The fourth wedding Katie Dickerson planned this year was a charm. Her previous wedding plans had been foiled due to the pandemic. She and Ben Bard were married August 22 along the banks of the Chilkat River in a simple, sunny enough ceremony. Sidney Campbell officiated; Josh Sanko and Ali Gustavson witnessed. Parents and siblings of the bride and groom joined the wedding ceremony from across the country via Zoom. Ben works at the library and coaches high school wrestling. Katie works at the Bald Eagle Foundation and coaches high school volleyball.
Georgia Haisler’s grandson and his family in the Selah-Yakima area in Washington state were poised to evacuate their home due to the Central Washington fire burning close to 20,000 acres, but winds shifted and they are (as of this writing) downgraded from a Stage 3 evacuation plan “Go now” to Stage 2 “Be ready”. Taylor Pryse and his wife, Katie, have three sons: Konway, age one, and Hudson and Henry, twins born June 22 of this year. Katie writes that there are 700 fire fighters and 21 planes battling the blazes.
Former Haines resident Jennifer Bird, with her husband, Ian, and daughter, Paula, had to evacuate their home in the hills of Santa Cruz due to fires that scorched their property and charred but did not kill all of their fruit trees. Jennifer writes that her house is still standing but very smokey. For the time being, she and her family haven’t resumed residence on their land.
Paul Rath, a local freelance writer who lives on the Haines Highway at the Canadian Border, was recently notified that Wood Lake Publishing has offered to publish his first book currently titled “White Fishing in Canada.”  Inspiration for Rath’s project came from the Northwords Writers’ Conference in Skagway a few years ago when he was encouraged to write about what he knows.  Paul knows fishing for white fish in the waters of Okanagan Lake, in the southern interior of British Columbia.  He did a lot of this with his father, a pastor, with whom Rath spent some quality father-son time fishing, and from whom he learned some lessons, like patience and forgiveness.  Says Rath: “Some lessons took better than others.” The book paying tribute to his father and fishing is scheduled to hit bookstores on May 5, 2021.  Paul also contributes stories to What’s Up Yukon.
This fall Haines High graduate Vanessa Salmon began work as a distance professor of social work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage in the late spring of this year. Meanwhile, she and her children are paying a visit to her sister and her family in Boise. Brianna and her husband and two boys moved to Boise this summer.
Former Haines resident and elementary teacher Barbara Mark writes from Boise that weekdays she continues to take care of her granddaughter, Raven, now three years old. Raven’s mother, Alexa, a graduate of Haines High School, died of a sudden illness more than two years ago. The child’s name is a nod to her grandfather George Mark (after whom the small park at Third and Main is named) and Mark’s appreciation for Native culture.
Delicious slow-barbecue smells have been wafting from Carolyn Goolsby’s upper deck uphill from the Chilkat Center. Goolsby, our library director and a native of Savannah, has diverse talents and credits to her name including a Jeopardy championship, a weight-lifting title, making cheese, membership in an embroidery society, opera singing, and judging national barbecue competitions. She says she produces barbecue the “slow, Southern way.” She smokes and barbecues fish, pork, and beef over a period of a couple of days and has been sharing some of her fare. She knows so much about barbecuing styles, competitions, and hole-in-the-wall barbecue restaurants across the U.S. that she could write a book. Goolsby is contemplating creation of a Haines barbecue cook-off next summer.
When Doris Ward turned 90, she admitted one regret was never riding a motorcycle. Chuck Mitman and Tim Ward made that dream a reality five days after her 93rd birthday, Sam McPhetres recently wrote on Facebook. A fine photo of Doris in the motorcycle side car is posted on Facebook with friends Georgia Haisler and Joanie Snyder standing by.