Thor’s brother, Henry Strimple, was the oldest son of Olga and Cecil; Olga doted on him. In 1935, when Henry was eight, Olga presented him with a brand new globe. The boy exclaimed: “You bought the world for me!” and a new poem was born. Olga’s dedication to Henry was published in the Omaha World Herald and recognized by a globe company who asked to use the verses in future advertising. The company presented Henry and Olga with an additional brand new, larger globe.
Sadly, in 1949, Henry Strimple took his own life at the age of 22. It is difficult to know how Olga went on after such a tragedy. Her poems, paintings, and continued love for her family are evidence that she did in fact move forward. Like Snow Storm, Olga, the chief of her own tribe, persevered:
When I too suffer loss,
In strength I hope to grow;
May I not wail and toss
In aimless grief and woe.
But like the barren trees
Against my winter sky,
May I make filigrees
That please the passerby.
In March 2009, Olga Strimple was honored by the Chancellor’s Commission in the Status of Women with the Legendary Women of UNO Award. I was overwhelmed by the number of poems, paintings, drawings, and other artistry provided by her family, not to mention the number of family members in attendance. I met Olga’s great-granddaughter, who bears her name. She told me she knows Olga through her poetry, much like I do. Olga’s great grandson, Victor, spoke eloquently for the family as he accepted Olga’s award. A single cliché swam through my mind: “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”
So much of Olga’s art revolves around her true loves: her family and the outdoors. A chapter of her poem “These Are Our Hills” talks of her father, Thor Jorgensen, the man who carried a gun with no ammunition as