by Peter Twitchell
While I was growing up in Bethel in the 1950s, money was scarce this time of year. The money dad made the summer before at Bristol Bay was spent, and there was no funds left for extras.
When dad was either in Akiak or Kasigluk trading otter, beaver, fox, weasel, mink, fox, occasional muskrat and lynx pelts, he was extending credit to the villagers in way of dry goods, food stuff, fuel, guns, and ammo, traps and snares.
Many of his customers were either unable to pay cash or get fur bearing animals to satisfy their debt to dad.
Mom and I felt this shortage of money at home while we had plenty of dried fish, flour, rice, lush (burbot), and blackfish, whitefish and pike.
Johhny “Cakayak” Samuelson allowed mom to charge food stuffs from his store across the Brown Slough to be paid after dad had sold his animal furs to Mr. Applebum or Goldberg in Seattle.
Some Easters, I didn’t see an Easter basket or colored eggs at home, but I did see these treats at my cousins: Woods, Evon’s, Nansen’s, and Kohl’s homes and on the tables of mom’s friends and relatives in Bethel come Easter morning.
I liked seeing my cousins Joe ‘Beeps’ Woods, his sister Margaret, Henry Nansen, Sarah, Lydia, Juanita, Jimmy, Henry, Manny, Gertrude, and Margie Evon. My iluqs Sam, Alex, and Luther, Moses Anvil Jr., Richard “Giff” Kinegak, Cyrus Kinegak, and Paul Francis.
Thinking back, not having an occasional Easter chocolate bunny could never measure up to being with my cousins and friends. Thanks for the memories.
Happy Easter 2019, and remember He, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the reason for the season! He lives and reigns.