In AlvaReviewCourier.com (Oklahoma Newspaper) we found this article about our selves. Our new friends in Kansas postet it to us. Quit funny and such a nice memory to have…and nice new friends too.
Meeting in Kansas as strangers and then friends in Denmark with only facial recognition
Burlington Pederson family has Danish ties
What are the chances of meeting someone from Denmark in Abilene, Kan., and then meeting up with them again in Denmark – and you don’t even know their name?
Well, former Burlington and Kiowa residents Cory and Kristy Pederson-Archuleta lived the experience. The Archuletas live in the Manhattan, Kan., area with their two young children, ages 5 and 2, where the wife is employed by K-State and the husband with Midway Wholesale.
Last October the couple took their children to historical Abilene for a train ride. At an old-West skit following, Cory and Kristy met a couple and their young children from Denmark when the Danes were recognized as the furthest away from their home. Because Kristy has Danish family ties, she introduced herself and they had an interesting conversation. It turns out the couple was from Thisted, Denmark, the same town in which Kristy’s dad Roland Pederson has about five cousins and an aunt plus about 25 more family members.
Even though the couples’ children spoke different languages, Danish and English, they had fun playing together with the universally known character “Woody” from Toy Story.
The Archuletas took pics of their Danish acquaintances on their cell phones and then parted ways – realizing later they never exchanged last names but only the man’s first name. The Danes had come to the States to see family and were on their way back to the airport in Denver when they stopped at Abilene for a break.
The Pedersons’ Danish Ties
In March, the Archuletas and Kristy’s parents Roland and Terry Pederson and sister Toni traveled to Denmark. This was an extension of Kristy’s trip to Holland and Belgium for K-State the previous week.
Roland’s father Axel Pederson was born in Denmark and came to the States to visit as a teenager. The Great Depression hit and he couldn’t afford to return to Denmark. Axel met Maxine, they married and the rest is history. They made their home west of Burlington and he was a lifelong farmer while she taught elementary school. Roland and Terry (a teacher at Burlington) continue to farm that land and more in an expanded operation.
Roland is vice president of Oklahoma’s State Farm Bureau Board. While in Denmark, he and Kristy met with an ag official there, as arranged by his cousin.
“They are highly regulated there,” Roland said of Denmark agriculture.
Roland remembers traveling to Denmark with his parents at age 12. Then he took his own children in 1991 and traveled there again in 2006.
On this trip Cory and Kristy were determined to find the Danish friends they made in Abilene. Before their arrival, Cory texted the pictures of their mystery friends to Roland’s family to see if anyone recognized them. No one did.
The odds of finding their nameless Danish friends were slim in a town of approximately 13,000-15,000, but the Archuletas continued. While Kristy and her father attended their agribusiness meeting, Cory, Terry and Toni went shopping, showing the picture. Again, no one recognized them.
The shoppers were finished and headed to the car. Cory realized he left the car keys on the counter in the store and went to retrieve them.
At that moment he saw THE woman riding up on a bicycle with her children.
“I said to her, `Hello, how are you?’” Cory said. “She just looked at me until I said Abilene, Kan. Then her eyes lit up. I think she was in shock.”
After visiting with her, the woman invited Cory to call and arrange for them to have coffee at her home. Their names are Birthe and Morten Stengaard.
“When we were in their home as guests they were very hospitable. She had cookies and brownies – lots of refreshments,” Cory said. He described their home as “modern” with “lots of windows, white cabinets and furniture.” He said that Birthe is a hairstylist and has a salon in their home. Morten is disabled.
The Danish couple’s children remembered playing with the Archuleta children and were disappointed they hadn’t made the trip. The Stengaards sent home toys for the Archuleta’s children. Cory and Kristy left lots of K-State goodies for their hosts.
“Now we Facebook and email with them,” Cory said. “This way we can keep up with what’s going on in all our lives.”
“It was such a coincidence that we met in Abilene and in Denmark,” Cory said. “How often do you get to meet the same people twice in two different countries within six months without even knowing their names?” Kristy said.
Read it all HERE