Gail and Denvy
Almost 50 Years and Counting
Year Thirteen - 1982



National Exposure

     The phone rang and the caller said there was a message for one of Saxowskys' neighbors. "A moose has been hit on the highway and is dead. Are you available to pick it up?" It was late evening and Denvy went to get the road kill and notify the neighbors. The moose was harvested and hung in the carport.
     In the morning, Denvy set up some sawhorses in the driveway and started cleaning the meat. It was a cool clear day. Denvy noticed two large sedans drive by in front of the house. Moments later they came back by the house but they turned into the yard. As Denvy continued to butcher two tall men stepped out of each car. One carried a large commercial video camera. "We're from CBS news. Do you mind if we video you butchering?"
     "Sure, but you weren't driving up and down the highway looking for someone butchering a roadkill?"
     "No, we just finished covering the Eskimo Olympics in Fairbanks and we're just doing a story on how Alaskans gather extra stuff around their places. It almost seems like trash."
     After a couple more exchanges and some video shots outback where "surplus" was piled, Terry Drinkwater interviewed Denvy, which showed nationally a couple days later. The story upset Alaskans greatly as it negatively showed Alaska as one big heap of garbage. Critics often said that the interview with Denvy was the only positive highlight of the story.
     Despite the poor press Denvy was appointed to the borough Planning Commission. Years later Denvy chaired the commission. Gail and Denvy have never seen the interview which aired about April 21, 1982.

An Annual Cycle that Occurred Every Year

     In Trapper Creek, snow in the winter is not only common, it's typically excessive and longlasting. Probably three feet on the level was common. The tractor we bought our first summer came with a simple dozer blade which cleared the drive while the shovel cleared the walkways.
     Despite the common features of each winter, each also was distinct, like the year the grassland just beyond the garden filled with water, enough to float a canoe and offer the kids some short time recreation. Routinely the the grassland produced a crop of grass as tall as the tractor wheels. One year Denvy cut the grass with a scythe and raked and stacked it by hand. That was plenty of motivation to invest in a tractor mounted mower with a neighbor. Either way the goats enjoyed it during the winter snows, the beginning or end of another cycle.