Kevin Forster and Jessica Kayser of Haines were married Saturday at Chilkat State Park before a crowd of family and friends. Kevin’s brother Eric Forster of Haines officiated over vows written by the couple. Those in attendance included Kevin’s parents, Gary and Meg Forster of Bradenton, Fla., and Jessica’s parents, Carl Kayser and Linda McCandless of Ithaca, N.Y. Out-of-town guests included Mandy Park, Steve Madar, Mike Blum and Ryan D’Arcy, all from the Los Angeles area. Family friends of the Forsters joined Julia Scott and the Durt Bags in providing musical entertainment. The wedding was preceded by a four-day kayak and ice-climbing trip to Glacier Point. Kevin operates a graphic arts company and Jessica is a social scientist.
Harry Rietze and Genny Szymanski made a quick trip to Seattle for the July 12 wedding of Harry’s sister Libby Rietze and Ben Kagy of Seattle. Harry’s part was cooking shrimp, salmon and halibut for the 120 guests assembled at Golden Gardens Park in Ballard for the reception. Libby is the daughter of Hugh Rietze of Haines and Mary Rietze of Kodiak. Ben is a middle school teacher in West Seattle. Libby is a speech therapist who has lived in Ballard and works in an eldercare home. The couple plan to stay in the Emerald City.
A small group of friends and relatives gathered at Chilkat State Park July 13 for the wedding ceremony of Elina Virtanen of Joutseno, Finland, and John Plucker of Haines. Elina’s parents are Reijo and Leena-Marja Virtanen of Finland. John’s parents are Bob and Margaret Plucker of Haines. Jussi Tuhkanen of Helsinki escorted the bride and Samantha Darling of Whitehorse, Y.T., officiated. Attendants were Eeva Salminen of Helsinki and Lee Bryant of Haines. Guests included nine friends who traveled from Finland and the groom’s three sisters, Virginia Zanger and Dorothy Heiret of Seattle and Holly Davis of Haines, as well as John’s aunt, uncle and four cousins from Snohomish, Wash. Wedding guests, including several professional musicians, performed on violins and violas during the ceremony. A reception was held at the public library. Matt Davis was photographer. The newlyweds will celebrate next with Elina’s parents and friends in Joutseno. Then they will return to Harstad, Norway, where they work as musicians. He plays French horn; she plays viola.
Diane Arnold is back in town and promising something special for Saturday’s Grand Parade for the state fair. Arnold’s previous creations include huge puppet figures, whales and magic, dancing hats. This year’s entry will match the year’s fair theme, “Solar Fair.” Diane is visiting with family members father Chuck Arnold of Santa Barbara, Calif., sister-in-law Elke Arnold and niece Nicole, both of Zion, Ill.
It took fishermen about 15 minutes to untangle a humpback whale that got wrapped up in gillnetter Coy Taylor Jr.’s fishing net last week. Unable to free the whale while fishing in Chilkat Inlet, Taylor towed it into a cannery float at Letnikof Cove, where he and others affixed a knife to a long pole and cut web wrapped around the leviathan’s midsection. Such run-ins aren’t uncommon, though whales often break through a net’s web. Fisherman Norman Hughes sells “whale pinger” beacons that attach to nets and are intended to deter collisions.
Organizer Tomi Scovill said she’s hoping to build on the success of Saturday’s free Youth Golf Camp at Valley of the Eagles Golf Links. Nearly two dozen youths, including eight from Skagway and Juneau, participated. Participants learned golf technique, rules, and terms and received individualized instruction, thanks to a host of volunteer instructors, including Tyler Barrack, Andrew Rex, Tyler Swinton, Jenny Lyn Smith, Judy Ewald, Toni DeWitt, Jesse McGraw and Marian Carlson. Scovill’s hoping to hold another free camp next year and will hold a Ladies’ Night event for beginners later this summer.
Rich and Sara Chapell and children spent a week at a family camp in California’s Sierra Mountains during a reunion trip with Sara’s family. Making the trip were Sara’s mom and stepdad, Sally and Kent Weymouth of Charlotte, N.C., brothers Mark and Kent Weymouth, sister Page Pisapia and husband Mike Pisapia, and the siblings’ eight children. The get-together was the first in six years to include all four siblings. Located on a lake at 7,500-feet elevation, the camp provided meals, bunks and activities and the opportunity to explore attractions like ancient sequoias General Sherman and General Grant. The Chapells enjoyed paddleboating, water skiing and hiking, and Rich won a mountain biking and archery biathlon.
Mary Lynn of Tacoma, Wash., is in Haines visiting daughters Helen Edwards and son Sam Edwards. She’s also babysitting granddaughter Sophia Hedden. She arrived Monday for a week and helped set up and arrange fair exhibits.