I have one memory laying on the floor of the family room with people over for dinner, and then a slide show. We’ve eaten. It’s dark now, and there on the big white wall are pictures flashing of our family.
My parents used to take all their photos as slides. It was big through the 1970s, from what I can tell. So, into the early-1980s we would still occasionally have slide shows after dinner whether of our family photos at our house, or another family’s at theirs. I hadn’t seen any of those pictures since.
This Spring for my sister’s birthday my mom bought Melanie a slide scanner. It digitizes whatever slide you want into a standard jpeg, thus making the photo viewable for our online slideshow style life. Over the last week my sister’s been posting these images to Facebook. Following are five of my favorites from before I was born.
my dad (on the far right) with his mom, and brother’s family in the late 1950s
My dad was the youngest of three boys. They grew up in the Norton Sound region of Alaska in a town called Unalakleet. His mom, Emily Ivanoff TIcasuk Brown, also traveled the state doing Native heritage preservation work, and taking graduate courses at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. My dad’s brother, Leonard, stayed in Unalakleet opening a lodge there with his family, while also commercial fishing summers for salmon in Bristol Bay like the rest of our family.
my dad doing the long jump for the Regional competition in the late 1950s
For high school my dad attended Mt Edgecumbe in Southeast Alaska, where he played varsity basketball, and excelled at track. His senior year in school he won gold medals at Regionals for seven different events, both sprints and on the field. The next year the state instituted a regulation that any individual could only compete in five events. The gymnasium still hosts my dad’s name for several Track and Field records he made while attending Mt Edgecumbe.
my dad’s first boat, the Katherine B, bringing in a beluga, mid 1960s
My father’s commercial salmon fishing career began the summer he married my mom. A year into his work in Bristol Bay he was able to secure his first drift boat, the Katherine B. With the boat he and our extended family were able to make their subsistence cache for the winter food store as well. Into my early childhood beluga muktuk was an important part of that cache.
Uncle Smiley and Grandpappy on the Katherine B, mid 1960s
My Uncle Smiley, on my mom’s side, still commercial fishes in the Naknek River of Bristol Bay on his boat the Anna Paul, named for my two great grandparents. My great grandfather, Paul Chukan, commercial fished the Naknek until he was 84 years old, retiring finally only so I could start at the age of 9.
While my dad commercial fished for salmon on his drift boat, the rest of my family commercial fished for salmon from shore in what is called set-netting. My mom started fishing with my great grandfather when she was 10, and has fished every summer of her life since.
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