Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Warren and Dorcas Neakok, Part 1
Warren and Dorcas Neakok

Warren and Dorcas Neakok were interviewed on January 5, 1980 by Ron Metzner for a project related to potential oil development of the Alaskan continental shelf. There is no location given for where the interview took place, but based on some of the comments made during the interview it sounds like it was not done at the Neakok's home in Point Lay, Alaska. Therefore, because the other interviews for this project were done in Barrow, Alaska, the assumption is that this one was also done there. Other interviews for this project appear in the Historical References to Ice Conditions Along the Beaufort Sea Coast of Alaska (Scientific Report, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1979), however the Neakok's interview was not included in the publication. In this first part of a two part interview, Dorcas is the main narrator and she talks about growing up in a reindeer herding family, sea ice conditions around Point Lay, Cape Lisburne and Icy Cape, the effect of wind and current on the sea ice and the lagoon ice, ice pileups, and ice movement causing flooding. She also talks about feeling the 1964 Alaska Earthquake in Point Lay and seeing the ice crack up because of it.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 97-64-13_PT.2

Project: Sea Ice Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Jan 5, 1980
Narrator(s): Dorcas Neakok, Warren Neakok
Interviewer(s): Ronald Metzner
Transcriber: Karen Brewster
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Traveling as a child

Growing up in Point Lay and Point Hope and her father being a reindeer herder

Ice movement at Cape Lisburne and Cape Beaufort, and large ice pile up event

Effect of wind and current on ice movement

Leads opening in the ice in winter and effect of current

Effect of north wind pushing ice away from shore, good and bad winds

Ice push up on barrier islands

Ice conditions from Kuutchiaq to Cape Beaufort

Ice break up at Point Lay during 1964 Earthquake

Ice scraping on barrier islands and lifting, and shifting of ice inside the lagoon at Point Lay

High water and flooding on top of the ice, and death of a snowmachine rider

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Transcript

RON METZNER: This is Dorcas Neakok and this is January 5th, 1980. Okay. And we're talking about the Point Lay map.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I -- I -- Only thing I know this one. Down to Beaufort

RON METZNER: Cape Beaufort

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. Cause I been running it to Barrow with snowmachine and down this side to Point Hope to Kiana way. Kotzebue way with dogteam.

That's why when they make -- I know the names anyway. Every stop they got a little names. That's where my Daddy is -- little house right here.

RON METZNER: Near Cape Beaufort?

WARREN NEAKOK: That's the time she climb over the hills and find me as a young boy for her boyfriend.

Ah, hah. I see.

From Kiana. Climb over the mountains. RON METZNER: Oh really.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's in 1930.

RON METZNER: 1930? You climbed the mountains?

DORCAS NEAKOK: No way! Shoot. I go over from Kiana. You know, Kiana? It's back of Kotzebue. Selawik.

RON METZNER: Okay. Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And Buckland. Noorvik.

RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I go through those and stay there every year. And then from there we start home. I don't know.

I didn't know how to find a home. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then we travel from there, you know. On the coast with my Daddy and Mama and my sisters, they small.

We travelled around going home. My daddy he a reindeer herder.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Who was your Daddy?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Tingook.

RON METZNER: Tiuk.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Tingook. RON METZNER: Tingook.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's my broth -- I only have one brother now living. John Tingook in Point Hope, now.

RON METZNER: I see. DORCAS NEAKOK: He's a whaling --

RON METZNER: Captain?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Captain. He got one whale this spring, too. That's why we go to Point Hope this spring. June. I couldn't believe it. It was his third whale.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. In -- in -- this year? Or --

DORCAS NEAKOK: No. Since he started to be a captain, you know.

RON METZNER: I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Since he start to be a captain. How many years he's been a captain? I have to ask. Maybe.

How long John been a captain whale? Honey. Five, seven years. Maybe seven year -- seven or ten years.

RON METZNER: Okay, okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Anyway. But seven or ten years -- I couldn't keep track. Anyway, he's my brother. He kill a whale. I didn't believe it that he kill a whale. I didn't go. I didn't go Nalukataq. First whale.

