*CONSTRUCTING TIMELINE OF MY CHILDHOOD

Construction of this timeline of my childhood is a complete exercise in trying to overcome the results of my mother’s disorganized-disoriented insecure attachment disorder even enough to BEGIN to place in time and space any of the memories I (and my siblings) might have about childhood with her.  (All my mother’s letters can be found through links at MY BORDERLINE MOM)

It has only been through the organizing of her very disorganized personal letters, journals, diaries and notes on pieces of papers that I have been able to order and organize what appears below.  I cannot order and organize the section on My Own Childhood Stories until I work out more of the details on this timeline.

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June 15, 1950 – John was born, in mother’s July 1, 1957 letter to dad she says they lived in L.A. on Almont while she was expecting him.  They bought Glendora at least in the summer of 1956, still owned the house in Altadena then, possibly the one on Calavaras Street – and there was a rental somewhere prior to 1956 during the year mother had Cindy (1953).

1951

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August — born August 31, 1951

September

October

November

December

1952

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1953

January

February

March

April

May

June

July 10, 1953 – Cindy born

August

September

October

November

December

1954

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1955

January

February

March

April

May

June

July 20, 1955 – Sharon born

August

September

October

November

December

1956

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1957

January 1957 – January 6, 1957 Cindy and Linda both with measles — January 17, 1957 – Sharon has the measles –

February

March

April

May

June – June 9, 1957 Dad left for Alaska, we’re in California.  Cindy to Dr for impetigo, lots of penicillin. — Dad’s June 9, 1957 letter, left LA to Seattle, left Seattle June 11th [their wedding anniversary]—June 5, moving into ‘another place’ with mom in CA – June 13th letter says ‘still not completely moved’ into a house on a dead-end and out of a single room (not sure where that was) – Cindy has bad impetigo – June 16, 1957 letter – we had a pet bird in a cage—-June 17, 1957 letter, me ‘letting’ Sharon sit on the fire ant hill—- June 21:  John’s foot is infected with thorn –

July- 8, 1957 dad first saw and rented the log house in Eagle River – 12th of July moved out of the rented house – July 13th we went to the The Owl’s Roost at Crestline in the mountains for one week — July 15, 1957 dad signed lease on log house – letter July 22, 1957 – mother very unhappy staying at grandma’s, they are not getting along, mom begging dad to let her come up to Alaska with us — July 25, 1957:  “I can’t take the bird.  I’ll keep the cage and get another one later. I’ll take my traveling cage back.” – left the parakeet with grandma –

August — the log house had a (Jamesway – A portable, rigid-frame, insulated tent similar to a small quonset hut. Can be built to any length, though height and width are fixed).] — — August 27, 1957 dad got an 18 month old Irish setter named Tim — 4 cats were left at the log house by previous tenant, 2 wild and a tame mother and baby –

September – her diary entry of September 1, 1957 says:  “How we yearn to homestead right in this vicinity” [back in the Eagle River Valley] — September 24, 1957 – “In fact this is the 1st time in 7 years I haven’t had a baby in the house!  If we were settled and could financially ‘swing it’ I’d be tempted to have another – maybe later! [mother is already needing another Baby Doll for her doll collection.  Sharon has moved out of the Cute Little Dolly stage.] —

October

November

December — New Years Eve 1957 – mother sick with cold, she and dad spent evening putting buckets under living room ceiling leaks at the log house —

1958

January 1958 – Cindy had long splinter in foot, got infected, mom got it out — mom has diet club at log house — got letter from Dad’s mother —

February 10, 1958 “Oh, Bill hit a moose.  He was only going 10 miles an hour and so didn’t cause an accident but sure put 2 large dents in car.  Moose rolled over twice and ran away apparently unhurt.” —

March 10, 1958 – John given his first pair of skis —

April — We are living at the log house, end of this month John got a puppy and a baby chicken —- got kitten? —

May — May 8, 1958 Dad filed on the homestead.  — May 11, 1958 Mother’s Day first time Mother worked at The Alaska Woodcraft Shop for Bockstahlers — May 28, 1958 letter – mother going back in valley for 1st time, dad searching for the land — homestead already a part of our lives, walking up the mountain through the berry bushes — John bought another chick –

June — Dad bought the Jeep truck for $600 on June 4, 1958 – June 8, 1958 looking at trailers to buy for homestead – grandma up for visit arrived June 14, 1958 —

July 1958 – mid-July?  after grandma’s month visit, mother first mentions Bockstahler’s cabin – we are moving out of Log House into Bockstahler’s “shack” –

August –1958 — lease on log house was up on August 1, 1958 — moved to Bockstahler’s cabin (shack) – rented it for $25 per month  — Aug 24, 1958 – Carr starting work on our road – we are living at Bockstahler’s cabin – mid-August brakes and clutch went out on Jeep truck, mom driving, on hill, she ditched it to stop it, us in back of truck (I remember this) –

September

October 15th 1958 rented apartment on Government Hill and changed schools – Oct 30th letter gave Tim away, sold Pooh, boarded Smokey but she ran away and came back to Bockstahler’s cabin so we took her back –

November

December 1958 – 12-4 letter:  Buttner’s trailer above our homestead burned  (they had 4 kids, all survived but lost everything) – she and kids were up there alone all week, husband up on weekends —

1959

January – Jan. 3, 1959 — Alaska accepted as 49th state — (Jan. 19, 1959 letter : living in Bockstahler’s shack, going to move into Gov’t Hill apt.  efficiency?  On Feb. 1st — Mom selling advertising — Cindy in kindergarten — Hofbrau buffet is new — Jan 19, 1959 letter, bought 1949 trailer today from a consignment lot for $600 [dropped price from $850], $150 down and $65 per month —  bought 1953 Willys Jeep station wagon for $995.00 —

