Welcome, Welcome Every Guest

The Haines A'Cappella Women's Choir  (HAWC like the raptor) practices every Thursday night from 6-7 in the Sheldon Museum.  Nancy Nash is our director, and she likes madrigals and rounds, so we often sing a tune that begins "welcome, welcome every guest, welcome to our music fest."  This seems like a good way to begin this blog, which I am calling News From Small Town Alaska, because that's pretty much what you'll find here. Not the hard news like the borough starting a passport service, cable TV broadcasting assembly meetings or that there's an eagle with white tipped wings hanging out on the beach near my house. That's all covered in the Chilkat Valley News.

Well, I may tell you about that bird, if I see it when I'm walking the dogs, and we may talk about passports sometime, since around here we need one to go to the orthodontist, who is in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. But that's another story. Here you'll find smaller news, like what happens at choir practice tonight when we all congratulate Susie, and how the folks at Haines new assisted living center are keeping busy, (Belle plays solitaire, Ray has been spinning with his wheel, Vivian is catching up on her rest and Lucy and her dog Lucky have been getting her boat ready for the winter) and what's going on in the second grade, where I volunteer once a week.

You may also hear about my friends, like John and Stuart who along with John's brother Ron got stranded across the river the other night when a bear tore up Ron's raft  and they had to walk all the way up to Klukwan in the cold wet snow, and when they reached the shore opposite the village they hollered and fired three shots-- a distress signal-- and a guy came out on his porch and instead of helping them, hollered to whoever the gun crazy idiots were to knock it off so he could sleep, and went back inside. Someone finally came to their aid in a canoe. John said from now on he's sticking to hard shelled boats and joked that he should know better, since he's a Tlingit Indian, than to paddle up the river in anything but a canoe.  I told him that it seemed like poetic justice, since they were hunting bears. John laughed and called me a hippie and told me to get my husband, who hunts with him often, on the phone.

I also will definitely tell you that the other day, right at the beginning of Susie's country show on KHNS, Susie's boyfriend proposed to her, on the air, and she was as shocked as we were, and she said yes, and then played a song which was wildly wrong for the moment, a folky ballad about a civil war hero who died drunk in a ditch, but it didn't matter because she left the microphone on and we could all hear her squealing and laughing, and saying yes, yes I'll marry you.

I was in Olerud's store yesterday and Susie, who works there,  showed me her new blue diamond ring, and helped fit me with a pair of  insulated rubber boots. I won them as a door prize at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Festival fundraiser at the Elks last week. (I'm still learning how to make it so you can click the link, for now, google this stuff if you want to know more.) The dinner and auction raised over 14,000 dollars and was more fun than the old Ducks Unlimited one it replaced after organizers realized it was better to keep all that money and goodwill in town with a local organization, than send it off to protect wetlands in Nebraska. The best bidding battle was over a door stop that looked like a diving duck, or, a duck mooning someone, that Duck Hess wanted. By the time Duck and his friend were done that butt-ugly doorstop had sold for something like four hundred dollars. I'm still not sure who ended up with the end, so to speak, but neither  seemed to care about the expense because it was for a good cause.

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