Meeting Dick the first time
My husband Jerry was in the Navy and we had just arrived at our new duty station, Adak Alaska, located on the Aleutian Islands with our two young daughters four and seven.
When our household goods arrived, the TV didn’t work. The only business on the Island was the commissary and the Navy exchange. There were no repair shops, you had to make do with the help of your buddies.
Jerry said, “This guy at work said that he would be willing to look at the TV and maybe he could fix it.” By the way, he is an Eskimo and grew up in Alaska.”
That’s cool, why don’t you invite him to dinner, is he married?”
“Yes, but his wife lives in Anchorage.” We often had guys without family over for dinner. It’s the southern thing to do.
“OK, I’ll invite.”
When Dick arrived I was surprised that he looked like an ordinary Navy guy. His hair was very black, cut in a traditional military cut, He was wearing a a short brown leather jacket, red V-neck long sleeve sweater, Levi’s and slip on boots. I had expected him to arrive in a large hooded fur parka, and wearing mukluks on his feet. I had just finished reading, Peter Freuchen’s book about living among the Eskimo’s. He didn’t look anything like the Eskimo’s that I had been reading about.
I introduced myself and ask if I could take his jacket. After hanging up his jacket, I excused myself back to the kitchen, where I was preparing my best southern dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, buttermilk biscuits, sweet tea and banana pudding.
Dick was able to fix the TV and he and Jerry had a beer in the living room while I finished up with dinner.
We started dinner with small talk, mostly me asking question’s, without staring.
“When is your wife moving to Adak?”
“Not sure, she has to first take care of a medical problem.”
Jerry tells me that you grew up in Alaska, did you grow up in Anchorage?”
“ No, I grew up in Holly Cross. On the Yukon River.”
I had not a clue where that was, we flew from Seattle to Anchorage to Adak.
“ Is your wife from Alaska?”
“Yes, we both grew up in Holy Cross.”
I thought it would be neat to meet her and we could become friends.
“Do you have brothers and sisters?”
“No, I my parents died when I was young and I grew up in an orphanage.
I didn’t know anyone who grew up in an orphanage, with out family, how sad. I knew at that moment I want to get to know him better, meet his wife and learn more of what it was like to grow up in Alaska in an orphanage.
As we talked, I realized that he did have a different look, His eyes were dark brown, and twinkled when he smiled and he smiled a lot, his eyes became narrow slits, which gave them an oriental look, and a deep dimple appeared on each cheek. I noticed that he has a tanned complexion, and high cheek bones, handsome in a sexy way.
After he left I ask Jerry, “Do you think I asked too many questions? Seems like I did all the talking.”
”No, he seem to enjoy himself. He is pretty shy at work.”
Well, I hope that he will come back again. I can’t believe that I just had a real Alaskan Eskimo at our dinner table.”
“He is well liked at work, a easy going guy, but not much of a talker. I do know that he likes to hunt and fish, not much else to do on the Island.”
“Do you think he would teach us how to fish?”
I’m sure he would, we’ll have to buy a fishing pole, I’ll check it out with him.”
The next time Dick came to dinner, I ask him how his wife was doing, and he said that she wants a devoice.
“Oh I’m sorry.”
I jumped right in and ask, “can you teach us how to fish?”
“Sure, do you have fishing gear?”
“What’s that, do you mean a fishing pole?”
“Well that’s a start,”
“We don’t have anything.”
Ok lets go to the exchange and I’ll help you pick out a pole and tackle box.”
Great! Lets go.”
He helped us pick out rain gear, rubber boots, a pole and reel each.
So, when ever Jerry, the girls, and I went fishing, picnicking, movies, Dick came a long, being a regular at our place, and we became great friends.
I found him to be charming, brilliant and he was becoming more handson to me. His shyness seemed to melt away when we were together, and I was mesmerized by his boyhood stories of growing up in Alaska.
My marriage had been rocky from for several year’s. In fact, I almost stayed in Alabama with my Mother rather than move to Alaska with Jerry. I had married at sixteen, a very immature and naïve girl. My husband was a good person , but I was not in love with him.
We made plans for an early morning fishing trip, and suggested that Dick stay over in our guest room.
After we had all gone to bed, I got up to check on the girls, and meet Dick walking down the hall way toward me. Our eyes met, we both stood frozen in our steps, neither one of us spoke, for seemed, a long moment. We just stood there, a step apart, staring into each others eyes. Dick took that missing step and reach his hands out to cradle my face, and his warm moist lips, ever so softly, touched mine. My breath was caught in my throat, I kissed him back, knowing that this was wrong, but it felt so right. We had a very long passionate kiss. I didn’t want our kiss to end, but I knew it had to. I pushed him a way, and walked back into the bedroom where Jerry was sleeping soundly. I wished that I could go back and start that kiss over, but with fear of being found out, I slipped between the covers and relived the kiss over and over in my mind.
I knew at that moment, that kiss had changed my life for the rest of my life. My body, soul and mind was magically awaken to the world of passion, and I felt like Snow White.
One year later we were married. Dick loved having a family, and the girls loved him, and he e loved the Blonde Southern Bell in me.
I was confident, that with his brilliant mind and my Southern sophistication, and all the passion we shared for each other, would carry us to the moon, and we would do great things together.
One day he would be the Governor of Alaska. Although he was not yet, aware of my plan.