RON METZNER: That's good.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Second whale I didn't go. Some years after, you know.

RON METZNER: But this year you went?

DORCAS NEAKOK: But this spring, June, I go. It's his third whale, how many years they apart?

RON METZNER: Two years maybe?

Okay. When were -- when were you -- Where were you born and when were you born?

DORCAS NEAKOK: I was born between Point Lay and Point Hope.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Your family was traveling then or you lived there?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Once they take me to Point Lay and then it was 1930. And from then on I was 12 years old -- 11 years old. Yeah.

RON METZNER: From 11 years on you lived at Point Lay?

DORCAS NEAKOK: To Point Lay. This 1930 -- 31, something like that.

RON METZNER: You were born in 1919?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, and from then on -- from Cape Beaufort when we start to travel on the flat when I tell Mama and Daddy I don't want to go flat area.

I like my mountains.

RON METZNER: So you grew up around Cape Beaufort? Or between Point Hope -- DORCAS NEAKOK: Reindeer herders. RON METZNER: Reindeer herders. DORCAS NEAKOK: At Point Hope.

You know, reindeer herders. My daddy was a reindeer chief. You know, just like superintendent, something like that.

RON METZNER: Yeah, boss. DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I follow my dad. He walk over these mountains.

RON METZNER: Down to -- down to -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Before I go to Point Lay, anyway. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Before 1930. I follow my daddy walking up here.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. You went down to --

DORCAS NEAKOK: When I get tired, I go to sleep. RON METZNER: I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I see Mama's house over there and I go to sleep. Springtime. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: They know where I am.

RON METZNER: Yeah. DORCAS NEAKOK: They just look at me. "She's just sleeping." When I wake up, I go.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Yeah. It didn't rain, I guess, huh? Sunshine.

DORCAS NEAKOK: They never worry about me.

RON METZNER: That's good. Were you the oldest?

DORCAS NEAKOK: I'm the oldest one. My -- I'm the one. Dorcas, Mary, Rose, Irma, John, Grace.

How did Mama have this much?

RON METZNER: Seven?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. And I have ten.

RON METZNER: You have ten? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Wow, that's a lot. Okay.

Let's do ice questions, okay? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, yeah.

RON METZNER: We're interested in the ice movements you've seen. And the year that you saw them, their location, the time of year they happened, how big they were, and the weather when it happened.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

Did you ever see ice pushed up on the beach forming large piles?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Where?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Point Lay.

RON METZNER: Where? What happened? Can you remember?

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's a April.

RON METZNER: April, uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I see it about '60s.

RON METZNER: In the '60s? What happened? Do you remember? How did -- what was -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind break the ice. No, Point Hope --

RON METZNER: Yeah. DORCAS NEAKOK: Break up the ice and then Point Hope area ice go around and then hit around this.

RON METZNER: Can you show me on the map?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. Around this. You know, Point Hope is down here. This is Cape Lisburne.

RON METZNER: Cape Lisburne. There's Point Hope, there.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. Point Hope's down there. Yeah. Point Hope ice hit this one and then it go around and it hit this area.

You know, it make -- hit this one and a quick and then hit it back around here. Anyway, this area.

RON METZNER: Up -- Okay, so what --

DORCAS NEAKOK: So it made a big round circle. The ice is full of ice. It's a April.

RON METZNER: Okay, in April you've got a south wind?

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind.

RON METZNER: Which is -- which is raising the water level. DORCAS NEAKOK: All the way the coast.

RON METZNER: Raising all the water and the ice is -- is rotating in -- in this --

DORCAS NEAKOK: The way I think about.

RON METZNER: Okay. And it kind of rotates in and comes in against Cape Beaufort and --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Point Lay. Really here.

RON METZNER: Really comes in at Point Lay?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. Some of the ice go over the --

RON METZNER: Go over the islands?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Go over the islands. RON METZNER: Into the lagoon?

DORCAS NEAKOK: To the lagoon. No -- how many feet? Eight feet, ten feet, twelve feet ice.

RON METZNER: High? That high?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yes.

