AK: Elders

May is Older Americans Month, so this week on AK we salute our Elders. We’ll speak with a woman who, in 1960, became Alaska’s first African-American teacher and meet seniors who say your golden years are when your life begins. Plus, “Where to Retire” magazine recently called Anchorage a retirement “tax heaven,” but is it really an all-around paradise?

All that and more this week on AK, heard statewide on local APRN stations statewide.

Retire Anchorage
Where To Retire magazine recently named Anchorage as one of America’s top “tax heavens.” But as AK host Rebecca Sheir finds out, after talking with geriatric nurse Brenda Brown, Medicare recipient Carolyn Smith and Senior Information Office director Judith Bendersky, the city – and Alaska as a whole – aren’t necessarily an all-around paradise for retirees.

  • Music Button: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” performed by Rockabye Baby! from Lullaby Renditions of the Beach Boys

Me, Retire?
A growing number of older workers are looking forward to retirement, but not so that they can take it easy. They plan to continue working post-retirement by starting their own businesses. AK’s Ellen Lockyer speaks with two such seniors: Laura Chase and Elise Patkotak.

  • Break: “Young At Heart” performed by David Reinhardt, Christian Escoudé & Jean-Baptiste Laya from 20 ans de Trio Gitan – Le nouveau Trio Gitan

Listen to the Elders: Ron Brower
In this selection from the ongoing “Listen to the Elders” series, Ron Brower looks back on the North Slope elders who taught him myths and legends. Ron Brower is an ivory carver and oil painter: he’s served on his native corporation board and as vice-president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. He’s currently on staff at the Alaska Native Language Center at UAF. Series produced by Phillip Blanchett for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.

25th Anniversary
Anchorage poet KP (a.k.a. Keith Liles) puts his spin on couples aging together.

Longtime Companions
It takes a heap of commitment to stay married for more than half a century. AK’s Scott Burton talks to Dr. William and Jean Rogers, a Juneau couple who will celebrate their 66th anniversary this year.

  • Calendar of Events (“When I Grow Too Old to Dream” performed by Nashville Mandolins from Play Their 100 Best)

300 Villages
Anaktuvuk Pass

Listen To the Elders: Ben Snowball
Ben Snowball, from Stebbins, is the founder and leader of the Kicapuk dancers. He’s also involved with the Native Youth Olympics. But his favorite role might be that of “grandfather.”

  • Break: “I’m Old Fashioned” performed by Doug Raney from Back In New York

Listen to the Elders: Marie Meade
Yupik Marie Meade is an author and educator who has taught her culture in elementary schools and universities. She says elders lived their spirituality every day; it was reflected in things like knowing how much to sleep, or how to prepare food.

Listen to the Elders: David Chanar
David Chanar, another founder of the Kicapuk dancers, is a musician from the Lower Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. He’s also a linguist helping to translate Yupik languages. He says his elders taught him to have respect – by showing it.

Betty McDonald
AK’s Rebecca Sheir speaks with retired educator Betty McDonald, who arrived in Alaska in 1960 and became one of the first African-American teachers in Anchorage.

Just Playin’ Jazz
A bunch of Matanuska Valley middle and high school musicians are trading hip hop for the big brass sound of the 1940s jazz era. AK’s Ellen Lockyer speaks with band leader Hank Hartman, and with a half dozen teen musicians who are hitching their hopes to a musical future.

  • Closing: “You Make Me Feel So Young” performed by Oscar Peterson Trio from A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra (Remastered)