So, I was born in northern California and I was robbed of a promising hippie type childhood by my father (Yes, I did forgive him when I saw all the Vietnam War stuff on TV. Glad to be an Alaskan with a conservative background, thank you DAD!) in 1960 by dragging my butt to Alaska on his ‘purported’ two week vacation that he earned working for the Southern Pacific Railroad that spring.
What do I mean by being robbed? If we would have stayed in California and I grew up in the bay area, I am sure I would have been curious about and probably participated in the Hippie movement. But, that was not to be.
My father duped my mother by telling her we were going to Alaska to visit HER relatives in Chugiak, and they could and would make the round trip, including visit time’ in 14 days. Now, understand, my Mom was not stupid, far, FAR from it, just had no true formal education, she only got through what was called the eighth grade in Douglas, Arizona, and from what I knew of her, she had about a 5th grade education. Other than the overrated ‘book learning’ that she sorely lacked, she was smart. Her math was good, she read well, she saw through my bullshit, and if ever really challenged in an argument, I would find myself on the losing end 7 out of ten times, and I have a damn good education and a documented higher than average I.Q.
Now, I know there are a few of you that know and knew me and may question the last part of that last statement, I will admit, here and now, I was and am a bit different from most other people and most of you that didn’t know me well thought I was a bit… odd.
I am here to put your minds at ease, I am. Those that do and did know me, usually got to a point they they could understand my quirks and could see my point of view from my quirky mind.
Back to my dad… He duped my mom, even she admits it. To her credit, when she found herself at the U.S.A. – Canadian border late on day 3, and she found out she was less than a third of the way TO Alaska, she kinda figured it all out.
So, we got to Chugiak (that is on mile 18 or so on the Old Glenn Highway north of Anchorage) on the 11th day. Dad had some serious ‘splaining to do (said like Ricky Ricardo, and if you don’t know who he is, well… move on youngin,) and when he was questioned by my mom and her sisters, Retha and Bert, dad caved and fessed up to the ruse… he HATED California and was trying to covertly move us to Alaska. My mom was not too happy about living in Alaska, initially. But they stayed there until 1987.
In 1961, we filed for a Homestead on Eklutna Lake Road and followed through with the requirements and in 1965, we got the Patent on 108.75 acres. Those of you who know the facts regarding The Homestead Act, will undoubtedly want to know what happened to the other 51.25 acres?
Well… that bit of the land we were homesteading on was some sacred grounds of the local Indigenous people. The story is this, they came to my dad, the elder explained the issue and they told my dad they were going to fight him and the government for it. My dad, (and those of you up there that knew him know that THIS is the type of thing to be expected of him…) told them that he would simply amend his application and the land was theirs. Two of the tribal elders went with my dad to the State offices and he told them that his application needed to be amended and why… the state refused. That was a huge friggin mistake on the States part, they done pissed of a Scotsman and soon saw that they had made a mistake. After my dad taking the State to court and making them look like the buffoons they were, they amended his application. The Elders were happy with the out come and so was my dad and mom.
We lived the third and fourth winters of the Homestead days in what I would call North Peters Creek area in a small house on Mt Eklutna Drive off the Old Glenn Highway not to be confused with the Homestead at mi 6.7 on the Eklutna Lake Road. This was purely a coincidence, if you believe in ‘them thar thangs’.
That fourth winter turned out to be a very unforgettable year for me. In fact, on March 27th, 1964 my life changed. That event shook me to my core and to this day, I can tell you every detail of those 6 minutes starting at 5:36 P.M. that day. The ‘Good Friday Earth Quake’ measured 9.2 and lasted, for what my eleven year old mind could comprehend, an eternity.
I was playing a form of pool on a 4 foot square board, (some kind of silly game and I have never seen one again). Anyway, I was at Larry Snell’s home (his mother was Gerri Snell, his father was Alan Snell). He was a couple years younger than me, we were playing ‘that’ game and Gerri (Larry’s mom) had just commented to us that their dogs all went into their houses and had their heads out and were howling and how strange that was when suddenly, but for only about 2 or 3 seconds, there was a rumble and the house shook.
