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Comments Off on Our Town – July 26, 2018

Our Town – July 26, 2018

| Our Town, Politics, Small Town Stuff | July 26, 2018

The Soupster sees people who bite off and chew.

Originally published April 24, 2014

Sitting with Chavez outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Building, the Soupster could feel his friend’s distress radiate out like static electricity. Chavez shook a Funny Times newspaper at the Soupster with vigor. “How dare they `dis’ Our wonderful Town!” he said. “Look at this!”

Chavez pointed to a particular cartoon in the newspaper. Funny Times is a monthly collection of cartoons and humorous essays from all over the country. Chavez’s finger tapped a four-panel job that “dissed” the federal government for making embarrassing announcements only in places so remote, so forgotten, that no one would ever hear. Places like Minden City, Michigan; Bellows Falls, Vermont; Skaneateles, New York; and Sitka, Alaska.

Sitka, Alaska?? A place so forgotten, so remote that the federal government could make a major announcement and no one would ever hear? Our Town? Chavez didn’t think so!

Nor did the Soupster. “That’s troubling,” the Soupster said. “Because Our Town is about as famous as you can get for its size.”

“James Michener announced that he was going to write his novel `Alaska’ right here,” said Chavez.

“Well, how about October 18, 1867?” countered the Soupster. “The whole Castle Hill thing. People have sure heard about that. This is definitely not a place so forgotten and so remote that no one ever hears anything.”.

Chavez tried to agree, but he was drowned out as the main doors on the Centennial Hall Building swung open and about a dozen people poured out. Some held Rib-eyes, some held Sirloin Tip, some held T-bones and one held a Porterhouse.

“Who are they?” asked the Soupster.

“Steakholders,” Chavez said proudly. “These people are discussing the thorniest issues that face Our Town and coming up with creative, collaborative solutions.”

“The meat?”

“Symbolic,” Chavez said. “They’re not afraid to get into the meat of issues, right down to the gristle and bone.”

“A little extreme,” opined the Soupster as the Steakholders disbursed, “nonetheless admirable.

“We need these guys,” said Chavez, “You see…”

But Chavez was drowned out as the Hall Building’s doors again parted and a second crew of people exited. This time each of them held a short and pointy wooden stick, the kind you would use to secure a tent to the ground.“

And them?” asked the Soupster, as that crowd moved on.

“A group of different stakeholders,” said Chavez.

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Comments Off on Our Town – September 8, 2016

Our Town – September 8, 2016

| Elections, Our Town, Politics | September 8, 2016

The Soupster thinks about matriarchs.

Musing on an evening stroll, the Soupster considered several of Our Town’s matriarchs — women who used an alchemy of creativity, smarts and grit to hold their extended families together and nudge or shoulder their brood toward success.

Some of these women looked bent from the weight of their responsibilities. But others seemed to thrive on their influence and importance – exuding, if not youth, a strong vitality.

Our Town’s patriarchs tended to get more attention, the Soupster mused again. Meanwhile, the matriarchs did their work while being paid 80 cents to the dollar. Surely, a more noteworthy achievement?

Strolling by the post office, the Soupster thought of the female postmasters who kept open this vital artery to the Lower 48. He passed by the former site of his former favorite breakfast place, where the griddle person, waitress and owner had all been women.

Then, he remembered the wives and daughters of men who passed away at the helm of the family business. These women had to learn very quickly to be the boss. Women who had no idea they would become bookkeepers or property managers. No idea they would raise rabbits or pilot boats.

Sometimes these women, when still only girls – were the ones in their families to step up to the plate, if their parents became infirm or unreliable. How many schoolgirls hurry home after classes every day to care for their younger siblings? No sports teams or student council for them.

Younger siblings can be a joy, but they are adult responsibilities. And maybe raising children is not an appropriate job for a girl at a time of life when she might need to be a bit selfish. Good training for a future matriarch, however, the Soupster mused yet again.

Then, Mack the Rogue — a local lothario — turned the corner. Mack knew the Soupster and was happy to drop the lothario act when the two men were together. For one thing, Mack stopped using his fingers to twirl the ends of his mustache.

“Soupster! Big Buddy!” Mack practically shouted, going full bore into Monster Truck racing mode. “When is it going to stop raining?”

“Stop?” the Soupster called back. “The rain hasn’t even started yet. It’s practically still summer.”

“Say, Mack,” he continued, a little quieter, “you know any matriarchs? I was just musing about matriarchs.”

“My mother was a matriarch,” Mack said, quieter still. “She had three younger brothers and she kept them all in line.”

“We need both the patriarchs and the matriarchs,” the Soupster said. “We need all the help we can get to hold things together.”

“That’s why Hillary Clinton running for president is definitely a good thing,” Mack the Rogue said. “Like her or hate her, the presidential candidates should get better from this point on, because we doubled the pool of people who are able to run.”

