I was born in Ft. Pierce, Florida, moved to Alaska in 1953, graduated from Anchorage High School and earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. I played alto saxophone in the Anchorage High School band, as well as ice hockey through high school and as a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks before moving on to USF. Incidentally, I completed the seventeen credits I needed to graduate from USF in the Spring of 2011, 48 years late and earning a 4.0 gpa for the semester!
I have been a member of the Anchorage City Council and Anchorage Borough Assembly before unification, twice a board member of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, State of Alaska, and twice its Chairman. I have been on many boards, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Alaska, Anchorage Opera, Anchorage Repertory Theatre, Anchorage Mental Health Association and Boys Scouts of America, Western Alaska Council. I am an active Rotarian and past president of Anchorage Downtown Rotary.
My interests are climbing, running, skiing, scuba diving, reading, writing, traveling and opera. I have climbed six of the seven highest mountains on each of the continents and made three attempts on the seventh, Mt. Everest, reaching 27,500 ft. at age 50. I have also run fifteen marathons, including the original run from Marathon to Athens.
I have a son, Michael, a daughter, Michele, and seven grandchildren by my first wife. My present wife and I will celebrate our 26th anniversary in September 2012.
The most exciting thing I ever did was mountain climbing. A forty-six year old Spenard bar owner that had smoked for fifteen years and never climbed anything but a bar stool was not exactly a prime candidate for challenging some of the world’s most famous peaks.
But in 1993, at age fifty, I had managed to summit the highest peak on six of the seven continents.
We were sitting at anchor in a small cove on the coast of Kalgan Island waiting for the storm to break and listening to the radio. Somehow, Terry had managed to get a hold of one of the Dobenspeck Cannery secret maps.
We were independent fishermen, meaning that we were beholding to no cannery, could sell to whomever we pleased, but as a consequence, not entitled to one of those maps.
Old-timers can remember when the peanuts were free at Chilkoot Charlie’s. Right about that time, some oil companies paid the state of Alaska $900 million for leases on the North Slope and the rush was on.
But, as the establishment’s notoriety spread and business grew, it also become a world class hangout for mice.