Vintage Football Story
I don't know much about this vintage football player that I painted from the past. I ran across the image and thought it would be fun to paint. I did some search on Google put could find out anything about him - so I thought I might make up a bit of his history.
About Alberte Mortensen - Quarterback
Alberte Mortensen was born in
New York in 1894 to immigrants from . The family moved to Denmark shortly after he was born. As a baby he had medical complications with
his digestive track which led to difficulties in eating anything that was not
white. He only ate white bread, white
noodles, white rice, drank milk and, of course liked ice cream (vanilla). Because he was unhealthy and the family lived
in poverty the Mortenen's asked for help from their Norse church which worshiped the old Norse gods of the Viking age - Thor, Odin and Frigg. The Norse oracle, Völva or “priestess”
recommended that they give up Alberte for foster care New Jersey
The Mortensen family gave up the four-year-old Alberte to an Irish Catholic family, the Hughes. The Hughes had immigrated to the
during the potato famine. Once in his
new home he adapted quite nicely to a diet of white potatoes. His favorite dish was colcannon which became
a staple at most of his meals. It is a
mash of potatoes, cabbage or kale and butter or cream, flavored with scallions.
Alberte grew heartily on the diet, eventually played on his high school football team, and because of his athletic ability was recruited to play with the a local football "club". Even though he was only sixteen his skills as a quarterback made him locally famous. He played for a "pay for play" football
The Hughes gave a negative response. As there is no actual word for "no" in Irish Gaelic, they actually said, "Ní hea," which literally means, "It is not." The Hughes won in a short court battle and Alberte went on to play college football. He disguised himself as an Indian and went to
where he played with Jim Thorpe, the great all-american. Carlisle Indian
Alberte, was now known as, Abukcheech, which means mouse. Hid first season as quarterback at the Indian school he dedicated to his foster Irish mother, Chloe Hughes. When Alberte turned twenty-one he requested Irish citizenship to play soccer in
Ireland. At twenty-two he left for Ireland
Upon boarding the boat back to his adopted homeland he said, "I am
Irish, I feel Irish, I will play forever in Ireland."