Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Hayman

A reliable presence for small farms through out the Chilkat/Klehini Valley has taken leave this week and won't be making his usual round of deliveries.

Merv Armstrong of Haines Junction (more precisely, Dezdeash Lake, YKT.), died Mon. February 7th of a stroke. Merv operated his Hay Ranch at the lake for most of the last thirty years, supplying the region with a sweet mix of natural and Siberian grasses.

Our friends Bob and Margaret Andrews passed along this info for those hoping to pay their tributes. A celebration of Merv Armstrong's life will be on Friday, February 18, from 12 noon to 3p.m. at the Haines Junction Convention Center.

We'll miss the regular 'toot' on your way past, Merv.

Bob also gave me an introduction to JEFF LOWENFELS and his recent gardening articles in The Anchorage Daily News. I'm still such a newbie to the internet that I was thrilled to find such a great resource on Alaskan Gardening, so neatly bundled together. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. A.

So, here's to friends and gardens, and all matters in transition.

(looking down stream on the Dezdeash River ~ from Autumn 2010)

(a low snow year for the little barn and it's occupants)

Joan Dye Gussow

This morning I've spent time wading through my own archival tsunami that I've intended to pull from someday.
The effort's been brought on by three things. The passing of one full year of being home in the Klehini Valley (after being gone two years to help care for our mom through her passing last February). I'm taking a U of A writing course in Klukwan this spring (always an excellent catalyst to dredge). And, third... I'm a woman of a certain age (be forewarned, I'm looking at creating photo albums with paper, glue and thirty years worth of images next! Every family has it's archivist. Ours moved to NYC!).

From today's inbox, ~via~ Matter Daily Bookstore and Review, I was introduced to Joan Dye Gussow. Gussow's work is published and reviewed here by Chelseagreen Books covering some of my most cherished topics, particularly backyard homesteading. She's an eloquent thinker with dirt beneath her fingernails.

This fine video interview is on the topic of her new book, 'Growing, Older'.
For those of us with "out the highway DSL", start the film, allow it to download while it's on pause, continue to explore elsewhere with another page, then, when you return, drag the slide bar back to begin viewing. Patience is... well, y'know the drill.

She's smart, provocative, and compassionate about becoming real. If you take the time to watch, I'd be interested in hearing what you're thoughts are.

I'm calling Babbling Book Store this afternoon to order, then share.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spring Classes Begin in Klukwan, Alaska

A variety of very popular art courses are being offered through the University of Alaska, SE. this spring in Klukwan Indian Village.

Last week, Jennie Wheeler instructed classes in high-top moccasins and skin sewing. Jennie comes to us from Yakutat, Ak. She says she always looks forward to teaching in Klukwan, the village where her mother and grandmother were from.

Twelve students, both adolescents and adults, completed beautiful knee-high boots and regular cut moccasins adorned with a variety of fur and leather. No two pair were alike. A number of the younger students met with us mornings before school and late in the evenings. When finished, the kids proudly wore their completed fancy footwear back to their regular classes.
Josie and her mocs.

Excited adults contemplated what their next projects might look like. Some will be offering their work through the Hospitality House ~ The Bentwood Box gift shop.

Carving, basketry and traditional woolen weaving classes will also further the local artists scope of marketable art.

Klukwan Writing with Daniel Henry is underway in the village.
The class is broken into two groups with considerable overlapping focus on both the practical writing skills that one might use with their job or community service position and a twelve week, over arching project designed by individual participants.
The work promises to be challenging while offering a chance to nurture local writers in a group setting.

The other classes and events in the village slated for the upcoming weeks will have a spotlight here at the Fair Light Review so be sure to check back on occasion.

And, as always... I'm interested in knowing what else is cooking in our community. If you'd like a column written about your activity, class or special performance, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm in the book!