July 16th, 1976. U.S. Army Band is playing in front of the Town Hall of Pori. I notice a slightly more formally dressed gentleman using a movie camera. He is clearly not a standard Pori Jazz visitor. So I take a few shots of him.
Later I learned that he was the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Mr. Mark Austad (1917-1988) with Mrs. Lola Brown Austad.
Now, almost forty years later I had a second look at these pictures, and I studied briefly what internet tells about Mr. Austad’s life and doings.
One of the interesting findings was the memorandum of conversation between President Gerald Ford and Mr. Austad on February 27, 1975, just before he moved to Finland. There Presdent Ford said:
“I was there [Finland] once with the Interparliamentary Union. I met another fine man, I can’t remember his name. I think it was Kekkonen [the President of Finland].”
President Ford had an opportunity to meet President Kekkonen in Finland during Helsinki Accords summer 1975 and later in Washington August 1976. Maybe President Ford could remember President Kekkonen better after these meetings.
More related to my pictures is what Mr. Austad said:
“I am going to do some different things. I want to do a film for National Geographic.”
I could not find any firm details of this, only one remark, which might be this film: in Box 47 in Ambassador Mark Evans Austad Collection there is a document “Ambassador Austad’s flight to Washington D.C., January 1977, for consultations and film showing at National Geographic Hall.”
Could that be the film he was shooting in Pori and Finland to be shown at National Geographic?