“Right on, Rogue,” said the Soupster. “Right on.”

976 total views, 1 today

Comments Off on Our Town – April 24, 2014

Our Town – April 24, 2014

| Our Town, Politics, Small Town Stuff | April 24, 2014

The Soupster sees people who bite off and chew.

Sitting with Chavez outside Harrigan Centennial Hall Building, the Soupster could feel his friend’s distress radiate out like static electricity. Chavez shook a Funny Times newspaper at the Soupster with vigor. “How dare they `dis’ Our wonderful Town!” he said. “Look at this!”

Chavez pointed to a particular cartoon in the newspaper. Funny Times is a monthly collection of cartoons and humorous essays from all over the country. Chavez’s finger tapped a four-panel job that “dissed” the federal government for making embarrassing announcements only in places so remote, so forgotten, that no one would ever hear. Places like Minden City, Michigan; Bellows Falls, Vermont; Skaneateles, New York; and Sitka, Alaska.

Sitka, Alaska?? A place so forgotten, so remote that the federal government could make a major announcement and no one would ever hear? Our Town? Chavez didn’t think so!

Nor did the Soupster. “That’s troubling,” the Soupster said. “Because Our Town is about as famous as you can get for its size.”

“James Michener announced that he was going to write his novel `Alaska’ right here,” said Chavez.

“Well, how about October 18, 1867?” countered the Soupster. “The whole Castle Hill thing. People have sure heard about that. This is definitely not a place so forgotten and so remote that no one ever hears anything.”.

Chavez tried to agree, but he was drowned out as the main doors on the Centennial Hall Building swung open and about a dozen people poured out. Some held Rib-eyes, some held Sirloin Tip, some held T-bones and one held a Porterhouse.

“Who are they?” asked the Soupster.

“Steakholders,” Chavez said proudly. “These people are discussing the thorniest issues that face Our Town and coming up with creative, collaborative solutions.”

“The meat?”

“Symbolic,” Chavez said. “They’re not afraid to get into the meat of issues, right down to the gristle and bone.”

“A little extreme,” opined the Soupster as the Steakholders disbursed, “nonetheless admirable.”

1087 total views, 0 today

Comments Off on Our Town – September 6, 2012

Our Town – September 6, 2012

| Crazy Theories, Our Town, Politics | September 6, 2012

The Soupster and his friend Greta sat face-to-face on two hemlock stumps, chomping on jars of her latest batch of smoked sockeye and shooting the breeze.

“So you didn’t vote in the primary,” Greta said accusingly.

“I forgot,” sighed a sheepish Soupster. He chewed his fish silently. “It’s sometimes hard to remember that politics matters.”

“Oh, politics matters, all right,” Greta said. “What if I was to tell you that your vote could affect that very fish you are eating right this second?”

“I would say `how?’” said the Soupster.

“Glad you asked me that,” Greta said, standing, stretching her arms and cracking her knuckles.

“Now, I’m not going to use any names, in order to protect the innocent, but see if you can follow me,” she said, settling back on her stump.

“All right,” said the Soupster.

“Okay,” Greta started. “Say there was a guy running for the US Senate from Missouri who made some very unfortunate comments about pregnancy that got him in a big heap of bear scat.”

“I think I know who you mean,” said the Soupster.

“Well,” continued Greta. “His opponent in that race, the incumbent, is a big critic of some special breaks Uncle Ted got for Alaska Native corporations that have allowed them to score lucrative government contracts.”

“Okay,” said the Soupster.

“Now the sockeye you’re scarfing comes from a bay that a Natïve corporation is asking Congress for,” said Greta.

“But they say they’ll always allow public access,” said the Soupster.

“I’m sure they want to keep the public access – they understand the value people give to harvesting their own food,” said Greta. “But let’s say the lucrative federal contracts dry up and they start hurting for money.”

“Just then some gazillionaire comes forward and offers to buy a piece of land that the corporation wants even more than your favorite sockeye bay – in exchange for your favorite sockeye bay …”

“You make good sockeye,” said the Soupster, lifting a jar. “But your fish tales stink.”

“It’s no tale,” said Greta. “At least, it’s not impossible.”

“So if I wanted to keep eating this fish, how should I vote?” asked the Soupster.

“You can figure it out,” said Greta. “You’re the Soupster!”“

1312 total views, 2 today

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What is Our Town?

Our Town is a bi-weekly column that tracks the life of the Soupster and his friends and neighbors.

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

The first Our Town was published December 22, 1999.

Read Our Towns published before February 2009 HERE.

Who is the Soupster?

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

Want to submit a piece for Our Town?

Contact us with your idea or completed piece. Our Town’s must be 450-500 words long, take place in or near Sitka and the Soupster must make an appearance, however brief.

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