Monday, March 9 at 6pm @Library - Be part of Sitka Reads! Featured author/storyteller: Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor Featured book: Dancing Between Bamboo Pole...
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Sunday, February 23 from 6-8pm @ Mean Queen Downstairs - Sitka Conservation Society is holding their annual meeting. SCS will give an update on current devel...
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Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 12noon @ Harrigan Centennial Hall - US Senator Lisa Murkowski to Speak at Chamber Luncheon. Doors open at 11am. (Note special location, to...
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On Tuesday, Feb. 25, Oceanside Physical Therapy will relocate from 805 Halibut Point Rd. to the ground floor of 209 Moller Ave., below Sitka Long-Term Care. In ...
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Sunday, Feb. 16 at 12noon - Elizabeth Peratrovich Day Celebration in Sitka, to begin with Parade from Centennial Hall down Lincoln St. to ANB Hall. At ANB, ther...
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Friday, February 28 at 7pm, Saturday, February 29 at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, March 1 at 2pm @ Odess Theater - Sitka Fine Arts Camp’s Young Performers Theater i...
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Sunday, February 23 at 5:30 pm @ ANB Founders Hall - SAFV will hold its annual Family Fiesta & Dessert Auction It’s a taco feed with vegan and gluten-free optio...
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Two SE Alaska businesses - Village Coffee Company of Yakutat & Foundroot Seed Company of Haines - were announced as winners of the 2019 Path to Prosperity e...
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Wednesday, March 18 from 5:30-8pm @ Beak Restaurant - Join us for a special fundraising buffet dinner and silent auction for the Sitka Kitch. This event will fe...
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Thursday, February 27 from 8am to 8pm @ Wrangell Community Center (320 Church Street) - AMSEA will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class. The cost for th...
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Tuesday, March 3 at 7pm @ Harrigan Centennial Hall - Ocean Wave Quilters Guild holds its 22nd Annual Small Quilt & Related Items Auction. All are invited...
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On Wed., Feb. 12 from 11:30am-1pm at the Westmark Sitka - Executive Director Roger Schmidt spoke at the Chamber Luncheon about Sitka Fine Arts Camp being awarde...
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Every Monday through March 23, 5:30pm at the Manager's House at the Pioneers' Home Campus - Grief Support Group, sponsored by Brave Heart Volunteers. Free of ch...
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"Sign again and bring 2 friends” is the message from Recall Dunleavy headquarters as the second phase of signature gathering is poised to begin, and Sitka is re...
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Wednesday, Feb. 19 from 5:30-8:30pm @ the Sitka Kitch community commercial kitchen - Learn how to make challah in the 3rd class of the new Winter Baking Series,...
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With help from a friend, the Soupster sees Our Town with fresh “eyes”.
Originally published November 30, 2006
“Know what I found today?” Marcie said to the Soupster, as the two strode up the sidewalk on the Japonski Island side of the O’Connell Bridge.
“What?” asked the Soupster, on the rare recent day when it wasn’t blisteringly cold. His chin down into his coat, the Soupster was enjoying the spread of warmth on his chest when he breathed. He wasn’t really listening.
“3-D glasses!” Marcie said. “At the bottom of the pantry, beneath all the vole traps and old fishing net. Cardboard with cellophane lenses. One red and one blue lens. Must be fifty years old if a day!”
The Soupster uttered not a peep.
“Remember those old 3-D horror movies, like `House of Wax?’ asked Marcie. “Vincent Price?”
“`House of Wax’ was the first major studio motion picture in 3-D,” said Marcie. “And just about the last.”
“Although a lot of big actors, directors and producers got their start in horror films. Like Charles Bronson was in `House of Wax.’ Must’ve been his big break – at that time he was doing nothing but TV episodes. Played Igor in `House of Wax,’ under the name he also used when he did the TV stuff – Charles Buchinsky.”
“Buchinsky,” came the Soupster’s voice, as though from the vast beyond. “Isn’t Matt Dillon portraying him in some new movie?”
“That’s Charles Bukowski. Bukowski is a Beat writer from Los Angeles,” Marcie said. “Soupster, are you all there today?”
“No, I’m listening,” the Soupster lied. “3-D. I heard you. 3-D. Like my old Viewmaster.”
“Say what?” said Marcie, so the Soupster added, “That may be before your time.” The Soupster had a few years on Marcie.
“Kids toy, looked like plastic binoculars?” prompted the Soupster, but Marcie shook her head.
“You put these round paper disks in the device — the disks contained about a dozen pictures each,” he continued to explain, as the two denizens of our town neared the crest of the bridge. “It was really a fancy slide viewer. Very 3-D. But you could buy these wonderful collections of disk sets like `World Cities’ or `Big Cats’ or `World’s Fair.’ I used to spend hours looking at these scenes and dreaming about seeing them for myself some day.”
This time it was Marcie’s turn not to listen. She stopped abruptly and stood perfectly still, except for her jaw, which slowly gaped open.
For the duo had reached the crest of the bridge’s graceful curve, revealing to their view a big chunk of the panorama that is Our Town. Always beautiful, the mountains on either side of Verstovia were expertly highlighted by white snow and dark forest, a drawing done in pencils. There was downtown, then town, then the inner ring of mere “hills” like Gavan, then simultaneously large and distant mountains crowding for every inch of the Soupster and Marcie’s view.
