by Peter Twitchell
At the age of 71 years I urge young men and women to save your money. Invest it. If you’re in school that is a good place to start. Take an economics class or bookkeeping course for nine months. Make it your goal to have security and a good job in your future. Take advantage of it for your benefit and your family’s.
When I was in the ninth grade at the Bethel High School, I took a distributive education class with instructor and teacher Bob McCabe. It was a good move, we were taught salesmanship.
The students in the class decided that we would sell candy for a period of four years so that we could earn enough money for all 26 of us in the classroom to travel out of Bethel for our Senior Sneak.
We then decided on how much money we should raise to charter a Wien Air Alaska F-27 Prop Jet for 26 students from selling candy from our freshmen year ninth grade until we were seniors in 12 grade.
As a result of our successful venture to raise enough money in four years, we were able to fly out of Bethel and travel to Anchorage where we went to visit the Portage Glacier when the glacier was in full view and had not yet receded.
It was an awesome sight to behold.
This was only the beginning. We had raised enough money to charter the prop jet and pay for our fare for all 26 students to take the Alaska Railroad Train from Anchorage to Seward for the Fourth of July in that community.
We witnessed the Seward Mount Marathon Race of 1970!
Like I stated, this was only the beginning. We took our charter to Kodiak to visit that community when the King Crab was the king of those waters.
After what seemed like an eternity, we returned to Bethel after two weeks and I went home to give my Mama a big hug, then took a small plane to Dillingham, Alaska!
I went to work for the Alaska Pacific Fisheries on the dock in Bristol Bay. The first week I spent greasing the chinks. These were conveyors that beheaded salmon before they were cleaned and canned by the hundreds.
After one week in the cannery I was given the more responsible job of documenting and logging all salmon roe sold to the Japanese buyers. That was my main job and then in a month and a half I returned to Bethel to say goodbye to my Mama and jetted to Sitka, Alaska.
I registered for college at Sheldon Jackson and told them I could pay for only one month of college. I asked them if I could work off the rest of my college tuition, which I did.
I had to clean the girls’ dorm and the men’s dorm right after dinner every night and work ‘til after midnight for the remainder of my college year.
I was a young man and able-bodied to accomplish my goal. That year I could have very easily joined the Alaska State Trooper Academy to work in the field of law-enforcement.
As a young man and woman when you are told, “the skies the limit,” that’s an accurate statement. You can become and make the choice of what you want to do for your life career. As young men and women we all have the ability to make our life choices of what we want to do. Consider it a privilege because once you’re an elder, resources and jobs are limited.
A word of advice – when opportunities come to you look at them, study them, and if they’re beneficial for your future you can consider them. You will be glad you had the choice to do so.
I wish you the best of luck in your future.