Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Courtship Letters and an Anniversary

This is the third installment of the courtship letters of my great- grandfather Clarence Hayward White to Miss Alice Heald (my great- grandmother)

You may find the first installment here and the second installment here.

Some folks have asked if there are any responses from Miss Heald and the answer is yes in a coming installment as well as an implied impropriety.

And celebrating the fruits of another courtship,
Today is our 3rd Anniversary of our DIY wedding complete with a feeding moose!

And here are my vows from that day~

David Cory,

In our first year together we slept in over 30 different beds.

In our second year we entirely lost count.

In our two years together we’ve travelled through nine countries already, by express boat, river boat, luxury tourist boat, rickety Indonesian ferry, sleeper train, tuk tuk, motorbike, bicycle, taxi, tri-shaw, cho -choo train and  funky old buses. Travelled the Irawaddy and the Mekong and camped on the Yukon.

From lavish accomodations to a bed a bed bug infested guest house.

From drinking rot-gut local moonshine to high dollar scotch.

I’ve found the man that I can do all of these things with and have fun doing it with.

David Cory, my Cory man - the man with abundant high energy,

My battery charger, 

my energizer bunny

giver and sharer of enthusiasm

The source of warmth on a cold winter’s night, 

My hot water bottle.

 My sincerest vow is to try to keep up with you, pamper you and keep my heart accepting and open to all you have to offer.

Keeping up with him has been the hardest part!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Looking In My Rearview Mirror~ A Driving Marathon of a Road Trip

Road trip!

The beginning of the epic road trip, about 45 minutes from where we live.

Sometimes I forget how incredibly stunning this state is!

Hurry up and take the picture, this mutha is heavy!

The fish looks as big as the Teadrop trailer here!

The lovely town of Chitina.
The place on the right is Spirit Mountain Artworks where Candace was seen posing with Mountain Heather's hats recently.

Some musician guy I found to help me with the fish while my husband was gone :)
( Thanks, Ned-man)

Summer is an incredibly busy time of year for us in Alaska It seems that we want to make use of every minute of daylight which is a lot considering it doesn't get dark at all until August.

One of the benefits of living here is access to some of the best salmon that you would ever hope to eat. I had my first taste of canned smoked Alaskan salmon when I was about 7 years old. My uncle that was stationed here back in the 60's had sent us a case. I would beg my mom to crack open another can, I loved it so.

There are two ways that we employ catching out "Copper River Reds" One is by dip-netting which is a great deal of work. You need a 4 wheeler or a bicycle once you get to the town of Chitina (pronounced chit-na) to make it to the bluffs by the river which you then climb down and tie yourself off to a tree and scoop your massive net in hopes of netting the salmon that is crazily swimming up stream in hopes of spawning. If you're lucky enough to find an eddy where they like to take a bit of a rest on their long journey you may catch one. If the fish are "running" you can pluck out your family's limit of 30 salmon in several hours.... or not!
Then you have to bop them on the head and carry them back up the steep embankment and find a place to clean them and so on.
Some people even hire boats to take them out to the optimum fishing spots that can't be reached by the rough road.

The other easier way is a fish wheel. This is a giant hamster cage looking contraption that is set up in the river that has baskets that revolve as the current pushes against paddles and will scoop up the spawning salmon and sluice them into a storage box that keeps them alive and until you are ready to clean them. We were lucky to have a subsistence permit that allows us to share a fish wheel with a friend that lives in Chitina.

We drove down with my little Teardrop trailer when Dave got off work Thursday night. He was tired so I drove the four hour trip which was a stunning night, full of sun, rainbows and incredible landscape. We arrived at midnight (still light) only to find that the river was high and the fish wheel was jammed with logs from the high water. The next morning our friend Mike and another friend showed up to correct the problem. The men worked for several hours in hip boots trying to unjam the logs and jockey the fish wheel into the ideal position for scooping the fish. They had to pound rods into the riverbed to secure the wheel and retie it to trees so it would stay anchored in place.

