Friday night SAFV (Sitkans Against Family Violence) held a fundraiser dinner cruise aboard one of Allen Marine’s (Alaska Dream Cruises) pocket cruise ships, Chichagof Dream. I had wanted to get aboard for some time to see how they refitted her. They did a nice job. One of the highlights is the Himalayan Salt Room, kind of like a sauna, lined with salt that’s therapy for … Continue reading Chichagof Dream
The May pole dance is not what you may think of when you hear the term “pole dance.” The May Pole is a tradition from Europe. It is part of community rejoicing at the return of spring. Some people think that its origins are pagan reverence for sacred trees. In Slovakia, where Suzi and I lived for more than two years, May poles had a … Continue reading (May) Pole Dancing
This is Beltane, Celtic May Day. In 2002 we were in London walking down Great Russell Street and we ran across the “Beltane Bash” held in conjunction with the “Pagan Pride March.” This is from a family letter written in May 2002. Wherever we travel we find things that interest us. Saturday we walked into the fifth annual Pagan Pride Parade. The parade was to … Continue reading Beltane Bash (Happy May Day!)
Donald Trump has been president for 100 days. Around the country people are marching for “Climate, Jobs and Justice.” James Poulson from the Sentinel said this was part of the President’s “Make America Fit Again” campaign. About 100 Sitkans marched from the Crescent Harbor shelter, around the Russian Church and back down Lincoln Street to the Episcopal See House. Motorists, not expecting a parade, drove … Continue reading Make America Fit Again!
Eternal Father strong to save, who’s hand has bound the restless wave. Who bids the mighty ocean deep, its own appointed limits keep. Oh hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea. The blessing of the fleet is one of those annual Sitka events that marks the passing of a year and re-binds me to my community. I’m not … Continue reading Blessing of the Fleet, 2017
This is the second tranche of Earth Day, 2017 pics. The event is sponsored by the Sitka Conservation Society and the Sitka Sound Science Center. To look at the first tranche and read my commentary, please click here. Continue reading Earth Day, 2017, in Support of Science and Critters.
April 22 is Earth Day. In Sitka we celebrated early with our 16th annual parade of species sponsored by the Sitka Sound Science Center and the Sitka Conservation Society. I really love this event. People dress up as their favorite species, plant, animal or mythical (in the case of mermaids, this is a seafaring community after all.) Each species is invited to talk about itself, … Continue reading Earth Day 2017
We were “stuck” in Seattle and were going to make the best of it. The planes were full in Southeast Alaska, at least full enough so that the two of us could not get on the same flight, something about a folk festival in Juneau and lobbyists going to the capital to fight over a smaller and smaller slice of the pie. Since planes to … Continue reading Victoria, BC
I was born in a magnificent Art Deco hospital in Jersey City, the Margaret Hague Maternity (named after Boss Frank, “I am the law,” Hague’s mother) Hospital. It was part of the Jersey City Medical Center. The Art Deco medical center provided virtually free health care for all Jersey City residents. Now it’s a condo called “The Beacon” and is not available to virtually all … Continue reading Art Deco Hospital
I often wonder if people in the Southern Hemisphere view Easter differently than we north of the line. Easter is so tied into rebirth, renewal and resurrection. It comes naturally in the springtime. If the days were getting shorter, leaves falling and flowers wilting I am not sure how I would view Easter, perhaps as the promise of resurrection at some time in the future. … Continue reading Resurrection in the Food Web
One of my favorite walks in Sitka is through Sitka National Historical Park, we call it “Totem Park.” I have been friends with many of the poles in the park since my first walk through in 1973. In the 44 years since then I have made the acquaintance of several new poles, carved for different occasions, commemorating the Park Service, or the Battle of Sitka. … Continue reading Victoria’s Totem Poles
The first time I entered the King Street Station in Seattle was when I stepped off the “Coast Daylight/Starlight in 1973.” A couple of days later Suzi and I got on the “Pacific International” to head to Vancouver. The impression the station left me was of a dark cave. The ceilings were too low, made of acoustic tile. It was a chintzy modern interior that … Continue reading King Street Station, Seattle
