Rune NilsonHe is one of Egersund’s most famous people. Even though he does not live in Egersund today, the place is still "home" for Rune. In this interview, it’s not just about him, but most about Egersund.
What kind of picture forms in your mind when you think about Egersund?
«I think about my whole upbringing and get pictures of the Varberg tower, the church and downtown. I know the feel of "home". Memories of food come quickly: Pancakes from Grøsfjeld, lunch cakes (open-faced hamburger sandwiches) and ground meat. Even though Grøsfjeld doesn’t exist today, pancakes are fortunately still sold in the town. Bacon cakes in fresh rolls from Kalles Konditori, «our» shrimp salad from Heien and not least, crab and mackerel from Egersund. Grandfather always had cold mackerel in the fridge during the summer, that was the best.»
We are a little unsure about whether Rune has eaten lunch yet, or if it simply is local food in Egersund that puts the deep tracks in Rune’s memory chip. He thinks it over and just before we wonder about asking the next question, he adds: «I remember we sometimes got scampi from the fishermen who came in. It was a secondary catch that was set out as if it was unneeded or they simply couldn’t see having it. For us it was absolutely fantastic. It does not happen today, but it is a delicacy on the dining table. We did not get hold of scampi, but we put out crab pots from land by Rosshagen in Ryttervik.
We walked down the trail by «Kveldskaret» and followed the path by Ryttervik. There it’s fine to set out pots right out from the rock. When the catch was done, we carried the crabs all the way home to «Golan»/Rundevold.
What does Egersund have that is unique compared to other towns?
«It’s the navel of the world! My being. It's perhaps a bit subjective, but by the way: Egersund has almost no tide. It's probably 9 cm or so, I almost can’t comprehend that it’s possible... When my wife came to Egersund for the first time she looked at the piers downtown, stopped me and asked; What is that? Boat garages?? Egersund is located at an amphidromic point, one of the few places in the world actually. That's why we have boathouses here in the area. We can monitor high pressure and low pressure on the sea at any time here.»
«I would also like to highlight Viberodden Lighthouse. That place there, what they've accomplished. I am proud of Viberodden. Very fun to be there with colleagues when we are on gigs. The service we receive from dear volunteers who look after the lighthouse and who make it available for cultural events.»
What comes to mind about Egersund when you hear the following words?
«Søndre sund (southern strait) and Skarvøy, it's straight out to sea from Egersund – the doorstep to the North Sea. Nordre sund (northern strait) also has a substantial archipelago. The whole area is like a miniature world from 3 meter high waves to quiet waters on one and the same day. We are in the middle of everything. From high mountains to white beaches, salt water and plenty of small freshwater lakes. The area here is very strategic for tourism.”
«Flood! The last flood is still fresh in the memory. We were here this winter and were going to do a reporting about the Christmas Town and almost did not get into town. The rivers here hit the city and I had not thought about it before I had to come in to Egersund by sea. It's beautiful then, especially Elverhøy, which is a fantastic concert venue in the middle of the river. I also like the good football field, which is isolated in the river between Kvelluret and Kjeraneset. There you take a rowboat with a rope to get out to the field.»
«The walking street and Hauen are the first I think about. I lived on Peder Clausensgate downtown a good while. We have incredibly nice wooden housing here in Egersund.
An Egersund native surely doesn’t see it himself, but we have houses that are more unique than other houses in southern Norway. When you have lived a while away from the town, you begin to look more up than down toward the ground. I think it is fantastic to walk slowly out Strandgaten. Suddenly your eyes notice the gossip mirrors by the windows, something I find a little «creepy». I have learned that the reason they used to use the gossip mirrors was to see who came to the door. The roads were so narrow and the exit door opened right into the street.»
«We walked a lot in Kiellandskogen forest around the Kiellandsmyra swamp, to the pothole at Varden with super cookies in the knapsack. This has become an excellent hiking area from the Hestnes area to Ryttervik. Now it’s almost a little too nice. When we were little we explored the trails, built rafts and ... lit things on fire.»
«I like city festivals and Egersund is so intimate that the whole town becomes a festival area. The threshold for having festivals in Egersund is lower because the town's population has grown more generous. We lack a large venue for concerts for indoor use, but we have Elverhøy. Elverhøy was the large place for outdoor dancing. We danced in a seemingly endless circle dance and greeted each other, while some sneaked away to greet each other a little extra. I miss the concert experience at Elverhøy and would like to experience it again.»
How would you summarize Egersund?
«I have family and belonging here. I consider Egersund as «home» even though I say «home to Trondheim» when I leave the town.
In other major towns you usually have a network that reflects yourself and your profession. In Egersund you have a large network with all types of different people. Egersund is a large network in the positive sense of the word. It hasn’t always been this way, but the environment is much more positive. It is as if there are no limits for what we can accomplish in Egersund. It's a fun change. There are probably a number of people who have been at the forefront of it and created a solid community spirit. We are remotely situated and have always been a bit for ourselves. Luckily for that! Things have not always come served up on a platter for us, and it means we must make an effort and fix things ourselves.»
Finally, do you have an amusing story from your time in Egersund?
In my previous radio career, we made a weekend program on Radio Dalane called "Vorspiel" (pre-party). It was more or less a charging up for Friday evening, with competitions and foolish talk and music. At that time the cruising culture was strong in Egersund, and most youth lived more or less in their cars. Parked on the square and chatted through the windows, and played music for each other. But we knew that many also listened to the radio, so we decided to try to make a «cruising line», and gather all the cars in a sort of convoy. Radio Dalane had offices at the top of what is today Amfi shopping center, where we could see out to both Damsgård and Gruset. And so it was just to guide the continually growing cruising convoy around in the town. Up on Golan, where we got all the 15-20 cars to honk at the same time. Further out on Eigerøy, and another long round before we ended up at the square as a whole gang of radio-wave organized car hooligans. I have no idea how many cars there eventually were, but we saw the line both over Eiebrua bridge and past the liquor outlet at the same time, from the window at the radio. That is some of the most fun I have been part of on direct radio. And a dear reminder that we can do things on local radio in a city with humor that are impossible on national radio.