Year: About 1979
Bear Story number 1
I was "bombing" along in my old green L.T.D., radio blaring, arm out the open window so I could feel the cool mountain air. It was a wonderful warm August Sunday, a long time ago in my "other life." I had spent the weekend in Anchorage, visiting with old friends and two daughters. This was my usual thing to do since I have moved back to Nikiski.
Susan lived in Chugaik at that time and Gail lived in Eagle River. I'd had a great time and it was time to head home and go to work in the morning.
The trip usually took me three or four hours. Turnagain Pass was beautiful with the trees just starting to turn a nice shade of yellow and orange, and the fireweed and the wildflowers were in the last stages of bloom.
I came into the open stretch just out of Summit Lake with its spans of open meadows and tall pines and birch. What a nice day and what a nice time I had visiting with my daughters and friends. I rounded a curve, looking forward to the next open meadow that I was sure was full of blooming wild flowers.
I slowed way down and was creeping along taking my time, looking at the wonders of fall, when in the distance I spotted a "big something!" I glanced at the road and back at the "something." It was the BIGGEST brownie (grizzly) I had ever seen! I could not take my eyes of him! He stood up and looked at me (more of a glare) and I thought OH! NO! I have my window open!! I rolled up the window, locked the doors and took off like a shot out of a cannon!!
I final came to my senses about a half mile down the road, going at least 80, and I started to laugh. That poor bear never knew what was going on; he was high up in the meadow, probably 200 yards away. He probably thought "look at that crazy lady rolling up her windows and speeding off like I was gonna' eat her! She didn't look that tender and funny how I scared her!"
I could not keep from laughing all the way home, every time I thought how I reacted at seeing a big grizzly. I still look for that big "grizz" every time we go by that same spot, and start to laugh at myself all over again.
Bear Story number 2
1970's Nikiski, Alaska
My friend had just moved out of a trailer court and they bought some land on Lamplight Road. They cleared off a place for her to plant a big garden for her growing family. She planted her garden and worked hard at keeping it growing. Scooting her youngest out the door to "go play and don't go very far from the door!"
She got out her ironing board, glanced out the window, and saw her little 4 year old playing in the garden, and a black bear stalking him, about 10 yards away.
She grabbed the loaded gun her husband had left for her beside the door, screamed at her little boy, "lay down!" Honed in on the bear with her loaded rife and shot him dead!!
I got a phone call from her, in full hysteria... "Ann-Ann can you come over quick....I just shot a bear." I said is he dead? She said yes, yes, dead-dead. And then she started to cry. By the time I got over to her place, her husband and all the friends in the neighborhood were there "taking care of the bear!"
And my favorite bear story:
The Teddy Bear Story:
This is my favorite picture. It is my sister Ginger holding her Teddy Bear. She was never without it. It went everywhere with her. And if it was temporally lost, everyone stopped what they were doing to find Ginger's Teddy Bear. In my memory's eye, I never picture Ginger unless I see the Teddy Bear in her arms. No One Touched Ginger's Teddy Bear.