Meet Mary

When you Meet Mary, you'll discover that she is a born and raised local from Anchorage. She spent her summers at her family's commercial fishing site across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. And she is a 1964 earthquake survivor.

meet mary

Mary was born in Anchorage, in the territory of Alaska, in 1952.

In 1952, just .16 cents would get you a loaf of bread.

Going to see a movie cost $.54.

A whopping .27 cents would buy a gallon of gasoline for your car.

Her Greek father worked on, and retired from, the Alaska Railroad.

While still with the railroad, he met Mary's mother. She was born in the Athapascan Indian Village at Point Possession, across Cook Inlet from Anchorage, her heritage included being half Athapascan and half Swedish.

Mary Wrote the Following eBook

great alaskan earthquake survivor

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Meet Mary

Growing up in Anchorage with 7 older siblings could be adventurous, and so was living in Alaska with the snow and cold.

We spent our summers at Point Possession at my mother's commercial fishing site.

That is where I learned my love of nature, land and people. My mother was a great storyteller about the life and times of our fishing village. Even our grade school, Denali Elementary, got its name from the Den'ai Athapascan Indians.”

Meet Mary

Our time of flying kites, bike riding and walking downtown to our favorite movie palace, The Fourth Avenue Theater, was a special time for my family and friends. I'm sure I got my love of riding trains from my father and my love of going to the movies from my mother (being Swedish like Greta Garbo, I suppose).

I graduated from East Anchorage High on June 1st, 1970 and married my husband Mike, on June 7th, 1970, after dating for 3 years.

Mike and I met at KTVA, a local television station, while he was hosting a live teen dance program called “The Varsity Show” and I was one of the staff dancers.

In 1973, we had our first child, our daughter Nikki. And in 1976, our son Christopher. Then, when they married, they each gave us granddaughters to play with and to watch as they grew up.”

Turn up the Sound and

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(that's Mary on the riser)

During the 1970s, Mike worked hard on his television career while Mary worked hard on raising their children. In the 1980s Mike's career took them to the east coast and eventually to the west coast and California where they live now.

My dream of becoming a background actor in movies and television came true in 1994”, says Mary. “I owe it all to my mother and family for all the many, many times we went to the movies in Anchorage.”

Reading to their children and granddaughters was always a great pastime for Mike and Mary. They spent a lot of time at the libraries. Their family pet, when the children were growing up, was a dog named Snoopy.

I had many nicknames for our dog and one was Snoopy, Professor of Bones”, says Mary. “That prompted me to write my stories for children, “The Misadventures of Trouser Bowser Professor of Bones.”

Growing up in Anchorage, I had many adventures, including the horrific 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake and the unexpected visit of the legendary band, the Beatles.”

Meet Mary

My interests include writing, fashion, and organizing. Most of all, being a friend to my family and helping folks.

Well, the price of bread, gas and going to the movies has gone up. But for me, as a writer, purchasing a pack of pencils and a new ream of paper, well, I guess there's always money in the piggy bank for that.

I love writing stories about Anchorage and I look forward to reading your Anchorage memories too.”

Mary's Stories

Anchorage Woolworth's Grand Opening

Woolworth's June 27 1961 Photo by Ward Wells

Were you at the grand opening?

Mary was there and tells us all about the excitement of being one of the first to be inside this popular Anchorage store.

From Mary Woolworth's Story:

As I walked in to Woolworth's for the first time, I got an eyeful of the café on the left, makeup, and school supplies in the middle and my favorite aisle… the toy section.

The Anchorage Woolworth store became a meeting place for me and my school friends during my growing up years and by gosh their chocolate ice cream sundaes were the best!”

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My Green Double Bladed Ice Skates

Ice Skates

Mary remembers her first pair of ice skates.

Do you recall double bladed ice skates?

From Mary's Story:

Smiling and lifting the green ice skates out of the box, something looked peculiar.

They didn't look like my sister's skates at all. Looking up at my mother she explained that double bladed ice skates made it easier to learn how to ice skate.

Giving my mother a hug along with a big “Thank You” she then told me that Cora, Betty, Norman, and Sammy were waiting to go outside on our homemade ice rink to practice.”

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Am I a Husky or a Ram?

Wendler Middle School

Did you ever change schools in Anchorage?

Mary did.

My friends were basically from all over Anchorage and I did have friends at Wendler. My friends at Central would hang out after school at Woolworth's or Bert's Cards and Gifts and at JC Penney's. We all loved downtown Anchorage.

We moved to Stanton Court off Tudor Road. Groan, suddenly I wasn't going to Central Junior High… I wasn't a Husky anymore. Moan. I was going to Wendler Junior High, and and I was a Ram.”

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