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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Born outside the U.S.

Back in December 1937 Alaska was not a state. It was a Territory of the United States, purchased from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million dollars. Alaska was pretty much overlooked until 1896 when a major gold deposit was discovered, causing it to become the gateway to the Klondike gold fields. It became the 49th state in1959. 

Growing up I got a kick out of announcing to my peers that I was born in a U.S. territory not a state. That wouldn’t be so funny today with the ban on aliens. Both of my parents were born in Washington State so I guess that made me and my younger brother US citizens however you look at that.

I have no memory of living in Alaska and very few pictures. In addition to my parents, my maternal grandparents also lived there at the time. I have no clue why. The only thing I know for sure is that we all moved to Tacoma, Washington somewhere around 1940 Again I have no memory of the boat trip.

This morning my curiosity was aroused with all the negative stories in the news about Trump banning people and I wondered just why did we make that move? I googled what was going on in the US around 1940. Oh right- World War II happened! That must have been a pretty scary boat trip all the way from Alaska.

The best picture in 1940 was Gone with the Wind. It was the very first motion picture I saw. The only thing I remember was the scene where the green velvet drapes were made into a dress. Come on I was only three or so! 

By the time the war was going strong we had moved to Olympia, Washington and my parents had a small restaurant called the Cracker Box. The memory that stands out is listening to the jukebox and the Andrew Sisters singing Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree. My parents also had an Army friend who ate napkins just to amuse us.

That’s about it for today. Everyone’s life has to begin somewhere.


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