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Dick Branton, Part 2

Dick Branton continues and concludes his interview with Bill Schneider and Karen Brewster on June 11, 2009 at his home in Wasilla, Alaska.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2006-15-16_PT.2

Project: Alaska Mental Health Trust History
Date of Interview: Jun 11, 2009
Narrator(s): Dick Branton
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Karen Brewster
People Present: Alice Branton
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Alternate Transcripts
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Section 1: Costs of providing mental health care and the state's idea of charging families for it.

Section 2: Patient anxiety about leaving Morningside Hospital, and development of community mental health centers as providers of local mental health services.

Section 3: Beginnings of the Mental Health Trust and the land selection process.

Section 4: Management and mis-management of the mental health trust lands and revenue by the State of Alaska.

Section 5: Land selection issues related to the mental health trust, and legislative action taken to remedy the land and funds issues.

Section 6: Appropriation of the mental health trust and university lands by the State of Alaska in exchange for an annual appropriation, and the legislation and actions that led to the mental health trust lawsuit.

Section 7: Legality of the State's land appropriation, the lawsuit settlement, and issues related to funding of programs.

Section 8: Procedures followed for committing large groups of people to Morningside for criminal or mental health reasons, and an explanation of the phrase, “He's missed too many boats.”

Section 9: The transfer of patients after the closure of Morningside Hospital, and conflicts over the building of a state hospital in Salem, Oregon.

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Section 1: DICK BRANTON: And so one of the ‑‑ one of the issues was -- that people that were mentally ill and those people that were developmentally disabled passed ‑‑ got a law passed that they, their estate, or whether it was financially responsible, could be charged up to $50 a month for the state care that was happening.

And that was a ‑‑ with Harborview people, when we got ready to move them back, that was, like, wow, you know, yeah, we can ‑‑ you can leave your child in Harborview if you want to, I mean, in Baby Haven Acres, or whatever, but the state's going to charge you $50 a month. And you know, way back then, that was a fair piece of change, it wasn't a lot of money.

To the best of my knowledge, we didn't charge very many people. There were a few that we did. And the same thing was true if you had a family member who ‑‑ who was just a nuisance, you know, but didn't really need to be hospitalized, I mean, put them ‑‑ got them in the API, or had ‑‑ had been in Harborview and all and didn't want to play the game of getting them back to the South ‑‑ from the South 48 and all, we could charge you for it.

And that was a real incentive in terms of bringing people back from the Outside was the idea that we could charge them for the care. And although there were very few cases that we ever really pursued that, I can remember a couple of very affluent families that were, I think, abusing the mental health system, and so we said, hey, you know, we're going to collect this money.

And then when we had an ongoing record at API, used to keep a running tally of the costs that were involved for patients. And the legislature got very interested in that, of the tens of millions of dollars worth of hospital care costs that we had, but money ‑‑ money was always an issue about, you know, trying to operate the hospital and who got mental ill healthcare.

Let's say, the private ‑‑ especially the mental healthcare program, the private sector would provide care for the mentally ill until they ran out of money and their insurance company. Most healthcare insurances, until recent years, didn't cover mental illness, so ‑‑ so we'd end up with the poor and the otherwise untreated.

BILL SCHNEIDER: You mentioned that some people didn't want to return from Morningside. DICK BRANTON: Yes. And ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: What was the story there?

DICK BRANTON: Well, they had been there, that was their home, they had lived there for years. And you know, they were ‑‑ they were people ‑‑ remember, Morningside was a privately operated facility, and it's like today, the ‑‑ I don't want to get involved in that, but you know, these prison beds for hire, owned by private facilities, they are always interested in a ‑‑ the highest class of prisoner they can get, those that require the least amount of ‑‑ of care and all.

Well, you know, you had people who were doing well on their meds and about all you had to do was make sure they took their meds every day, and were residents of Harborview, and these people, you know, they just got up in the morning and read the newspaper, and I guess later probably had early TV and those kinds of things, and they ‑‑ they were excluded from society because they were, quote, crazy, and they had a pretty good life, and Harborview was getting paid, and ‑‑ and they were providing minimal, quote, hospital care, they were providing basically three hots and a cot for these people.

So Harborview liked these people because they were nice patients to take care of and these people liked Harborview because they had a good life down there. KAREN BREWSTER: Well, you mean Morningside? DICK BRANTON: Or Morningside. Yeah, Morningside. Excuse me. Yeah. So they weren't too anxious to leave, that's where they'd been and it was I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine. I'll be a good patient and you'll get paid.

