When you live more than half the year on the road you appreciate the sanctity of a family. My immediate family consist of my wife, Vibeke Rostrup Bøyesen, our son Daniel Rostrup Holdt and our daughter Lalou Rostrup Holdt.
Since Vibeke - contrary to me - is a very private person, I will only here mention those sides of her relating to my race-related work or my genealogy interest. In other words - the "deceased" sides of her.
By chance I discovered that Vibeke's great-great-great-grandmother, "Vaage," was black and had been a slave in the Danish Virgin Islands. She was one of the 56 slaves on the plantation Little La Grange in St. Croix, which I visited recently. Her mulatto daughter was married to Vibeke's great-great-grandfather, captain Castonier, who refused to shoot at the slaves during their great uprising in 1848. As a result of his refusal slavery was abolished the very same day!
Vibeke is actually my 12th
great-cousin, I also discovered, though it took 500 years for our two
families to become reunited!
We hope our children are satisfied
with this "inbreeding" - and consulted both of them whether
or not we should marry
Daniel is also named Jacob
- the 7th successive generation to be named so, most of them ministers.
During his first years he grew up in the collective of American Pictures
big and wonderful black/white family.
When we moved to America in 1982 I was afraid he would adopt the prevailing racism. I took him hitchhiking more than 10.000 miles through most of the major ghettos in an effort to counter act all the negative messages other white children receive about blacks. He is actually in the Guinness Record Book as the two year old who has hitchhiked the longest. As the only white child in most of the black neighborhoods he was spoiled with ice cream, love and affection from my old friends.
The messages children receive
before age 3, I believe have a lasting impact. He certainly still have
fond memories of blacks and I personally wonder if it hasn't had something
to do with his enormous interest for American rap-music and other artistic
expressions of the ghetto as a teenager. His first hitchhiking trip after
high school was to re-trace his trip across America as a 2-year old. However,
he found Americans too sexually aggressive. So the next year he hitchhiked
from Denmark through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and China all the way to Shanghai
for a total of $65. The enormous country of Iran he went through without
spending a penny since he couldn't use his VISA card anywhere. After that
he was hooked for a long time on hitchhiking around the extremely hospitable
Muslim countries in North Africa. This gave him the courage again to venture
to the Wild West, but instead of the USA he decided this time to go to
the safer Latin American countries of Brazil, Paraguay, Chile to the bottom
Lalou is a short for her real
name: Isabella Lucie. She is named after her
great-grandmother (Isabella) and her
great-grandmother (Lucie Wolf) - a famous Norwegian actress.
Actually she has already traveled quite a bit for her age. One year old she stood on the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem. At age three she got into a fight with the monkeys in Gibraltar and rode camels in Morocco. At age four she closed her eyes and fantasized about Pippi Long stocking while driving along mile deep gorges in Bolivia and walked through the burned out ghetto areas of Los Angeles right after the riot. Lately she visited Gandhi's grave in India and walked miles up the mountains of Nepal to visit CARE villages. But mostly she enjoys quiet home life with her school friends.
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