This morning I had nice notes from an undertaker in Plano, Texas (it is snowing there),he said he knows what I mean when I say I snowshoe with the departed; and a special-ed teacher with a dog named Carla, after the "Good Dog Carl" books, just like my old dog Carl; and the niece of a former Haines resident who is visiting here this summer. A bookstore owner in Juneau was excited about the Advance Reader Copy of Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, and another blog reader asked where the comment section is.
The moose was about three feet from the window when Forte started barking. There is a difference in a friendly, " I really need to go out" or " someone's at the door" bark and a moose in the yard bark. Also, when there's a moose in the yard you can't let the dog out. Forte won't chase a moose, but a moose will chase him. (Plus, the neighbors may not be thrilled by his wake-up call at 4:30 in the morning.)
My friend Annette sent an email inviting me to audition for a play, C.B. Gilford's "Bull in a China Shop" being put on by Lynn Canal Community Players. In her note, Annette said it was about six little old ladies who are smitten by a handsome young homicide detective who moves into their neighborhood. After all their advances fail, they attract him with something they know he is interested in: murder. They apparently kill someone so he'll spend more time with them.
When Greg looked at the Olympic torch that the newspaper editor, Tom, had made for him to carry while he ran around the skating rink at the fairgrounds, he frowned. It was an alder branch spray painted gold, with a coffee can on the end (also painted gold) that was cut like a crown in a fancy way, but did not fit very snugly against the stick-- and the top was all wrapped in rag. There was a jar of kerosene that Greg was supposed to dip the rag end in and then light. Greg feared, as we all did, it may run down the stick and catch him on fire.
Haines has more snow than Whistler, that's what organizers of the Third Haines Winter Olympiad say, and from the view out my back door, it seems correct. The games begin today at 11 (and end before the boys home basketball game tonight) with the lighting of the Olympic Torch at the Fairgrounds. Greg Schlachter is running the torch in and Scott Rossman is lighting it. There will be figure skating, sort of. One of the skaters is Sonya Farting. You don't want to miss her. There's turkey bowling (with frozen turkeys) and 3 on 3 hockey.
Diana Rutzebeck Tillion of Halibut Cove (near Homer) died this week, she was 81 according to an obituary in the Anchorage Daily News. A couple of autumns ago I took Diana and her daughter Martha up the old logging road to our cabin, which is on the site of Diana's father, Hjalmar Rutzebeck's homestead.
Well, it has been a big day around here. The advanced reader copies (or ARCs) of my new book, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs are out and I'm hearing good things from booksellers across the country. (ARCs are the paperbacks printed just for stores and reviewers that still may have a few mistakes or typos in them.) The real book will be released in hardcover on May 18, which seems a long way from my now snow covered garden. But this does mean the hoopla about the new book has begun, and I have posted the cover, catalog copy and such, with help from my neighbor James.
Before going to bed the other night I was reading an article in The Week on the global economy. This prompted me to check the labels on my (I thought) very American clothes. My shirt (Woolrich) was made in China, and so were my Levi's and Smart Wool socks. My underwear (Jockey) was made in the Dominican Republic. Then I checked the bathroom counter, and the labels on the skin creams and such.
When the Chilkat Valley Jeopardy announcer said, "This local businesswoman once danced in a gilded cage at the Totem Bar" not everyone knew where that was, much less who he meant, until she, who was one of the contestants up on the stage at the Chilkat Center said, "Who is Annette Gregg?" and blushed, then smiled.
Remember that song? "Welcome to my Dream?" I know you've heard it, and I did last night. Bing Crosby sang it on his way to Dawson City from Skagway with his pal Bob Hope in a 1946 movie called "Road to Utopia". Yup, even back then this north country was Utopia.