RON METZNER: Now was this -- was this first year ice or polar ice? DORCAS NEAKOK: This is April. RON METZNER: Okay, so --

DORCAS NEAKOK: All winter house.

RON METZNER: All winter ice?

DORCAS NEAKOK: All -- all winter ice.

RON METZNER: So, maybe seven? WARREN NEAKOK : Like twenty-four feet or so.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Twelve feet. I know at least one of them is twelve feet.

RON METZNER: Okay. Okay. What about the last pile up?

WARREN NEAKOK: That was way back in early year of '60.

RON METZNER: Early '60s.

WARREN NEAKOK: Part of about the 40 -- 40. Almost about a hundred feet. Pretty close to it.

Right in Mama's house, you know.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, that's what I was talking about. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, that's the worst part.

RON METZNER: Where was -- where was -- where was your -- where was that house? Is that in the old village here? DORCAS NEAKOK: Old village.

RON METZNER: At Qali? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay, and it piled on the beach?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Piled up in the beach.

RON METZNER: And it was higer than -- than that house?

DORCAS NEAKOK: No, Mama's house down there. You see the --

WARREN NEAKOK: Hey Ron, if I could find that picture, if I get back home, I could send you that in. That a -- I took a picture of -- good picture of it. Like the highest ice piling right in front of my mama's house.

My mama's house is down below and that iceberg there right in the beach. RON METZNER: Wow.

WARREN NEAKOK: And it almost fell right over that.

RON METZNER: I see. I see. How -- how -- Let me think. How -- what kind of house is your mother's house? Is it a one-story? Two-story?

DORCAS NEAKOK: One. RON METZNER: One-story house.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Iglu.

WARREN NEAKOK: Iglu. With a sod house.

RON METZNER: Sod house? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: The lumber inside of it. That was a sod house. I got a picture of it. RON METZNER: Okay.

WARREN NEAKOK: If you want it, if I get home, I could send it to you. Make it and write, or something like that, you know.

RON METZNER: Okay, yeah, that would be good.

WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah, I would like to see that. I sure like that picture. But I was taking it with a polaroid, you know.

RON METZNER: Oh, it's a polaroid picture? WARREN NEAKOK: Black and white, yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Mama's house. His home.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Okay. Yeah, I'd like to see that picture.

WARREN NEAKOK: I still have it. I've seen it not too long ago, when I look over my pictures. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: What I was taking before.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I don't know.

RON METZNER: We want to be careful not to lose it though. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I don't know. We lose our house in the fire.

RON METZNER: You lost your house in a fire?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Oh. that's a shame. DORCAS NEAKOK: Really --

RON METZNER: Was it in the old village at here or was it in the new village? DORCAS NEAKOK: At DEW-line. RON METZNER: Near DEW-line.

WARREN NEAKOK: It's still down there, mom. It's still down there. Yeah. But last month ago, I look over those pictures.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That plastic bag. WARREN NEAKOK: It's still down there. Black and white, yeah.

RON METZNER: Okay, was it just a south wind? That -- that moved the ice? DORCAS NEAKOK: It just a south wind.

RON METZNER: A strong? How many days before it was -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Well, you know, before south wind hit. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: When the west -- we know, in Kotzebue send a weather forecast, that Aleutian have a strong safe wind. And then we listen to it over radio and we know what's coming.

RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: You know that high real pressure out in the ocean water. You know, that's pushed everything all up.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: Before the --

WARREN NEAKOK: It hit the beach. Right at -- RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Even before the wind catch with a water, current. RON METZNER: Uh huh. Yeah,

DORCAS NEAKOK: That current hit first.

RON METZNER: The current first. Hm mm.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And that wind. RON METZNER: Before the wind. DORCAS NEAKOK: Start coming.

RON METZNER: I see. I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: In Point Lay. RON METZNER: So there was --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause we got a -- we got a high ridges here. Between Kotzebue and Nome we got a -- these ridges.

RON METZNER: Mountains?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: The mountains between -- ? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. That goes to Cape -- RON METZNER: Lisburne. DORCAS NEAKOK: -- Thompson and Cape Lisburne. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That goes up to Barter Island, you know.

