You Have to See Cory Mann's Smokin' Fish
It must be December because it is so darn dark this morning. There's that, and the alarm clock flashed 3:36 when I heard my husband loading the wood stove and a roof-a-lanche thundered off the eave above my head and crashed onto the porch roof below making the little terrier on my bed leap up and bark alarmingly close to my face. It wasn't 3:36, it was 5:02, the power had gone out. The thing is, it might as well have been the middle of the night. But I got up, drank my coffee and was thinking it may take some time to drive in the new half - foot of slush to Morning Muscles which begins at 6, when I got the call that it had been canceled. The weather? The clocks? The power outage? The darkness? December? All good reasons. The radio is out too, and the TV dish was down. So kind of by accident my husband I did something we never do-- that I never have-- watched a movie before breakfast (it is the Puritan in me) a documentary called Smokin' Fish by Cory Mann, because while he was fiddling with the TV reception it just sort of popped up, someone here had recorded it off PBS, apparently. I had heard of it, and know I should have seen Smokin' Fish last summer when it was showing at the fair, but then it was light out, and warm, so why would I go inside? Just goes to show what I know. Smokin' Fish is the story of a young, modern Tlingit guy (Cory) and his life and culture, told by him without pretense in a thoroughly fresh, funny, wise, and sweet way with some great supporting characters-- especially Sally, her husband Val the Italian and a chatty little boy-- but I don't want to spoil it-- It was so good, so perfectly of and about the essence of Haines and Klukwan and even Juneau that it woke me up like bright sunshine in the window. I think I smiled the whole time. Please watch it, order a copy, share it with friends, send it out as Christmas gifts. (They should have it at the Sheldon Museum, and the bookstore, so check there if you are in Haines, to shop locally first.) I didn't even mind missing Morning Muscles. Watching Smokin' Fish is great exercise for the Alaskan-- or for that matter any-- soul. Best yet, I realized that Cory is my neighbor. This old fishing cabin at the crossroads is his family place.