cleveland weather few were in evidence outside the Botanical Garden which, unfortunately, frowned upon such petit theft. Yes, even for Midsummer.
It was a struggle to raise the maypole — several times, despite truly herculean efforts, it almost toppled before being set and tied down. But then the dancing could begin!
Anna Rietsch boldly stepped up to the leadership roll while Ernie and Lois Swanson, our senior members, were given the seats of honor. After the dancing the van Heeckeren family served O.P. Anderson to all participants, minus the kiddies. SKOAL! It was time for food, and what a glorious repast it was.
Each member, and many guests, brought a favorite dish, resulting in a grand smorgasbord. A most satisfying ending to a most wonderful celebration and no one left hungry.