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Ruth Sandvik

Ruth Sandvik: Interview Outline: Section 20

Ordering goods for the store including hardwood

Tape Reference Number: H2002-09-11
Ruth Blankenship-Sandvik talks with Bill Schneider and Eileen Devinney in Kiana, Alaska on February 28, 2002.

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Bill Schneider: This has been real informative. I think we've touched on a lot of important themes. One of the ways in which we're going to approach this, I think, is to have a list of themes -

Ruth Sandvik: Uh-hum.

Bill Schneider: -- so you can click on it and then hear the different people talking about it.

Ruth Sandvik: Uh-hum.

Bill Schneider: And I think some of the themes that have come out of your discussion is certainly the formation of --

Ruth Sandvik: Uh-hum.

Bill Schneider: -- the community here. A little bit on the -- on the store and how supplies came in. And a little bit on your mom and dad.

Ruth Sandvik: Uh-hum.

Bill Schneider: I think those are important things.

Ruth Sandvik: And you know, at that time, before he ever -- when my father ordered, you had to have the money in Seattle. You had to pay for the stuff before you ever -- before you ever got the goods. And sometimes you found that they dumped a bunch of stuff -- I mean dumped the stuff that you didn't order. It was pretty -- it was pretty iffy. It depends on who ordered from, of course, but I mean, they substituted things, maybe because of necessity, I don't know. But you pretty much had to take what you got. One -- one thing that we changed was hardwood. Hardwood -- for them to make sleds, the hardwood has to be a certain -- certain quality. And we weren't having good luck even after I was involved with quality hardwoods. So finally I said the only way we can, I said, we're just not going to carry it unless you, Rob, go out there and hand pick them. So -- so he has done that almost every year until he got sick. And...

Bill Schneider: You mean hand picked them in Seattle?

Ruth Sandvik: In Seattle. Uh-hum. Uh-hum. Which is the only way to do it. You -- we were -- I mean, if they send some that are too dry or too old, they are useless.

Bill Schneider: That's interesting.

Ruth Sandvik: And -- but now, of course, it's a different system. You -- we have bypass [mail] from Anchorage and we pay when -- when we get the goods. But in the olden days, you had to have the money out there beforehand.

Bill Schneider: Do you still buy hardwood for your store?

Ruth Sandvik: Well, I have two planks left. And I have a son-in-law who could, but I actually don't know that I really want too much -- I -- I really don't want to do this too much longer. I -- I would like not to -- not to do it at all.

Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Uh-hum.

Ruth Sandvik: They have gotten accustomed to getting it from here. People come up from Noorvik (map). Some people -- some people send for it up from Buckland and some of the other villages. Shipped it up to Red Dog when they have had people making -- I guess people just transport it back to Noatak to make sleds there. People from Shungnak come down to get it.

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