When you Meet Mary, you'll discover that she was born and raised in Anchorage. She spent her summers at her family's commercial fishing site across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. And she is a 1964 earthquake survivor.
In 1952, the average price of bread was just .16 cents
Going to see a movie cost $.54. The average price of gas was $.27 a gallon.
1952 was the year I was born in Anchorage, when Alaska was still a territory.
My father was Greek, worked on and retired from the Alaska Railroad where he met my mother, who was born at the Athapascan Indian Village at Point Possession, across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. My mother was half Athapascan and half Swedish.
Growing up in Anchorage with 7 older siblings was quite adventurous, as was living in Alaska with the snow and cold.
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We spent our summers at Point Possession at my mother's commercial fishing sight.
is where I learned my love of nature, land and people. My mother was a
great storyteller about the life and times at our fishing village. Even our grade school, Denali Elementary, was named after the Den'ai Athapascan Indians.
Our time of flying kites, bike riding and walking downtown to our favorite movie palace, The Fourth Avenue Theater, was a special time with 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, after dating for 3 years, on June 7th, 1970.
Mike and I met at the local television station KTVA when 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. In 1976, our son Christopher. And when they got married they each gave us granddaughters to play with and to watch as they grew up.
During the 1970s, Mike worked hard on his television career as I worked hard on raising our children. In the 1980s Mike's career took us to the east coast and eventually to the west coast, California where we live now.
My dream of becoming a background actor in movies and television came true in 1994. I owe it all to my mother and family for all the many, many times we went to the movies in Anchorage.
Reading to our children and granddaughters was always a great pastime for us. We spent a lot of time at the libraries. Our family pet, when the children were growing up, was named Snoopy.
I had many nicknames for
him and one was, Snoopy, Professor of Bones. That prompted me to write
my stories “The Misadventures of Trouser Bowser
Professor of Bones.” Furthermore, being raised in Anchorage, I had many
adventures including the horrific 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake
and the unexpected visit of the legendary band, the Beatles.
My interests are varied from writing and fashions to organizing. Most of all, being a friend to my family and helping folks.
Well, the price of bread, gas and going to the movies may have 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 stories too.
Were you at the grand opening?
Mary was there and tells about all the excitement of being one of the first to be inside this popular Anchorage store
From Mary'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.
Anchorage's 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!
Mary remembers her first pair of ice skates.
Remember 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 then having just a single blade.
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.
Did you ever change schools in Anchorage?
From Mary's Story:
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, now I was going to Wendler Junior High, and now I was a Ram.
“What fun memories and so educational, too!” Jody
“I love the pictures and the memories and stories that you post.” Sue
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