Remembering a longtime friend

by Peter Twitchell

As a boy I never worried or gave much thought to my future. Grandma Hannah and Mom always reminded me to help others and especially Elders.

We lived in the moment. “The past was gone and tomorrow was to be put in God’s hands.” The two women put their trust and faith in Lord Jesus/God’s hands. They echoed one thing, “He will provide for all your needs.”

I am constantly amazed now. I look at the homeless. They have food and shelter. We take care of each other. Our Elders have centers to gather and socialize. They are fed and they have medical services available to them. They have transportation to and from their homes.

I look at all the birds thriving in the middle of winter. Their needs are taken care of. They mate in the spring, lay their eggs in the summer and are population strong as long as their habitat is intact.

Alaska is beautiful because our people have worked together and survived for generations in the world’s harshest environment. We struggle from time to time, we grow tough skin and our character is stronger now because of all the challenges we’ve and our grandfathers and parents have faced and lived.

Life has not always been easy for us. Our lows now someday will be reversed. We will once again be at the top of our game. We have been teaching our young our values and to apply them to daily living, and the assurance that our way of caring and sharing will live on.

My iluq David Chanar just texted me about my longtime friend’s passing. I first saw Stan Nevak in 1966 running up the Straight Slough in a wooden skiff powered by a 40 Hp Evinrude outboard motor to get some fresh salmon. He had a crew cut. Later that winter we jammed and started a band. Stan and I graduated together from Bethel High School.

Stan Nevak was a great provider to his family and friends. And now, his Legacy lives on. I am proud to have known him. When I produce my next CD, Eskimo Jam II, Stan will be on it. Quyana.

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