Cooper Landing

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Katie Green sent information about the Cooper Landing Activity Divas latest event, the Mardi Gras party at the community hall Saturday at 6 p.m. Katie wrote: "The theme for food is Cajun, southern or whatever shows up on the tables. Provide your own beverages. If you have any Cajun music CD's you'd like to share for the evening, bring them." Jon James is trying to find live music for the party.

According to Katie, "The wine tasting on Feb. 5 was another in a series of rousing successes for the ladies of CLAD. Thank all of you who attended for the delightful wines and appetizers, good company and a very pleasant evening. It was good to see some more new faces, too. Remember, these events are open to the entire community so feel free to invite your friends and neighbors who aren't on my e-mailing list. If you know anyone who would like to be added to the list, have them contact me."

Katie also had information about the Community Emergency Response Team training sessions. They are planned for Saturday and Feb. 26 for training and March 5 for the practical test if enough folks are able to commit to those dates. "The Kenai Peninsula Borough is offering free training for responding to catastrophic emergencies - avalanche, earthquake, volcanic eruption, terrorist disruption of life in general. It is a good thing for a few people from each neighborhood to attend. They provide a basic first aid class as part of the class. It's also a part of a neighborhood watch training." Call Kate for more on this at 595-1643. Brochures describing the CERT program are available at the library.

Congratulations to Al Fleetwood who was recently honored in the class of 2005 laureates in the Junior Achievement of Alaska's 19th Annual Alaska Business Hall of Fame in an event at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. In Cooper Landing we know Al and his wife Pat as most hospitable hosts at their Kenai River cabin. They rarely miss a workday with the Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners and take part in other senior activities as well as community club and church meetings and functions.

Vanessa Orr wrote about Al in the January issue of Alaska Business monthly magazine, "Born on a chicken ranch outside Snohomish, Wash., during the Depression, Fleetwood attended Washington State University before leaving to serve in World War II." Orr goes on to describe Al's business background in Alaska banking and quotes Ron Kukes regarding Al being the only person in Alaska's history to be president of the three largest chambers of commerce: Anchorage, Fairbanks and Alaska State chambers. Many of Al's community volunteer connections are listed from Musk Ox Development Corp. to Alaska Children's Services. Also near and dear to my heart, Al is also a generous supporter of the Cooper Landing Museum.

Al Clayton was off the Sterling Highway, in 1949, in his fully loaded flatbed truck, with all four wheels sticking up. He was on his way to Kenai with a load of building materials for the new territorial school when he was pausing to make another run at a hill and the rotten culvert below the truck gave way. Eventually a gravel truck on the way to Cooper Landing came by and the driver said he would pull Al's truck out and agreed to wait until Al could send for the equipment needed for the job. One traffic lane was open. When Bob Jacobs from Moose Pass arrived with a snatch block and other gear, they were in business.

"When he showed up," Al recounted, "We tied a line around three spruce trees using the snatch block. The second line went from the frame of my truck, through the snatch block, to the gravel truck." He loosened the binders on the load so that when the gravel truck slowly pulled Al's truck upright, the steel and sheetrock were left behind. "It took two days to reload. It took Bob and I both to bring back the spare tire from the bottom of the steep ravine where it had rolled. The only damage to the truck was a dent in the hood. With the hauling contract for the territorial school enough money was made to pay for the truck, but I hadn't allowed for much extra to buy new tires and such. I decided I didn't want to be a trucker and sold my Diamond T."

Mona Painter can be reached by phone at 595-1248 or by email at

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