Margaret Plucker and the Men of Note surprised her husband Bob Plucker with a very special song on his 90th birthday last week. As director of the singing group he had no idea members Dwight Nash, Jim Greene, Dana Hallett, Matt Davis, Mark Davis, Ben Cherry and Bill Broste had secretly rehearsed a birthday version of “Coney Island Baby.” At the end of their regular rehearsal at the Haines Senior Village, they told Bob to sit down and brought the neighborhood together for a special rendition of the barbershop classic.
Lori Barker’s photo of icicles extending from a bush into a frozen stream along Lutak Road was featured as stand-alone art on KTVA television’s statewide newscast last month. Lori said the station enhanced the photo’s blue color, giving it an otherworldly look.
The Anchorage Daily News ranked Rosemary McGuire’s “Rough Crossing: An Alaska Fisherwoman’s Memoir” among Alaska’s best books of 2017. The book previously won the River Teeth Nonfiction Book Prize.
Haines High School 2017 graduate Allison Stuart completed her Certified Nursing Assistant training and was recently hired fulltime at Petersburg Medical Center. Allison also works for the local veterinarian part time.
A tight matchup between the Haines High alumni and varsity basketball teams went into double overtime last week, ending 95-91, with the alums taking the win. Jesse McGraw, Chris Dixon, Michael Ganey, Kevin Thompson, Kyle Fossman, Chevy Fowler, Jacob Stigen, Nathan Piper, Daniel Stickler, Coleman Stanford, Kyle Klinger, Stuart Dewitt, and Jordan Badger played for the alumni team.
For the first time in many years Tom and Liz Heywood had all three children home for the holidays. Kee, Sung and Tia Heywood traveled from both sides of the contiguous United States to return home to Haines for Christmas.
Traveling from Pennsylvania, Teslin Podsiki joined siblings Forest Podsiki, Kaitlyn Combs and Melissa Ganey in Haines for Christmas with parents Teri Bastable and Greg Podsiki.
On New Year’s Eve, the Chilkat Center for the Arts was sent through the looking glass to ring in 2018 with cards, dice and masks for the Mad Hatter’s Masquerade Casino Night fundraiser. Organized by Tracey Harmon for the Haines Chamber of Commerce, the night was a “complete success and a blast!” About 150 people came out to celebrate the new year with poker, blackjack and dice at the Alice in Wonderland themed party, raising over $4,000 for the chamber. Cards, balloons and mushrooms filled the auditorium, complimented by Tod Sebens’ expert lighting design. Neil Einsbruch was the “casino boss” and trained the dealers before the event on how to run a variety of card games. A craps table was also provided by Greg Bigsby and run by himself and Maddy Witek. A variety of raffles also contributed to the thrill of the evening. Complete with a balloon drop at midnight, the auditorium was filled with a rousing countdown to begin the new year.
At the blast of a trumpet at 10 a.m. New Year’s Day, 25 people surged toward the water at Port Chilkoot Beach for the 13th annual Polar Bear Dip. The event, organized by Tom Morphet, brings the thick-blooded together to test their mettle against the frigid waters of the upper Lynn Canal. With the air temperature hovering around 20 degrees and fresh snow on the ground the participation was down from years past but the New Year’s tradition has never been for the faint of heart. More than 40 onlookers provided moral support as the swimmers ran barefoot on the snow from the bonfire to the water and back to the warmth of cookies and hot chocolate.
On a recent trip to Chicago, Kyle Clayton met up with Emily Files and Karen Garcia to celebrate the new year. On the last day of 2017 they had dinner with Karen’s parents at a downtown Chicago restaurant. The crew then went to Second City to see the sketch comedy group Dream Freaks Fall from Space. After enjoying downtown Chicago, Kyle and Emily rang in 2018 in the backseat of a car with Stacy, their Lyft driver, on the way to a blues show. At the end of the month, Emily will be heading to Europe and Karen will be returning to Haines.
Caroline Ward and Travis Bangs tied the knot on Dec. 8 in Maui, Hawaii. The two families from Haines and Wrangell made the trip to the island to celebrate with the high school sweethearts. Those in attendance included Caroline’s dad, Mike Ward Sr., mom Michelle Ward, brothers Blake and Michael T. Ward, grandmother Louetta Ward, and grandparents Ali Connor and Steve Rose. On the groom’s side were mom Lazonna Bossford, dad Mike Bangs, stepmom Harriett Bangs, and brothers Tristan Bossford and Jess Stokes. After a beautiful ceremony the couple took a honeymoon cruise through the Panama Canal.