Life is either a great adventure or nothing - Helen Keller
Time-travel back to the year 2000. I had just moved to Alaska and bought a home thinking my restless feet might finally settle down. As I grapple with the sedation of a rural bedroom community 50 miles north of Anchorage, it only takes a few months for me have my adventure radar on full tilt seeking other adventurous souls. Enter Stage-right as Sean and two other peeps from New York City team up with some local Anchorage folks to form a four-person opera ensemble chartered to deliver micro-sized operas to elementary school children and Bush Alaska as a cultural education offering. Being tasked as the photographer to document a weekend program in remote Dillingham, Alaska, the adventures were to begin.
Our crew of four left the muddy airstrip to stroll the muddy sidewalks and peruse “downtown” Dillingham. The Yup’ik people claimed Dillingham for 100’s of years but when Skipper James Cook arrived to the Bristol Bay region, the Russians, British and Americans immediately saw the opportunity to fish. Nowadays the average population can run over 3000 people in the summer as fisherman and opportunists arrive. Our group stroll led us by a gun store and there were two very interesting characters keeping shop. We walked in and it was obvious we were all “big city folks” and the gentlemen were very engaging. Turns out the one gentleman ran his own radio station out of his home and we returned later that night so he could interview the troupe on live radio. The opera installation went well and Sean and I became good friends.