The town square used to be the place where the community came together.
That little patch of real estate where the derring-do’s of the past days were rehashed, where grandpas watched grandkids, where parents held hands, and vendors let you taste the wonders of the culinary world.
Much like the gymnasiums of old they were.
You could eat anything and say anything, as long as you kept it off the floor.
You could watch heroes save the day and many times those heroes were related to you or someone you knew or were someone you wanted to be like.
When I read the list of pre-filed bills for the 28th legislature, I was pretty disgusted to see Rep. Bob Lynn was at it again with a voter ID law. For one thing, Alaska already has rules about voter identification. It requires one piece of ID, or a poll worker to know with certainty you are who you say you are, or you can vote a questioned ballot. Voter Fraud isn't an issue around here, or in the U.S. as a whole. So why is there a bill on the table to fix this non-existent problem?
What ever happened to the days when a coach would call you into his office, look you in the eye and just ask, “I heard there were (insert team name here, I inserted Petersburg) players at a party last weekend. Were you there?”
And the coach knew you well enough that any misinformation would be obvious.
If you knew anything, you had better be truthful.
If you were at fault, you had to go out and run around the old dump.
Our old dump had black bears that had become habituated to eating garbage and watching team rule-breakers run in circles.
If you are reading this then the Mayan Fantasy Football League will continue next season, or at least through this season, or at least through today.
Things are a bit better than many had believed.
Dooms-dayers and naysayers predicted the world would end.
Well, for the New York Jets anyway.
For those of you who calculated wrongly and ran up multiple store credit purchases, told your boss where to hide the Mayan gold, partied like there was no tomorrow, sunbathed nude on your car roof driving down Egan at rush hour.... well, today is your reckoning.
It's been a rough couple weeks for many of us. If the crowd at the Newman boys' memorial was any indicator, I might estimate there are thousands of us in pain right now. More now that we've heard news of Jimmy's passing as well. For some, it's the pain of seeing someone die before their time. For some of us, it's the pain of losing a friend. And it's a really bad kind of pain.
For the week after I found out about the boat accident, I wrote letters in my head to Casey, eventually writing some on paper.
A few years ago, I was celebrating not having to work on a Thursday, Thanksgiving, by going out to have some drinks with a friend of mine; when we entered the bar, a woman greeted us with something like, "Happy Native American Slaughter Day" and I had no immediate response.
His little Bogs boots crunched across the snow-covered, frozen boardwalk. Every few feet my son would pause to stomp an ice ball, peer into a dark hole or swipe his mitten through a tuft of downy snow before plopping it promptly on his tounge.
"Of course your are," I said. "You can be my hiking buddy any day."
It is a funny thing about miles. And mileage. They sure can sneak up on you. Yesterday I needed a fix. I hadn't burned a quad or pumped up a calf muscle or froze a lung in a week. So I called my "pusher" and he invited me, along with another "joneser," to run up Eaglecrest Road. Those five miles turned into the Black Bear chair lift and a return along the Treadwell Ditch Trail, via one section of muskeg and one still demolished bridge crossing, to Douglas. Five miles can become 22 in little time when you have mileage accompanying you.