Mom and Dad visiting Alaska with my dog Harvey at the port of Whittier, Alaska — early ’80s.
As can be seen in this picture, Dad loved Alaska, and they would have moved here had he not gotten sick. He died in 1989. Mom moved to Alaska 2.5 years later.
I raised Harvey, my Irish Setter, from a pup, and had to leave him with Mom and Dad when moving to Montana and Alaska in 1980, because of apartment living and working long hours in summer. I still remember crying on the stairs in our house in Bloomington, Minnesota, the night before leaving him to live out west.
Though we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, Dad was probably close to being the perfect father. He taught me a lot, and introduced me to nature. As a family, we visited all of the contiguous states west of the Mississippi, camping. Glacier National Park probably made the biggest impression. Dad encouraged me to try things, and gave me space to adventure on my own. Amazing!
Being a people person with a keen eye for detail, he and his brother owned a very successful barbershop in Minneapolis. His handyman skills were also impressive, even building his sister and brother-in-law’s house at age-18. He could fix almost anything.
He left us so early. Doctors couldn’t figure out why, and everything they tried made his condition worse. He was miraculously healed in ~’74, after which he was fine until I encouraged him to attend a church that had a pastor who hid his true emotions…. Ugh! I wish I never would have done that. Churches can be toxic, and I didn’t know at the time how much. Many pastors were never even called to be church leaders, but are confidence men. I write about James-3 cursing in my spiritual blog, having learned a lot the hard way.
Digital camera scan of a glossy print