Gail and Denvy
45 Years and Counting
Year Sixteen - 1985
 



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Volunteering

     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 that many.
     With 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 away.
     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.


Hawaii

     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.
     


The Nielsens

     Nielsens were 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 by hand.