Tuupovaara 21. Ford's Team Chief, Peter Aschroft who presently is enjoying his pension in the USA, smiles when remembering the number he often called during the mid-70's. I on the other hand remember the difficulty in answering to him with my 30-word English vocabulary. The old phone number for Kyrö county well illustrates the essential part of Tuupovaara. In its littleness lies its greatness! The long chains of digits from the metropolitans of the world have long ago been forgotten.
Tuupovaara reminds me of numerous things that have shaped me as a person. The sacredness of life. The switchboard in Tuupovaara didn't transfer calls for a 24-hour period from Christmas eve till Christmas day. We paused for the most important. One of the most beautiful sights I have witnessed in my life time, is the hundreds of candles, which by their flashing lights, lit up the snow covered spruces in our cemetery. Hopefully I will never lose the emotions I felt of festivity mixed with respect. Still un-faded is the magical twilight, when I stayed by myself to guard the candles which were lit up as a greeting for those on their way to church. To that emotion I would ant for time to stop. I still hear the jingle bells ringing. They did not fade into the background roar of life. How about the screams of joy from the Seppänen boys and I when the morning sun revealed the first snow banks of the spring had hardened. Riding the bike with speed, until a sinking front wheel threw one over the handlebars faster than the wildest rodeo bull. I felt like I was living all-out. Has anyone ever seen natives in Helsinki or Paris placing mid-summer birch trees right in front of their doors?
The scent of the festival of light is one of the great patinas of my life. Kauravaara is where I waited for a rally for hours in the summer of 1964. The sight captured my mind. I am still on that route. I am a little orphan boy sitting on a road bank in a bright summer night. Fascinated by life. Having experiences the edges of the world I feel safe at home in Tuupovaara. Even as a child I was heart warmed as we made the news "Tuupovaara is the rockiest county in Finland". This is where I am with my beloved tribe, full members of the global family. Real people who don't have to play roles. To them I am the son of Hertta. To me that is an honour.
Within the small number of our population, lies the beauty of our identity. When our roots are deep, we withstand better the hassles of life. I have always waved the noble blue and white flag of ours, likewise I want for the world to hear the deep sound of the shepherd's horn. That's what I owe to past and future generations. That's what I owe, to my father Aarne Pekka who was taken away too early, next to whom I would like for my journey to end in the blessed land.
Tuupovaara - where even the blueberries taste better!