The wedding party wore billowing Thai silks and rode atop elephants in a procession at the wedding of Kee Streater Heywood and Nuchjarin “Belle” Nantasena in the remote northeastern Thai village of Ban Hang Kwa on Dec. 29. Kee’s friends and family members described as indelible memories that included a seven-hour traditional wedding ceremony and preparation that involved butchering five cattle and folding lotus blossoms for the bouquets. The wedding’s locale in a village 40 miles from the closest lodging, where Westerners seldom visit, made all the difference, said Tom Heywood, Kee’s dad. “They formalized their marriage with this traditional Thai ceremony. It brought so many people together at a place so many of us never would have gone.” Kee met Belle, the daughter of a Thai farmer who is also the village mayor, at a San Francisco restaurant where she was working seven years ago. The wedding day started at 5 a.m. with a blessing of the couple by six Buddhist monks. Following a breakfast, Kee, Liz, Tom and others rode four elephants in the wedding procession that included guests, dancers and a Thai street band. “We marched through the town and people joined in the parade. The idea was to get everyone to join in the celebration. There were hundreds of people there,” Tom said. The ceremony included a symbolic “barring” of the groom from approaching the bride, the counting of the dowry by Belle’s parents, Tah Nantasena and Noi Srithabthai, and a ritualistic binding of the couple’s wrists by the monks and guests. The wedding feast was held at the home of Belle’s uncle, overlooking a lake. Guests included seven of Kee’s Haines High School classmates who served as groomsmen: Chandler Kemp, Forest Podsiki, Marley Horner, Tristan Sebens, Chris Downer, Evan Humphrey and Kelly Edmond. Other friends and family members attending included Kee’s brother Sung Heywood (best man), sister Tia Heywood (bridesmaid), Torrey Larson (bridesmaid) and boyfriend Jeremy Settem (groomsman), Jenn Walsh (bridesmaid) and son Azeo, Tim McDonough, Ann Myren, Ellen Larson, Bob and Lisa Krebs, Minneapolis residents Mat Streater, Lydia, Chris and Anika Major (flower girl), Barb Shumsker and Deb Nugent, John and Cathy Baumgartner of Olivia, Minn., and six of Belle’s relatives from Piedmont, Calif. Four of Kee’s friends from San Francisco also attended.
Polley Jean Sloper was born at 9:46 p.m. Dec. 18 at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. Polley is the daughter of Jay Katzeek and Ron Sloper of Haines. Polley weighed 6 lbs., 7 oz. and measured 19.5 inches. Polley’s sister Aubrey was on hand for her arrival. Polley’s grandparents are Les and Jan Katzeek and Randy and Pam Sloper.
Lewis-Clark State College named Brittney A. Bradford to its Dean’s List for the fall 2018 semester. To qualify for the list, students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.25. Brittney, a freshman studying radiographic science, is the daughter of Scott and Candi Bradford.
Nicole (Horton) Holm and sixth-grader Alex Weerasinghe shot like stars at the Haines Sportsman’s Association annual Christmas Turkey Shoot on Dec. 22. Weerasinghe topped about 10 men to win a round of cutthroat, and Holm outshot Holm and Horton family members to also win a round, said Charlie DeWitt, a board member of the outdoors group. Other round winners were Dave Long, Shane Horton, Caleb Holm, Henry Chatoney, Charlie DeWitt and Dave Gross. Shane Horton won the winner’s shoot, topping DeWitt. The event attracted 16 shooters to the club’s Mud Bay shooting range, including members of the Haines Hot Shots youth group.
Kyle Witek of Algonquin, Ill., made his crowd-pleasing smoked portabella mushroom soup on Christmas Eve during his third holiday visit to Haines. Witek’s soup was a highlight of the holiday celebration at the home of Leigh and Greg Horner. Kyle also enjoyed parties hosted by Julie Rae, Gregg Bigsby and Thom Ely during his visit and co-hosted radio shows with daughter Madeline Witek. A trip highlight was watching the northern lights from Maddy’s front porch.
Beth Fenhaus made a “three-part, double family dip of a trip” with Spencer Douthit that included partying at the New Year’s Eve “potato drop” in downtown Boise, Idaho. The newlyweds first stopped in Buffalo, see Beth’s folks Doug and Nyla Fenhaus. Beth’s brother Zachary Bauer Fenhaus and wife Holly of Washington, D.C., made a surprise visit. Then it was off to Portland to tour breweries, eat at Voodoo Donuts, and visit the Japanese botanical gardens. The trip to Boise to see Spencer’s dad Jerry Douthit included watching the descent of a truck-sized spud at the 6th Annual Idaho Potato Drop.
Chevy Fowler and Catherine Sample will be moving to Haines in the coming weeks. Chevy, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been hired as an assistant to the project engineer at Southeast Roadbuilders. Chevy finished college with a 3.0-plus grade point average. He said he feels lucky and grateful to return to his hometown.
Kip and Patty Kermoian have returned from a trip to New Zealand. Highlights included friendly locals, birding opportunities and the diverse scenery, Patty said. They traveled with Patty’s brothers Jim and Mike Hambrook, nephew Ryan and niece Kate. Kate is a college student spending a semester abroad in the South Pacific nation.
Thom Ely recently buried a time capsule, including a letter to residents of the future, some Haines history and memorabilia from Sockeye Cycle, the bike shop he started 30 years ago. Ely woudn’t disclose the location of the capsule but said it was contained in a one-gallon plastic bucket. “You’d need a jackhammer to get it out of there.” Ely recently retired. Sale of his business is pending. Ely bought the shop in 1988 from Harold “Bud” Hopper, who operated it as a Schwinn store.
Visiting students and experts will be working at the Haines Sheldon Museum in coming months. Hina Zaidi, a museum studies student from Texas Tech University, will work as an intern for the next six months. Hina is from Pakistan. Casandra Paiz, a sophomore from Bryn Mawr College, is spending a week cataloging books and other duties as part of an “externship” on museums. Casandra hails from Chicago. Bryn Mawr College classmate Rachel Grand, a native New Yorker, starts a similar externship here on Feb. 14. Peggy Schaller, a Colorado-based collections management specialist, is in town to spend three weeks processing museum collections and training staff on collections software. Schaller’s visit is sponsored by a grant from the Alaska State Museum. She’s also working with the American Bald Eagle Foundation. “We’ve got a collections backlog we’re trying to work through,” said museum director Helen Alten.
Haines High School alumni edged the Glacier Bears varsity boys’ team, 71-65, in the annual holiday classic at the high school gym. The game raised $820 for the boys’ squad. Alumni were led by Tyler Swinton, who scored 22 points. Glacier Bears’ scoring included Mark Davis,18, Kirby Faverty,16, and Carson Crager,14. Varsity coach Steve Fossman said the game’s highlights included alumni Chris Dixon playing against son Kai Dixon, a freshman. Alumni players included Kyle Fossman, Jesse McGraw, Kyle Klinger, Dylan Swinton, Hudson Sage, Daniel Stickler, Chevy Fowler, Marty Fowler, Matthew Green, James Hart and Kevin Thompson.