Story of Vintage Football Quarterback
I don’t know much about this vintage football quarterback 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.
Alberte Mortensen – Quarterback
Alberte Mortensen was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1894 to immigrants from Denmark. The family moved to New Jersey 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 worshipped 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.
The Mortensen family gave up the four-year-old Alberte to an Irish Catholic family, the Hughes. The Hughes had immigrated to the United States from Ireland 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 football quarterback made him locally famous. He played for a “pay for play” football team which generated a small income for the Hughes family. Because of his success his biological parents, the Mortensens wanted him back.
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 Carlisle Indian Industrial School where he played football quarterback with Jim Thorpe, the great all-american.
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.”