Homecoming from the couch

It’s alumni weekend back in my hometown of Bolivar, NY. Four of my five siblings are there. One called earlier having been to her 20th anniversary and seeing classmates she hadn’t seen in those 20 years.

After cooking some elk ribs and putting in some rhubarb bread to bake, I went out on the new deck to enjoy the mountains and Gastineau Channel after a hard day of puttering. It started to rain, so I headed in to the couch, and listened to and old Art Bell broadcast on XM radio.

As the clock approached 7 pm here (11 am in Bolivar), I thought I’d try my little brother’s cell phone and see where he was back home. When he answered, I could hear a crowd in the background. I asked if he was in the Bolivar Hotel, our local bar and gathering place watering hole for multiple generations of Bolivarites.

He said he wasn’t at the Hotel, but at a campfire around the corner from the Hotel. On Plum Street. Next to where Darrel Easterbrook used to live – I worked for him a summer or two for the village of Bolivar street crew. At the house of one of his classmates who I knew well. As Bolivar hasn’t changed significantly in 50 or more years, it put right there at the fire with him and his buds. Most or all of whom I’d grown up with. Drawn back to a place that seems more central to their lives the older they get, as it does me (if they aren’t lucky enough to continue to live there).

He said there were friends of mine at the Hotel who had asked about me, so he was going to call from there when he got back to the Hotel to have them talk to me. So here I wait for another call. It’s one of the few times I’m happy cell phones were invented.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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