There are those who cross our paths and touch our lives in different ways. There were several people that were instrumental in my life while I was there. As I try to wrap my mind around a Haines without Ed Laperyi, I can’t help but reflect on the 14 years I knew him. I first met Ed when I went to Haines in 1998 for the bald eagle festival. A few more vacations to Haines, mutual friends, and staying in touch, a friendship was well established. I applied for the tourism director job in 2001 but didn’t get it. When the position reopened in 2003, Ed was the first to contact me about reapplying. I accepted the job when offered but wasn’t sure how I could afford the move. Ed had no hesitation in loaning me the money for the move. He was a smart businessman and always supportive of me and my staff. When it came to tourism and business for Haines – he got it. He was an ear and a shoulder when needed and whatever the conversation, it would always end with him telling me to keep smiling (once explaining it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to).
Ed Lapeyri, I do hope you’re resting well with God. You will be greatly missed. For the many of us you left behind, know that we’ll think of you and keep smiling.