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Landasters to take throne

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002

For one-half of a couple that should be accustomed to being in the public's eye, Mavis Blazy-Lancaster didn't appear particularly excited to be this Progress Days' honorary queen.

"I don't like being the center of attention," she said in joking annoyance as she gestured toward her husband and king, Ken. "It just rolls right off him."

Public attention shouldn't have much affect on either of them. Ken was the mayor of Soldotna for nine years until he went to Juneau to represent Soldotna in the State House of Representatives to years ago.

Both also are active members of the Soldotna community. In addition to roles in many clubs and organizations, including the community patrol, they are regulars at the weekly chamber of commerce meetings, which is how the couple met.

Mavis and Ken, who both have children through previous marriages, knew each other for many years through different community functions and from their daughters playing together. They were married 10 years ago.

The couple is part of the younger generation of pioneers who came to the peninsula in the early 1960s in search of a change and adventure. Their marriage was the union of a true cheechako and sourdough.

Mavis, a native of Austrailia, admits she came to Alaska via Kodiak to experience snow in 1957 and just never left.

"The place grew on me -- the people and the lifestyles," said Mavis, who landed in Soldotna in 1964 after a stint homesteading in Anchor Point.

Ken, on the other hand, was born in Anchorage. He moved to Cooper Landing in 1949. After graduating from high school he moved to Soldotna in search of a way to make a living.

"I've been here ever since," he said, adding that they both intend to keep it that way even though none of Mavis' children remain in Alaska.

"I try to bribe them all the time," she joked. "I guess the ante isn't high enough."

The couple travels a few times a year either to visit children in the Lower 48, New Zealand, England or anywhere else it might strike their fancy to visit, but they plan on making Soldotna their final destination.

"Oh, yeah, we're not going anywhere," Ken said of their home in the acclaimed fishing capital of the world. "We are very fortunate to be in the hub here."

Still, while Mavis and Ken appreciate a lot that income from the tourist industry has brought to their hometown, like bike trails and city parks, they are hesitant to wholeheartedly support an unbridled sportfishing industry.

"We can't catch them all. We need to preserve some for the future," said Ken, who was at one point one of the first guides on the Kenai River.

The couple also is worried about the natural landscape of the peninsula.

"We are losing natural growth," he said. "Unfortunately we are loving it to death. We just need to be more respectful. I think people come to Alaska for the natural resources."

As mayor, Ken tried to pass a ordinance to keep people from clear cutting lots in Soldotna. Although, it wasn't approved, he and Mavis have done what they can to preserve the subdivision they own in downtown Soldotna.

Because they do not allow residents to cut more trees than they deem necessary, standing on their porch looking out into their backyard one would never guess their home was located in the heart of the city.

"It's beautiful winter or summer," Ken said.

The couple displays their love for Soldotna through the Progress Days celebration.

"We live for Progress Days. It gets bigger and better every year. People get to see people they don't get to see otherwise."

Since Ken was one of three Soldotna residents who inaugurated the idea of Progress Days 42 years ago, the weekend's festivities are old news to the couple.

Long before the parade, Ken will be up at dawn putting up the barricades for the parade route and the Progress Days royalty will still help in the cleanup after the day's activities are over.

"There's not too much we haven't done for Progress Days," Ken said.

BYLINE1:By CARLY BOSSERT

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

For one-half of a couple that should be accustomed to being in the public's eye, Mavis Blazy-Lancaster didn't appear particularly excited to be this Progress Days' honorary queen.

"I don't like being the center of attention," she said in joking annoyance as she gestured toward her husband and king, Ken. "It just rolls right off him."

Public attention shouldn't have much affect on either of them. Ken was the mayor of Soldotna for nine years until he went to Juneau to represent Soldotna in the State House of Representatives to years ago.

Both also are active members of the Soldotna community. In addition to roles in many clubs and organizations, including the community patrol, they are regulars at the weekly chamber of commerce meetings, which is how the couple met.

Mavis and Ken, who both have children through previous marriages, knew each other for many years through different community functions and from their daughters playing together. They were married 10 years ago.