February – packing to move from log house done —  Feb. 12, 1959:  “Tractor belongs to Thomas – but Pollard is using it to plow us out.  It will cost 175.00 to plow the road and get our tractor up there.  Yesterday it cost us 35.00 to have road plowed into Bockstahler’s so we could get our Jamesway out!” — Feb. 21, 1969 letter, pulled trailer from Anchorage to Pollard’s —

March

April 22, 1959 – first day we girls saw the homestead — living in trailer in snow at bottom of ‘horror hill’ on Pollard’s property

May 1959 — photo of alders, jamesway up? – left school two weeks early — May 3, 1959 letter, our first stay at Chitty’s Motel, mother taking codeine for ear ache –  — we don’t have the tractor yet — Dad hauled Yukon Stove (cost $16.35) up mountain on his back — he wants gun at B and J Surplus for $110.00 — May 13, 1959 letter describes our first night on homestead — May 19, 1959 letter, dad bought gun (Winchester Telescope Light) 10% down – Dad glad to get it “ideal for him being left handed and they are hard to get” — May 20, 1959 letter mother is begging grandmother for loan to buy tractor – used for 3,000, 1,100 down, $100 per month, tells grandmother to go on ‘Queen For A Day’ and win one for her!  Talked to grandma on phone and she loaned $1000 to pay down other bills and let them buy tractor — May 23, 1959 picture of us taken on the big rock above the Jamesway, MOM:  “I told Bill I hope to live to be 90 and never leave here.  (I want to be buried here!)  I told him I even yearn to be a child again and live here – such a kingdom – reminds me of our first home 100 times over!!  Oh, how you’ll adore it here!! [letter to grandma] —  They borrowed the thousand $ from Charlie —

June — 1959 June 5th letter has drawing of inside of hut – “I just took my plants off a shelf Bill made in the tree & put them in the garden for more sun.  Each child has several plants in old cans.  They tore off the labels, punched holes in the bottom & put small rocks 1/3 way up.  Today we were all thrilled to see that they have sprouted & truly what’s more thrilling than to plant a seed and watch it grow?  I love gardens and can hardly wait until we’ve cleared and cultivated our land – I can just picture our place ‘someday’.  Sometimes it startles me to imagine it all so clearly and look out and see just wilderness.  But it will happen!” – dad bought Olvier OC03, started clearing 10 acres –

Yesterday, I read in the Sat. Eve Post about ‘pony clubs’ being started all over and by next summer our 2 youngest will have ponies – and will all have horses.  If you have a chance read the article.”

June 5, 1959 took free showers on base in women’s barracks – no refrigeration for our food — 1959 – June 19 – still can’t get jeep up dusty road, riding up in trailer hitched to tractor – grandma talks of staking a homesteading claim on Buttner’s –-  (mom lays out the homesteading rules here for grandma) —  “We’re still having perfect desert weather.  I am tanned – really brown.  I can’t recognize myself!  First time in my life & to think got it in Alaska.  I live out-doors – between jobs inside –

Kids are fine.  Tanned too.  We put their play tent from Calif. Up & they have had lots of fun.

Bill clears land every nite until 12:00 A.M.  It’s light enough at mid nite to weed my garden.  It’s all up & I am thrilled to death.  Each child now has a veg. Garden too!”

July—  Jamesway and us up mountain — – July 4, 1959 mom worked at Bockstahler’s first time – “I’ve so hoped & prayed that I could write you trailer [26-ft] was up but can’t.  We finally (or I did) put linoleum down here – we were waiting til had plywood down so it wouldn’t crack but couldn’t stand these awful floors.  I could write you 10 pages about time I had getting it down was an awful job with all stuff we have in here not!  Looks so much better but is cracking.” – 1st mentions idea of nursery school — Bockstahler’s sold their 5 acres and “shack” — we have the tractor now —

August 13, 1959 dad had remainder of his upper teeth out – August 15, 1959 grandmother flew up to see us, stayed two weeks — Bible school by Pollard’s first week of August 1959 — trailer on land but not connected to Jameway, Dad is clearing land — don’t know yet if we are getting log house again —

September 1959 – 9-1-1959 grandma left to return to LA after her visit with us — 9/3 mother picked up 400 pounds of rye seed, cost $26 — 9/15/59 “Bill went moose hunting yesterday and saw a big grizzly – it ran right past him!  (no moose)” — we shared log house with Erickson’s, nursery there, until Erickson’s moved out 10/1 — September 22, 1959 dad finished entry way between Jamesway and trailer — Dad saw a grizzly while moose hunting —

October 1959 – log house again, nursery, loved being on homestead — letter 10-22-1959 “Jo Anne just was over – told me not to tell a soul – nobody – just sold 80 acres he homesteaded in Mountain View for $150,000.” —  [from dad’s 4-2-1960 letter to land office] “On October 7th [1959] our Jeep broke down and we were forced to leave the homestead for a time, returning on December first.  During this period we resided at the Nursery.” —

November – Pollards rented in Chugiak

December – have log house but proving up, walking up mt. – she is teaching us up there right now, I’m 8 and in 3rd grade — trailer was on mt, mom got first radio from grandma for xmas — “Anyways, mice droppings were everywhere.  They had slept on children’s beds and worst of all for darling Cindy they were in the box with her new precious beautiful Tiny Tears doll.  She wept.” —  [from dad’s 4-2-1960 letter to land office] “In December the road was again too icy to be traveled by Jeep, and we traveled the last mile to our homestead by means of a tractor.  Because of this we took the children out of school and Mrs. Lloyd taught them at home.  On January 10th, 1060, our tractor broke down and two days later I was obliged by my employer to leave town on a road location job, so we again had to leave the homestead.  Mrs. Lloyd and the children returned to the nursery while I was away.