Of course, we boys both looked at her as the rumble and movement ended as if to get an affirmation all was well. She looked at us and just quickly said ‘Don’t worry, just a small quake’ and then the next second, the world tried to end… She took a couple steps towards us and grabbed both of us as the sudden movement brought all three of us to the floor. I ended up on the floor on my left side next to Larry being squeezed by Gerri which was having a religious moment and telling us to pray… repeatedly.
I could see out a window that was about two feet wide and about 1 and a half feet high that was positioned at the upper part of the end of the house, above the kitchen cabinets. I was at an angle that had me seeing the trees at about the 40 to 50 foot high area, swaying 8 to 10 ten feet right to left without a whisper of wind. My brain caught the significance of that and I realized that the world and or my life could end before the end of the next second.
That epiphany at that moment has been with me everyday since. I have never sought, nor participated in any religion, since. I have been to a few churches, mostly the new age type stuff but none of the holy roller, snakes and fainting stuff for me.
I already knew all I needed to know from the epiphany and my subsequent connection with ‘source’ shortly thereafter. That is for another time and another website.
Now, to tie that into the story… My family had their ‘winter’ home near the Snell’s year-round home on Mt. Eklutna Drive, our homestead was on Eklutna Lake road which was about 14 miles apart. Again, not planned, just happened.
I attended Chugiak High School and Graduated in 1972. I wasn’t the best student, I hardly cracked a book but got above average grades and actually graduated in January of 1972, because I had enough credits to get out mid way through my Senior year and since I am not one for ceremonies, I did not even attend the graduation ceremonies at Chugiak High School in June of ’72.
In the years following that I worked on the Trans Alaska Pipeline, flew airplanes, developed real estate and a few other endeavors. Then, after 18 MORE years of Alaska winters of freezing my ass in the cold, dark and eternally long winters and then fighting off the mosquitoes as big as chickens and as mean as Tasmanian Devils in the summer, I left Alaska and I never went back. My escape from Alaska lead me to Oregon. Now, 27 years later, I don’t regret any of it.
In 1997, I started having some medical issues, my left leg would not move as it should. I was MIS-diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by Kaiser Permanently and given some drugs that should never have been administered to me. To make this story short, through their medical malfeasance, I have had 9 surgeries.
Here is what my neck looks like today. This surgery was done in March of 2001 and it took me a couple years to get my life organized and adjusted to live with limited mobility of my left side. It has taken a lot of work to get me where I can live on my own and function without any help from anyone.
Due to this I had to reinvent my life and I chose to learn how to build websites and how to market almost anything on the internet. I had created a company I named Prehistoric Geeks Online Marketing due to the fact I had 4 people working with and for me that were all over 55 years old. We were building a lot of websites and then I took on a business partner. Not the smartest thing I ever did. He is and was a great guy, it just did not work out for me or him and I just decided I needed to move on and do something else for a while.
That something else turned out to be taking care of both my parents with the help of my brother. Both of my parents had Alzheimer’s/Dementia and my brother and I moved in to their home and took care of them for a couple years until my mother passed in November of 2011. My dad did not want to continue living in that home so my brother and him moved into a two bedroom unit at a Care facility as my brother being his primary care giver. That was in 2012.
By 2013 I had new interest in the Internet and decided to get back to work part-time. By 2014 I was working full time learning and developing a NEW web presence and in March of 2015 my father passed and my brother moved to Bend.
Since then, I have a new hobby that is now turning into my secondary occupation next to my Web and Internet Marketing business, that is WRITING and Publishing books. Hence the image at the top of this post. Everything I have learned on marketing on the internet has been a major asset in my publishing business.
I created a website that is still under development primarily because I don’t know which services I want to offer other writers yet. It is called Cracks of Time Publishing. I have said lately that I am now “Jim Knox 2.0” because I really like where I am in life right now. Of course, there is MORE to the story, but that is for another post at a different time.
So in closing this blog post, I would like to restate the famous Forest Gump quote but modifying it to describe how I see it;
“Life is like a box of Chocolates, you just never know if they are sweet milk chocolate of bitter bakers chocolate!”
Life can be bitter at times. That is why I always have a honey bear nearby. Life can never be too sweet.