Thursday, November 24, 2011

Through your eyes

Dear JJ,

Your second Thanksgiving - and we were able to celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa. It was a good time- and your little life has made this holiday mean a lot more than ever.
Grandma and Grandpa Simpson came down for Thanksgiving

When I was a young boy we lived in Alaska- away from family, but an area where there were a lot of friends and having people over was a great thing.  Occasionally we would be in Oregon, and there lots of friends and family would be over.  So many years have past, and so many of those nice folks have passed on. 

There were many years where I spent Thanksgiving far away from family, when I was in the mid-west. Locals would invite me over, but I didn't want  a sympathy Thanksgiving.  Occasionally my friends who were in similar circumstances at The University, would get together for a non-traditional time and enjoy some company.

For you, it is nice to grow up with memories, with family, and with a lot of friends. And you are lucky- there are so many people out there who love you and care for you. But we have been a bit selfish- and now it is time to have a lot more people over for these times.

This  grim reality hit me- all of those nice folks who loved me as a little boy are gone, and now you are the little boy.  Time goes by fast, and you are a loved little man by so many.  And if there happen to be those who want to stay by themselves as I once did-- time for them to realize -- life is short, and there is this special little boy who has a whole lot of love to give.  There is another part of that grim reality - I won't be with you for every Thanksgiving - so the more great memories and aunties and uncles and grandparents you have, the sweeter life will be. So my goal is to always see Thanksgiving through your eyes.

Just like my parents, who are in their 80's did for you by coming down here for this one- your mom and I will come see you for every holiday we can.


Where else can you play outside in November

Your best buddy, Luck

You like your dad's Turkey

Felt your first raindrop

Loving to read

Your Grandma- checking out how your dad is making eggs

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Returning to Ketchikan

Coming to my hometown, Ketchikan, with my son
Dear JJ,

I grew up in this little town called Ketchikan, Alaska - about 5000 residents (if you counted dogs and cats). When I went away to college in 1974 I came back for summers until 1978 - and after my folks left there didn't seem to be much of a reason to return. 

For years Ketchikan, Alaska,  my hometown,  didn't cross my  mind  - then you came along. Now there was this need to connect where I grew up with you.   You and your mom awakened something- because I connected here I want to share this special little place I grew up with your uncle Jimmy and Ron. 

Something about the town I grew up in, now makes a place in me. So this  September we made a trip back to the hometown - and something tells me we will be going back again.

Here are some early and current photos



Tower Road today- paved
Tower Road in 1956 with Your Uncle Jimmy

The last time this cedar fence was stained was when I did it in 1978

Behind our garage you can see a bit of the fence left

From our house looking down Alaska Ave. in 1975

Your Grandpa built this house

Uncle Ron and Uncle Jimmy

Flying to Metlakatla to fly to Oregon

Uncle Jimmy, your dad, and Uncle Ron- on Tower Road

The house Grandpa Built- 3903 Alaska Ave

Your dad, uncle Jimmy, uncle Ron getting ready for School

Creek Street in 1965 - more later

Sept 2011 - looking up Tower Road

The house grandpa built today in Sept 2011

Our old backyard has been overgrown but mom's flowers are still blooming

This was one way we had to get off the island!

Our house on the corner of Alaska Ave and Tower Road - 1968