Today’s walk was not energetic, it was contemplative. I walked through Sitka’s Orthodox Cemetery. A couple of months ago someone suggested that I walk through the Cemetery and post some pictures. I didn’t get around to it until I met Bob Sam on my walk yesterday. During that walk through Sitka National Park I took a break, sitting on a bench. Soon Bob Sam sat … Continue reading Honoring Ancestors, Sitka’s Orthodox Cemetery
Sitka Celebrated Elizabeth Peratrovich Day with a parade and celebration at the ANB Founders’ Hall. Here are some pictures from the parade. To read the history of the holiday, scroll below the pics. February 16 is Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in Alaksa. With today’s political climate of demonizing the other, repeating this story is more important than ever. In 1945, during the debate in the Alaska Territorial … Continue reading Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, 2017
Today in Silver Bay dozens of whales were feeding, sometimes looking like synchronized swimmers, diving in tandem. The air was cold so their breaths hung in the air, crystallized mist shining in a bright sun. No matter where I moved I seemed to be shooting into the sun. As morning turned to afternoon word spread on Facebook and Twitter an we were joined by several … Continue reading The Whales are Marching Too
Here is tranche 2 of the pictures of today’s march in Sitka. Sitka is lookin’ good! Click here to look at tranche 1 of the photos. Continue reading Sitka in Solidarity, Tranche 2
I have not seen anything like it in Sitka. Estimates vary from a low of 500 to nearly 1,000 people marching respectfully. I saw people for all sorts of different causes from all walks of life, and many different persuasions. We gathered as people made signs, than we marched, well it was more like a stroll, from the Crescent Harbor Shelter, around the St. Michael’s … Continue reading Sitka In Solidarity
I have one final post from Jordan. The Church of St Lot and St Procopius is located about 3 miles from Mt. Nebo in the municipality of Khirbet Mukhayyat. The church was built in 557 and has almost intact mosaics of daily life. It also has some fantastic figures, like seahorses. It is near to the major tourist attractions of Mt. Nebo and St. George, … Continue reading The Church of St Lot and St Procopius
First Sunday in Advent, 2016 Dear Friends, We are writing this letter during a dangerous period, at least according to Brian. When he was a kid Brian heard, probably on NPR, that marriages were more successful when both halves of the couple were the same age. The first Sunday in Advent falls between Rich’s and Suzi’s birthdays, which are three weeks apart. Rich is now … Continue reading 2016 McClear Family Christmas Letter
Modern Amman, including West Amman is spread out over several hills and has steep streets. I was last in Amman 5 years ago and modern Amman has grown, with new skyscrapers and, it seems, more headquarters offices as organizations relocate to relatively stable Jordan. Here are some shots from modern Amman. Continue reading Modern Amman
I am catching up on my backlog of pics from Jordan, these are some Amman street shots. I did some walking and quite a bit of riding through Amman. These shots of Amman show little change from when I was last there in 2011. As in many cities there are streets in Amman that specialize in one product. The street below is a Pet Store … Continue reading Amman Streets
Mt. Nebo is the spot where, traditionally, Moses stood to look across the Jordan into the promised land, where he could not go. He died there and tradition has it that he is buried somewhere Mt. Nebo. On a clear day you can see Jerusalem from Mt. Nebo, which sits at 2,680 above sea level and 3,600 feet above the Dead Sea and lower Jordan … Continue reading Mt. Nebo’s New Church.
I am home in Sitka and will have the pleasure of looking out my window across Jamestown Bay and to the Gulf of Alaska or a little to the westward toward our volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe. We have had two consecutive glorious sunrises. The last two mornings the sunrise has reminded me exactly why I live here. But for the past two weeks the view from … Continue reading King Abdullah Mosque, Amman
Before there were Google Maps and Garmin there were maps made of stone. I’m sure I will have more to say about Jordan as the weeks go on, I have lots of pictures to share and lots of thoughts, and it looks like I will be going back to work in February. But, today, sitting in an airport lounge in Frankfort I am thinking about … Continue reading Maps of Stone in Madaba Jordan