Section 2: BILL SCHNEIDER: Yeah, I don't want to put words in your mouth but were there sources of anxiety on their part about leaving Morningside? DICK BRANTON: Oh, yeah. You know, there's bound to be. You know, if ‑‑ if you are in a treatment program and ‑‑ and you've been determined to be mentally ill, and the chronic mental illness, depression or whatever, and so all of a sudden your world's going to be turned upside down, you're going to ‑‑ you know, maybe these people didn't even remember what Alaska was like, and ‑‑ or maybe they came out of one of the villages.

You know, they ‑‑ they had lots of anxiety about coming back. And of course, they ‑‑ in many ways, they had to go through a re‑hospitalization process because they came back and they ‑‑ we went through all their medical records and why ‑‑ why was this treatment plan being followed, and is this the treatment plan they should have, and do they still need a treatment plan like this, so ‑‑ so they went through really an extensive readmission process.

And then as the community mental health centers began to develop, these people were coming back and being screened out of API and then being returned back to their communities for the community mental health center programs to pick up the slack.

And that ‑‑ that program has been in many ways successful. It's a two‑sided sword, in that some of the community mental health center programs, and they ‑‑ they were grant funded by the state, and the state, of course, received federal money, so between the state and the federal money, the community mental health center programs, you know, had their grant funding, and ‑‑ and it wasn't ‑‑ it was employment for the community, so there was an incentive there to have an operation.

And again, they liked to patient shop. So every now and then you have to go through the community mental health center programs and make sure that there aren't very needy patients who are not receiving care in the community, and patients that really are not in need of a high level of care that are getting a very high level of care because they are nice patients to handle and they are easy to deal with.

So there's a tendency to pick and choose who the patients are. And those that are really needy that don't get care and treated in mental health centers, the community health centers just run them right through right quick and say, oh, this is beyond our capacity and then send them to API.

BILL SCHNEIDER: How did that program get started, community mental health program? DICK BRANTON: It was a federal ‑‑ federal mandated program. BILL SCHNEIDER: Were there people here in Alaska that were pushing for that?

DICK BRANTON: Yeah. There was federal money to provide care for the mentally ill. And ‑‑ and that was about the same time as the concept of mainlining or mainstreaming the developmentally disabled, get them out of the institutions, get them in the residential programs in the community.

And you know that, the '80s was the period of closing down the institutions and getting these people back into the community, whether they were developmentally disabled or whether they were mentally ill.

And there's been, you know, arguable failures and successes with that program. I'd say there are people who probably need care in the communities that aren't getting care because the community mental health centers are, for one reason or another, not addressing that.

There's not community mental health centers in every community, so you know, we do have a huge untreated population in the villages. That's ‑‑ you know, some people say that we should be doing something about that, and I'm more inclined to say that there are certain sacrifices that you have to make if you're going to live in the village. You can't ‑‑ you can't have the village life and have all the things of metropolitan living. I ‑‑

BILL SCHNEIDER: There were considerable efforts made by people like John Malone to develop services in places like Bethel. DICK BRANTON: Uh‑hum. BILL SCHNEIDER: When you think of Anchorage and Fairbanks, who were some of the people you think about who worked towards getting local services for people?

DICK BRANTON: Well, the ‑‑ there were basically a lot of psychologists that not ‑‑ there was not as much push from the locally functioning psychiatrists that were in private practice, but clinical psychologists, and there seemed to be, you know, a lot of them that were looking for employment. And they saw that as a way to, you know, have a clientele if they could provide care for them.

In terms of names, I can't really give you a lot of names, but remember that the state established the first community mental health centers, and they ‑‑ and then we had the federal money and the state money and started putting the community mental health centers together, and then eventually we began to ‑‑ to give grants to the municipalities and the state withdrew.

So those people that were employed at the state community mental health centers were ‑‑ either became municipal employees or contracted employees. One of the last major community mental health centers to be operated by the state was the one in Juneau, and the medical oversight of that came out of the Central Office, and they were staffed by clinical psychologists.

But the last ‑‑ the last one that I remember, or two of them, one was Joe Adelmeyer, and the other one was Ramona Green. Ramona Green is still alive, I don't know whether Joe is or not. Last I heard is Joe was in, boy, Montana ‑‑ no, I can't tell you. BILL SCHNEIDER: That's okay. DICK BRANTON: Yeah.

