I Arrive

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Dean Arrives

My father told me that he had purchased me via mail order April '54 near Dean Boulevard on the north side of Lake Calhoun - thus the name. The top pop song that year was "Mr. Sandman".

Mail arrives, I inside

Dad had many outrageous stories about the origins of our family and I never had reason to doubt him, after all - my older brother was a tall husky toe-headed Swede who became a headbustin' cop and I was of obvious Hispanic descent...going on to burnish a quaint record of criminal misdemeanors.

Father's tales could have been put to a studied test; the neglected neighborhood we were born into was an area known as "Bohemian Flats" - we actually lived above the "Flats" so apparently Mom and Dad had "some" money. The toughest bar on our corner was called "South of the Border" - not a reference to Swedes. The area is now more well known as the "Seven Corners of Minneapolis" a place where the Mississippi river is well guarded by a silent remnant of old flour mill silhouettes...like Easter Island shadows.

Much later on and much to my dismay, I was to find out that I was actually nothing more than a discount product of dark Norwegian and dark German genes - not Hispanic0 at all...and much worse...I was actually nothing more than a generic variety mutt from a lineage of people who were so fed up with WHO they WERE that they MOVED here to America in the 1800's to ESCAPE the awful promise of their generic destiny. I was of the type commonly found in the Midwestern plains that was little more than an infestation of common cockroach. Obviously, this wasn't going to leave me much to look forward to over the long haul.

As to my questionable origins, I was even highly suspect amongst my own kind - my aging Norwegian grandmother, Hilda, once leaned over to my mother, her daughter, at one of the Norwegian family reunions in North Dakota, pointed at me and asked her, "Who's the Mexican?" (her own grandson!). I'm quite sure that much has been assumed of dad in this tight Norwegian circle...probably without polite discretion and perhaps not without undue cause. To its credit, the Norwegian side of my heritage tree has proven itself genetically predisposed to success for the most part...the majority of offspring having gone onto become something other than "Norwegians".

While my own immediate siblings have split the hard logs of their destiny from these fine, honorable and staunch Scandinavian genes, I was neither so inclined nor fortunate. Early on, it quickly became obvious that I had been stained deeply, plainly and plentifully from the deep well of Papa's German genetics. The tales and history of Papa's heritage are initially promising stories that bear regal shadows of mystery with enough twists and turns to convince anyone of a target rich probability for buried treasure, jewels or historical finds. But so far, the Daniels' books of lineage are proving shorter than tombstone writ and one need not go far into the tawdry history to find that the tales seem to begin and end on bar stools. If there is some high honor, lush regal embroidery or a historical footnote to be found, I suspect that imagination may be the only place left to look. 

Here are my (Daniels/Sletten) immediate double-helix sources and the cause of the resulting genetic train-wreck.

These two are the ones to blame.



Note the "Sletten Eye Squint" obvious again in the first picture of Fern Sletten.

A troubled Norwegian daughter was about to heap even more trouble...



Fern - 1928

Fern - 13 yrs

Fern 1941

...upon an innocent and unsuspecting son from a peaceful German heritage.



Earl - 6 yrs

Earl - 14 yrs

Earl -  1938

A prowling, country-wise, Viking farm temptress ruthlessly stalked and eventually bagged a playful, unsuspecting inner city German buck named Earl with little more than a keen eye and dime store charm. 

Earl laughing...horrifyingly unaware of the bloodletting web in which he treads, spun by female Scandinavians.


Do you see?

...even stout warlike German genes...quickly collapse under the crafty ploys of Scandinavian sirens using old  'rumble-seat' routines to capture virtuous Germans!

...eventually, Earl submitted and was assimilated by the great ancestral Mating Borg...as all are...and papa went from...



...footloose on Nicollet Ave... ...into a solid orbit... ...and onto the 'other side' of life.

this union resulted in the raising of 

The Fourth Generation


A ruthless child


A goofy child


A deaf child


A clueless child

Certainly these are NOT examples of the type of "blood heritage" one wants to leave behind them...BUT the genetic shuffle is always one of chance. The antics of these four are still being written and recovered from police blotters, but I wouldn't 'wait up' for the results if I were you.


Course, let's be realistic, this is a photo of my parents below. Certainly looks like a lower tier Mafioso gathering, no? - even a Minneapolis cop (Al Erickson) present for legal muscle.

The Dust-Bin Mob

My parents, Fern & Earl, are stooped at the bottom lower right. Dad is no doubt trying to figure out a better way of taking a picture.

Joyce & Al Erickson (Mpls cop) are directly behind Fern; Harley & Elaine Thompson directly behind Earl (no relations).

I'd appreciate linkage for the rest.


Papa was taken care of by Aunt Martha (Daniels) Wahlquist who was married to Axel Wahlquist.

I knew these people as 'grandama and grandpa' for all of my childhood. I am still not sure who Martha's father was BUT I will assume she was a daughter of John.

Martha Daniels Wahlquist (left) with her cousin Florence Heimke (right).    


...I append these high-end genetics with gutter balls...

see: The Early Years