The Soupster stepped alongside his friend, pleased by the rapturous look on Marcie’s face. “Now, that’s 3-D!” he said.
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The Soupster helps a friend hunt for his wallet (back in ancient times, when Our Town had a “video store”).
Originally Published November 21, 2002
“I just can’t figure out where it could be, Soupster!” said Brian, sounding panicky. “It has my credit card, my driver’s license with my address and my Social Security card, with my Social Security number.”
“A truly dangerous combination,” commiserated the Soupster, as he scanned the ground for the black, checkbook length wallet Brian had said he was sure he had put in his jacket pocket when he left the house that morning.
“I know,” Brian moaned, “losing all that personal info sounds like a recipe for identity theft.” He looked at the quickly darkening late afternoon sky. “In a little while we’re going to need a flashlight.”
“Dark or not, you find things with your brain,” mumbled the Soupster.
“You don’t find things with your eyes, you find things with your brain,” the Soupster repeated.
“You find things by remembering what you did and retracing your steps.”
“So where did you go today?” asked the Soupster, as the two men rounded the harbor.
“I went to the grocery store and the video store,” said Brian.
“That shouldn’t be hard to check,” the Soupster encouraged. “Let’s go look.”
At the grocery store the two men squinted before a huge amount of fluorescent light and a surprisingly lively social scene. A school theatrical event had just let out and everyone was getting snacks. Their search turned up nothing and Brian’s brain was dormant on the subject of the missing wallet.
“A friend of mine in college once lost her wallet at the “Pageant of Hugging” celebration at her school,” said the Soupster. “Of course, she got it back the next day after somebody found it and turned it in. Who could be mean enough to keep a lost wallet at the “Pageant of Hugging”?
“And if they were mean enough, the probably wouldn’t be caught dead at something called the
‘Pageant of Hugging’ anyway,” said Brian.
“Precisely,” said the Soupster.
At the video store: nothing. Brian’s brain remained dormant. The Soupster shuffled his feet. The wind blew a mournful howl. The Soupster felt hungry. He told Brian about one time at the gas station, leaving his wallet on the roof of his car and driving off in the rain. A sharp-eyed police officer spied the wallet on the road before anything inside even got wet.
“Let’s get something to eat,” the Soupster said. “Something soft because of my loose tooth. It looks like I’m going to need to a bridge.”
“The bridge!” shouted Brian. “I was on the bridge today!”
He ran ahead. The Soupster could not keep up but stayed close enough to see Brian bend down and pick up something black and checkbook-sized from beside the pedestrian walkway.
“Eureka!” Brian said, sprinting back to the Soupster and then grinning like a fool. “If you’re still hungry, I’m-a-buyin!”
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The Soupster’s carpenter-friend is distracted by a “patriarch”.
Originally published November 4, 2004
“Hand me that laser level, will you,” the Soupster said to Charley, a carpenter friend who was helping him. “I want to do a professional job hanging these pictures.”
The phone rang. Looking at the display, the Soupster recognized the number of his old friend Zack, who worked with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration as a meteorologist.
“Soupster!” Zack said. “My ship is in town for repairs for a few days. We’ve been out studying the weather.”
“I didn’t know NOAA was here studying the weather,” said the Soupster, who also didn’t notice Charley listening closely to his side of the conversation. “So, what’s NOAA’s forecast?” he prodded Zack.
The Soupster listened to the answer in silence and then said gravely. “That does seem like a lot of rain, even for here.”
Zack then described in detail the $300,000 NOAA was spending in Our Town, with another $3.9 million scheduled for the vessel’s shakedown in the spring.
“I hear ya,” said the Soupster. “NOAA is building quite a ship.”
If the Soupster had turned around, even for a second, he would have seen the stricken look on Charley’s face. But the next day, he noticed a change in Charley’s behavior. For one thing, the usually fastidious carpenter began missing nailheads and denting beams. After Charley started spending more time apologizing than working, the Soupster suggested that his friend go home.
And the following day, things didn’t get much better. For most of the morning Charley found ways to annoy the Soupster and slow the work. Charley seemed on the verge of saying something, but then so was the Soupster – on the verge of losing patience.
The phone rang in the next room and the Soupster picked it up. “Soupster,” said a cheery Zack. “My entire extended family has come to visit me on the ship while I’m in port!”
“That’s a quite a menagerie you’re bringing on board,” marveled the Soupster out loud.
“My two daughters, my parents, the two cousins and at least two other groups,” said Zack.
“Two by two by two by two,” said the Soupster. “Good luck with all those unpredictable creatures.”
Zack laughed. “Thanks!”
When the Soupster went back to the worksite, Charley was gone. And for the next two days, no Charley. As annoying as Charley had become, he made time go faster. The Soupster went to his friend’s house to find him.
He saw the light on in the biggest shed. He heard sawing and pounding inside. He walked in and saw Charley working on what looked like a huge floating tank.
“Charley, what are you doing?” the Soupster asked.
Charley pointed to the stout craft he was building. “Noah tells you it’s going to rain heavier, he’s building a boat and stocking it with animals! There’s something you’re not telling me, Soupster, and I’m getting ready for it!”
“That’s N-O-A-A,” said the Soupster. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”
“Oh,” said Charlie, and a long minute passed. “Well, see you tomorrow at work, then.”
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