Gail and Denvy
45 Years and Counting
Year Fifteen - 1984
 



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Fishing

     Summer was the time to harvest salmon for the table and the freezer. While there were salmon is almost every stream you crossed, the Saxowskys favored one about a mile up the highway and just about wide enough that you couldn't jump across. It was legal but perhaps not fair from the salmon's point of view. Those lures seemed everpresent and much to intriguing to pass up. A daily trip with the entire family for a week or so during the peak of the season usually fillouted the larder for the winter.
     Once when Becky was still adjusting to Denvy and Gail as parents, Gail and Becky were on the opposite bank from Denvy and the boys. A baby bear ran out of the bushes and up and over the highway behind Gail and Becky. Denvy said to Gail, don't make a fuss or tell Becky, but there's a bear and maybe more behind you, bring Beck back to the pickup. Becky didn't like the idea and fussed because she absolutely wanted to fish. Denvy told the boys there was a bear close at hand and to head directly to the pickup but to not worry about the extra fishing gear. Marc walked back rod in hand but Darron thought he could walk faster with the rod and laid it down as he walked back. After a few minutes and no new appearances, the family gathered their gear and decided to come back another day.
     Gail enjoyed fishing to the point that she'd take the guests and boys fishing while Denvy watched the store. One day she took the neighbor. They caught some fish, laid them on the bank behind themselves and processed to fish some more. As Gail turned around she saw a bear grab the fish and head into the brush. The neighbor was very angry; he didn't mind sharing the fish but he didn't like catching the fish for the bears.
     Further up Petersville Road about 25 miles, was Peters Creek a prime source of King salmon in June. While each year was different, several times they came back home with salmon larger than they could lift with one arm


Riding the Ambulance

     During Gail's first year in Trapper Creek, a course was offered locally training individuals as EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) so they were qualified to serve on the volunteer ambulance service. With Gail's medical background she felt that this was something she could do to continue working in the medical field. A year later Denvy, with no medical background except what he acquired by osmosis from Gail, took the same course.
     There weren't many ambulance runs, averaging about two runs per month, but it kept them on their toes. When the phone rang, there was the instance of "was it an ambulance run?" but that question was answered quickly when the ring was constant with no breaks. The kids were told to call the neighbors who were programmed to do the babysitting. Being over an hour from the hospital and covering an area up to 100 miles north beyond Trapper Creek, runs could typically last for up to five hours.
     One of Gail's first runs was a CPR patient who had been drinking heavily and was sick much of the way to the hospital. It's almost enough to give up drinking. Denvy's first run was intended for him to be the driver but he didn't have his driver's license and so he did CPR on a dead person for two hours in respect for the family who had started CPR on their dead grandfather.
     Gail's medical background took her into leadership and training roles very quickly. Adventures included a gunshot injury but upon arrival of the potential scene prior to the troopers, they radioed back: "We have arrived on scene and we see the shooter but the 'shootee" is not here. Please, keep in contact!"
     If you do some simple math you will find that in thirteen years of a couple dozen runs each year, Gail, who went on most experienced a great variety of injuries and persons. There was the trip that involved helicoptering in, snowmobiling back to the railroad, taking the little railroad work car to the highway crossing and then over hundred miles in the ambulance. The middle of the night call asking directions for flying into a remote unlit area by helicopter at night: "Follow the highway to Trapper Creek. Fly straight west for ten miles (remember no lights on the ground), north two miles - watch for the bonfire signal."
     Some day the ambulance stories will be written in detail. It will include Gail's training of most of the EMT's who followed her.


The Growing Family

     By the fifteen anniversary of Gail and Denvy's marriage, Darron had finished the seventh grade, Marc the fourth and Becky the second. Darron was bussed to Susitna Valley High School fifteen miles south and the other two continued riding the bus to Trapper Creek Elementary three miles west.
     Trapper Creek School was now in a new building which came about by dropping the decimal point in a grant for the school. The grant was for some $10000.00 (ten thousand) for planning but turned out to be $1000000 (one million). One million dollars was too much for just planning and studying so they found another two million dollars and hired an architect and built. Denvy chaired the community advisory community and Gail delivered brownies to the workers encouraging them to work hard and get done on time. This episode did not go by without some issues, but the school was beautiful and occupied on schedule.