Section 3: BILL SCHNEIDER: Well, let's talk about what happened with the Mental Health Trust lands. DICK BRANTON: Okay. Well, recall that I ‑‑ I said that the Federal Government wanted the Territory of Alaska to begin to provide services, so there was a ‑‑ this offer to give you ‑‑ give the Mental Health Authority a million acres of land to be chosen. And so we got right with that.

And there were a lot of people involved because, you know, this was federal ‑‑ federal land that was going to become territorial land. And under the ‑‑ as an example, under the ‑‑ whatever the act is that provides for state operated universities, agricultural universities, and every ‑‑ I believe it's every 16th and every 32nd ‑‑

KAREN BREWSTER: Section. DICK BRANTON: ‑‑ section, I think, of each township is automatically designated as university land. So what they call land grant colleges, you know. And University of Alaska is one of those. BILL SCHNEIDER: Right.

DICK BRANTON: And so that was ‑‑ one of the landowners was the University of Alaska because it was founded under, you know, the land grant program and the mental health program. So the land was selected by sort of willy‑nilly, but with thought being given to known or suspected mineral resources or the continuing development of communities, the outskirts of Anchorage, Fairbanks, this type of thing.

And so the University of Alaska, I don't know how they selected their land, I really don't, but they had done theirs. And the mental health people got right on that. And we were selecting our land and saying, oh, this is selected, and once it was selected, then we ‑‑ there was a legal description and it was filed with the state,

and the ‑‑ and then we had to petition to the Federal Government, we've selected this much land, and they would say, okay, here it is, and in fact, because I knew you'd be here, I went out and I looked through my files, and I have a map here, one of the early maps of the ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: Selections? DICK BRANTON: ‑‑ selections of the mental health lands. And we can lay this out here so you can see it.

So in any ‑‑ anywhere there were mental health lands, it's marked. So you can see here's quite a concentration around Anchorage, down in Kenai Peninsula, in the areas up around Fairbanks, and the coal development here in southeast, you know, down through here.

And the deal was, then, that the land would be selected, and as I said earlier, when we selected the land, we then filed and received the deed for it.

Section 4: So at Statehood and shortly thereafter, both the University of Alaska and the Mental Health Agency had clear title to quite a lot of land, a million acres. We didn't ‑‑ I think we had about somewhere around 90 percent of our mental health land had been selected by that time. I don't know how much of the university land had been selected.

But the mental health land, the way in which it was deeded into a trust, and it was deeded into a mental health trust, and that trust was to be managed by the agency, and mental health didn't have any capacity to do that.

And so at Statehood ‑‑ and this was all kind of happening at Statehood. At Statehood, the Department of Natural Resources was the one that managed the land. So although they were involved in some of the selection process and all, the long and the short of it was once the land was selected, they were the managers.

And the law said that the trust then was to be operated and the revenue from the trust, the first call on the revenue was for programs for mental health. And at that time, there was no designation clearly between mental health and developmentally disabled. So ‑‑ so you might say it was for the operation of facilities in the care of mentally ‑‑ mentally ill, as well as developmentally disabled.

So the way the trust was worded is that the first call on the revenues that are generated by the mental health lands was for the programs, the mental health programs. And that any money on an annual basis that wasn't used for mental health purposes that was generating a surplus could be designated for other public use.

Well, what we became aware of was that first, the land was not being well managed. It was ‑‑ the Department of Natural Resources didn't ‑‑ they just said it was state land and they were treating it like state land. And if a community or some agency came along and said, you know, we need a piece of state land for whatever, well, mental health land, didn't make any difference, away it went. And that wasn't necessarily generating any revenue.

And the other thing was that there were situations where some developer would say, you know, I've got ‑‑ I've got 5,000 acres of land just south of Anaktuvuk Pass, and I'll give the state that 5,000 acres in exchange for ‑‑ for this 10‑acre tract of state land that I want to develop. And the state said, oh, that's a pretty good deal.

Well, the Anaktuvuk Pass land, you know, is of practically no economic value, and the piece of property that got exchanged for that had ‑‑ maybe it was for a high rise apartment or something.

So there was ‑‑ I won't say there was mismanagement but there was no ‑‑ no indication that they were ‑‑ anybody was managing the state land, quote, mental health land in a way to produce the maximum amount of revenue, and in fact, they were playing pretty loose with it. And so that was ‑‑ that was one issue that was going on.

