|Life In Alaska Since 1959
This page is a tribute to my amazing parents Ann and Frank
De Nardo and the life they have given us in this great land of
Both being free spirited people my father followed my
mothers life long dream of living in Alaska. Growing up in
Boston she read Jack London and Robert Service. At a very
young age she knew this was a land she longed to experience.
In 1959 that dream came true when she traveled to Alaska
with her husband of six years, and their three children.
And the adventure of over 40 years begins!
The adventure begins in Anchorage, Alaska in
1959. At that time Anchorage was a very small
town with the down town hub running from about
1st to 6th avenue. There was not much beyond
this point other then sparse homes here and
This was a wonderland of play for three small
children. Woods everywhere and days of going to
school skating down the street with shoes and
lunch thrown over our backs.
Ahhh, this picture brings back memories of playing
out side in the snow in our mukluks (native boots)
made of hard bottom hide and fur that was tanned
the old native way with urine. Yes thats right urine.
Man those hard bottoms were great on ice you could
slide a long ways! Anyway Dad would pull up in his
1957 Chev and tell us to jump in the truck. The
first thing we did is put our feet under the heater.
The next thing we heard is Dad telling us to get our
feet away from the heat! When they were wet and
got warm man you could smell that urine!
You know we still have those mukluks today.
Both of my parents loved the outdoors and the free way of life Alaska had back then. Life was exciting,
Alaska had just become a state in 1959. Dad taught Mom how to shoot and hunt and they have been life long
hunting partners ever since. We grew up with the love and respect of the land my parents instilled in us and
the way of life.
At a young age my parents included the family on camping, fishing and hunting trips traveling the state of
Alaska. Fishing in the streams and hunting in the Wrangell Mountains. Clamming at Clam Gulch exploring the
beaches for star fish and sea creatures, sleeping on the beach. Fishing out of the bay at old Valdez before
the 1964 earthquake. The whole town was lost in the earthquake. It was a beautiful old town from days gone
by, oh how I miss it.
Life was spent living off the land eating salmon, moose, elk , razor clams and growing vegetables in our
garden. The powdered milk took a bit of getting use to but soon it was all we knew.
In 1969 we moved to the interior of Alaska to Fairbanks starting a whole new way of life. Fairbanks was a
very small town at that time. The hub was made up of just about 1st to 8 th Avenue back then with small
businesses and homes past that. Alas most of old Fairbanks has been torn down for progress but you can still
find a old gold rush building here and there through out town. The small town atmosphere is gone but still
considered a small town to the rest of America.
The new adventure of hunting and fishing in the interior of Alaska begins here and continues to this day
passed down through the generations from parents to children to grandchildren. Each Fall since the early
70's the family has made the 200 mile trip on the Yukon River to the Novi River to hunt for our winter meat
and fish. We have made life long friends on the river with people from Tanana and Ruby.
The circle of life continues as our parents slowly wind down and watch their children now taking over their
way of life and help them to pass that way of life onto their grandchildren.
I can not thank you enough my parents for the life you have shown me, so this is my way of giving back. I am
showing our lives by decades with pictures of our times together since 1959 in Alaska.
|King Crab .39 cents a pound!
|Seal Sunning on the deck in Homer
|Old Valdez before the 1964 Earthquake
|Life has for ever changed in Alaska
and a chapter has closed.
We lost our father Frank De Nardo on
the Yukon River September 12, 2009.