The couple is part of the younger generation of pioneers who came to the peninsula in the early 1960s in search of a change and adventure. Their marriage was the union of a true cheechako and sourdough.

Mavis, a native of Austrailia, admits she came to Alaska via Kodiak to experience snow in 1957 and just never left.

"The place grew on me -- the people and the lifestyles," said Mavis, who landed in Soldotna in 1964 after a stint homesteading in Anchor Point.

Ken, on the other hand, was born in Anchorage. He moved to Cooper Landing in 1949. After graduating from high school he moved to Soldotna in search of a way to make a living.

"I've been here ever since," he said, adding that they both intend to keep it that way even though none of Mavis' children remain in Alaska.

"I try to bribe them all the time," she joked. "I guess the ante isn't high enough."

The couple travels a few times a year either to visit children in the Lower 48, New Zealand, England or anywhere else it might strike their fancy to visit, but they plan on making Soldotna their final destination.

"Oh, yeah, we're not going anywhere," Ken said of their home in the acclaimed fishing capital of the world. "We are very fortunate to be in the hub here."

Still, while Mavis and Ken appreciate a lot that income from the tourist industry has brought to their hometown, like bike trails and city parks, they are hesitant to wholeheartedly support an unbridled sportfishing industry.

"We can't catch them all. We need to preserve some for the future," said Ken, who was at one point one of the first guides on the Kenai River.

The couple also is worried about the natural landscape of the peninsula.

"We are losing natural growth," he said. "Unfortunately we are loving it to death. We just need to be more respectful. I think people come to Alaska for the natural resources."

As mayor, Ken tried to pass a ordinance to keep people from clear cutting lots in Soldotna. Although, it wasn't approved, he and Mavis have done what they can to preserve the subdivision they own in downtown Soldotna.

Because they do not allow residents to cut more trees than they deem necessary, standing on their porch looking out into their backyard one would never guess their home was located in the heart of the city.

"It's beautiful winter or summer," Ken said.

The couple displays their love for Soldotna through the Progress Days celebration.

"We live for Progress Days. It gets bigger and better every year. People get to see people they don't get to see otherwise."

Since Ken was one of three Soldotna residents who inaugurated the idea of Progress Days 42 years ago, the weekend's festivities are old news to the couple.

Long before the parade, Ken will be up at dawn putting up the barricades for the parade route and the Progress Days royalty will still help in the cleanup after the day's activities are over.

"There's not too much we haven't done for Progress Days," Ken said.

BYLINE1:By CARLY BOSSERT

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

For one-half of a couple that should be accustomed to being in the public's eye, Mavis Blazy-Lancaster didn't appear particularly excited to be this Progress Days' honorary queen.

"I don't like being the center of attention," she said in joking annoyance as she gestured toward her husband and king, Ken. "It just rolls right off him."

Public attention shouldn't have much affect on either of them. Ken was the mayor of Soldotna for nine years until he went to Juneau to represent Soldotna in the State House of Representatives to years ago.

Both also are active members of the Soldotna community. In addition to roles in many clubs and organizations, including the community patrol, they are regulars at the weekly chamber of commerce meetings, which is how the couple met.

Mavis and Ken, who both have children through previous marriages, knew each other for many years through different community functions and from their daughters playing together. They were married 10 years ago.

The couple is part of the younger generation of pioneers who came to the peninsula in the early 1960s in search of a change and adventure. Their marriage was the union of a true cheechako and sourdough.

Mavis, a native of Austrailia, admits she came to Alaska via Kodiak to experience snow in 1957 and just never left.

"The place grew on me -- the people and the lifestyles," said Mavis, who landed in Soldotna in 1964 after a stint homesteading in Anchor Point.

Ken, on the other hand, was born in Anchorage. He moved to Cooper Landing in 1949. After graduating from high school he moved to Soldotna in search of a way to make a living.

"I've been here ever since," he said, adding that they both intend to keep it that way even though none of Mavis' children remain in Alaska.

"I try to bribe them all the time," she joked. "I guess the ante isn't high enough."

The couple travels a few times a year either to visit children in the Lower 48, New Zealand, England or anywhere else it might strike their fancy to visit, but they plan on making Soldotna their final destination.

