Monday, March 31, 2014

Ya can't eat that salmon until ya catch it

That title is a teaser....I'll get to that part but first I wanted to recognize a big event in Alaska history. Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of the big earth quack, there's things our generation will never forget where they were the moment it happened, JFK's murder, 9/11 and if you've ever been through a 9.2 earth quack you'd never forget that as well. My family was stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks about 500 miles as the crow fly's from the epicenter. Here's a pic of me during that era, looking quite angelic eh???
I was in 6th grade at the time , we had three classes of 6th graders forming 6-1 through 6-3 and I don't think I ended up in 6-1 based on my academic future but rather than the fact that I was an officers kid. But it was Friday  after school and all of 6-1 was going to a birthday party at Leslie Lindig's house, her dad was the hospital commander and my dad was the executive officer. We lived in an 8-plex which was  'Colonels row' and the Lindigs were across base in a stand alone home. We were in the basement and Chuck Berry had just came out with The Twist and the record player was kind of low so the parents could hear what was going on. The girls were dancing together while us guys did the awkward lets stare at em thing and act like we don't want to dance.  But I kinda had a hook on Anna Potts and was figuring on a dance or two when it's a pic of Leslie herself dancing at the 6-1 Christmas party with a girl I remember named Inez.  In the background is Eddie Atkinson and Emory Lipscomb, the Generals kid.
The  basement seemed to lift on one side and then fall on the other. I remember it was a feeling a bit like you've experienced on a carnival ride when you feel kind of weightlessness.  Nobody fell down or anything but if Leslie's mom wouldn't have hollered for us to come upstairs we'd all have stayed. Soon we were on the yard watching the street not really 'roll' as some have described but I thought it just rocked up and down...and it lasted a long time. I remember I wasn't scared, kind of hard to scare a 11 year old but I do know the adults were scared and that was enough for most everybody else. The telephone lines were out and we were all driven home by the Lindigs. Of course my dad was gone for many days as the entire State of Alaska mobilized to help. My brother was skiing at Birch Hill and was in the middle of a run and never felt it, my sister I don't remember where she was. My Aunt Lee who just recently passed away was actually in the new JC Penney Store in Anchorage that collapsed causing some of the Anchorage fatalities. 

Two things stick out in my my mom and was so worried for her sister and the kids in Anchorage and how relieved she was when using the military communications we were able to find out that all was fine. My uncle Rannals never even got a scratch on the two door Impala that he loved. The other thing was church.  There wasn't much a 6th grader could do to help but my mom being the ultra catholic that she was put us kids to work at praying for all the impacted, families that had lost loved ones, their homes, their boats, seemingly their futures. The rest of the story we all know, Alaskan's are resilient and the rebuilding started immediately. the ' you can't count your chickens until they hatch''s a picture of my NCAA brackets.
Done. And I was feelings so good about it a week ago. Cyclones....gone. Lousville....gone. Michigan State....gone....and Duke....I'm really mad at them guys. But for me the big story is the Badgers. I'm with you Dave, we're rooting them along all the way.  The overtime game was fantastic. And this guy here is so cool, the joy and emotion he showed when he hit that 3-pointer is to me what makes the tournament, and never mind that just watching a 7 footer tingle the twine from long range is unusually fun, excellent.
Frank Kaminsky reminds me  bit of my favorite all time college player, a guy named Bryant 'Big Country' Reeves that played at Oklahoma State a few years back. Frank towers over the other players just like Bryant did but has the soft hands and good foot movement that some big men don't. He's just fun to watch and also like Bryant his love for the game he wears on his sleeve. Bryant went on to have a ho-hum pro career but because of his performance in the NCAA tourney I followed him through it all....just like I'm going to do for you Frank. So good luck Wisconsin and Frank....I'm a fan for life so how's about a few more 3-pointers this week eh ???


  1. So I'm off the hook for a 3 in Ranger?

  2. Nah.....I guess ya got one coming, just don't expect brand new.

  3. I figure we're even up but next time we bet it should be something I know something about.

  4. Jeff, Grampa Woody was in Seward and he told me that after the quake he drove up the hill to check on one of his houses. He looked back at where a buddy of his was clearing a road with a bulldozer and then the wave hit and the buddy and bulldozer disappeared. Gramma didn't know where he was for 3 days and finally chartered a plane to fly her to Seward to see if he was alive. Very cool to hear about how you remember it!