Luostarinen Kirsti, Reijo, Jukka-Pekka and Antti Aleksi:
Melva and John the multidimensional globetrotters

Prelude: This mini-anthology is a collection of fond memories about the Darling family during those 25 years that the Luostarinens have had an extraordinarily priviledged possibility to become friends with them.

The Darlings as transfer agents

Everybody knows that John has acted as a distinguished transferer of international business knowledge to Finland. He has done it too well! So well that Reijo has been forced to warn him not to blow up the bank every year. The Finnish colleagues have become desparate because JRD has been at the top of the student evaluations so many times. Colleagues in other departments have gone so frustrated that they have explained it unfair that IB-department due to this US contribution even won the national award of the unit of teaching excellence!


But this is not all. Actually the whole Darling family have given empirical evidence of their transfer agent skills. This was 1975 in spring when the Luostarinens managed to get a larger apartment in Topeliuksenkatu thanks to the enlargement of the family (Aleksi). Smaller things were moved fast by the joint forces of two families but when it became time to shift the piano the puff and blow was awful. You should have seen the sweat flow on John's face. He selected the heavy side of the transfer process.The challenge was incredible because the stair case was quite long and narrow. Without our agents that mission would have been impossible.

The Darlings, the ice pool swimmers


During the Easter holiday (obviously in 1974 or 75) we wanted to introduce the summer cottage in Sysmä at winter time to our friends. None of us could anticipate what was coming. Firstly, John wanted to take a picture of the two families with the cottage on the background. He was standing on the ice on the coast-line. But he was too close to get everybody to the picture. So he stepped one, two, three steps backward. But the next step after that represented an uncalculated risk. John fell through the ice! As an economist he saved the camera from the icy water by keeping it high above his head. The children enjoyed the show especially after being sure that there was no danger. But this was just the beginning.


On the following day Reijo decided to heat the sauna. Because it was winter the problem was how to get water. No problem Reijo took a drill and some other tools and started to make a hole in the ice. Of course the members of the family Darling came to look at that funny work. "What on earth are you doing here", was the question. I do not know what was in my mind when I answered: " A swimming pool of course!" To my great astonishment the Darlings took the tools and started to help me in enlargening the hole. We stopped the work when the pool was about 1 x 1 m. In the males' sauna my fears came true. As the host I had, of course, to show how we Finns always -even in the winter- take a swim after warming ourselves up in the heat of the sauna. We went to the pool and I showed how a Finn makes it in an experienced way. Everyone followed my example and bravely stepped into the icy water after me. It was not until 20 years later in 1994 when we were celebrating John's receiving of a medal of honour for his great contributions to the HSEBA that I finally told him the truth that before that swim I had never earlier been in icy water. Bigmouth got a lesson. The real heroes were the Darlings.

The Darlings as adventurers

The cottage diary tells about the story how Melva, John and Reijo managed successfully to take the new boat from Lahti to Sysmä, a voyage of 100 kilometers through unknown waters in 1987 when Kirsti voluntered to drive the car to the cottage.


The farm house book tells about how it took only 5 hrs for John and Reijo to move the lawn of 3,5 hectars. The Finns were exploiting the cheap US labor force. As a risk taker John was able to handle the tractor exceptionally well. John won the golf match 2:1.

It also describes the exciting voyage in the darkness from the cottage to the farm in 1998. We lost the way in full darkness and had to ask for help. We were happy to find an executive who had a bright spotlight to take us through dangerous waters to the dock where Melva and Kirsti had been waiting for us for a long time. Sauna at 10.30 pm certainly made us feel good after that excitement. At supper around midnight we had quite a lot to talk about.



It is impossible in a short note to tell about all the dimensions of our long lasting relations. In our minds there are so many fond and interesting memories. Some of them can be found in our diaries written by Melva.

Melva and John (+children), you certainly have earned the title of bapticed Finns. We are happy that we belong to the group of those Finnish families who have had a possibility of becoming close and good friends with you and who have so many joint things with you.

As Melva wrote it:"lasting memories are made of those things." Thanks!

Kirsti, Reijo, Jukka-Pekka and Antti Aleksi (Luostarinen) + Rapsu sending his love to Yksi.

[ Reijo Luostarinen, professor at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration ]

Asko Korpela 19990921 (19990921) o o AJK kotisivu