An Alaskan Adventure

Front Cover
Trafford Publishing, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 161 pages

From the fall of 1962 to the spring of 1963, my husband, Ed, our five children and myself lived in an Eskimo village on the vast tundra land of Alaska. We were thousands of miles from our suburban home outside of Chicago, IL. Ed had accepted a job as the superintendent of the largest state operated school in Alaska. We were living in an Eskimo village, Bethel, so named by the Moravian missionaries who had established a church on the Kuskokwin River many years before. (The Kutskokwin River is the second largest river in Alaska, surpassed only by the mighty Yukon River) As for Bethel, it was over four hundred miles from Anchorage, Alaska, on the same line of longitude as Honolulu, Hawaii. By November, it could only be reached by airplane - weather permitting.

This is the story of our year in Alaska, living in a Quonset hut, situated next to the school. It is based on a daily journal I kept of our experiences there. We had left behind many conveniences such as an automatic washer, dryer and dish washer. Instead we had accepted a comparatively primitive way of life. I cooked on an oil-burning stove, which also served as a space heater for the front of the Quonset hut. Our water had to be delivered by truck. Our bathroom had a chemical toilet, called a "honey bucket," which needed to be emptied several times a week. Our accomodations were cramped compared to the split-level home we had left in Illinois. However, there were many compensations. We soon realized that we were surrounded by many kind and caring people. Although we led a simple life in our year in the Alaskan Eskimo village, the experience was an enriching one for the entire family. This is that story.


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About the author (2004)

Dolores Palata Vician was born in Chicago, Illinois. She lived in Portsmouth, Virginia, for six years during World War II. There she attended fifth grade through her junior year of high school before moving back to Chicago with her family. After completing high school, she attended Wright Junior College and Northern Illinois State Teacher's College. She graduated with a teacher's degree in elementary education in June of 1951. In August, 1951, she married Ed Vician, before beginning her first year of teaching in Park Forest, Illinois. After completing the school year, she joined her husband and moved with him to San Luis Obispo, CA, where he was stationed in the Army Signal Corp. Their oldest son, Glenn, was born in California in 1953. When Ed left the service, they moved back to Illinois where their family grew: Gary, born 1954; Gregory, born 1956; Gale, born 1958 and Gordon, born 1961. Traveling was always important to the Vicians. Therefore, the family spent time in all fifty states including a summer in Hawaii, and the year living in Alaska. In 1967, Dolores returned to teaching in Villa Park, Illinois, where she remained as a fifth grade teacher until her retirement from teaching in June of 1986. Dolores' hobbies include photography, sewing, reading as well as writing. Her first poem was written in fourth grade. She wrote many poems while in high school as well as college. Some were published in the college newspaper as well as the college literary pamphlet published each year. When Dolores and Ed are not spending time with their children and grandchildren, they continue to travel. They have enjoyed their visits to all the world's continents, enjoying the experiences ofdifferent cutures, cuisines and exotic cities.

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