|The type of house we lived in is in the background, and |
our car is behind us.
Elmendorf was building a new elementary school just as I started kindergarten. Unfortunately, it was not done in time to begin the school year. So, the base scrambled to find places to put the students until it was completed. My class ended up in an old office building. We continued at that location through the end of December. I can remember dancing around a Christmas tree there, singing Old Tannenbaum! When the new-year started we were able to move into our brand new school. I loved that classroom. We had our own little cubbies and a cloak room. It was a great school…Mt. Iliamna Elementary. We moved right after my kindergarten year, so I only went to the new school for those five short months. Little did I know that in later years, I would once again have some classes in the same school. I am not sure it is even being used as a school today, but it is still there.
As I write this, I realize that today marks the 51st Anniversary of the catastrophic Alaskan earthquake. We were there on that Good Friday, March 27, 1964, and experienced an event that would be forever engraved on our minds. The quake was measured as a 9.2 on the Richter scale. I remember my brother and I were in the living room with my dad, and we were watching the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. My mother was cooking dinner. As the rumbling began at 5:36 p.m., I had no idea what was happening. I remember watching my mother trying to maneuver her way to the picture mirror that was over our brand new stereo, to keep it from crashing down.
|Fourth Avenue in Downtown Anchorage|
There were lots more memories from our first time in Alaska. Some right off the top of my head are: Standing in a long line for the polio vaccine; skating in what seemed like nighttime but it was just the darkness of winter; running out in the middle of the night to see the aurora borealis or northern lights; my parents helping to start a new church; bugging the Romper Room lady that went to our church and trying to get her to look through her magic mirror and see me at home and say my name; and watching television, the night John F. Kennedy was assassinated, just to name a few.