RON METZNER: Okay. The mountain chain? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. I mean, we got that mountains.

RON METZNER: Yeah. DORCAS NEAKOK: And we live in Point Lay.

RON METZNER: Yeah. DORCAS NEAKOK: Close to the mountains.

And before the wind hit us, this wind go over the mountains and hit Barrow first. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then when it come -- kind of calm down, then it goes to us. To Point Lay.

You know, we know it by the current. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

WARREN NEAKOK: Ron, hot coffee?

RON METZNER: Uh, sure, thanks. WARREN NEAKOK: More hot?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Before the wind hit us in Point Lay.

RON METZNER: You see the currents?

DORCAS NEAKOK: We see the ocean. RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: Current. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Then we know that wind'll be coming.

RON METZNER: Okay. Do you ever see large leads open in mid-winter? Big leads. Or leads open in the wintertime?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Oh yeah.

RON METZNER: When? What happens? What makes the leads open?

DORCAS NEAKOK: East. Mostly in Point Lay. East. RON METZNER: East wind?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause south wind, you know, south wind. And then east wind. We are in the bay.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. So a south wind -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind coming and mostly before we -- before south wind coming we always have east. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Even Barrow have south wind. We are --

WARREN NEAKOK: You know, by the time I -- we talk about that -- when the ice -- what I was saying about three feet thick of ice.

RON METZNER: Yeah. WARREN NEAKOK: That goes in.

If that's slushy ice didn't come in, I think we all could be washed out alright.

RON METZNER: Now, when was that?

WARREN NEAKOK: Oh, way back in '30. '36. RON METZNER: That's a different time? WARREN NEAKOK: '37

RON METZNER: '36? WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay. Uh. WARREN NEAKOK: Yeah. Lydia, nauva, auntie's mail. No. Auntie's mail. DORCAS NEAKOK: Thank you.

RON METZNER: Okay, we'll remember to talk about that '36 thing.

So you're saying that you get a south -- a south wind first, and then an east wind that makes the leads?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Before we know the south wind, the current come in first.

RON METZNER: Which way does the current come, when it comes first? From --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Like south wind, the water, like south wind.

RON METZNER: Can you show me on the map, which way would the current go?

DORCAS NEAKOK: They really go this way.

RON METZNER: Okay, runs up the coast. DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Towards Barrow. Current first, and then the wind?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay. Then when did the lead -- when does the lead open?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That -- anytime.

Now we don't have no open area now. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause we don't -- the whole east is -- but when it hit, wintertime you know, really hit. When it go around this ice, this --

RON METZNER: Really hit the beach?

DORCAS NEAKOK: And hit the beach, and then go on and hit us. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Or hit us, if it didn't hit. Try to hit first this one.

RON METZNER: Cape Beaufort, right? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: And then hit -- DORCAS NEAKOK: Cape -- Cape Lisburne. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then Point Hope. Hit -- hit this one first and go around this one. RON METZNER: Cape Beaufort?

DORCAS NEAKOK: And really hit this.

RON METZNER: And then Point Lay? Okay. Okay.

What happens with north -- northeast winds when the wind's blowing like this?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's the bad one.

RON METZNER: What does that do?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Bad wind.

RON METZNER: What -- why is it a bad wind? Why is it a bad wind?

DORCAS NEAKOK: We like to hunt ugruk's springtime. Lydia, go to mama! I'm working.

RON METZNER: And -- and what -- what -- you like to hunt ugruk in springtime? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: This -- I don't like that wind.

RON METZNER: Why? What does it do?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Take me out.

RON METZNER: It takes the ice -- Okay, so a wind from the northeast moves the ice off? Or it might take you out?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Take me out, yeah. Him and I, you know.

RON METZNER: So, what kind of wind do you like for hunting ugruk in spring?

DORCAS NEAKOK: West.

RON METZNER: Oh, west wind is good. I see. DORCAS NEAKOK: Uh huh.