Section 5: Another issue that was going on was that the boroughs, after Statehood, the state said form these government agencies to take over the ‑‑ such things as fire and healthcare or fire protection, healthcare, road maintenance, whatever, depending, and for second or third‑class boroughs, and the state will give you, you know, a large amount of land and turn over to your management the state land within the geographic confines of the borough.

And that was an incentive for ‑‑ for boroughs to form, to ‑‑ and it's very contentious even today because there are areas that are unorganized boroughs. And therefore, all of the costs for schooling and that kind of thing is borne by the state, whereas in an organized borough, one of the duties that is taken over by the borough is education. So ‑‑ so that was another issue that was going on.

And then along comes the ‑‑ the issue of the Native land claims issue. And the Federal Government promises these various Native corporations, you know, and gives them a preferential call on ‑‑ on land that they can claim as part of their corporate incentive to ‑‑ to form the corporations. So that's a third one.

Well, this all comes together when all of a sudden the mental health program became aware that our land was not necessarily being managed to produce any revenue, and that ‑‑ that we were getting what we felt shortchanged in money that we needed to run our community mental health centers with, and this sort of thing,

and the boroughs started saying we ‑‑ we want to start selecting the land and, you know, where can we do this, you know, is there any ‑‑ is there any land within the geographic confines of our borough that the state can't give us, and the Native corporations started looking around at their land.

So they passed a law, and there was ‑‑ there were two different pieces of legislation that were in the legislature that year, and one of them said that ‑‑ well, the ‑‑ first, the discovery was made by the administration as well as the legislature that the only lands that the state really owned clearly was the university's land grant lands that they already had taken, and the mental health lands that we'd filed on.

And the rest of it, you know, it was questionable about whether the Federal ‑‑ you know, the state hadn't gotten the money from the ‑‑ the land from the Federal Government, and then the Feds have said, the Natives, that they could stake out land, and ‑‑ but the boroughs thought they were going to get that land, and so all this starts to come together.

So the legislation that was passed, one of them was that the Mental Health Trust lands would be placed in the control and ownership of the state, and the corpus of the trust would be replaced by an annual appropriation from the state.

So ‑‑ and so said, basically all the mental health land trust, the trust will continue to exist, but the land within the trust, which is the corpus of the trust, will revert to the state and the state will, in fact, appropriate money to the trust on an annual basis.

Section 6: BILL SCHNEIDER: And this was all legal? DICK BRANTON: Well, it's legal, yeah. I mean, remember that the land was ‑‑ the purpose of the land was to support the first call was for the mental health programs. And as all the state was doing was essentially buying all the mental health land on a contract that said that they would appropriate money every year into the trust in exchange for the titles to the land.

Well, there was two pieces of legislation passed. And the first piece said ‑‑ and I was in favor of it, it made good sense, that the ‑‑ it says, and the legislature will appropriate, and there was some other language, but it said the legislature will appropriate annually, you know, money to replace the corpus of the trust. You know, it didn't say how much, but there was some ‑‑ there was some caveats.

And actually, the caveats were that the state would ‑‑ now that I think about it, the state would appropriate, I believe it was 1 and a half percent of all revenue from state lands into the Mental Health Trust,

and also I think it was 2 percent of all revenue from state lands would go into the university trust lands because the same ‑‑ the same piece of legislation was essentially to transfer these two big chunks of land, mental health land and university land that the state clearly owned.

And so the university was in agreement with that and I was in agreement with that, and went over and testified and said, yeah, this is a good deal, you know.

And then they amended the law, and that law actually passed, and then it was amended within, oh, within hours both the House and Senate passed it and amended. And the word "shall" was made the word "may."

So it said the law then transferred the ownership and control of all university land and all mental health land to the state, and then it said, and the state may appropriate annually, you know, a certain percentage of all revenue from state lands into the university trust and into the Mental Health Trust. Well, that changed the whole picture because they were ‑‑ there's no mandate to do that.

Well, the reason, of course, that the state was trying to do that was then they would have land and they could speak to the boroughs and say, okay, here's land that we have because the boroughs want that ‑‑ that was the land ‑‑ they wanted to expand their cities and this sort of thing and that was university and mental health land, and so that would give the state the tools to do that, and it wouldn't get in the way of what was happening with the Alaska Native land settlement because this was clearly land that the state had control over.

