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.
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.