It was that month in October, all those years ago, we write 1974 when Henrik reported to the hotel where he would work for the next three(3) weeks.

It was an internship for the young man for him to learn about what work was, and what other people do for a living so he could chose his own path just a few years later. Castle Hotel has just been taken over by a young couple in their early middle age. Henrik was assigned the front desk, and as such would carry suitcases, greet guests, help the cleaning staff, answer the telephone exchange model year 1930’s, serve tea in the breakfast room and speak friendly with foreign guests – one of which was Demis Roussos, how however failed to show up! Much mor exciting it was when Henrik was asked if he would be prepared to dress up in a Piccolo’s uniform! And yes, he would! -You see Henrik’s dream had always been to work at a hotel as a Piccolo – namely engaging with the guests, showing directions, carrying luggage and just being generally friendly.

A week later a nice uniform with red tunic, ditto red cap and dark trousers were delivered for a photo shoot – with no other than the new Pop music group – ABBA! We hardly knew who they were other than that they had won the Eurovision Song Contest with the by now very known tune ‘’Waterloo’’ .

Henrik was asked to stand holding suitcases, he was a bit shy, still, no one spoke a word and Benny Andersson position himself at the front desk readying himself to sign the ledger with those famous ostrich feather plume’s pens. Not far from him was Björn Ulvaeus and then Agneta and Annifrid on a nearby large, tropic type armchair.

The ceremony until they were done took some two hours, Benny went out, and played a bit on the
flugel, then returned. Then, as fast as it had begun – it was over! Back in school a Friday morning a few weeks later each child had to tell what they had encountered during their test weeks. When it came to Henrik to tell, few if any, wanted to believe him, but some few months later, late in Spring the album was released, and there he was, over leaf, standing holding the two leather suitcases tasked him. He felt quite proud, needless to say! 🙂

Henrik Mjöman August 30, 2023 Riga