"Oh, yeah, we're not going anywhere," Ken said of their home in the acclaimed fishing capital of the world. "We are very fortunate to be in the hub here."

Still, while Mavis and Ken appreciate a lot that income from the tourist industry has brought to their hometown, like bike trails and city parks, they are hesitant to wholeheartedly support an unbridled sportfishing industry.

"We can't catch them all. We need to preserve some for the future," said Ken, who was at one point one of the first guides on the Kenai River.

The couple also is worried about the natural landscape of the peninsula.

"We are losing natural growth," he said. "Unfortunately we are loving it to death. We just need to be more respectful. I think people come to Alaska for the natural resources."

As mayor, Ken tried to pass a ordinance to keep people from clear cutting lots in Soldotna. Although, it wasn't approved, he and Mavis have done what they can to preserve the subdivision they own in downtown Soldotna.

Because they do not allow residents to cut more trees than they deem necessary, standing on their porch looking out into their backyard one would never guess their home was located in the heart of the city.

"It's beautiful winter or summer," Ken said.

The couple displays their love for Soldotna through the Progress Days celebration.

"We live for Progress Days. It gets bigger and better every year. People get to see people they don't get to see otherwise."

Since Ken was one of three Soldotna residents who inaugurated the idea of Progress Days 42 years ago, the weekend's festivities are old news to the couple.

Long before the parade, Ken will be up at dawn putting up the barricades for the parade route and the Progress Days royalty will still help in the cleanup after the day's activities are over.

"There's not too much we haven't done for Progress Days," Ken said.

BYLINE1:By CARLY BOSSERT

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

For one-half of a couple that should be accustomed to being in the public's eye, Mavis Blazy-Lancaster didn't appear particularly excited to be this Progress Days' honorary queen.

"I don't like being the center of attention," she said in joking annoyance as she gestured toward her husband and king, Ken. "It just rolls right off him."

Public attention shouldn't have much affect on either of them. Ken was the mayor of Soldotna for nine years until he went to Juneau to represent Soldotna in the State House of Representatives to years ago.

Both also are active members of the Soldotna community. In addition to roles in many clubs and organizations, including the community patrol, they are regulars at the weekly chamber of commerce meetings, which is how the couple met.

Mavis and Ken, who both have children through previous marriages, knew each other for many years through different community functions and from their daughters playing together. They were married 10 years ago.

The couple is part of the younger generation of pioneers who came to the peninsula in the early 1960s in search of a change and adventure. Their marriage was the union of a true cheechako and sourdough.

Mavis, a native of Austrailia, admits she came to Alaska via Kodiak to experience snow in 1957 and just never left.

"The place grew on me -- the people and the lifestyles," said Mavis, who landed in Soldotna in 1964 after a stint homesteading in Anchor Point.

Ken, on the other hand, was born in Anchorage. He moved to Cooper Landing in 1949. After graduating from high school he moved to Soldotna in search of a way to make a living.

"I've been here ever since," he said, adding that they both intend to keep it that way even though none of Mavis' children remain in Alaska.

"I try to bribe them all the time," she joked. "I guess the ante isn't high enough."

The couple travels a few times a year either to visit children in the Lower 48, New Zealand, England or anywhere else it might strike their fancy to visit, but they plan on making Soldotna their final destination.

"Oh, yeah, we're not going anywhere," Ken said of their home in the acclaimed fishing capital of the world. "We are very fortunate to be in the hub here."

Still, while Mavis and Ken appreciate a lot that income from the tourist industry has brought to their hometown, like bike trails and city parks, they are hesitant to wholeheartedly support an unbridled sportfishing industry.

"We can't catch them all. We need to preserve some for the future," said Ken, who was at one point one of the first guides on the Kenai River.

The couple also is worried about the natural landscape of the peninsula.

"We are losing natural growth," he said. "Unfortunately we are loving it to death. We just need to be more respectful. I think people come to Alaska for the natural resources."

As mayor, Ken tried to pass a ordinance to keep people from clear cutting lots in Soldotna. Although, it wasn't approved, he and Mavis have done what they can to preserve the subdivision they own in downtown Soldotna.

