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April 04, 2012
A Titanic birthday
Ivan “Bud” Carlson will celebrate his centennial birthday April 12
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Westbrook — Carlson’s birthday is not only special because of his age it also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Carlson was born two days after the Titanic set sail on it’s maiden voyage on April 10. Two days after Carlson was born, the ship, that was considered unsinkable, hit a huge iceberg during the night in the north Atlantic.
Of course history tells us the ship was not unsinkable and sank along with 1,500 passengers still on board. For Carlson, life was just beginning.
Carlson was born at Cherokee, IA to his parents Conrad and Emma (Nelson) Carlson April 12,1912. When he was about two years old, his parents moved to a farm near Worthington for a short time, then the family moved to a farm about seven miles northeast of Westbrook.
Carlson had eight siblings, five sisters and three brothers. His sister Pearl, 102, is still living in Fargo, ND.
Growing up on the farm Carlson, when he wasn’t working or doing chores, spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, and trapping.
He recollected his first day in country school. He chuckled as he said “I proudly told my teacher, my name is Ivan Vincent Buddy Carlson.” When asked about how he got his nickname, he said, “my sisters thought I was so cute they just called me ‘Bud’ — I really don’t know why, but it stuck.”
He talked about trapping skunks on his way to school — his teacher told him, “if you’re going to trap skunks before you get to school, don’t bother coming in the school house,” he chuckled.
He remembered the first time he saw a big airplane fly over. “I always wondered if I would ever get to fly in one like that,” he said. Later on in life he and Lorraine flew many times going to Hawaii, Mexico, and Europe.
He remembered harvesting corn by hand. He recalled those were very long days. He and his brother, Caesar, would take a wagon out to the field with horses, and pick corn until noon then have dinner and pick corn the rest of the day. He said, “we could pick about a hundred bushels a day.” Of course they also had chores to do before and after picking, so the days got mighty long.
Caesar and he farmed together until he got married to his wife Lorraine. Then he bought another farm — “we farmed separately, but we did share equipment,” he said.
Carlson was always inquisitive about how things worked, so he often fixed a lot of things that broke down on the farm. He enjoyed working on just about any kind of machines and motors.
He recalled one time when a shaft from one of his machines broke. He had taken it to town and was told it wasn’t worth fixing. Well, he took it back home and with his self-taught welding skills fixed it as best he could. He said, “the shaft lasted until we got rid of the machine.”
There were many times when things broke, he would run it up to the yard and do whatever it took to fix it. “It was too expensive to take it to town, besides I really enjoyed fixing things,” Carlson said.
His love for hunting and fishing came as a youngster growing up. “I don’t remember how old I was when I got my first single shot 12 gauge shotgun. But I was little enough that when I shot, it knocked me down,” he laughed.
Carlson hunted in Canada, Montana, North Dakota. He also shot a bear in northern Minnesota, and a moose in Canada. He said, “moose meat is really good.”
He really enjoyed fishing, taking “fly in trips” to Canada, and fishing in northern MN. On his first trip to Canada he said, “we caught big fish, and a lot of them. At that time you could bring back 90 pounds of fish. Of course we never did, the plane wouldn’t carry that much anyhow,” he said.
On one “fly in trip” to Cree Lake, Carlson caught a 26 and a half pound Northern Pike.
He did a lot of hunting and fishing up until about ten or 15 years ago. He doesn’t fish any more because of his balance. He said, “I really miss that a lot.”
Carlson is a modest mannered man, who doesn’t like talking about things he has done as much as he enjoys listening to others.
Another thing he really enjoyed was travelling with his wife, of almost 65 years, Lorraine. “We traveled to almost every state over the years, just the two of us,” he said.
He and his late wife, who died in 2006, had three girls, Judy, Janice, and Joann. Carlson noted Lorraine's funeral was on their 65th wedding anniversary.
After he and Lorraine retired they moved into Westbrook where he still lives today. Carlson is still very active living in his own home and driving his vehicle around the area. He was an active member of the Kiwanis for many years.
He goes down to the VFW club each morning to play cards with the morning coffee crew. He laughingly said, “I only go in the mornings because I am to busy to go in the afternoons.”
An open house for Carlson is being planned for Saturday April 14 at the Westbrook Community Center. “No gifts please,” he said. Carlson has been blessed with five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
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