When living is a remote area of the world,
you're either not doing anything or you end up in leadership and volunteer
roles. After some eight years in Trapper Creek, Denvy and Gail had learned
about most of the activities in the community. Mostly because there weren't
the kids all in school, actually in two different schools, and education
was a priority in their lives, Denvy and Gail were volunteering at the
schools and were involved in the parent teacher organization. The annual
fundraiser at the elementary school was the pie social where families
would bring pies to auction off and then share the pies around the room
after all the bidding was complete. Friendly rivalry would drive the price
of a single pie up to $200 and total proceeds reaching some $1500. One
pie as a joke was a crust with moose turds and whipped cream. The prankster
said for $25 he would eat one. He had stationed one Tootsie Roll in the pie
and ate that with no bad taste. The victim, the bidder, fell for the scheme
and ended up biting into a real moose turd which was in no way tasty.
The high school hired a new principal and built
a new wing to the school. Denvy and Gail were on the selection and planning
committees. They volunteered at the track meets and Denvy became an official
official and director of the meets. Gail chaired and served as various
officers on the parent teacher organizations.
Gail served on the borough health planning
board and Denvy on the planning commission and the board of appeals. At
one time he chaired the commission and later ran for the elected office
of borough assembly person.
In Trapper Creek they were involved in the
creation of the community library which was located in the Methodist church.
Denvy had bought a Apple II computer which they used to print catalog
cards with a program Denvy had created.
At the End of the Line
The location of Saxowskys home was conveniently
placed on a road but off the highway, within the range of electricity
but within a mile of the end of the line, and on the phone grid but again
at the end of the line. They could step out of their house and ski or
hike into the wilderness that ended at the ocean's edge hundreds of miles
Many friends lived beyond the gird where they would hike
or ski in a mile or two each trip. Late spring was the time to gather
groceries for the summer just before the trails broke up and sleds couldn't
be used. The children in one family counted the miles they skied during
the year and accounted for 400 miles that winter just going to school.
Of course, they were very competitive in cross country ski races.
While some folks in the Trapper Creek were
snow bunnies, traveling to Australia to ski there during their
winter and then back to Alaska to ski during that winter, Saxowskys enjoyed
the contrast of Hawaii. After basketball season was over in January, they
hit the beaches of Hawaii. It was always a great memory as Denvy and Gail
had gone their during their first year of marriage on the way from Alaska
to San Francisco for a conference. The airlines would offer the triangle
fare where the stop in Hawaii was just a couple extra dollars if you flew
to Seattle or San Francisco. Of course, with so little sun in Alaska at
any time of the year, they typically burnt their noses and even their
feet in the warm sun.
a young couple who served as leaders of the Bible Church for several years.
After a dispute in the church they moved into a shack next to the Saxowskys.
She was very pregnant with a second child and the shack could not maintain
any heat so they moved in with the Saxowskys. It was Christmas and to
avoid any problems with the children getting into the tree, Gail and Denvy
placed a smaller tree on a platform along the wall. After the baby came
the Nielsens lived there for several months until the weather was warm
enough to return to the shack.
Over the next year the Nielsens built a
house back in the woods where every piece of wood had to be carried in