by Peter Twitchell
Time flies when you’re having fun or not! I moved to Anchorage 11.30.2017, not too long ago it seems – just like yesterday. I’ve made a lot of friends and 85 percent are Elders from the North – Inupiat, from the Interior – Athabascans, from the southeast – Tlingit, from the Aleutians – Sugpiat, Elders from the Kuskokwim region living here, and Elders from the Yukon River.
I believe I have experienced cultural shock my first year in Anchorage – then a numb feeling. “Desensitized”. My daughter-in-law, Isha, told me the other day of all the homicides, pedestrian-vehicle deaths, plane crashes, stabbings, bear maulings, drug and alcohol overdoses.
Fortunately, music unites us, and I’ve been very fortunate to make music with a group of fantastic people: Frank Hunter, formerly of Hooper Bay – Naparyaarmiut, Jerry John of Toksook Bay, Tom Tom of Anchorage, Louise Britton – Yukon’s Queen of Yup’ik Fiddlers. I call us: “Louise Britton and the Willow Buds”.
Music is good and has been for my soul! I also sit in with David Chanar’s Pilot Bread, sure would have enjoyed going with them to Kodiak!
From time to time I sit in with my relatives, Moses Wassillie – Uksuq, from our “Arctic Butter Fudge” days in Bethel and John David was our drummer circa 1969-1970. I sang “Black is Black” by Los Bravos, and Moe sang “In the Presence of the Lord” by Blind Faith.
Bethel had frigid winters with temperatures to -60˚F below zero and Moe and I crisscrossed running across the tundra in Bethel in our “Beatle Boots” and ear muffs!
Amazing the rest of our body didn’t freeze and fall off. Having too much fun now, ‘til next time.