Alaska Day in Sitka, Alaska, 2013

Alaska Day in Sitka Alaska Day commemorates the day in 1867 when the United States took possession of Alaska from the Russians.  It’s Sitka’s day.  Up until that time Sitka ran on the Julian calendar and was west of the International Date Line.  Sitka jumped ahead about two weeks in an instant when the American flag hit the top of the pole on Castle Hill. In most Alaska communities Alaska Day is just a substitute for Columbus Day, which is a federal but not a State holiday.  In 1980 when I worked at KTOO in Juneau, we did a vox … Continue reading Alaska Day in Sitka, Alaska, 2013

Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

This is from a June, 2010 letter: Thirty Eight years ago, (in 1972) Suzi and I fleetingly encountered a narrow gauge steam powered train while driving the back roads of Bosnia.  Last week, near the same place, we saw that train again.  The rail company is just re-opening the narrow gauge line into Bosnia after closing it in the 70s.  This time we chased the train to get a better look, driving onto side roads and catching up with it at a siding where the engine could un-hook its cars, shuffle around to the other side of the train, and … Continue reading Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

Sargan 8, A railroad climbs a mountain in Serbia

This is an excerpt from a June 2009 letter:   This week we started our journalism summer school at Mokra Gora, (wet mountain) in the mountains near the Bosnian border.   As part of the program we had arranged an excursion on the narrow gauge railway. This railroad has fascinated me for more than 35 years.  Suzi and I encountered it in 1972 on a drive through Bosnia, the little steam engines pulled trains of logs and passengers along track that sometimes ran beside the rutted road on which we were driving.  There was a lot of construction on that road … Continue reading Sargan 8, A railroad climbs a mountain in Serbia