RON METZNER: South wind is bad because it breaks --

DORCAS NEAKOK: It take me out, too.

RON METZNER: North, maybe?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Not too much. Icy Cape. It's okay up to Icy Cape. It too close at Icy Cape. RON METZNER: Uh huh. It's close? DORCAS NEAKOK: After that we go --

RON METZNER: Too far north? Okay, let's see --

Did you ever see ice pushed up on top of the islands?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Islands?

RON METZNER: Yeah, up on top?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. Utukok was -- RON METZNER: Utukok? Here --

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's the -- after it hit Point Lay and then go around and hit Utukok.

RON METZNER: It hits at Utukok? Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Over these little islands.

RON METZNER: Uh huh, the -- the islands. DORCAS NEAKOK: Go over to lagoon side.

RON METZNER: Just -- just south of Utukok?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Mouth of the river?

Those islands, the ice sometimes goes over the top? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Of those islands? DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause I've seen them. RON METZNER: You've seen it? When did you see it, do you remember?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Sometimes we don't -- it didn't hit us sometime.

RON METZNER: Sometimes it doesn't push at Point Lay?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, it doesn't hit us.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: But when it make round long trip, it then --

RON METZNER: But it hits near Utukok?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Utukok.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: It's a -- Icy Cape and Utukok that's where it hits most of the time.

RON METZNER: Okay, so you see piles of --

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's why -- that's why this islands is broken up.

RON METZNER: From ice hitting?

DORCAS NEAKOK: From ice hitting.

RON METZNER: So, you see ice piling at Icy Cape and just on the islands just south of Utukok?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: And sometimes at Point Lay or Qali? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: And sometimes at Cape Beaufort? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Kuutchiaq (Kuchiak). RON METZNER: Here? Any time you see ice hitting in the -- ? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay, so you'd --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Mostly this is smooth traveling.

RON METZNER: Smooth traveling from -- from this place --

DORCAS NEAKOK: November ice. Smooth traveling.

RON METZNER: November ice is smooth traveling. DORCAS NEAKOK: This is a --

RON METZNER: From -- from Kuutchiaq to Cape Lisburne or to Cape Beaufort? DORCAS NEAKOK: Cape Beaufort.

RON METZNER: From Kuutchiaq to Cape Beaufort it's pretty smooth?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Just hits first. Hit it and then hit us. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Hit Utukok.

RON METZNER: Okay. Okay, so you think of it as sort of hitting and bouncing in a spiral and -- Or hitting --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Maybe it's not -- maybe really not go around but might be like this. When the ice has no room to push around.

RON METZNER: To move around? DORCAS NEAKOK: It's like elbows, you know.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. It's pushed elbows -- DORCAS NEAKOK: Push anyway. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It would be like this.

RON METZNER: It's bowed, so maybe a piece comes over here? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. But --

RON METZNER: Cause there's no room.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Point Lay is the one that pile up high. One time. It's cause -- Two stories.

RON METZNER: Two stories high.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's too small.

RON METZNER: It's higher than two stories, you think? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. It's more than that. Way up.

RON METZNER: Way up. That was in the '60s, early '60s? That one? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Point Lay. Is that the one you talked about earlier?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's the one he talk about. RON METZNER: He talked about it. He has a picture of it? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Little ones they come in. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Lower than that.

RON METZNER: Okay, okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: When Anchorage have a earthquake, that's time it break up, too.

RON METZNER: What happened then? That was '64.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's the time. You know.

RON METZNER: Easter. DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METNER: In '64. April. DORCAS NEAKOK: Was driving --

RON METZNER: Yeah. Was that -- was that the year that you -- DORCAS NEAKOK: No, no. RON METZNER: No, different year? Okay.

But you had a pile that year? DORCAS NEAKOK: No. RON METZNER: No? Just broke up the ice?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Our ocean just like glass. Just like you shatter.

RON METZNER: Shattered it? The same day that the earthquake happened?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Same day, same hour.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. The -- all the ice --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Same only, few minutes after. RON METZNER: Uh huh. The ice all cracked? DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause Warren and I feel that earthquake in our home.