After returning to Anchorage I repaired the tractor, and we moved back to the homestead on march 12th.  Within a few days the breakup commenced and the road became too icy even for the tractor to climb, so again we walked a mile each way to and from the point where we had to leave the Jeep.  On March 31st we had completed the seven months of residence required by law….” —

1960

January

February – February 2, 1960 – “So good to have Bill home again – so very nice!  I really missed HIM!!  He went to the Land Office and we can return any time but can’t leave until done.  He had misinterpreted it.  We have 2 leaves as I had thought and then where 7 months completed – we’re through! ….no more homesteading …. We got our place just in time!!!!” — Seems to be the end of this Feb I lost the brownie money as per grandmother’s March 3, 1960 letter to mother — we must be at log house going up to the homestead — “We should be up there by March 1st and oh, how I hate to change children now!!  Darn it all anyways!!” — Feb. 15, 1960 letter Dad totaled Ford station wagon on the Eagle River Bridge —

March – March 7, 1960 letter mother wants to go to college in the fall and get a job — John selling cards – me, rabbit ? — mother writes “must set up residency” –

April — she is running the nursery in the log house — well went dry —

May- May 27, 1960 – “Easterlys moved in their cabin on May 25th and she’s painting, making curtains, etc.  A big squirrel really made a mess of their place this winter.  He scattered food all over and tore big holes in the mattresses too.  She says she isn’t leaving until she can ride down.  They certainly are serious about all this and that big ‘cat’ cost 25.00 an hour!!!  He says he’ll sell everything he owns if he has to!!” — this is the letter that describes our day’s walk from log house back up the valley because the tea pot had been left on — May 29, 1960 – “Dear Mother, A road.  The day has come!  We have a road!  Did you hear me?  WE HAVE A ROAD AND A DARN GOOD ONE!” — (our first drive up the new road was May 28, 1960) — mother painting jamesway — May 18, 1960 last day of school — May 4, 1961 letter, letters coming from Washington, we might be only ones getting ‘full 160 acres’, hard feelings —

June — June 22, 1960 – sold the Jeep truck, our TV and the vac for $300 -log house rented, us out by July 1st – 2nd road built to Wamsley’s — first outhouse — June 11, 1960 me in Brownie day camp — John’s letter, homesteader across creek built road there and bridge across creek —

July –July 1, 1960 completely out of log house — Smokey had 11 puppies, one died — July 21st — got rabbits and sled dog Tuffy – Why?  We just moved again. — 7/5/1960 first outhouse “even if the floor does slant” — July 22, 1960 1/3 laid off at District, Dad worried about his job —

August – August 1, 1960 – Dad measuring, has cleared 20 acres and reading to plow and plant it ——– August 9, 1960 letter says he finished clearing — August 23, 1960 rented 1 bedroom apartment in Panaromic View on Gov’t Hill — they paved the streets this summer on Government Hill and put in sidewalks! —

— This month Smokey got Peter my black rabbit –

September 1960 – Moved to Anchorage with mother’s husky and Smokey, her sick and pregnant, all of us in a one bedroom Gov’t. Hill apartment — in letter says I am smart in school — bad financial troubles, used grocery $ to buy seed for fields — bought the metal bunk beds, need to be painted — 9-15 moved in 2 bedroom apartment — Tuffy gets distemper —  dad finished planting fields — “Bill says if he gets ‘ousted’ he’ll join Navy.  They’ve been writing him and want him.  He says first time since Korean war they’ve been so insistent!!  He’s a Lieutenant” —

October – 1960 – dad taught us to play Scrabble — had to put mother’s dog, Tuffy to sleep —

November 1960 – From mother’s November 30, 1960 letter:  “Linda, I found out over week-end when [I was] sick, can do all dishes.  Cindy sets the table and John takes care of the dog and empties the trash.” [is this when the dish-doing nightmare began, then?] —

December– paid $10 and filed final proof on homestead —

1961

January –

Mon 30 Jan 1961 –“I surely thought our precious baby (or babies) would be born today.  I started having pains in my back around 4:00 AM and these persisted along with contractions in my abdomen until 11:00 PM  All the time our dear anxious to be born baby pushed and pushed.  I could feel him.  My he’s so strong and how I love him – already.  To me he has such a personality – but I don’t want him to come early.”

February–

Sun 19 Feb 1961–“Oh, my, it takes me forever to do things as I get so weak when I stand on my feet and have to rest in between!!  So, it wasn’t until late P.M we went to Mkt and decided to bring groceries home, make hamburgers and return to movies to see Swiss Family Robinson.  We knew the children would enjoy it but so did we!  It was really good!!”

March — letter March 10, 1961 – Dad worried about being laid off, applying for other jobs — according to 9-16-1962 letter, mother had a kidney infection in March 1961 —

Thurs 23 March 1961-David is born!!

April 1, 1960 finished our proving up time — April 15-21, 1961– BAY OF PIGS –April 10, 1961 letter “We’re all boxed up” – ready to return to homestead – April 14, 1961 letter have given notice to move —  sounds like Dave was her first breast fed baby — “How loved & adored he is.  John worships him.  Next comes Sharon who has grown inches since David came & acts so big now!  The other 2 love him of course, as usual, Linda is always busy with Linda!!  Cindy seems to be jealous some of Sharon’s adoration for David.”

