David Olerud is recovering from heart surgery at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. Daughter Sarah Swinton said that Dave will be in Anchorage for six to eight weeks of rehabilitation. Letters can be dropped off at Olerud’s Market or mailed to the store at P.O. Box 1069 to be forwarded to Anchorage.
Bill and Joyce Thomas returned from a trip to the East Coast recently. They started in Pennsylvania, where they saw Bill’s best friend from the Vietnam War, Michael Fryer, and his wife Donna. Bill and Michael had lost track of one another until Bill looked him up 20 years ago. It was their first meeting since they left Vietnam in 1968. Michael took them to Allentown and Valley Forge National Park. Bill and Joyce continued up to Manchester, Conn., where they met Bill’s half-sister Nancy Hemmingway for the first time. Bill and Nancy learned of each other through Joyce’s research on ancestry.com, where Joyce left an email message for Nancy two years ago. Nancy only found the message this spring. Bill’s father, William Thomas Sr., left his family in Haines when Bill was an infant. He met Nancy’s mother in South America. The two were married, and Nancy was born in Argentina when Bill was 10 years old. Joyce says the two are alike. “She’s a lot like Bill, really. They’re both outgoing and like to talk a lot.” Nancy and her husband, Bill Hemmingway, have five children; four boys and one girl, just like Bill and Joyce. Bill and Joyce ended their trip in Washington, D.C., where they visited the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall, and Joyce climbed the steps of the Lincoln Monument.
Denise Quick is the winner of the Friends of the Haines Borough Public Library’s iPad Mini raffle drawing. Grant Rees of Sydney, Australia, drew the winning ticket. Grant had just returned to town after climbing Mount Fairweather with a local guide business. The Friends made about $1,100 from the raffle. Denise and her family, husband Adam Quick and children Elijah and Samara, have temporarily moved to Park City, Mont. for medical reasons. Friends hosted a going-away party for the family at Tlingit Park on Memorial Day weekend.
Jim and Kathy Warner have returned from a month-long visit to Tigard, Ore. where they looked after infant grandson Gavin. Gavin is the son of James Warner and wife Lori. Kathy retired from First National Bank March 29, and immediately packed up to assist the family with three-month-old Gavin’s care when Lori returned to work following maternity leave. Jim and Kathy were “on duty” from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. They also managed to pick up a new puppy in Portland, a miniature dachshund named Lucy.
Julie and Noble Anderson kicked off the summer with family visitors. Julie’s mother Deborah Morrison and husband Jim pulled their fifth-wheel trailer to Haines from Chesterton, S.C. and picked up Julie’s grandparents Mabel and Roy Knight in Tucson, Ariz. for the trip. Mabel and Roy celebrated their 63-year wedding anniversary while they were in Haines. The foursome is continuing up to Fairbanks before returning home.
Anna Szymanski visited her family in Haines last week. Anna appreciated the summer weather, especially since she had just spent two weeks in Barrow taking sea ice samples as part of research for her graduate studies in marine biology through University of Alaska Fairbanks. She spent time with her sister Genny Szymanski, parents Jim and Randa Szymanski, and grandmother Nicki Hopper. Cousins Henry DeCherney and Ren DeCherney, who live in Juneau, also were in town.
Former swim camp coach Chad Tempel was in town with fiancée Liz Sites, Liz’ sister Rachel Sites and their friend Albert Tip. Chad and Liz were married at Chilkat State Park on Friday, May 31. The ceremony was officiated by Randa Szymanski. Chad and Albert took part in the University of Alaska Southeast alumni and friends golf tournament last weekend as part of the Haines team with Tom Heywood and Tomi Scovill. Their team took first place. Other tournament winners included Jesse McGraw, who won “closest to the pin” and went home with a free round-trip ticket from Alaska Airlines. Tomi and Chad both won longest drive.
Emanuela (Meriggi) Pokryfki and husband Greg Pokryfki of Soldotna were in town for three days this week. Emma introduced her husband to her friends here, including Chris Pintozzi and Ian Seward. The couple was married in raingear overalls Aug. 4 aboard Greg’s 22-foot cabin cruiser. Emma teaches languages, including Italian, for the Kenai School District’s distance learning program. The couple will travel to Italy for the wedding of Emma’s brother Paolo, who visited Haines about a decade ago. Emma received her U.S. citizenship in April. She is working toward a doctoral degree in teaching languages online. Greg is a pipeline technician for Tesoro. Friends can reach her at 47192 Belmont Court, Kenai, AK 99611.