As a former Alaskan, I enjoy seeing Alaskans fleeing the Arctic and enjoying warm climates. I don’t have to return to Alaska, because Alaskans travel south like migrating birds.
Case in point. When joining my Juneau golfing pal Bruce in Green Valley, AZ for 9 holes on the neighborhood course. We were paired up with a guy from Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaskans enjoy less than 1 degree of separation.
In Tucson, AZ I got to visit with Alaskans Bruce and Laury, former D.C. colleague Madeleine and husband Norman, and new RV friends Phyllis and Chris (and best pal Molly). Phyllis and Chris are just the kind of folks I hoped to meet on my Road2Reinvention. Retired from Michigan, liberal Democrats and golfers with a cute dog Molly.
After Tucson, a visit with dear friend Esther Davidson in Arizona City. Esther’s husband Dale and her son Mark passed in 2016. Esther is a wonderful spirit born on a Nebraska farm and coming of age in Montana. Esther and Dale were supportive friends to my Mother in the 1970’s in Anchorage, as my father descended into alcoholism. We met at them at the Turnagain Methodist Church.
Dale was a wonderful man. He refused to eat homemade cookies, bread or cakes, having grown up on Nebraska wholesome farm food. He only wanted store-bought Oreo sandwich cookies and Wonder bread. I think of Dale every time I see a sandwich cookie or Wonder Bread.
On to Palm Springs, CA. Another destination for cold Alaskans. Diane DiSanto and John Sroufe from Anchorage, and Kathy Dietrich from Fairbanks. It is always better to rally in sunshine than snow. So we attended the Not My President rally. Diane and John lived in Washington, D.C. for six years while Mark Begich served Alaska as a Democratic Senator in the U.S. Senate. Mark will be the last Democrat elected to Congress from Alaska in my lifetime. And, why I will never step foot in Alaska. Begich was born in Alaska, and his father Representative Nick Begich died when the small plane he and Demcratic Majority Leader Hale Boggs were flying in disappeared over the Portage Glacier on their way to a campaign stop. Instead of re-electing Mark Begich, Alaskan voted for a carpet-bagger new comer Dan Sullivan. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Also in Palm Springs Carol and Kevin, friends from NYC.
And so, on my 63 Birthday, I am grateful to have friends, and sunshine, Maggie and Scout. And, of course my Social Security and union pension check each month allowing me to retire early, and do what I want to do. Here is to friends, see you soon!