May- May 26, 1961 school out on Govt Hill — engine out on Jeep, dad trading labor with Thomas, dad to plow Thomas’ field — return to homestead AND rented log house for nursery – Smokey is still alive May 2, 1961 letter (still in apartment) —

June 13, 1961 — mother cleaning log house for our move in, just moved out of government hill apartment —

July – 1961 — Uncle Charlie, Aunt Carolyn and cousins Charlie Jr. and Sandra probably came up in early July, in letters mother later talks of a conflict of some kind over her reprimanding Sandra, guess it turned out disastrous for her relationship with them, my guess is she accidentally showed her ‘true self’ in regard to my cousins, grandma also up — July 23, 1961 letter, Reynolds are renting the log house tho I don’t think they’ve been in there long (I think a sublet) – Spoerry’s (sp?) own it —–new section of Jamesway put up in the back, she’s painting it yellow — JOHN BUILT PLAY LOG HOUSE DOWN BY OUTHOUSE – I think generator shed was already down there.

— “We have a goat – can’t you see us returning to log house.  ‘Wolf’ my dog got Linda’s Mopsy Rabbit.  Broke into cage & killed it.  Awful! These dogs love rabbits [sic] – just instinctive – but to me so cruel & poor Linda.  She loves them & cares for them so well!!  She’s such a big help to me around the house too, but housework is too hard here.  We need linoleum, & to vac.  I’ll be glad when this place is finished & we can put gravel on paths & cut down on dirt.” — John helps Bill so much & still 1 end of hut to add on – L.R end. —  July 7, 1961 grandma up to see us —

August

September – letter September 7, 1961 – living on homestead, she has Happy Time nursery school, rented room to Roy Carson, needs to furnish it —

Letter 1961 sept 25 – dad took entry way down joining trailer to log house — put a floor on the hut & wooden ends & a roof too on hut –she’s doing day care at log house – week of sept 28 we are ‘camped’ log house —

October – 10-2-61 letter from grandma talking about dad putting floors and roof on — bu 10-10-61 dad built new one level connection between trailer and Jamesway, built a hallway dividing Jamesway in half, “last week” terrible mudslide at Pollard’s  — Cindy trade Arbo for Bear in this time period, I think —

November— Roy Carson still in log house, nursery, homestead, sometimes we stayed at log house — turbulent, stressful, confusing times — I was having the nightmares

1961, Nov 21 we were in the NEW EAGLE RIVER SCHOOL now – half the plywood (?) floor down in Jamesway – wall up for divider now —  bought 9 X 12 pad for wool rug/down – Mr. Erickson in front log house died suddenly – homesteaders leaving homes for practice missile firing same as last year, we didn’t stay all nights, ate at officers’ club  —

December-Xmas 1961 David has pneumonia – renters-Reynolds moved out of log house, we moved back in Dec. 1st, 1962 – mother went back to doing nursery at log house, month since she and kids have been on homestead, returned for Xmas 12-24—— were given 2 6-month old white Siberian huskies — Xmas 1961 John accidentally threw Xmas stuff away (she says in her 12-11-62 letter) —

1962

January –  – Jan. 10. 1962 letter, Dad, Pollard and Pullen working on new section of road by Ecklunds. — Pullen helped dad put a new motor in Jeep —  Jan. 19, 1962 “I told you I no longer have any children in Nursery.  Several weeks ago (and I didn’t miss a day here even when jeep broke down) but the glacier stalled jeep and there were 5 little jeeps in a row – stalled – including us.  We were late and kids are now elsewhere.” —  Roy Carson is still renting room in log house — Mother with ulcers — Jan 30, 1962 John started working in school lunch room, goes to Sat. basketball practice and goes to games, has no skates right now so mom got some at swap shop  —

February

March– March 8, 1962 letter “Eclunds moved in [log house] on Sunday and we moved out” , they are paying them 80.00 a month to watch us before and after school, mother is on homestead with David alone days, Dad did not get his promotion, hasn’t had a raise in 5 years, talking about adding more Jamesway on in the following summer  — March 22, 1962 letter describes Eklunds to grandmother — Eklunds are renting the log house this winter — Roy Carson moved out, bought trailer in trailer court in Eagle River — March 23, 1962 — on homestead, mom taking ski lessons —

April — April 9, 1962 letter, Mr. Easterly died of cancer just prior to this time — parents may sell house for Spoerry —

May 1962 — mother still has her ulcer — gave John trailer bedroom on homestead — May 16, 1962 letter, mother got me a boy and girl New Zealand rabbits and Sharon a kitten —  about May 21, 1962 moved back to log house from homestead, no idea why THIS TIME OF YEAR? —

June 1, 1962 letter, John has bad boil on his back, we moved back to log house — June 26, 1962 letter decided to by another 8 sections of Jamesway from B & J Surplus, better price ’cause dad took it down on Elmendorf and mended it, came without ends which we had — bought chain saw, “We got it from a neighbor near log house, a 245.00 saw for 110.00 and almost new.” —  June 20, 1962 bridge by Donnelly’s washed out, dad took his tractor to work on it, we’re putting all personal things in storage — June 1, 1962 we moved from homestead to log house, by June 15th they rented it to Reynolds and moved us back to homestead! —