But when they changed the ‑‑ the "shall" to "may," and that was the law that was signed by the Governor. BILL SCHNEIDER: Who was the Governor at that time? DICK BRANTON: Boy. BILL SCHNEIDER: We can find out. DICK BRANTON: I don't know. You'll have to look and see. Yeah. I've ‑‑ I think it was Hickel but I'm not sure.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do you know what time period this is? DICK BRANTON: No, I can't even pinpoint the time period. But ‑‑ but anyway ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: We'll let you go on. DICK BRANTON: Yeah. So the university immediately, you know, jumped on that and said, hey, when you change that ‑‑ that "shall" to "may," you've essentially stolen all of our land grant money. And they challenged that in court very quickly and won.

And that was the impetus, then, for the land claims lawsuit that was generated for the mental health lands that said that, hey, not only have you stolen our land, but over the years, you have never reported how much revenue was there and have never given us the revenue that we had because our appropriation was always a general appropriation.

Section 7: And of course, the big ‑‑ the big issue there became one of here was a law on the books of a trust that was generated that directly funded a state‑operated program without legislative oversight. And the legislature said we can't have this because the Constitution doesn't allow it. But it does allow it for university lands because the university is a different animal out there because the land grant college program was the ‑‑ the quality of the title was different.

So we, as I say, looked at all this and said, well, what are we going to do here. So we sued for getting the land back in the corpus of the trust. Well, of course, some of that land had already been deeded to boroughs who had already sold it or whatever. But there was a substantial amount of it that was still intact.

So when the lawsuit was finally settled, several things happened. One of them was that the ‑‑ there was a ‑‑ allegedly a full market value of money that was given to the Mental Health Trust as a part of the corpus for replacement of the land, and the land that was still intact was put back in the trust.

So now we have a Mental Health Trust with a corpus of money as well as land. And a mandate to function, you know, as a trust directly for the mental health. So it's a parallel process to the legislature because it doesn't require legislative appropriation to take money from the mental health land trust and to give it to a program. So here's essentially kind of almost state money but not quite, and a parallel thing.

And this was, and continues to be a point of conflict because the operation of the mental health land trust has its own drummer that they march to over here, and the legislature has very jurisdictional authority. So that's ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: That's a real helpful clarification.

DICK BRANTON: Yeah. It ‑‑ and it still operates under the same tent that the first call on the annual revenues from the trust go to the mental health programs, and then any residual on an annual basis can go to other public programs.

Well, now what we have here are two cash cows, the state government and the mental health land trust. So all of a sudden all these tangential programs, the first that come up are the developmentally disabled.

And by this time the developmentally disabled are marching over here to their own program, and they've been transferred over to the Department of Education, and they are operating under the Department of Education rules. And the ‑‑ the money, much of the money for their programming is coming out of the Department of Education.

The Department of Education is mandated to provide schooling and this sort of thing, and if it requires residential programs, then they have to pay that, so on and so forth. And all of a sudden also the SODA (phonetic), department of the ‑‑ Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse says, hey, you know, our ‑‑ our programs are treating these people are drinking because they are mentally ill or they are mentally ill and drinking, or you know, whatever.

And so we are really, you know, tangentially a mental healthcare program, too. So all ‑‑ and all these people trying to latch on to this because then they can draw from two cash cows, the mental health land trust, or the ‑‑ and the Department of Education is saying, well, you know, we ‑‑ we've got all these developmentally disabled and they really should be funded out of the trust.

So that ‑‑ that rages on as to ‑‑ as to what programs legitimately can tap into revenue and the Mental Health Land Trust ‑‑ is generated by the Mental Health Land Trust, and what ones can tap into the state general funds and how that all operates. And if you're getting a lot of input, that might clarify somewhat about what's going on there, because ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: That's good.

DICK BRANTON: And you see a ‑‑ you know, the mental health land trust is funding this or funding that, and you wonder, well, why is that happening. Well, it's happening because somehow they've weaseled their way in, and that may be a bad term, but I say weasel meaning they weren't initially ‑‑ there was no such program when the mental health land was originally set up, it was set up purely, you know, for the mentally ill.

And the ‑‑ the developmentally disabled were never a part of the mentally ill in the federal concern.

I don't think there is any federal ‑‑ and I know that there is no constitutional mandate to provide services for the developmentally disabled. That's a socially acceptable thing that happens, but I don't know of any words in the Constitution per se, it talks about mentally ill and it talks about prisoners and it talks about various classes, but I don't think you'll ever find any direct referral in the Constitution for the state to provide services and care for the developmentally disabled.

