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Raising Children in Alaska

Raising Kids In Petersburg

A little kid is selling garnets at the ferry terminal.  A tourist amazed at the down pour says to the kid,“Does it always rain like this?” “I don’t know, Mister I’m only six years old.”

First let me say this has been a great place to raise my “Alaskan Seafood Guys”  They loved it. They loved fishing, hunting, camping, hiking and exploring in the family skiff .

But it rains a lot here.  Thirteen feet some years. The playground equipment in the school yard and the middle school outdoor basketball court are protected from the rain by pavilions.

The four ballparks are covered by pea gravel.  Petersburg is encircle by mountains and rain.  Wrangell is more open and drier. Their field was on a peninsula on the west side of town.  This happen shortly before I arrived in Southeast Alaska.  It had rained earlier in the day and shining little puddles dotted the pea gravel field. It was late afternoon and the sun was blazing in sky. Etolin Bay was bright and calm. They tried to play, but the glare was too much   The game was called on account of sunshine

Swimming is a big sport.  If you are going to be a commercial fisherman when you grow up you best learn  to swim.  Originally,  kids were taught to swim in in pools formed when culverts were dammed at low tide and filled with relatively warmer fresh water or in the dark waters of Blind Slough. Eventually with oil money each town got a pool.  Now each community in turn hosts a tournament with of a couple of hundred kids flying in from all over Southeast Alaska.  Pretty much every household with a child on the team hosts a couple of out of towners.

We’ve got pretty much every other team sport; soccer, basketball, track & field, wresting, etc etc. Not football of course.  The first game on a grass field would turn into a mud pit because it rains 13 feet a year


Author - William Moulton