Then we watched the mesmerizing motion and schlucking sound of the revolving baskets for hours, in the rain. The fish wheels upstream from us were jammed as well and when they would loose their logs they would then float into ours and jam it up again and so it went, Dave having to wade out and unjam. I only had knee boots and wouldn't have felt too confident even in hip waders in that current. Time passed. We had only planned for that one night as I wanted to be at the farmers market in Fairbanks on Saturday. At 4:00 we had only gotten two puny salmon and one big one. I proposed a plan, one that sounded good at the time. The run was sure to get better. I would leave Dave and the trailer, go home and go to the market and come back down to fetch him on Sunday. Then we would have all that extra time to get more fish. As this decision was being made we snagged a huge 35 lb. (almost 16 kg) king salmon. Dave seemed delighted to stay and I set off for the 250 mile ride back home with the fish in a cooler. I had so much caffeine for my trip home that I didn't sleep well that night, tossing and turning til 2:00 AM and had to rise at 5:00 AM to get to Fairbanks to set up. There's another 100 miles. I had a wonderful sale right at opening that made me feel that the trip was worthwhile, after all this whole proposition was a gamble for fish and sales as well. I return back to Delta, ( another 100 miles) and hear that some friends are playing music at the "Far Bar". We don't get that much live music out there, so I decided to rally and join them with the help of more caffeine. How that turned into another 1:00 AM night I don't know! Our musician/archaeologist friend Ned and his girlfriend Reija stayed at the Garaj Mahal that night.

The next morning I still needed to clean and package the fish. I was a bit worried about wrestling the king salmon so I got some help from Ned who ended up cleaning all of them, We got them put away and then I was on the road again to go fetch Dave. And then I find out the bad news- only two more fish showed up in the wheel all that time I was gone. The river had come up again making the conditions bad for the fish wheel again, the dip-netters weren't doing any better either. So much for the easy freezer full of fish we had hoped for but it was a good adventure if not a bit crazy considering I had put on 1200 miles between Thursday and Sunday. (1200 miles = 1930 km)

Tonight it's king salmon steaks for dinner and I'll be relishing every bite!

Here's a picture of the fish wheel last year with our Brooklyn born Bisbee friend Julio.
When it's a grey day a little photoshop helps to brighten things!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Courtship Letters~ Second Installment

This is the second installment of a transcript of the letters of courtship from my great grandfather Clarence Hayward White to Alice Heald in 1888. To see the first installment go here.

I will be getting some pictures of them in the next few weeks  that I'll post so you can see what my great grandparents looked like.

Click on the blocks of text to enlarge for ease of reading.

Just so you have a photo to look at, this a photo their daughter, my grandmother, Marion Hayward White on the Championship team taken in 1914 or 1915 when she was attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Marion is on the far left.

Candace and A Trip to Alaska with Mountain Heather

Mountain Heather's hats along with some others for sale at Spirit Mountain Artworks in 
Chitina, Alaska

"Are there any in my size?" Candace wonders.

Where's Kim?

Candace is looking for me at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market which I had ditched out on that day because of cool temps and wind.

Candace went on a fishing trip to Chitina where Heather went dip-netting for Copper River red salmon. I heard she didn't want to get her hands slimy so she stayed tucked away.
She doesn't mind posing with the filets though as they match her lovely hair.

A view of Mount Hayes from south of my home  in Delta on the Richardson Highway.
A view of the Alaska Range can be seen from
Mountain Heather's "off the grid" home that she shares with her husband, stepson and several dogs near Murphy Dome outside of Fairbanks. They're growing a fabulous garden up there in the hills that fills the freezer for a good part of the winter.  

Wild Irises in the evening glow of solstice.

Heather is  multi-talented. These are cabinets she designed on AutoCad for her family's cabinet shop Dreamworks Cabinetry where she also lends her skills.

I was in Arizona when my friend Heather heard about Candace's travel plans. She asked me if I thought it would be too boring for her to visit her. It worked out that she arrived here in time for some good fishing and Solstice.

 Heather's business is Mountain Heather Creations and she has made quite a business of it selling hats for every season that bear the outline appliqued mountains and sun or moon on  fleece or cotton. You can see her popular warm fleece hats sported on folks in Alaska almost anywhere you go.

Heather is one of my dearest friends that I met while doing some of my first shows when I started out on my lampworking and jewelry making forays. She was a bit of a veteran  by then and had a lot of tips for a new seller like me. I think our first show together was mid-winter (and -30 degrees F outside. That's -34 Celsius!) at bazaar at a school in North Pole. We didn't get much business and I've since learned that school bazaars are not the way to go for me. We did get a lot of time to visit and make a trade.  I traded a necklace for one of her hats. Both styles have been long discontinued by each of us.

She doesn't do as many shows anymore but prefers to wholesale to shops or sell through her website. You can view her Flickr photostream here. or become a fan of Mountain Heather on Facebook.