RON METZNER: Did you? Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: We did. We were going to church. Good Friday. RON METZNER: Uh huh. Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And we sit down and put our parkas ready to go out. Last minute, we have a hot tea, you know.

We look at each others hot tea because we're going to church right now. Our radio is on. Anchorage. Is all of a sudden, break up. Just like cut up.

RON METZNER: The ice -- ice. Oh, the radio stopped?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Radio stop. Anchorage station. RON METZNER: Uh huh. I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And Warren and I look at each other. We go like this. RON METZNER: And the house is shaking?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, bang! RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Our house bang. We got a big pole outside of us. RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: Radio pole. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: I thought -- I told him, "Maybe that radio pole." He got one back roof. RON METZNER: Oh, I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And he go out. He's still -- it's still standing.

But it was really bent. He run and I look back at each others like just -- with our cups. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And the radio stopped. RON METZNER: Uh huh. So you --

DORCAS NEAKOK: And he move it to Fairbanks.

RON METZNER: Who moved to Fairbanks?

DORCAS NEAKOK: The station.

RON METZNER: Oh, the station. He changed to listen to the Fairbanks station? DORCAS NEAKOK: Radio station. RON METZNER: Fairbanks station, okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And put Anchorage to Fairbanks station. We listen to it. He said Anchorage have earthquake right now. RON METZNER: Big earthquake.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And he didn't even turn the radio off, we go out, go to chur -- Maybe we didn't pray much? RON METZNER: Uh huh. Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Our children down in Wrangell. RON METZNER: Oh, uh huh. Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Wrangell and Edgecumbe. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: When the ice -- we go out, and we see the ice all broken up. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It's like glass.

RON METZNER: Like shattered. DORCAS NEAKOK: Shattered.

RON METZNER: I see. That's interesting.

DORCAS NEAKOK: It didn't pile up.

RON METZNER: It just -- it just all cracked, huh?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Just all crack up. Just don't know where to go, you know.

RON METZNER: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay, let's see. Um, what's next?

Did you ever see like barrier islands scraped -- scraped flat or anything by ice? Did you ever see it move the -- move the dirt? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Where was that?

DORCAS NEAKOK: These little islands. This at Point Lay. RON METZNER: Point Lay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: We got these little islands. Inside -- inside the lagoon.

RON METZNER: Little islands in the lagoon? Behind these -- these islands on the map? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, yeah.

They are scraped. RON METZNER: By -- by ice?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Like when moving, you know.

RON METZNER: When does -- when does -- when does the lagoon ice move?

DORCAS NEAKOK: November. September it freeze. RON METZNER: Yeah, okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: September is water low. RON METZNER: Yeah, okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then after it freeze, and then it water come up. RON METZNER: And it -- it's lifted by --

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then lift them up. RON METZNER: By the water coming under. DORCAS NEAKOK: And then it starts scraping.

RON METZNER: Move it. DORCAS NEAKOK: Wherever they go.

RON METZNER: I see. Okay. So you get -- what -- what makes the ice inside the lagoon lift?

DORCAS NEAKOK: South wind.

RON METZNER: South wind? DORCAS NEAKOK: It's the current.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. DORCAS NEAKOK: You know, these inlets.

RON METZNER: All along there, yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: They -- water come in, like anything. RON METZNER: Yeah, through the inlets.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Coming or go out. There's a tide. RON METZNER: Okay.

DORCAS NEAKOK: What you call them? It's a tide. RON METZNER: Yeah, right. Let's see, and --

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's where -- that's where spotted seals -- seals -- RON METZNER: Seals, yeah. Spotted seals.

DORCAS NEAKOK: This is a spotted seal area.

RON METZNER: All inside the lagoon? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Lots of spotted seals? Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's their home.

RON METZNER: They like that? Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Sure. Cause they know -- they got inlets to go out and go in. RON METZNER: Lots of inlets, right.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. But Utukok -- RON METZNER: Yeah, Utukok?

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's where we go hunt.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: And Kukpowruk Inlet. RON METZNER: Hm mm.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's where we get spotted seals. RON METZNER: I see, near Kukpowruk Inlet.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And Utukok. Mostly Utukok.

