Omar Cordes was in Haines for two weeks with Olivia Harper and their daughters Ellery and Octavia. The family that lives in Hong Kong flew to Whitehorse and arrived in Haines July 24, in time to catch the final performance of the children’s play “The Jungle Book.” They stayed at the home of Omar’s parents, the late Marty and Allie Cordes, on Young Road. Ellery and Octavia took swim lessons at the pool and had a great time at the Southeast Alaska State Fair. The girls entered cousin Debra Schnabel’s dog Windsor in the Most Lovable Dog contest and Octavia marched with Windsor in the parade. Ellery participated in the award-winning “magic” float by jumping out of a giant top hat. Friend Dick Boyce took the family out to Gran Point to see sea lions and Omar and the girls hiked to Battery Point several times. Drake Olson took the family on a flight-seeing tour of Glacier Bay. The girls also enjoyed hearing stories of their grandparents’ early days as founders of Port Chilkoot.
Evangeline Willard, sister Janet Harrington and mother Dorothy Willard watched the demolition of their family home on Second Avenue July 20. Purchased by Evans and Dorothy Willard in the 1960s, the home was vacant more than 20 years. Evangeline bought the property and was happy Southeast Roadbuilders could work with her to carefully take the building down in preparation for a new home she plans to erect on the corner lot. Cousin Lawrence Willard ran the excavator and salvaged an original window from the basement that was still on its hinges and didn’t have a single broken pane. Evangeline also saved some of its original bricks and a piece of the foundation attached to a large rock, which she plans to use as a bench in the yard. Lawrence dug out a large lilac bush that Jan and husband Dan Harrington replanted at their home.
Barbara and Terry Pardee hosted Cherri and Bill Lusk from Denver, Colo. for a nine-day visit. Cherri’s and Barbara’s mothers were close friends in Big Springs, Neb. and the two daughters have recently reconnected. They packed in many outings including a trip out with Terry to watch him check crab pots and a tour on the Takshanuk Mountain Trail. They were thrilled to meet Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell at the fair, the first governor they had ever met. Cherri was very happy to spend time with her mother’s friend, Barbara’s mom, Irene Ward. The couples drove up to Whitehorse, Y.T. with stops along the way. On the drive home they passed a tour of bikers making their way from Austin, Tex. to Anchorage as part of the Sense Corps Texas 4000, a charity ride to fight cancer.
Danny Murphy spent a week in Haines visiting cousin Steve Cunningham. Danny lives near Center, Ark. where he runs a cattle farm and works as a school maintenance man. Danny looked forward to his Alaska adventure for many years and wasn’t disappointed. One memorable excursion withSteve and JoAnn Ross-Cunningham was a trip in their riverboat to Turtle Rock. When their motor failed at the base of the island, they flagged down Craig Jones, who towed the party back to the landing. Danny found Haines to be “a wonderful place. I enjoyed it deeply.”
Bruce and Gail Gilbert are home from a weeklong visit to Yakima, Wash. for the Gilbert family reunion. More than 75 family members gathered for a banquet at the former home of Bruce’s grandparents, Horace and Marion Gilbert, who built a Victorian-style farmhouse in 1898. The house is now maintained by the Yakima Valley Museum. While in Washington, Bruce and son Scotty Gilbert climbed Gilbert Peak in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Gilbert Peak, at 8,184 feet, was named for Bruce’s father and was formerly known as Mount Curtis Gilbert.
Burl Sheldon and Nancy Berland will spend five days in Oregon at a family gathering for Burl’s mother, Dixie Sheldon, who died July 9 at the home of Burl’s brother David Sheldon. Dixie enjoyed many visits to Haines and often talked about the kind people and beautiful scenery. She loved the fair, and one year took up the rhythm shaker in Gene Kennedy’s Backyard Band. Dixie lived in Coos Bay, Ore.
Thom Ely was in Connecticut visiting family and took a day to join the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, Ct. The four-day music festival celebrates the music of the Grateful Dead and this year commemorated the 15-year anniversary of the death of Jerry Garcia. Thom ran into Haines friends Mandy and Scott Ramsey, who were spending time with friend and musician Keller Williams.
Patty Kermoian’s brother Jim Hambrook and her 14-year-old nephew Ryan are spending two weeks visiting Haines from their home in Sandwich, N.H. They spent lots of time outdoors hiking, boating and fishing.
They took a flightseeing tour with a friend and saw all sorts of wildlife during their trip including bears, moose, breeching whales and sea lions.
Kate and Bear Harrop are happy to know that daughter Katie Whitely and husband Jim are adjusting to the heat and settling into their new home in Devine, Tex. They moved from Anchorage, where Jim was stationed and had returned after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Son John Harrop left Haines Saturday for his second tour in Iraq. John is trained as a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic and will travel to Iraq with his helicopter after orientation in Texas. John returned to Haines from his first Iraq tour two years ago. While home he has been a great help supporting his parents by fixing up their home, stacking wood and putting in a new septic system. John left his chocolate lab George with his parents to keep them company while he is away.