A Small World Airplane Story

Daughter Lise flew out of Spokane, Washington, on her way back home to Denmark. She sat by a man who was traveling with his wife and two young daughters. I don’t know how they got on the subject of Vikings on that short flight, but she thought the man said the name Lars Brownworth. She continued talking, thinking she must have misheard it. He said it again, and she asked, “Did you say Lars Brownworth?”

Yes, he was talking about the author of several books he had read. Among them were Lost to the West, The Sea Wolves (Vikings), and The Normans. Had she read any of them?

Lise said, “Yes, I have. I know the author.”

I hope she paused for impact.

“He is my first cousin.”

Of course there were exclamations of “small world!” The traveling man wouldn’t have known one of Lise’s names is the same as one of Lars.

I remember that young Lars always had his nose in a book, but he would put the book down if anyone spoke to him. I’m still impressed with his good manners. At that time he was immersed in mythology. I don’t know when he switched to history, but he seems to have lived it as he read it. He is now known for making dusty old figures come to life in his books. There is a special magic in that.

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