July – 1962  — adding onto 7 sections onto the Jamesway, 4 on bedroom end and 3 on other end — got Cindy dog for her birthday, July 31, 1962 postmark — very end of July 1962 John bitten by Pullen’s dog, [8-1-1962 letter about it] “I thought for sure we’d have trouble with Pullens but all O.K. now and gate remains open and we’ll put a chain further down road away from their house and dog!” —

August — 1962 early Grandma came for visit, oops, I guess mother changed her mind and didn’t happen — Mother wants to go on Queen For A Day and win a vehicle — back sections are on Jamesway, dad digging to put posts under front addition — Sharon stepped on rusty nail, rushed to hospital — Aug. 22, 1962 letter fooled mother with the ‘gold nuggets’, dad had other end added to Jamesway, putting on floor, “We’ll have a sun deck at end of hut and it’s raised up so high from building on mountain there’s lots of space under that end of house for storage or something – warm up after skiing under floor….Mrs. Erickson returned and is staying in room unfinished cabin belonging to Ecklunds and on their place until school starts” —

At present we put goat under there at nite for shelter.  We have 2 geese and 2 more rabbits – Ecklunds gave us theirs.  M. Goose is beautiful and funny to watch.  Gave rabbits to Linda.

September 1962- gave my rabbits away and returned to log house from summer at homestead — according to 9-16-1962 letter, mother has a kidney infection like she had  in March 1961 –

October 1962 — ON THE BRINK OF WAR WITH RUSSIA – Cuban Missile Crisis October 14-28, 1962 – Overheard mother telling dad which order to shoot us all in when the Russians came – they made us go outside, but could hear clearly through the canvas walls — October 13, 1962 letter mother took me for eye exam, asking grandma for loan to pay the $62 for them [I thought I got glasses in 7th, not 6th grade]  — Oct. 18, 1962 letter Wolf got off and killed the goat, grandmother just left from visiting us in Alaska — October 28, 1962 letter Dad has floor in Jamesway, walls in, window in their bedroom, covered with plastic [I guess no glass yet] — work being done on our road — land office came and looked but did not measure fields — evidently have a new jeep —

November – 1962 ??? Reynolds are vacating log house in mid November and we are going to rent it again for ourselves — mother and Dave on homestead alone – (who were Rupes?) — November 8, 1962 letter with details,  “Guess what!  Bill just got a moose!!  A cow – season here for cows opens for few days only and he got one.  After 5 years.  I’m really pleased – he’s dressing it out now.” (360 pounds of meet) — gave Wolf, the dog that killed goat, away — Nov. 21, 1962 letter mother is talking about her father’s will —

December – 1962 — David really sick.  (right year?) — Dec. 4, 1962 letter David sick, doc says give cat away and she did, really hard on Sharon, moving everything off of homestead, talking of selling tractor and trailer in spring  — Dec. 5, 1962 letter we’ve moved from homestead back to log house after Reynolds left, “Will sell all but takes time.  At this point I wish we could sell homestead – maybe we should!  I’m about ready to.  Really!!  Maybe will as soon as get title if we can’t live there – who cares?” —  Dec. 11, 1962 letter, “We’re not going back!” — Dec 12, 1962 letter, talking about wanting to mortgage homestead (we don’t even have the title yet) to buy log house — in Jan 6, 1963 letter, says “last week John slammed 3 of David’s tiny fingers tightly in front door on his way out” —

1963

January 1963– they might have been buying Bockstahler’s cabin, but in terrible shape financially, she writes they have to sell the new jeep, chain saw, etc — (us sleeping at log house, Cindy got radio, loaned it to me, listened to the Singing Nuns ) — Jan 6, 1963 David’s fingers infected, Sharon’s eczema infected on her wrists, coming out on face —

February 1963 — J.C. Penney’s store opens in Anchorage — sold jeep, not sure which one —

March- March 1963 — mother is selling ads for the Eagle River paper — Dad is working Saturdays — gave David big rocking [bounding] horse for his birthday — living at log house — planning to leave Alaska in fall for ‘overseas duty’ – Happy Time Nursery  running in log house – Roy Carson renting (John’s room )? –

April 1963 – David’s finger slammed in front door, infected in John’s turtle’s water, had nails pulled out – Roy Carson renting (John’s room )? – John slept on cot in back laundry room off of kitchen, I think — April 10, 1963 Cindy joined Girl Scouts —

May– May 18, 1963 Dad and John hauled our trailer down to Pollard’s — May 30, 1963 — Cindy had bear, he “got lost” — dad brought the trailer down, painted it, sold it to pay 4 mos back rent on log house – “Finally though our homestead is in the paper – next week for 4th time.  Must go in 5 X and then should get title soon after.”–we are moving out of the log house and back to the homestead — Dad is waiting to hear about training in Wash. D.C. – also a possible job in South America – having to refile on the last 40 acres – (pretty sure shampoo incident here) — May 1963, adding onto ER shopping center and remodeling — We did the ‘clapping’ music thing at school, my letter age 11, 6th grade May 30, 1963 to grandma — log house sold for $15,000, we have one month to move out  —

June 17, 1963 letter, sold the trailer — left log house, are ‘camping’ at homestead, mom says “Remember how dear Grandpa called me “Gypsy?” – July 1, 1963 letter says that Charles Hunter Cahill, her dad, died “last Friday” the end of June 1963 — we are getting ready to head down Al-Can —

July 16, 1963 got our first gas wall lamp, improvement over the Coleman lamps — turning jeep in for Chevrolet station wagon for trip down Al-Can highway —

August 12, 1963 received patent on 120 acres — Ecklund put notice in paper for 50 acres — August 27, 1963 arrived in Santa Fe, (dad stayed in AK)  grandma took the Greyhound over and was there on the 30th, there for my birthday and left Sept. 5 —-

