Moose Meat John
by Ron Maley
Moose Meet John
In 1949, I got on the O'Hara bus line in Mt.View. I was going to the Empress Theater on 4th Avenue.
At the next stop, a bearded man got on and sat down next to me.
He started telling me a story about his morning adventure.
He heard a noise outside his cabin and opened the door to see what it was, a big brown bear was about 20 feet away.
He grabbed his rifle from over the doorway just as the bear stood on his hind legs. He shot the bear in the mouth, the bear turned to run, and the bullet came out his back side and hit right in the door jamb.
I later learned that his name was John Hedberg, aka “Moose Meat John”.
By the way, he never paid to ride the bus. His 16 hunting cabins have saved many a stranded hunter.
I moved to Anchorage in 1946, lived in a tent house for 2 years. No water, no electricity, the best years of my life.
In 1951, I moved to Wasilla where my folks ran the Wasilla Road House.
A Note from Anchorage Memories
Did You Know?
In 1940, Moose Meat John won the contest for the longest beard during the Fur Rendezvous.
One thing is certain. Alaska has no shortage of characters.
From grizzled old prospectors and trappers to homesteaders living way out in the bush. In all our years in Alaska, we met our share. And they loved to tell their sometimes “very tall tales” to anyone who would listen, or buy them a beer.
Maybe, this is one of the many reasons that Alaska is often referred to as “the Last Frontier.” It's a place where colorful characters still dot the land and where a campfire, a bar, or even a city bus is a great place to hear their stories.
But above all, these characters and these stories have one thing in common. Alaska.
It's a land big enough to hold them and amazing enough to make their stories believable.