What Happened to
by Michael R Dougherty
Driving the Alcan highway back in the day included many unexpected experiences.
This was one of them -
Growing up, all kids have images in their minds of what people, places and things should look like.
But sometimes when we actually see them, those people, places or things don't always match the images in our mind's eye.
From 1955 to 1958, the TV series "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" was a popular show starring Dick Simmons as the title character, Sergeant Preston, who along with his horse Rex and super-smart dog King, kept Canada's Yukon Territory safe from the bad guys.
One of the show's trademarks was that every time someone opened a door to go outside, the wind would be howling. It made it seem like there were always blizzard conditions in the Yukon.
One summer when I was about 13 years old, my mom, me and my sister Anna and brother Tom drove the Alaska Canadian highway, the "Alcan" from Anchorage all the way to Texas.
Me, my sister and brother were all fans of the TV show "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" and we were excited that we might actually get to see a Canadian Mountie during our drive through the Yukon.
One morning Tom and I had to go out to our car before heading to breakfast in the hotel dining room. As we made our way to the parking lot, we spotted a Canadian Mountie.
There he was in that glorious Sergeant Preston uniform and signature Mountie hat.
But what's this?
Our Mountie wasn't wearing his Sergeant Preston uniform pants. Instead, he was wearing his summertime uniform pants.
He was wearing Bermuda shorts.
Sergeant Preston would never wear Bermuda shorts, especially with the constant blizzard that always seemed to be blowing in every episode of "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon."
We couldn't believe it. Our image had been crushed. We took one more look at the Mountie to make sure our eye's hadn't tricked us. No, he was still wearing Bermuda shorts.
Tom and I went back into the hotel to tell our sister and our mom what we had seen. The awful truth.
Oh, well. Even so, you have to admit that the Canadian Mounted Police have great looking dress uniforms.
But really, Bermuda shorts?
Have you ever driven the ALCAN?
Check out this ALCAN Diary
The diary was written by Carola Gough beginning on June 14, 1947 and followed her family's Alaska Highway adventure.