September –  — Appraisers went up to homestead, was there snow up there already? — Dad’s 9-3-63 letter, Wolfe’s have Little Bear, Dad told them they could keep him, Smokey is at a kennel  —

October – October 28, 1963 letter – mom driving Al-Can alone, no idea where she’s going — 10-14-64 (?) letter from John to grandma, we just got back to Alaska — October 20, 1963 my first bras —

November 22, 1963 — President John F. Kennedy assassinated – Nov 1, 1963 mom knitting dad Mt. sheep Alaskan sweater —

December 1963 – December 7, 1963 first ‘light plant’ — dad shot another moose — I went to eye doctor again, I was right, they did not get me glasses a year prior when I needed them, me not a priority —

1964

January

February

March 27, 1964 Alaskan earthquake — we went to Heller’s sometimes before-after school –

April

May

June 1964 – mother found out she’s expecting her 6th –

July

August 1964 — grandmother up for visit —

September – new Chugiak High school opened – I went there in 8th grade – played basketball — no letters here to tell me when we moved off the mountain into Le Corchick’s apartment on Eagle River Loop Road —

October

November

December

1965

January

February 1965 – living at Le Corchick’s apartment – Steve born — David carried around a stuffed toy named Lovey Dovey in his arms when we waited in the hospital lobby while Dad went up to see mother and the new baby —

March

April

May

June

July – 1965 back on homestead after return from Tucson, gloomy summer – dirty diaper incident, before we went to Tucson –

August

September – perhaps already at Alvernon Gardens, grandma came for a week

October 1965 – went to Tucson, my 9th grade year – moved to 4808 Hawthorne, mom thinks she’s pregnant, she’s not —

November 1965 Thanksgiving grandma came to see us in Tucson for a week, strained visit “not pleasant” —

December

1966

January

February

March

April 19, 1966 got title-patent to last 40 acres —

May 1966 – letter from Eagle River Baptist Church, May 3, 1966, mother born again —

June – left Tucson – through Ashland – picnic – picked up Jeep Wagoneer new in Seattle – silent treatment – back to homestead

July – I was 14 still – gardening and the sabotage –

August

September

October

November

December

1967

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1968

January

February

March

April

May — May 1968 John graduated from Chugiak High School, worked summer on Coast and Geodedic Survey Ship

June

July

August

September – 1968 – moved to Anchorage – first to apartments and then to barracks housing on Ft. Elemendorf AFB –

October

November

December

1969

January

February

March

April

May – 1969 – Linda graduated fro high school in Anchorage (West High), not allowed to go to my own graduation – returned to homestead for summer –

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

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12 thoughts on “*CONSTRUCTING TIMELINE OF MY CHILDHOOD

  1. Mon, 12/14 – ’09 Reply to yours that I got today :
    I have these h’steading names in my file of Obits ; if you’d like copies let me know – Ben BARCLAY , son of Jim & wife Clarine ; L.A. “Tony” BOCKSTAHLER ; Deborah Ann DONNELLY, daughter of Joe & Therese ; your Mom, Mildred former wife of William D., divorced 1986 ; both
    Dolores “Dee” PULLEN and husband Harvey N. PULLEN, Jr.
    ; Raymond R. “Ray” ROOP ; LeRoy VAN GENDEREN ;
    and Mrs. Mary Lou WALLACE – she & former husband Lyle EASTERLY, Sen’r, h’steaded in E.R. in 1959 ; he died in 1961 ; she re-married later to Robert “Dale” WALLACE in 1977 . Plus, one other : I suspect this probably was the evil old German doctor that you so disliked – Dr. George
    B. VON WICHMAN , age 72, (1927 – 1999 .
    OK……..moving on : SUDUT is the correct spelling , first name just James . Looks like the original claim was by a guy named GREGORY , # 049892, . That’s close after EASTERLY who was # 049529 . Jim SUDUT filed his Final Proof advertising on a full 160 acres at Dec. ’71 / Jan ’72 ,
    under # 060019 . Last scribble-note I see is Sept, ’92 which says 120 acres of Sudut’s place was for sale , and that the other 40 had been sold previously . It was in an ‘estate’ but whether it was Sudut’s or some later owner’s I don’t know .
    Yes, I know the “Title Wave” (not Tidal) bookstore ; wife Margaret is the book addict here, so she knows it a lot better but, no, we didn’t realize the ‘connection’ of Steve to E.R. h’stead days, etc.
    PULLEN’s son was Harvey E. , more informally known as just “H.E.” So far as I know, he still is here ; last time I ran into him was several years ago. Present-day E.R. phone book lists him as “Harvey & Hilary” , so I guess he’s married ; may have kids, maybe not .
    One last item : BARCLAY family – the parents were Jim & Clarine, who had the 67 1/2 acres back below me, which became that “Gateway To The Park” subdivision. They had a son Ben (see Obits above) ; another son Bobby /Robert ;
    and my infamous old neighbor John BARCLAY. John started out way down-valley, near LEE and close to the old steep original switchbacks up to the State-maintained E.R. Road .
    Later on, he moved back to about MIle 12, just next to his parents’ place, below me. Had a small cabin which he proceeded to turn into “Paradise Haven Lodge” , a sort of dingy bar , plus a dragged-in trailer which he called a ‘motel’ , plus LOTS of very loud C & W music echoing all over the valley, plus a half-mile oval dirt-track featuring
    cycles / Moto-cross all summer and noisy Snwmachine races all winter. Fortunately, the Chugach State Park had just been set up (1970 / ’71), and we were able to put a halt to it all as ‘incompatible’ with the Park use ; also against the Noise Ordinance of the Municipality ; also his illegally cutting down Federally-owned trees for his race track, out on the flatlands of the valley floor. End result : the State bought-out his 5 acres-&-cabin, and it became the HQ for the State Park for a time, then later was the State Park “Visitors’ Center” , then later to its present life as the “Eagle River Nature Center” that I mentioned earlier . So we’re back to peace-&-quiet in the valley and, yes, it’s indeed a great blessing to have our 40 acre spot out there – enough space around us so that we hardly hear any of the Nature Center traffic or the traffic to-&-from the “Gateway” subdivision .
    So………you evidently “went Navy” after leaving home & homestead ? I was Navy during the Korean in ’51 – ’53 . Tell me a bit of what they had you doing , and where, and whether you liked it or hated it . I was always underway for someplace new, so loved the travel while hating the military . But it was a good experience for me, personally .

