Irene’s Diary May 1-31, 1978

May 1 – Had a BBQ – drank beer. I got quite drunk. Bobby Mag had dropped some groceries and beer this p.m. Babe and I was some clothes.

May 2 – We washed more clothes, the ice tried to move, but it didn’t. We drank the last of the beer & tried to get another drop but no one came. We played cards. The ice moved in McGrath.

May 3 – Had goose soup for supper. Lucky flew up – can’t land. He dropped a note and will drop a bottle later. The ice didn’t move enough. Trudy did school. Ice moved from Takotna.

May 4 – I made 3 pans of cinnamon rolls. We played cards. It been raining. This is still here. I started another book and read late.

May 5 – The ice went out. Babe and Freddie went on a boat ride already. We are running out of cigarettes. Babe called Eep on the CB but he didn’t bring any up. Babe got a rabbit. We’ll go the McGrath 5/6/1978.

May 6 – It is beautiful today. We’re leaving at 10 a.m. so better get busy. Had a good party.

May 7 – At McGrath, Babe set the TV up. The house is cold and we borrowed stuff to cook with from Mom.

May 8 – Spent another night a McGrath. Saw Rudy Demoski. Floyd is on medicine for an ear ache on his left ear. Sally gave us a turkey that Bimbo got at the Turkey Shoot.

May 9 – Got home. I’m sick. I have a head cold and sore back. Grouchy. I can sure be a bitch sometimes. How gross.

May 10 – Still feel bum. Tried to clean up, no luck. Babe set a net and and is getting pike and suckers. He got a muskrat and beaver in the net too.

May 11 – Cleaned the house. The birch leaves truned green. Beautiful. Trudy is done with school. Floyd is better today. The twins are sick Cooked a turkey dinner.

May 12 – We’re going to McGrath. Babe got the water working so we’ll take baths.

May 13 – I cleaned out the house & store. The kids sure like playing with the other kids here.

May 14 – We came home. Floyd needed medicine for his hand. It swelled up from a mostiquito bite. He had corned beef has for supper. It is Mother’s Day today.

May 15 – Slow day – Trudy did not want to do her school work. We fried fish – didn’t taste very good. I made peantu clusters for a snack. I think Floyd’s hand will be better – the swelling is down.

May 16 – I set bread & Babe went to McGrath to get gas & mail my application for a job at the health clinic.

May 17 – It is Wendy’s 7th birthday & Grandma Odegard’s 76th birthday. I wonder how she is, her and grandpa are out in Idaho. Trudy did school. Weve been getting fish in the net for dog food.

May 18 – Went to McGrath for the day. Saw Pudden & Eep & Trudy went home with them via Sterling Landing. Babe sold 30 sheets of panelling to Goog for $240 – we bought groceries.

May 19 – This would have been Dad’s 58th birthday. We loaded the boat and went to Takotna. It sure was a good boat trip. We went to the school and watched tv and looked at the new school. Spent the night in one of Eeps cabins – very cold.

May 20 – Pudden, Eep, the kids and us went to McGrath from Takotna. On the Takotna River. We stopped and picniced and caught 43 Grayling. Sure was fun. We went to Goog’s and celebrated Patty Snow’s wedding and danced.

May 21 – Came home with Aggie and Angel Bobby. Sally is in Anchorage. We had a nice day. I made clam chowder for supper.

May 22 – Trudy did school. I cleaned the house – took all day. Babe and I planted potatoes. Lucky, Gary, Pete and Laural Kytoner came up had coffee and borrowed gas. They were bear hunting.

May 23 – WE washed 4 loads of clothes then went upriver & got quite a few Grayling. I fried 10 for supper. Sure was good. Used cornmeal for batter. The kids had fun.

May 24 – Went back to McGrath and gave Sally’s kids back to her! It was cold on the river. We talked to Ernie Holmberg about freight. We may get a boat if we sell the Backhoe to Eep. We had spaghetti for dinner.

May 25 – We’re trying to call Eep on the CB. Trudy is doing school. WE got ahold of Eep. Babe will go to McGrath tomorrow to sell the Backhoe to Eep. Babe caught a Blackbear & pulled it up the bank with the backhoe.

May 26 – Babe went to McGrath and got $8,000 for the Backhoe. He loaded the shotgun in case that Grizzly Bear comes around. We want to buy a good boat, maybe from Bethel.

May 27 – We went to McGrath. Sally is going to babysit. We called on the boats in Bethel but won’t go down. Went to Anchorage – just Babe and I. Peter Snow picked us up at the airport. We went to the 515 Club.

May 28 – We went to see Dad and Cecelia. Dad gave Babe a painting that Echo had painted. We were at the 515 Club & then bought McDonald’s hamburgers and watched tv.

May 29 – Couldn’t cash the check. We went to the 515 Club and had a good time. Then we ate at the Woodshed, went to the hotel and watched tv.

May 30 – Cashed the check and put $4200 down on a Duckworth boat. Hope Ward’s ok’s our credit. We’ll both have to go to work. haha

May 31 – We tried to call Stanley Hoffman – he wasn’t at his room. Went to dinner with Jim Branscom. I went to Sears and bout new clothes for the kids and me, we shopped for groceries too and ordered meat.

Published by Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities. An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's. I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child. I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing. So for me, my goal is two-fold: 1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and, 2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board. There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not. I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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