Monday, December 3, 2012

Local Native drummers

Yesterday--Sunday--I shot these short clips at the Anchorage Native Medical Center. The first clip is of the drummers .  This clip is of a couple of dancers .

Friday, November 30, 2012

My CD on KSKA FM 91.1

For my Anchorage-area buddies, Connie Huff from KSKA FM 91.1 said she will open her show at 8pm Tomorrow with "12 Barts for K-2" and end the show with "Cool Joe" from my CD "Cruisin' Anchorage".  She picked up my CD at the Anchorage Museum where I did a 3-hour set last Sunday. By the way, lots of former Cordovans came by including John Gomes, The Montgomery's, Craig Weise, and the Webbers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Volunteering again....

Last Monday I agreed to be a member of the Board of Directors for “Dollars for Dogs” which provides dogs and equipment for the Anchorage Police Department’s K-9 unit.

The Public is largely unaware that the purchase of the dogs and the equipment does not come from City tax dollars. The money is donated by individuals and organizations through fund-raising events like the event I played at last month. The volunteer members of “Dollars for Dogs” provide and manage this service. In 1975 the Anchorage Police Department had no canine unit. That was the year Officer John Flora was
shot and killed while investigating a burglary. His widow established a memorial fund in his name, with the expressed purpose of raising money to start a canine unit for APD.

Ten years later, Officer H.B. Hanson, a K-9 handler, was fatally wounded while helping another K-9 team apprehend an armed suspect. A memorial fund in his name was also established to benefit APD’s K-9 Unit. Both memorial funds were combined, and Dollars for Dogs, Inc., a volunteer organization, was entrusted with the management of the funds.

Since 1985 Dollars for Dogs, Inc. has worked tirelessly in support of the Anchorage Police Department and citizens of Anchorage. This kind of support, and having high-caliber officers, has helped to make the Anchorage Police Department K-9 Unit known throughout the United States and Canada.

Our goal has been to ensure that each officer has available the finest dog, equipment and training to protect and serve the public. With the donations received from private citizens, businesses, veterans organizations, and service organizations like the Pythian Sisters, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, and others, our goals have largely been met. The Anchorage Police Department does not have to rely on the usual government bid process to buy their K-9s or equipment, consequently, they are able to afford the best available. My son, Jason, is a K-9 officer and member of the SWAT team.


The "Book Fair for Alaska Publishers" has their annual event on Thanksgiving weekend, Fraiday, Saturday, and Sunday (Nov. 23, 24, 25) at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 7th and A Street. I will be there with my publisher on Friday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and on Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.. But on Sunday, around noon, I will be playing music for about an hour on the ground floor.  There will be tons of things to buy for Christmas presents, good food and drink, and (I hope) great music. I hope to see you there.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Flapper" Melanie Shafer

Most of my fire service friends in Alaska remember Captain Stan Shafer who was in charge of my EMS division for about 10 years before he died in the mid '80's. Well, last Saturday I was playing the fundraising gig when a blond girl walked up and started chatting. I didn't recognized her until she introduced herself. It was Stan Shafer's daughter, Melany, who left Cordova about 25 years ago. She is a teacher now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Because of the serious medical issues in the family needing my attention, I haven't posted much lately. I cancelled my gig at the Organic Oasis after 3 weeks but continued to work at home. Now, October 6 I'll be providing the music at a benefit for the police department K-9 program. It's a $100 a ticket event attended usually by about 250-300 people. Keep watch for the advertising of the specifics. It's a dress-up affair. Here is the poster for my new genre...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dinner gig at Organic Oasis

I didn't want to announce my gig at the Organic Oasis until after my last Tuesday's trial run with my 'digital band'. I did the dinner slot 6:30 - 8:30 with smooth and bluesy, lay-back pieces. It went well so I'll be there again next Tuesday, June 19th. Stop by for dinner and drinks at 2610 Spenard Road in Anchorage. Incidentally, There's another jam session scheduled for the afternoon of July 15th at the Eagle River Elks.

Tim Whetsell back up from Portland

Tim and his wife April came up from Oregon and brought her parents for a tour of Alaska. They headed up to the interior to see Mt McKinley and Fairbanks. They'll be back tomorrow for a 5-day visit.

The Whetsell clan at the hockey rink

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blues Central jam

Still fighting a head cold, I missed last Sunday night's jam. But the previous one was such a blast, I'll be there this next Sunday. Hope to see you there

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jakes 8th birthday (red jersey) was Feb 16th. He and his 10 year old brother, Brendan, work with their new hockey equipment. Jason and Samantha have spawned a couple of future athletes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

photo - ADEC W. Ghormley
Q2 (Repsol's) drill site on the North Slope sits silently embarrassed and forlorn following it's fart and dribble heard across the nation. Following the rig shut-down, the mud underneath has frozen like concrete. Always erring on the side of safety, we members of the command center team have to monitor every phase of the well control and the clean-up operation. So far ... 7 days.
Update -- in the end, one month plus

Thursday, January 19, 2012

YouTube Links

On YouTube, I posted two readings (with slides) from Lazarus on a Spur Line:
"In Memory" and "Upon Hearing Sarah Vaughan Sing 'Dreamsville'".

Friday, January 13, 2012


Since, Nome, Alaska didn’t get its pre-winter fuel supplybecause of a pounding storm, the Russian ice-breaker, fuel- tanker Renda has been clawing its way through the Bering Sea ice flow to deliver the fuel to Nome. Everybody knows that.

Alaska has had a good-neighbor relationship with the Russians for many years, going back to before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Our State officials were having congenial conversations with their folks, as well as between our Eskimos and their Eskimos, much to the confusion of the national, hard-line politicians on both sides.

In July 1988 seven Eskimo walrus hunters were trapped on a drifting ice floe for three weeks and not only did the Soviets perform their own search, they allowed our National Guard and Coast Guard to search Soviet waters, along their coast line. Between their forces and ours, they covered over 93,000 square mile repeatedly before the hunters were located.

In October that year, when 3 whales were trapped behind a large ice floe, the Soviets sent an ice breaker to assist the local Eskimos who were using chain saws to open a series of breathing holes for the whales heading toward open water.

In December 1988, a devastation earthquake struck Soviet Armenia killing tens of thousands of residents. At 7:00 a.m. I called the Governor's office and suggeste he send an Alaskan Search and Rescue K-9 team to help earch the rubble. Governor Cowper called me back at noon and said the U.S. State Department nixed the idea, assuming there were enough searchers over there already. So, the governor explained, he contacted Soviet Foreign Minister Edward Shevardnadza who wanted the K-9 team. So, Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin made the request official and it was done. (page 320, of my book, Fire and Ice).

The spring of 1989, during the grueling clean-up operation following the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, the Soviet Russians sent their super-skimmer, Vaydaghubsky. In mid-summer, the 425 foot vessel cruised into Orca Inlet to say “hello” to us residents of Cordova. 41 crew members were shuttled in to town by local fishermen for a day-long visit. (page 202, of my book Fire and Ice).

The next year, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, a couple of ships on their way to Washington state pulled in for fresh water and supplies, bringing a theater troupe. They went to the high school gym and put on a couple of plays. We hosted, and fed them well. I and the other members of the fire department bought cases of champagne and met them at the dock (see right-side photo 0f one of our fire engines crammed with drink and ice. The photo was on the cover page of the last edition of the "Soviet Times" magazine.