  2. Hi – In your three replies, you omitted older brother John ( ’49?) . Is he still living, and where ? Just curious. As I half expected, you guys are ‘spread to the four winds’ pretty much, but at least you still seem to be in contact from time to time – maybe some being closer than others – but that’s quite natural .
    Thanks for the answers to some of my questions. Here’s replies to the ones you sent back :
    I’m still in AK ; now age 79 1/2 ; living essentially full-time at Anchorage , this same house since ’73 .
    First wife (Helen) & I originally filed on 80 acres , but were not wanting to be farmers or land-barons , so we relinquished the upper 40 (quite high & quite steep) back to the Feds , and retained the lower 40 – which had a nice ‘bench’ on which we put a cabin late in 1960 . That ‘upper 40′ was later – about 1971 – taken over by the State when it created the gigantic Chugach State Park, and we now have that on three sides of the property. The fourth ( lowest ) side is a part of the old 67 1/2 – acre tract that was settled by Jim Barclay & his wife
    (Clarine / Clarice? – I’m no longer clear on that name). It later was owned by Ivan & Oro Stewart, the photo-shop folks from Anchorage, and from them it was bought & developed into the present-day “Gateway To The Park” subdivision which has nice, modern, log homes and is quite attractive. It’s immediately before the 5 – acre Visitors’ Center, just at the present end-of-state-maintenance, about Mile 12 of E.R. Road. It is now a non-profit “Eagle River Nature Center” , which is a popular spot at the end of the road – and which runs a lot of nature hikes and other programs enhancing the attractions of the Park and the E.R. valley in general.
    You may recall that Bob Thomas ( & Eloise ?) had a place just close to a nice creek (which came down from your Lloyd place and Easterly’s place). The access to our place was just a short ways PAST that creek. The roadway climbs close to a mile so – by the time you reach our cabin – it’s at about Mile 12 of the E.R. Road, right above
    that E.R. Nature Center .
    Like your Dad, I was ‘required’ to do a seven month ‘residency’ but, with Korean vets’ allowances from the ‘ 50s , we could choose to live there “twice as long and clear half as much” ground. We resided there – with only an occasional lapse for glaciated roads & such – from ’60 to ’63 , some 2 1/2 – 3 , years instead of the 7 months .
    You’re right about Bob Thomas : he was down low, just quite near the main road. But the lay-of-the-land back there was such that the surveyed land-line squares seemed diamond-shaped , with a low corner in the SW and a high corner in the NE – just as your 160 did – so Thomas’ actual LAND went quite high, but the cabin was quite low .
    I don’t recognize your Butner / Sutner names at all – closest I can come probably is Jim & Pauline SUDUT . They had a place just ACROSS the nice creek from your place, and were just as high, maybe even slightly higher, than your place .
    No, I’m unsure about the WELLS you mention. In my old files here, I have only two mentions : on a sketch-map, I show your original filing as 043132 . Just N and NW of that is a slightly later 049286 in the name of LA BARBERA , and just northwest of that is later still – 049767 , WELLS .
    Looks as if it would have been WAY up , next to Lyle Easterly, probably even higher & to the left of his cabin . The other mention is not dated, but simply mentions that WELLS has “cancelled out”, so I assume he/they relinquished and moved on to other ventures .
    I recall the A-frame by “Mud Lake/Moose Lake” (depending on whether there was a moose in it or not) , but no , I don’t recall the owner’s name any longer.
    Spelling on WAMSLEY was this way, so far as I know, but always pronounced as wahmms’ – lee . Yes, he was quite high ; my recollection is that the road went past your place, and branched LEFT to his place, but not very much higher-up at all .
    Ted & Kay RUMSEY – I don’t seem to have dates for them except for a later mention – June ’77 – when all or some portion of their land was going from “Duhill” subdivision to
    “Falling Water” subdivision. Duhill was the name of their dog-kennel operation, for giant white “Great Pyrenees” dogs. Falling Water, I think, was the local name for that nice creek that came down past your place from Easterly’s
    high-valley . Kay Rumsey died, and Ted remarried to a Florence (somebody) who had been a friend of Kay’s . They sold off and moved ‘Outside’ to the area of Sunnyside, Washington . She died but Ted, I think, is still living .
    Oh……… yes, we still have the 40 acres, but it has basically gone down a generation now. My two boys are now mid-40s, so they & their families are out there quite often with their friends .
    Better quit for now; I’m using up your whole website !
    John

    • Hi there, and there’s lots of space on here

      wow, history! I mentioned John the oldest on the 12th — John ‘50 is now an Urbana, IL resident. — You must know Steve’s and Julie’s book store, Title Wave — I went back for a few days last August, hadn’t been there since dad’s 1990 surgery — just have never had ‘the means’ as much as I miss it up there. Went back to the park, didn’t hike back in, which I would love to do someday — also have never been hiking up past Easterly’s —

      You don’t mention Pullen — son still there — I am happy for your family some of the land is still yours — it’s a great grief in ours that Dad’s is gone — it’s just how it all worked out — SUDAT, sound’s familiar, not sure who was the actual homesteader there on the creek and who took it over — LA BARBERA, wonder who they were?

