I spend about 9.5 months a year living in a small village in Western Alaska. For the rest of the year I fly home to a much larger city that still has a small town feel. In fact, rush hour only slows me down about 5 minutes when I drive across town but at my house rush hour means I have to wait for three or four cars to go past so I can leave my drive way. Usually, I don't have to wait at all.
In the 9 months since I've been gone, the La Quinta Inn took over another hotel out by the airport, a new one is being built over by Walmart and they are building a gas station across the street from the fire department. It will be the first gas station past Nenana and just before the one by the saloon. This is progress.
I realize you are wondering why I would be making such a big deal. In most places, there is always some shopping mall going in complete with gas station but you have to understand that here its way different. I live in a small rather independent place with city government where you have to bring your own chair to meetings.
The ruling body voted this place a no fast food zone! No McDonalds, No KFC, none of that. In fact, its such a small place, you have to go to the post office to get the local news on what's happening in town. The volunteer fire department even hosts a huge community garage sale once a year. They take out all fire engines, ambulances, etc from the fire house and open it up to people who want to sell stuff.
Of course, the fire department takes a cut of the sales, I think its 10%, but a good time is had by all. I've found a wonderful renovated coal burning stove for a good price. I even had someone offer me double what I paid for it but I like it. Its cute and its a pot bellied style from the early 1900's. I've gotten a nice large telescope for $20 and a brand new, never used, cast iron wok. I've bought yarn, working computer printers, and all sorts of things.
Then there is the July 4th parade which runs from the bar to the fire station past the post office. This parade is much like the others in that we have entries and lots of fun but what makes it different is that you can bribe the judges with beer or something harder. Yup, the wining entry of the parade is often based on whoever provides the best booze.
The town is nicknamed "The Independent Republic of ____________" As you can tell, they are still very Alaskan. Several women in town got together to produce a calendar of themselves on various dredges around town. The story about the town is that it was founded by two brothers who found gold in the area. When that influenza bug struck town, the Madam from the local "hotel" and her girls nursed the men back to health and in gratitude, they renamed the town.
Tomorrow, you'll learn more about Rice Krispies, the other ingredient in the Rice Krispies treats.