Because they do not allow residents to cut more trees than they deem necessary, standing on their porch looking out into their backyard one would never guess their home was located in the heart of the city.

"It's beautiful winter or summer," Ken said.

The couple displays their love for Soldotna through the Progress Days celebration.

"We live for Progress Days. It gets bigger and better every year. People get to see people they don't get to see otherwise."

Since Ken was one of three Soldotna residents who inaugurated the idea of Progress Days 42 years ago, the weekend's festivities are old news to the couple.

Long before the parade, Ken will be up at dawn putting up the barricades for the parade route and the Progress Days royalty will still help in the cleanup after the day's activities are over.

"There's not too much we haven't done for Progress Days," Ken said.

CAPTION:Photo provided by Mavis Blazy-Lancaster

Mavis Blazy-Lancaster and Ken Lancaster

HEAD:Lancasters to take the throne

BYLINE1:By CARLY BOSSERT

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

For one-half of a couple that should be accustomed to being in the public's eye, Mavis Blazy-Lancaster didn't appear particularly excited to be this Progress Days' honorary queen.

"I don't like being the center of attention," she said in joking annoyance as she gestured toward her husband and king, Ken. "It just rolls right off him."

Public attention shouldn't have much affect on either of them. Ken was the mayor of Soldotna for nine years until he went to Juneau to represent Soldotna in the State House of Representatives to years ago.

Both also are active members of the Soldotna community. In addition to roles in many clubs and organizations, including the community patrol, they are regulars at the weekly chamber of commerce meetings, which is how the couple met.

Mavis and Ken, who both have children through previous marriages, knew each other for many years through different community functions and from their daughters playing together. They were married 10 years ago.

The couple is part of the younger generation of pioneers who came to the peninsula in the early 1960s in search of a change and adventure. Their marriage was the union of a true cheechako and sourdough.

Mavis, a native of Austrailia, admits she came to Alaska via Kodiak to experience snow in 1957 and just never left.

"The place grew on me -- the people and the lifestyles," said Mavis, who landed in Soldotna in 1964 after a stint homesteading in Anchor Point.

Ken, on the other hand, was born in Anchorage. He moved to Cooper Landing in 1949. After graduating from high school he moved to Soldotna in search of a way to make a living.

"I've been here ever since," he said, adding that they both intend to keep it that way even though none of Mavis' children remain in Alaska.

"I try to bribe them all the time," she joked. "I guess the ante isn't high enough."

The couple travels a few times a year either to visit children in the Lower 48, New Zealand, England or anywhere else it might strike their fancy to visit, but they plan on making Soldotna their final destination.

"Oh, yeah, we're not going anywhere," Ken said of their home in the acclaimed fishing capital of the world. "We are very fortunate to be in the hub here."

Still, while Mavis and Ken appreciate a lot that income from the tourist industry has brought to their hometown, like bike trails and city parks, they are hesitant to wholeheartedly support an unbridled sportfishing industry.

"We can't catch them all. We need to preserve some for the future," said Ken, who was at one point one of the first guides on the Kenai River.

The couple also is worried about the natural landscape of the peninsula.

"We are losing natural growth," he said. "Unfortunately we are loving it to death. We just need to be more respectful. I think people come to Alaska for the natural resources."

As mayor, Ken tried to pass a ordinance to keep people from clear cutting lots in Soldotna. Although, it wasn't approved, he and Mavis have done what they can to preserve the subdivision they own in downtown Soldotna.

Because they do not allow residents to cut more trees than they deem necessary, standing on their porch looking out into their backyard one would never guess their home was located in the heart of the city.

"It's beautiful winter or summer," Ken said.

The couple displays their love for Soldotna through the Progress Days celebration.

"We live for Progress Days. It gets bigger and better every year. People get to see people they don't get to see otherwise."

Since Ken was one of three Soldotna residents who inaugurated the idea of Progress Days 42 years ago, the weekend's festivities are old news to the couple.

Long before the parade, Ken will be up at dawn putting up the barricades for the parade route and the Progress Days royalty will still help in the cleanup after the day's activities are over.

"There's not too much we haven't done for Progress Days," Ken said.



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