Back on ship their jobs were changed, Danny now had to work in the engine room and John was now on deck. They were heading north and it was starting to get cold, and by the time they got to the North Pacific it was snowing. Danny was nice and warm in the engine room and poor John was freezing on deck. In the funnel where the smoke goes up in the pipes there was a ladder on the inside, so John got the idea to crawl in to keep warm and hide out for a while. Everyone was wondering where John was, looking everywhere for him, was he overboard? Danny didn’t say a word even though everybody was quite upset, and three hours later John miraculously reappeared. They never did figure out where he’d been.
Ten days out of Portland they ran into a big storm. The ship tilted over 53 degrees and they were walking on the walls. This was a Liberty ship that was made during the war by Kaiser Ship Yards in the U.S. It had a huge steam engine that was fuelled by oil and it didn’t matter how far over the ship tilted, it would come back up. The propeller was right out of the water so they had to slow down to three knots. They made it back all in one piece to be greeted by Mom and Dad Severson and Mrs. Richardson who came down in Dad’s Valiant to Portland to pick them up. After being home for three months Danny came down with a high fever, the fever turned into freezing and not being able to get warm enough, then back to the high fever. At first the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and he thought he was going to die. After our Dad told the doctors that Dan had been in the tropics, he was tested for tropical diseases and that is when they discovered he had malaria. Even though he had taken the medication to prevent the disease when he was traveling in the tropics six months before, it was still in his system. One shot of an anti-malarial drug did the trick and it has not recurred since (52 years). It’s a good thing he was young, strong and healthy.
Danny walked out the back door of his house on 63rd and Fraser in Vancouver, and after going all the way around the world he walked back in the front door two years later. What an adventure for an 18-year-old! I was only 4 when Danny left the first time and don’t remember him coming back to finish his grade 12 or leaving to go on his second trip. Two years later when he returned I was seven and do remember him being so sick with everyone worried that he might not make it. I guess he had that strong Norwegian seafaring blood flowing in his veins, and made it he did.
There are many more adventures he’s had in his lifetime, returning to back-pack around Europe with his boys, traveling to Africa, and visiting Asia many times. He’s had some close encounters with death, and some wake-up calls, but one thing for sure is that the Lord has had his hand on him throughout. Today he is using his teaching gift to minister to people in Thailand, still on an adventure, living his life half-way around the world, and making a difference.