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November 21, 2017

Open Thread: A Real Alaskan

(Note: We will be collecting for the One Anchorage Campaign through the election on April 3rd, but they could really use your help now! Please donate as much as you can!)

by Linda Kellen Biegel

I attended a wonderful, Alaska star-studded fundraiser for The One Anchorage Campaign Sunday morning (before the Super Bowl) at former Governor Tony Knowles’s house. It was great to see everyone:

Governor Tony Knowles, Alaska Constitution signer Vic Fischer and former Anchorage Assemblywoman Jane Angvik.

Blake Merrifield, candidate for the Alaska Legislature against Wes Keller (R-Wasilla) talking with Governor Knowles.

Jeff Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU

Former Mayor of Anchorage, Matt Claman

The Knowles’ dog

I was disappointed that I had arrived at the event just after Senator Mark Begich made a rousing speech. However, I had an unexpected reminder as I was leaving of how politicians are different in Alaska (in a good way).

It seems that one of the guests got her car high-centered in next to one of the giant snow berms that Anchorage has as a result of our record-breaking winter. I saw a number of folks trying to help her get out but as I was walking slowly with my cane, a healthy, tanned man sprinted by me carrying two shovels.

It was our former Governor. (Yes, I did note that he is older than me and was sprinting.)

He immediately got to work trying to get the car unstuck. That’s when I pulled out my camera.

Yes, I was taking pictures and not helping. I have blown discs in my neck and back, dammit…and I was offering lots of verbal “help!”

The shovels weren’t working because they couldn’t get them wedged between the snow and the car.

I said, “If you had some kind of heavy duty pole or a stick, you could more easily loosen the snow.” When I said that, I gestured with my right hand…the one that contained the cane.

I said, “Perhaps a stick like this cane in my hand would help?”

I handed it to Governor Knowles and he crawled on his stomach, shoving the cane under the car to loosen the snow. (I didn’t take a picture of that. A gratuitous booty shot of my former Governor just seemed somehow wrong.) Another woman used it at the front part of the car to loosen the snow there.

Happily, the guest was then able to drive the car out of the spot without a push.

As we were all going our seperate ways to our cars, Tony Knowles was standing in front of me, grinning, holding out the shovel he was using. It had a gold plaque on it. He explained that it was presented to him (ground-breaking for the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, perhaps?)

“I knew this thing would come in handy some day,” he laughed!

So on top of championing the cause of civil rights for all, he’s not afraid to get dirty/snowy! I just can’t picture the politicians I’ve met from other states lying on the ground to dig snow out from under someone else’s car. However, I can picture many of the ones I’ve known in Alaska, male and female, doing just that. It was a nice reminder that we are surrounded by “real people up here,” especially since the news has made it quite obvious that is NOT the case nationally!

The next time it’s snowing another foot or it’s the 5th day of below-zero temperatures and I ask myself, “Why are we here?” — I’ll remember this.



9 Responses to “Open Thread: A Real Alaskan”
  1. Berit says:

    I am so homesick….I hate San Francisco….Seattle…not so bad…but, Oh to be in Anchorage

  2. jojobo1 says:

    Nice to read about something like this where ever it is.. People helping people with no thoughts about repayment of any kind.I live where the weather is like it is in or around Anchorage but this year it is Feb 6th and the most snow we have had is 3 inches and it is 42 degrees out today,tomorrow it is supposed to be thirty degrees.Sure is different from years past.

  3. OMG says:

    Ohio Tea Party co-founder says that the Tea Party is dead. So now Sarah is the unofficial head of an extinct movement?

  4. Zyxomma says:

    I was happy to donate to this worthy cause (and immediately started getting email from One Anchorage).

    The thought a former governor around here getting a stuck car out of the snow makes me giggle (although I know a City Council/State Assembly member or two who just might).

    Since I couldn’t post yesterday, allow me to indulge in a moment of shameless self-promotion. My company is making its Lincoln Center debut this Friday at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. If you’d like to know more about ethical, sustainable fashion, or to see photos and videos of other events we’ve done (and go there for updates after Friday’s show), please visit and check us out. We’re feeling like very proud parents.

  5. UgaVic says:

    Thank you for updating us and please continue to do so.
    Will get a donation in for sure. To think we are still fighting this fight at this time in our history.

  6. Just testing to see if I can post a comment. YAY!

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