49 Voices: Carol Waldo of Haines

Carol Waldo of Haines (Photo by Daysha Eaton, KHNS – Haines)

This week we’re hearing from Carol Waldo in Haines. Waldo owns Glacier Bay Farms, which is set to become one of the first pot businesses in the city. 70 years ago she left Iowa with her family, and drove up the Alaska Highway.

Listen now

WALDO: I never really asked my parents, for sure, why they came to Alaska because it was a long ways from home. My dad was in the Navy, and when he came back from the war in November of 1945, I think he had seen some of the world and I think after the war, there just wasn’t any jobs and he heard there were jobs in Alaska. My mom worked all during the war and my grandmother took care of us, and my mom saved her salary. So we had enough money to live for over a year without my dad doing anything.

There were three of us when we came to Alaska: my older brother and my younger brother and myself. In the years to follow there were three more children born. And, you have to remember, that was the time of polio — and there was no polio vaccine. A lot of kids were coming down with polio. And I think they thought living in a smaller community, kind of isolated like Haines, there was a healthier environment for the kids.

But the road was terrible, and there were very few places to stay. And most of them weren’t very clean. So they bought a tent and sleeping bags and we camped out. They cooked their own food because a lot of those roadhouse were… they had bed bugs and fleas and you name it.

Arriving in Haines was kind of a cultural shock because the town… there was only about 300 people.

I never heard my parents complain about it. I never heard them say it was a tough trip. They just, I don’t know. They survived the Depression and the war. I guess they thought we were on vacation. I don’t know.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.
Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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