Storyteller profiles for May 2018: Seven stories from seven decades.

Profiles written by Arctic Entries

Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson has been a lifelong Seward resident since 1933, the mother of four children and mother-in-law to four more. In that time, she operated a seafood processing plant with her kids, and is now involved in local politics and community affairs. Her Arctic Entries story is about growing up in Seward along the railroad tracks in a tarpaper shack.

 

Penny Fairbanks

Penny Fairbanks has lived in Alaska almost 50 years. She’s been a hairdresser in Anchorage for 38 years, the proud mother of dachshunds and yogi enthusiasts. She tells her Arctic Entries story in honor of her brother Tony Scales, who died in 1990.

 

Adil Raja

Adil Raja is a first-generation Pakistani American who loves to workout, play sports, and socialize. He’s always trying to plan the next vacation and is a strong believer in karma. Adil shared his story about how life in Alaska saved his family from economic ruin.

 

Mao Tosi

Born in American Samoa, Mao Tosi grew up playing basketball and football in Alaska. In 2000, he was taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals, where he led the defensive line tackles, as a rookie. After he was injured in his third season, he moved back to Alaska to raise his young family and begin working with at-risk youth in Anchorage. While Mao is fairly well known in Anchorage, most people don’t know about the circumstances that inspired him to become a youth advocate. Mao’s story for Arctic Entries is about how one person, a high school coach, made all the difference in his life with one kind gesture.

 

Paul Ongtooguk

Paul Ongtooguk is an Alaska Native who graduated from high school in Nome. He has been with the University of Alaska Anchorage for 17 years. He has a daughter who is an award-winning poet, three grandkids, and wonderful nephew and great nieces. Paul has lived in Nome, Kotzebue, Fairbanks, Sitka and Anchorage. He is a former photographer of Alaska fashion for public radio. Paul’s Arctic Entries story is about how the government relocated his family to Oklahoma. 

 

Carmel Walder

Carmel Walder was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, and has loved watching three generations of families grow here. A fortuneteller once revealed to her that she would someday have a story to tell, and someone would come find her to tell it.  Her story for Arctic Entries is about how she survived a difficult childhood in an alcoholic family, through the love and kindness of others.

 

Donna Walker

After a childhood spent in Alabama and then Hawaii, Donna Walker headed to Alaska in 1976, where she was the recreation director for the Glennallen construction camp during the building of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, after which she met and married Bill Walker when she moved to Valdez. Her interests include family dinners, ski trips, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Donna’s Arctic Entries story is about what it was like to work in a “man camp” during the pipeline era.