RON METZNER: I see. Okay. Mainly Utukok.

So it's mainly November when the ice moves in the lagoon because of -- because of the water coming in? It lifts it up?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Coming and go.

RON METZNER: Or coming and going? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, when the water coming, just break up the lagoon ice and scrape the islands.

RON METZNER: I see. The little islands inside these barrier islands. DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's why there is not much left. RON METZNER: Of those --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Maybe there'll be not much left later.

RON METZNER: On the little islands inside? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: The lagoon or our ground is washing out.

RON METZNER: I see. How -- how high does the water get in here? How high? When it overflows like that, or breaks up the ice, how -- DORCAS NEAKOK: Go over.

RON METZNER: Does it go over sometimes? Over the ice? Does it -- ?

DORCAS NEAKOK: You mean the water go over the -- this -- ?

RON METZNER: Yeah, how high does the water get inside there?

DORCAS NEAKOK: I wish I know how to measure it.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Was there -- I heard somebody got killed Thanksgiving a few years back. DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah.

RON METZNER: Who was that? What happen -- How did that happen?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause we were in Point Lay. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause that Ella. The whole village don't know the water coming. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Before -- before south wind.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. The water came before a south wind?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, that's what I was trying to tell you about. RON METZNER: Okay, so --

DORCAS NEAKOK: And then, it go over the water. RON METZNER: And it --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Go over the ice.

RON METZNER: And it flooded?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Flooded. And because we got a November ice like glass, too.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: And when water breaking, it look like ice, too. And she was driving --

RON METZNER: A snowmachine? DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. She just --

RON METZNER: Went in the water? DORCAS NEAKOK: Plugged in . RON METZNER: Under the water? DORCAS NEAKOK: No, just -- RON METZNER: Just, just --

DORCAS NEAKOK: There's ice in the main ice. And then water coming and we don't know it.

RON METZNER: Right.

DORCAS NEAKOK: The whole village don't know it. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And is a moonlight. And then she thought it was the same as the road, like -- RON METZNER: Ice?

DORCAS NEAKOK: -- ice. Glassy ice, you know. She just -- RON METZNER: Went into it. DORCAS NEAKOK: Follow the road and she just plug in. No. The water is too high then her snowmachine.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. It was higher than her. Than the snowmachine.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah. RON METZNER: And then -- then -- DORCAS NEAKOK: And I said that she just drowned.

WARREN NEAKOK: I don't trust a snowmachine out in the ocean. Young ice, you know. I like dogs better. They know. They know what's wrong.

RON METZNER: Right. WARREN NEAKOK: My lead dogs know where to go.

DORCAS NEAKOK: And we couldn't find her.

RON METZNER: Hm mm. You looked pretty hard. Everybody looked. DORCAS NEAKOK: Cause the road. The water. RON METZNER: Uh huh. DORCAS NEAKOK: Water. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Finally, water go out. RON METZNER: Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: All these -- to these -- through these -- RON METZNER: To the inlets?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Water go out and her snowmachine --

RON METZNER: Windshield.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Show up. That's the only time we find her. RON METZNER: I see.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Anyway, maybe she went forward or she tried to go backwards. RON METZNER: Uh huh.

DORCAS NEAKOK: She was by her snowmachine.

RON METZNER: She was by her snowmachine. I see. That's a shame.

DORCAS NEAKOK: That's what I was trying to tell you. I don't know how to explain that water hit us first.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. Before the wind. DORCAS NEAKOK: High tide.

RON METZNER: Comes first before the wind? Yeah.

DORCAS NEAKOK: Lots of time our boats go under the water. Overnight.

RON METZNER: Where do you keep your boats?

DORCAS NEAKOK: You know, we leave inside the river now.

RON METZNER: Uh huh. You live on the river?

DORCAS NEAKOK: Yeah, no matter how many feet we beach our boats. RON METZNER: Yeah. The water --

DORCAS NEAKOK: Sometimes high wind. We never know. Water come up and then get windy in the morning.