I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

I have two obituaries to write today for teacher Betty Venables who taught at The Haines Christian School back when there was one,  and George Meacock Jr., who was the son of a prominent pioneering family. George graduated from Haines High in 1951 in a class with three boys and three girls. One of them was Myrna, and George’s wife Gladys who married him in 1975, suggested I talk with her for older memories. I asked Myrna about him at church yesterday, and she gasped. She hadn’t known George had died. (He had been living in Anchorage for about ten years). I hate when that happens, so I said I was so sorry to share the news, and then she said, “Now I’m the only left.” Her five classmates have all died.

This morning we talked again over the phone and Myrna had rallied and was back to her cheerful self. She told me a little bit about George, how he and former mayor  Frank Wallace were always getting into mischief– “nothing really bad,” and then she said, “Do you have a bird?” And I said “Excuse me?” and she said, “I hear a bird in the background.” I listened a minute. “Oh, no–that’s just Chip. He whistles when he washes dishes.” She laughed and laughed, and I thought it’s a nice to begin the week with a whistle and laugh.

(Chip also suggested leftover soup for supper so we can attend the DEC informational meeting on what a Tier 3 designation would mean for the Chilkat River, at 6:00 tonight in the Chilkat Center.)