Landing in Barrow

landing @ the barrow airport in a bush plane

Arriving in Barrow is a long awaited event for us. We are very happy but filled with anticipation over what is in store for us as we arrive in the largest  Inupiat Eskimo village in all of Alaska. Top of the world, Barrow – Upeagvik – Land of the SnOwOwl.

Well, I guess it is story time, once again, so many of your repsonses were the same, more stories !! It is very difficult for some to believe that the events that seem to happen to this “family” i.e. myself, (chuckle) well they are all 100% true and can easily be verified in many ways.Story time.. .. ..  (again!)

So sit back and browse and read & relax because, arriving in Barrow we are 100% flat broke.  We knew this before we left, and are prepared.. .. for anything to “happen”. We are going out on a huge limb, My second oldest son, MarkAndrew is with me, Isaiah is staying in the village of Pt. Hope as he is married now w/ 3 children.

My other two sons, Jesse & Khris, are keeping the house occupied and staying busy in their “shop”.

This is what they do.. .. 7 days a week, 16 hours per day. Coming up on their 4th year, I pulled all my sons out of high school four years ago, I wanted them to carve, I know nothing about how to carve Ivory and make bracelets. But I do know what I am looking at and how to make it look nicer, better, purdy (pretty).

although we are flat broke, when we land, we have many fine Ivory & fossil ivory bracelets and ear-rings and a couple of bone masks, It is time to test the waters so to speak, here in Barrow, for Arts & Crafts. We are well aware that housing shortages exist in all villages and finding a place to stay is next to impossible.   Isn’t “Faith” a mavelous concept or better yet a “tool” that can be used, when needed, (chuckle)!! 

Departing from the plane, no luggage, just a two backpacks, loaded with all that we need, (our warez) and some materials and tools, just in case.

Frontier Air, a small bush service with slightly larger aircraft to shuttle passengers to Anchorage & Fairbanks. We leave the building as no one is around that we can approach, in an attempt to sell something and get some $$ because Mark is hungry. Across the street is King Eider hotel in Barrow,  A new place, w/19 rooms, I am not going to pay 175 a night to sleep a few hours, so that is out of the question. (ha ha)  I ended up paying $400 instead, here is what happened.

Mark came out of the hotel with a smile on his face, he sold some ear-rings and now we have $110 dollars, we called a cab and head to downtown Barrow – Pepes Mexican Restraunt, I was telling my son about this famous eatery. The owner was on the Johnny Carson show many years ago.

 It iHeading to the store we witness this accident. Peson on right just came full blast out of his driveway, pushing the other truck clear across the street.s 7:00 p.m. when we depart Pepes and head ??? where do we go?? We know of no one in this village, relatives or any such thing. Hmmm. where to go and what to do?? We head to the Stauqpak, the Store here in Barrow, it is open until 10

It is now about 8:00 p.m. We head that way, walking 1/2 mile away.  The old Stauqpak was in Barrow, the new one is now in Browerville. Walking along we see the store, and varoom boom smash crash, the person on the right side of the road, got into his truck and with the right lane full, he just sped out from his driveway without even looking, He pushed that white truck, clear across the road. Now they are waiting for the Barrow police to arrive and take down all the details.. We keep walking.. we need a place to stay. We have very little money, Time for a can of pop and see what we can find out. Walking into this new store presented a huge surprise, this is very nice, a big change from the small store in Point Hope, This stauqpak has virtually everything we need for our menu. The foods we all like to eat are easily obtained here. Fresh meat, instead of frozen meat like in Pt. Hope.!! I love what I am seeing about this village, The people are super friendly and always smile aInside of Stauqpak (stork  puck)nd give a big hello ! This is good. I feel right at home, now to find some way of finding a place to sleep or live.  All villages have severe housing shortages, We know it is next to impossible to find a place for rent, There are plenty of houses for sale. We have other plans at the moment. Sleep is one of these things we must get ready for, we are tired, it has been a long day.   Walking around in store, we grab what we need and go outside to see if there is anyone that can solve our deperate situation. Just stand outside, look, wait and watch. I know how to do that very well. It wasn’t long before we spotted someone we knew, but really didn’t want to know, but times are tough right now and we can’t afford to be fussy. Actually we ran into two people we recognized, One of these individuals, we knew full well to stay away from, he was nothing but trouble when he arrived in Point Hope for just a few days. he caused quite a sensation in the village. Stirring up major trouble in each and every house he would visit at. And then we saw a person from Point Hope, someone we would ordinailly stay away from, but being polite we tried to see what we could learn and he had a place for us to crash that night and we were very grateful.  A married couple had been putting this young boy up in their apartment, there was room for me on the couch and my son Mark had a place on the floor, we were happy, for now.

