By: Celia Catlett
Esther and Jorgen “JJ” Jensen like travel adventures. In fact, the journey they made two months after their marriage changed the course of their lives. Leaving their native Denmark by ship, they sailed through some rough winter weather to New York City and then took a bus cross country to San Francisco — with a slight delay in Reno, where the mountain passes were blocked by snow. Initially intending only a footloose and fancy-free jaunt, they decided to stay in the United States, and, aside from return trips to Denmark and many worldwide travels, they have lived here ever since.
Both have degrees from Danish business schools. Esther parlayed hers into employment at several banks and then worked as an airline ticket agent. She loved the travel benefits. After a two-year stay in San Francisco, Jorgen decided to study at Parsons School of Design, so they moved to New York then on to Dallas, where he worked in interior design. Finally, they settled in Atlanta and started their own retail business, importing Scandinavian furniture. It was a good fit for two people who appreciate design, art, and artifacts. The business burgeoned. Even after retirement, they retain one site in St. Louis, and Jorgen still travels to Thailand in search of the best teak.
Jorgen, who has joined our woodworking group, developed that interest through the many furniture repairs he made over the years. You can find him in the shop among the other members of “PH Chair Repair, Inc.” Next door, you can find Esther producing art glass in her kiln. This second, late career began with classes in Denmark. We at Plymouth Harbor have already enjoyed an exhibit of her beautiful creations. If you missed it, in February she will have a show at Art Uptown on Main Street. Esther is also active in The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, a group that supports students and artists in all fields.
After 30 years in Atlanta, retirement brought the Jensens to Boca Grande, then to Bird Key, and now to Plymouth Harbor, a safe port for these world travelers who have been, as Esther puts it, “almost everywhere they wanted to go including several trips to Africa.”
Currently, an adventure to Antarctica is under consideration. Their most frequent trips, however, are summers in Denmark and visits with their daughter and her family in New York City.
We are glad that they chose to settle in our community.