Meet Mike

Take a moment to Meet Mike and discover how he talked his parents into bringing him to Anchorage with them in 1950 when Mike was only 3 years old.

meet mike

Hello, my name is Michael R Dougherty, but you can call me Mike.

In the picture above, you can see that I've grown a bit since first moving to Anchorage when I was just 3 years old.

Now, after all these years, I have a treasure chest full of stories to tell. Some of those stories are about growing up and living in Anchorage, Alaska.

Keep reading this page, and you'll discover a little about me, growing up in Anchorage, and how I became a storyteller.


Hey, I was Just 3 Years Old


The year was 1950

When I was just 3 years old my family was living in Northern, California. One evening my dad (Ray Dougherty) came home and said, “I think we should move to Alaska.”

Well, my mom (Louise Dougherty), who was expecting our little brother Tom, must have been in a good mood because she said, “why not?”

Then, after some fancy negotiating on my part, they agreed to take me with them.

So, my mom and dad packed me up with my sister Anna, and we headed north… way north… north to Alaska.


Meet Mike


In 1950 planes coming to Anchorage landed at Merrill Field.

When the door of the plane opened, we got our first glimpse of Alaska. My mother said from that moment on she referred to it as “my beautiful Alaska.”


Our family first took up residence in a small Anchorage apartment in Mountain View. From there we moved into a log cabin on Fairbanks Street, just a few blocks from Denali Elementary School, where I attended first grade.

My father was a heavy equipment operator, so we moved around Alaska from time-to-time.

As a result, we lived in a 2 room log cabin, complete with an outhouse on a then 2 lane dirt “Goose Bay Road” just outside Wasilla.

We also lived in a small log cabin in downtown Wasilla, back in the day when Teelands country store was the only store in town.

The cabin we lived in is now on display in the Wasilla Museum.

Our travels took us to Wasilla, Palmer, NapTowne (Sterling) on the Kenai Peninsula, Ninilchik (look it up), and as far away as Cordova on Prince William Sound, where one summer at 16 years of age I became a commercial fisherman.

After living in Cordova, Alaska, we returned to Anchorage where I attended East Anchorage High School.


Meet Mike Behind the TV Camera

mike behind the cameraThe beginning of Mike's career in television

Mike went on to Win an

Emmy Award for his Camera Work

mike today

The Varsity Show

During my senior year at East in 1965–1966, I was working on “The Varsity Show”, a weekly live teen dance program hosted by Anchorage radio personality Ron Moore on KTVA Channel 11, the CBS affiliate in Anchorage.

Being part of The Varsity Show crew led me to a 30 career in television and motion picture production.

Because Augie Hiebert and KTVA took a chance and hired me for my first job in television, I went on to win an Emmy Award for my camera work.

As a camera operator, my work took me all the way to Hollywood, California.

On my first day working in Hollywood, I found myself behind the camera on the syndicated children's TV show, “Hobo Kelly”. I was very nervous, and I stood there thinking to myself, “how did a kid from Anchorage, Alaska make it here?”


Meet Mike and Mary

mary and mike of anchorage memoriesTwo smiling faces here on Anchorage Memories


While working on The Varsity Show crew, I hung around long enough and KTVA offered me the honor of hosting The Varsity Show.

And while I was introducing all the latest songs for Anchorage teens to dance to, I met the lady who would become my wife.

The beautiful lady on the right is Mary, who was a staff dancer on The Varsity Show. Back then, we referred to her as a “Go Go” dancer. And yes, she wore those white boots and fun dance costumes.

Together, Mary and I created this wonderful, nostalgic website to preserve your memories of growing up and living in Anchorage, Alaska.


Meet Mike - The Whole Story


That's the whole story - well at least part of the story.

Now you can read and enjoy the wonderful, fun and nostalgic stories here on Anchorage Memories, sent to us by website visitors just like you.


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