She has a special line of hats at the UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) Museum that feature the exact outline of the Alaska Range.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Found Object Doll and the Midnight Sun

 I've had the elements of this doll on my work table for over a year now. It seems like with found object assemblages there is always the dilemma of how to connect the pieces. The materials aren't consistent enough from piece to piece and may not behave properly when you're trying to nail, staple or screw pieces together. A piece of very dried out wood that may have loads of character might just simply splinter as you're nailing or screwing into it. Or it turns out that your substrate really is a fiberboard that turns to dust and "wallers" out rendering your efforts useless. The familiarity of tried and true materials definitely make for less frustrating work. Such is the challenge of  art using thrift shop and found pieces.

She's no Candace-
 but the creation is all mine except for the polymer clay cabochon face.
I'm open to suggestions for a name  for this one.

 Her head is a polymer clay face glued to amber glued to a large vintage button and wired and fastened to the round piece of wood that I found at a dump site. I picked up the broken mirror and latch nearby. I had been trying to sell these rather dull vintage buttons as a set and they presented themselves to me on my worktable as viable arms. One leg is a metal bit that I picked up on the street and the  measuring tape is a garage sale find from a broken windup tape.

I took a picture of our favorite gal lounging in the wild irises  this weekend at 9:30 PM close to Solstice.
The ribbon that Corrine from Dosfishes adorned her cape matches perfectly!

Here she is at almost midnight among the black spruce trees at my friend Heather's place.
We'll be hearing about her adventures with Heather soon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Double Header

Not only am I double posting today  but I'm honoring two celebrations long distance. Yesterday was my folks 62nd anniversary and today is Father's day. I'm so grateful that these two events even get to be celebrated this week as my father experienced a heart attack while visiting me in Arizona last year just hours before we were to bring him to the airport to return to Maine.
He had to undergo a quadruple bypass and recovery before they would let him go home. It was a mixed blessing  as I was able to take care of my mom in a warm and sunny place in my own home while he was hospitalized. I'm happy to say he's alive and kicking still with my mom and enjoying some crab picking at our summer cottage in Maine today. Those two know how to live it up and celebrate I must say!

Ray & Jay ( yes, those are really their names!)

Are they too cute or what?!
I inherited that distinctive  Rogers nose from my Dad.

My Dad and little Kimmy at our cottage in Maine.

Dear old Dad ~ Visiting in Arizona

Ray & Jay    Kim & Dave

Where This Blogger Creates

I'm afraid I may be posting a day late on this "Where Bloggers Create Party".  We are in the furthest west time zone after all! These photos are mostly a repost of earlier pics. My studio has undergone some changes since most of these were from when I first set the rooms up last year.

one wall of the "glass lab"

Effetre glass rods

This is a pic from my Bisbee, Arizona glass studio since I have to have one at both of our homes.

The "Garaj Mahal"   Delta Junction, Alaska

I get two rooms for studio space upstairs.
I get a view of the Alaska Range from that window and if it's not too windy I do some work out on the deck and soak up the sun. (it's really summer here now!)

My lampworker's station~ torch, kiln, Zoozii presses, glass rods, digital controller and mandrels

The sewing and collage room

Storage for glass rods

Catch-all for various supplies and collections.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Courtship

The letters of courtship of my great-grandfather have come into my possession and I have decided to share them with you. I'm thinking of doing them on a weekly installment. Every Wednesday I'll post some as they are quite lengthy. I'll divide them up into segments. One of the first letters is six pages long! These are not in his original hand which was had quite a flourish but typewritten copies. My mother wasn't ready for me to whisk the originals off to Alaska. She had won the typing service at a church auction and chose to have his letters typed up. 

Unfortunately I have no pictures of him and my great grandmother but I'm hoping that my mom will dig some out for me soon so I can post on another installment.

My great grandfather Clarence Hayward White became the head of the English Department of Colby College in Waterville, Maine and married Alice Heald that became a music teacher at the same college.

Click on the pictures to enlarge for ease of reading.

Here's how his great- great grandson impresses his gal these days.
My son and I did some scavenging at the dump in the nearby woods. 
Scores of cars and other wondrous piles of rusty objects are scattered through nearly an acre.
He found this car horn or blower, we're not sure which, and artfully fashioned it with some gold spray paint into a hanging flower vase  for his girlfriend.

I think he's less than thrilled at having his picture taken here.