Bean’s Vigil Recounts Names of the Dead
Former executive director Jim Crockett among this year’s
ANCHORAGE - Every winter solstice at Bean’s Café, people gather for a candlelight vigil to remember those who have died.
Among the names are friends and family. Co-workers and volunteers. Some of them died this year, while other names date from years' past. It’s a list that grows with every reading.
But this year, one name on the list stood out to everyone in the room.
Jim Crockett, former executive director of Bean’s Café, a volunteer for over a decade, and a father figure to many gathered, was among the names remembered.
“All the memories come flooding back, because he is so well remembered,” Olson added. “He was so respected, and so everything he had done, comes [back].”
“He was a good person... I known him for quite a while,” said Patrick Cabinboy Analoak, Jr., a chronically homeless long-term patron of Bean’s.
“I watched him when they built this Bean's, here,” Analoak said, his eyes looking distant. “I’ve seen a lot people get hurt out there,” he said, reflecting on the normalcy of death for Anchorage’s homeless population. “People dying out there, freezing.”
“I found a couple friends, last year in the snowbank. It kinda hurts, ya know, when you find someone that you know very close.” Analoak said the vigil helps bring some dignity to those who are gone.
“I sure missed them all, because they're all my friends. We all grew up together, and stayed on the streets together, and come down here and eat” at Bean’s Café.
“I know all those people that passed away,” he said.
The volunteers at Bean’s have read a list of names for each year its been open -- a list of 758 names since 1988.
For the large family that makes up Bean’s Café, the annual vigil is a moment to remember those who have gone. And an opportunity to continue the work of those who have made Bean’s what it is.