Kay Smith

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2003

• Age: 82, born and raised in Yakima, Wash.

• Moved to Alaska: In 1968, from Yakima, with her two daughters, Bridget and Molly, after her husband died. Smith took a job as a state adoption consultant with health and social services. "The money enticed me," she said. "Salaries were much better. I had to put my daughters through college." Smith worked for the state for almost 18 years and ran a bed and breakfast in her house for 19 years. She still lives in the same home a block from the state Capitol.

• Character he plays: Bertha Goetz.

• Previous acting experience: Has acted at Perseverance and Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre in 26 plays.

• On Goetz: "Like so many of the others in the play, she came here a little later in life. She had a spirit of adventure I suppose. She wasn't afraid. I think she's typical of the women of her era. She liked a good time, but she accepted Juneau. It wasn't an easy life. The climate and the isolation are pretty intense in the Southeast. It can weigh on you, unless you spread your wings a little and take other people in."

• On telling stores: "I think we all have a love of generations, of grandparents and nostalgia. There's nostalgia for old Juneau with these stories. For a lot of the newcomers, these stories probably don't mean that much to them. But it will give them a lot of history."

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