Blood Red Shoes, Part 3

Blood Red Shoes by MerrySmith Filmworks The Making of Blog, Part Three Cast of Characters, Continued by Bradford D Smith First some housekeeping. It was recently brought to my attention that Glow is actually Glo. My lack of intimate knowledge of the English language...

Blood Red Shoes, Part 2

Blood Red Shoes by MerrySmith Filmworks The Making of Blog, Part Two Cast of Characters by Bradford D Smith It’s not a stretch to say all involved in this project were characters in their own right. I’ll start with the Chief Character and the man that brought us all...

Blood Red Shoes, Part 1

Blood Red Shoes by MerrySmith Filmworks The Making of the Blog by Bradford D Smith In 1993, my then wife, April, and our two sons, John and Taylor, moved to the Seattle area from Homer, Alaska. It was my first time living in the south. After twelve years of city life,...

Teresa Island Camping

Teresa Island Camping

Teresa Island Camping A wall tent summer camp at the base of Theresa Island. Teresa Island is the second tallest lake island in the world, standing at 6,153 (1875m) feet above sea level. Twelve Mile Bay was the site of our trap line cabin. I took a boat trip to...

Atlin Humor: HouseHusband Wanted

Atlin Humor If you have noticed, in order to survive and even thrive in the isolated rugged North Country, it’s best to have a great sense of humor. In Atlin, the Fun Days entertainment, Halloween and The Dominion Day parade are all good examples. My mom had a great...

81 Days Below Zero

81 Days Below Zero

81 Days Below Zero Brian Murphy with Toula Vlahou Da Capo Press 2016 Shortly before Christmas 1943, a doomed test flight took off from Ladd Field near Fairbanks, Alaska. Faulty instruments gave bad readings and the weather did the rest. Only one man survived the...

The Firecracker Boys by Dan O’Neill

The Firecracker Boys by Dan O’Neill

The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement Dan O’Neill Saint Martin’s Press 1994 In 1958, Edward Teller, the father of the H bomb, wanted to explode six megaton atomic bombs on the coast of NW Alaska, only a few miles...

Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

Ordinary Wolves Seth Kantner Milkweed Editions 2005 Seth Katner’s first offering, a novel Ordinary Wolves, hits hard and fast and pulls no punches. A story of a white boy growing up in a sod hut on the banks of a river in Arctic Alaska. Not sure where he fits in in...

Atlin Security Blanket

The Atlin Security Blanket Atlin News Miner Diane Smith - Aug 24, 1972 Everyone has heard of the physiological security blanket. It is the end result of behavior motivation which leads to saving something, be it money or stale sourdoughs, thus creating a shield...

Ghost in The Koot

As I previously mentioned, I have little personal recollection of the Kootenay Hotel, but I feel confident in the retelling of one particular Kootenay story. This is a story I heard told and retold many times as I grew up in Atlin. I will preface this by saying many...

Mac’s Fireweed Books

Mac’s Fireweed Books

Atlin Where Everyone Knows Your Dog's Name on Mac's shelf. Visiting Whitehorse? Be sure to stop by Mac's    Memories of Mac’s For a small town Atlin boy in the late nineteen-sixties, a trip to the big city of Whitehorse was a magical time. Without T.V. or...

The Firecracker Boys

The Firecracker Boys Saint Martin’s Press 1994 Dan O’Neill In 1958, Edward Teller the father of the H bomb wanted to explode six megaton atomic bombs on the coast of northwest Alaska, only a few miles from the Inupiat settlement of Point Hope. This story will tell you...

North of Familiar

North of Familiar

North of Familiar A Woman’s Story of Homesteading and Adventure in the Canadian Wilderness Terry Milos Caitlin Press 2019 Full disclosure on this one, Terry was my grade school teacher for grade three and four. Thanks to social media, we met again as adults and she...

Atlin: Horse Barn

Atlin: Horse Barn

Horse Barn and Hay Loft An old one- or two-horse barn and hay loft. This building is long gone now but Mom was able to capture it forever in one of her paintings. It was situated on the alley behind what is now Sincerely Yours General Store in Atlin. This building...

Atlin: Log Cabins

Atlin: Log Cabins

This painting was commissioned by the owner of the cabin shorty after it was completed. Logs were and are a popular building material in Atlin. Using locally sourced logs makes economic sense. They offer good insulation and are aesthetically pleasing. See a watercolor...

Atlin: Glacier Institute

Atlin: Glacier Institute

Glacier Institute On McBride Boulevard looking toward the Geological Institute. This building was originally a wing of Saint Andrews Hospital opened in 1942 to serve Atlinite’s and neighboring communities. It was built from salvaged lumber and even nails from the...

Hirst-Chichagof Gold Mine

Hirst-Chichagof Gold Mine Located fifty miles from Sitka, the Hirst-Chichagof Gold Mine operated from 1920 to 1943 when it was closed during WWII due to lack of manpower and resources. During its brief operation, the Chichagof mine processed 35 tons of ore a day and...

Fifty Miles from Tomorrow

Fifty Miles from Tomorrow

Fifty Miles from Tomorrow William L. Iggiagruk Hensley Picador 2010 Born thirty miles north of the Arctic Circle, William was raised in the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Inupiaq people. This memoir takes the reader through William’s childhood on shore of the Chukchi...

Shootout at White Alice

Shootout at White Alice 1987 Small Town Alaska The axe swings in a graceful arc, the day's declining light glints off the whetted steel. With power and precision, it connects with a round of knotty spruce, piercing it neatly, splitting it in two. The cry of the...

Atlin: The Barn at Grahams Farm

Atlin: The Barn at Grahams Farm

The Barn at Grahams Farm The farm is only a couple miles south of Atlin near the mouth of Pine Creek. Consisting of flat, sparsely wooded land spread along the shoreline of Atlin Lake, homesteader Sam Johnson decided it was perfect for farming. In the early 1900s...