The Alaska homestead photographs 1957-1958.
My mother, Sister Audrey with her 6th child Danena - R, and Karn ValDeen - L (son of Sister Bitsi and Brother Samuel).
|The house at the homestead in Venta Alaska, about 35 miles from Homer, with no road access except the beach (mud flats).|
|A blizzard can hit as late as mid-May, oh what fun. This house burned down only months after it was finished. Audrey was on fire watch that night but could not stop the fire that started in the ceiling due to a hot stove pipe.|
|The tool shed, which can also serve as an emergency shelter because it had a stove. Note the log cabin construction.|
|MKV - R, with unknown child, checking out the progress at the homestead. The log cabin on the left was the original building.|
|Working the fields, in a nightmare of mud and bugs.|
|Some of us kids helping to get in the way.|
|Loading up potatoes. Note the need for chains on the wheels. Always with the mud.|
|Brother Asaiah chopping up mud clods by hand. Not great for the back.|
|Yummy potatoe harvest. Besides cabbage, carrots, berries and a few other items, nothing else grows in Alaska.|
|“Hey brother, could ya pull in a little closer, my back is killin me.”|
|Shoveling potatoes, and this is what these guys call paradise|
|I love this photo, with the glaciers in the background|
|Brother Asaiah, Jon and another little runt with one of the trucks. Sister Audrey (mom) got sick painting the WKFL letters on the truck back in California. Then they drove that monster all the way from Los Angeles to Homer via Canada.|
Brother Asaiah and Brother RB.
OK, so they didn't make it into GQ Magazine that month, but ya gotta wear whatever the Salvation Army has to sell.
|These are great shots of the inside of the log cabin, which was my home for 12 months. So how many ways can you say BORING, especially when the snow outside is taller than you are at 7 years old.|
|But the Sisters could talk about anything, and that's exactly what they did, all day long, for six long winter months. One of the older ladies is Helen Jones.|
|Ah yes, Brother Jon would like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich today. What? No peanut butter OR jelly. OK, guess I'll have moose tongue, again. And again. And again. (By the way, does anybody know who that cute girl is? She should be about 65 now.) [Response from her son Mats: Her name is Wanda Karlsson - who lived to age 72 - had 3 sons Lars, Martin and Mats, and she was living in Alaska with her brothers Roy, Tony, and Lennart prior to returning to Sweden in the late 1950s. Now we know who gave me the ribbon candy on Saturdays!]|
|Moving barrels of fuel off the trucks. Lots of fun work to do once the snow starts to melt.|
|Sister Babs washing clothes in Homer. Sometimes it took a week for them to dry, with the constant rain.|
|Neria, posing in front of the log cabin in Venta.|
|Neria and her third husband, the rugged Brother RB.|
|Neria, dressed up for a night out on the moose trail. Note the hole in the ground to the right, where the house burned down, the burned trees, and the Quonset hut that was brought in as a temporary shelter.|
|Neria and RB having fun. Hey, this is Alaska folks, not the Vegas strip.|
|Neria helping RB clean out the log cabin. Yes folks, you use a shovel to clean house in Alaska. Trust me on this.|
|Neria's son Prince Aaron, haming it up on the homestead.|
|Neria in her maternity robe.|
|Aaron, always happy and full of mischief.|
|Aaron posing during the few moments of Alaska sunshine. Now is that a beautiful kid or what?|