The morning arrived and we got up and got out of that house, the people that rented that apartment, did not have as much as one shred of anything that resembled food in the entire place.  Mark and I walked up to Barrow side, to see if we could see a bracelet or some ear-rings. We also have three bone masks with us. Mark spent all of 15 minutes inside of the North Slope Borough School District offices. he came out with a big smile on his face.  We took a cab back to stauqpak and spent $400 on food for the people who were kind enough to give us a place to stay for the night.  We left that place quickly when we started to see the people they associated with and  the antics that were going on.  We split fast !

Now we are back to square one, we need a place to stay,  We need help, we need a miracle !  Walking around Barrow & Browerville was a waste of time, trying to find out information that would lead us to some sort of shelter.

In the last book of the Old Testament,  These words are written:  .. .. ” Test me, Prove me – .. .. give and see if I do not give back more to you!   I believe those words with all my heart, and as such this is the #1 reason for our continued success.  Homeless 7 times from people taking and stealing everything we have, We bounce right back and blessings are showered upon us, time and time again.

We need a miracle and as my son and I are walking, back and forth from Barrow to Browerville, many times we are tired, we need help and we send up a petition to the Lord as our feet march slowly onward.

Earlier during the day, when we came out of stauqpak, I noticed a white man, dressed in carharts (bibs) such as a construction worker would wear, judging by the tools in his side pants pocket I discerned he was a plumber,  I walked up with a smile on my face and just ‘pretended’ and said  Hello, my you look very familiar, have we worked together someplace perhaps, ?  Prudhoe Bay ?  He looked at me, smiled and piolitly said.. Nope.. never ben ther.  We spoke for about a couple of minutes, especially about, Know anyone with ah place for rent ?   He gave me his ‘card” and that was that.  Now it is 8:00 pm and we are tired. & of course broke, again. We made 500 during the day very earily, spent 400 on food, gave it all away and walked away from these two people. 

that evening about 9:00 p.m. we were walking down one street, in hopes of seeing a for rent sign, we never did see one in the whole town, on bulletin boards, etc. Mark is tired. .he is scared. .. . .what are we going to do ???  I laughed and said.. Trust the Lord… we continue to walk, past a house, with some people on the porch.. and then I see that same construction worker sitting on that porch with 3 of his friends I assume.. I said hey !! we meet again. we stopped and talked.

there on the porch were four people.. we were talking with a man who was up there in years.. 71 years old.  Taking staples out of some old wood that was lined up on the porch, we was working, we showed our crafts and told of our plight.. We need a place to stay.. we are flat broke.. !  very tired.. we speak for a while, the old man says.. My grandmother said to me if you ever see someone homeless.. BRING THEM IN… . Everyone joined in and said.. Yeah Jimmy has a big two bedroom house.. ! I sleep on the couch Jimmy said.. come on over.. we thanked him for the offer and moved on… walking all over the town for 2 hours.. and we end up near that same house.. but no one is around. .it is very late.. Mark is scared.. tired, he just wants to lie down and rest.. “what are we going to do Dad ? It is late ”  ( 11:30 ) p.m. bright and sunny !  I said knock on the door and see if that guy Jimmy is in there.. he was.. he came out.. and offered us a place to spend the night. Whew.. Little did we know .. what we were about to get ourselves into with this innocent kind gesture.  WE ended up staying with Jimmie – for two months – he said $500 per month to stay – we were very happy – but that soon wore off.  During those two months – it cost us $10,000 !!  As fast as we were making money; Jimmie drank two bottles of R&R whiskey daily for two months – and he never got drunk!!


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