    • I was fascinated reading this, as I’m Ted and Florence (Tibbetts Day) Rumsey’s grand-daughter, and I lived with them at Duhill Kennel for several years as a child, from 1974. I remember “crazy” Harvey Pullen very well. They moved to WA. My grandparents also moved to Sunnyside WA and sold the kennel to Ted’s daughter – can’t think of her name at the moment. The A-Frame was at the foot of the road that came down the mountain from our kennel to the Eagle River Road. I remember the woman’s name was Betsy Kenworthy, but I don’t remember her husband’s name. Their little boy was Forrest. There was an Anne Wells that lived with her husband on the Eagle River Road – they were the only black people in town at that time, other than my grand-father, Ted, who was also black. Interesting for me to see some of these long-remembered names again.

  3. Hi John

    While I’m thinking about it, just adding a few names

    Wells I think had the A-frame

    Not sure, but think Wambsley (sp?) must have been up above us, Easterly up there above my dad’s highest piece

    Not sure when Rumsey’s moved in, Dorothy must know

    Also, Barclay — must have been back by Thomas’

    Carr by Pollard’s

    still no word on this end from Dorothy…..

  4. Hi – John Wolfe, back again : Yes, I very much liked & enjoyed Dorothy’s book of poems about H’steading at E.R.
    It would be fun to be back in contact with her. Lowell has died. John Barclay has died. Both Joe & Therese Donnelly have died.
    I’d like to have death dates of both your parents, please :
    Bill, after 1990 tumor/stroke and
    Mildred, after 1994 letter from your sis .
    You ask a question on your website: “Who are the Rupes?”
    That was Ray ROOP, at Mile 7 – 7.4 on E.R. Rd. He/ they had 117.6 Acres listed for sale at July, 2003 .
    Schroeder was at the top of the old original switchbacks / end-of-maintenance ; bottom of that was McIntyre and then Doyle.
    Then Lee ; then ROOP’s ; then Donnelly ; then Barbee ; then Ecklund ; east from that was Pollard ; east from there was Lloyd ; and due south from you was Thomas . I moved in Nov. 19, ’60, south of Thomas, up almost as high as you were, with dim lights and a bright aluminum roof – still something of a ‘landmark’ as you drive back into E.R. valley.
    Question for you : where was your “Horror Hill” ? Was that the cat-track just behind Pollard’s cabin, which had the big land-slip at 10/10-’61 ?
    Question # 2 : Where was the “log home” you refer to so often? Part of Bochstahler’s or somewhere different ?
    Question # 3 : Is there a difference between dogs “Bear” and “Little Bear” ? You say we got the latter , but we only knew him as “Bear” . As I recall, he wouldn’t stay with us, continued to stray & return to you, so we gave him back to your family again after a short trial period .
    Nothing yet from Dorothy (Pollard) ; still would like to have her ‘contact’ from you – email : jgrwolfe@eagle.ptialaska.net
    Incidentally, where are you six kids now – still in AK or spread to the four winds ?

    • yes — “Horror Hill” ? Was that the cat-track just behind Pollard’s cabin, which had the big land-slip at 10/10-’61 ?

      The log house that was a part of our life there was behind the one owned by Erickson’s across Eagle River Road from Vanover’s farm right along Meadow Creek — right in Eagle River.

      I’ll ask Cindy about Bear —

      Steve ’65 never left Anchorage, Dave ’61 still up there, I am on the Mexican-American border wall in southeastern Arizona south of Bisbee, Cindy ’53 is now in north Texas, Sharon ’55 is in Seattle. John ’50 is now an Urbana, IL resident.

      Dad died in 2000 and mother in 2002

      Where are you? Did you homestead 160? When did you leave? I picture Thomas’ land on the valley floor, were you up the mountain from them? I know Steve knows — Do you know who Butner was? Sutner? Wells? Who had the A-Frame there by ‘Mud Lake’? Lloyd (us) was straight up from Pullen’s —-

      I sent your email to Dorothy — haven’t heard from her in a coupla days….

  5. Hi, Linda – I’m the John Wolfe referred to at 9/3/’63 on your”Timeline” of childhood , so we are old neighbors in the Upper Eagle River Valley.
    Like you, I’ve read Dorothy (Pollard) Price’s book, and have wanted to be in ontact with her.
    Your website indicates that you’ve been able to contact her
    successfully. Would you be willing , please, to share with me her mailing address, email address, or a valid phone number ? I’d very much appreciate it if you would. Thanks .
    Your “Timeline” is a real ‘gem’ for me. My first wife, Helen, and I failed to keep a journal of those Homesteading years, and your chronological detailing of events as extracted from mother Mildred’s letters are a delight to find. I plan to pass on the website info to both my sons, John, Jr. and David ( ’62 and ’64) for their info – also for their three kids.
    You should edit this material, I think, add to it if you can, and publish it – however formally or informally – to the Loussac Library’s Alaska Collection and/or the UAA Consortium Library and/or the Cook Inlet Hitorical Society at the Anchorage Museum.
    John

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