But they were a part of the ‑‑ of the mental health program when the ‑‑ the way the administration had put it together. And so they said, hey, there was no differentiation between the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled at that time, so they should be in the program.

KAREN BREWSTER: I think when the lawsuit was settled they had definitions of beneficiary groups. DICK BRANTON: Yeah, they ‑‑ KAREN BREWSTER: Can you tell us how some of that all came out. DICK BRANTON: Some of that all came out, and it's still being fought, I mean, they ‑‑ as to do they have unlimited or are they a part of that group that has first call on the money, or do they have call on the money that's the residual after the mental health program is funded.

And the battle goes on. It's all about money. You know. So ‑‑ so that's ‑‑ BILL SCHNEIDER: That's a good ‑‑ DICK BRANTON: ‑‑ that's the story of the mental health land trust.

Section 8: BILL SCHNEIDER: That's very helpful. Do you have questions, Karen? KAREN BREWSTER: No. But other than if we've covered all of your involvement in all of this, if we've missed any pieces here.

DICK BRANTON: Well, I, you know, as I say, I tangentially was involved for 20 some years, and directly involved for 10, so that's, I guess, kind of the highlights of much of it. There's ‑‑ there's ‑‑ I want to give you a good story, though. And anyone who has been here in Alaska for many years has heard people who are acting strangely or a lot of antisocial behavior being referred to as they've missed too many boats. BILL SCHNEIDER: Uh‑hum.

DICK BRANTON: Have you heard this story? KAREN BREWSTER: No. DICK BRANTON: Well, what used to happen was that the ‑‑ the main port of call for transportation in and out was either down in Seward or out of Valdez. But the ‑‑ the last passenger boats leaving Alaska in the fall left out of Valdez, and got out of Seward, because Seward was pretty isolated. The only way you got there was by train, you couldn't get there by car.

And so what would happen is that these people would be before a magistrate and/or a Federal Court and they would say, okay, John Doe is sentenced to two and a half years for some shooting moose out of season. That was more punishable than killing your partner. Or they were acting very strange.

And so they said, okay, you know, we're going to take you down to Morningside. And so the magistrates would say, well, we can't do that in the summertime because, you know, these people, some of them were working and some of them ‑‑ the guy that got sentenced for killing moose out of season had to get things organized and all so he could leave his family, and so there was a big kind of a unofficial roundup that took place, all these people, and they reported in to the magistrates.

And the ‑‑ the various law enforcement people then would round them up and they would all journey to Valdez.

And then the last boat that went, they had all the developmentally disabled, the, quote, crazies, and the criminals, the whole ‑‑ the whole bunch of them, and all of the law enforcement people, and they'd load them all on the boat and they would sail out of Valdez, and they'd go down and they went to McNeil Island or wherever the prisoners went, and they went to Morningside, whatever.

Well, sometimes, you know, one of the old law enforcement officers couldn't get John who was back in the hills someplace doing his prospecting, and he didn't show up in time for the magistrate. So the boat would sail. And three days after the boat sailed, well, here would come these stragglers coming into Valdez.

And there's no more boats, you know, the last boat is gone, and so Valdez would end up with this strange array of transient residents who were mentally ill, disabled, criminal, and whatever. As you can imagine, it would be quite a matrix. And they had to winter over in Valdez until next spring when they could get a boat to get out of there.

And so you had all these weird behaving people in Valdez, and hence the saying came up that, well, you know, boy, he's weird, he's missed too many boats, meaning that he should have been on the boat that took the crew down there. And that was a real common saying of people with strange behaviors, oh, they just missed too many boats.

Section 9: KAREN BREWSTER: Actually, I did have one other question. You mentioned, you know, the residents at Morningside who didn't want to leave and didn't come back to Alaska. Well, Morningside closed, so what happened to those people? DICK BRANTON: Well, they built ‑‑ Morningside was replaced by a state hospital in Oregon, in Salem. And as I say, Morningside was a private operation, and they finally built a state hospital, and so they ‑‑ they could go to the state hospital if they didn't want to come back up here. You know.

KAREN BRESTER: Did you personally get an opportunity to go to Morningside? DICK BRANTON: I have never been in Morningside. Never have. Dr. Schrader can fill you in. He ‑‑ he did his ‑‑ some of his training in the hospital in Salem, and he can tell you all about the history of the state hospital in Salem and the conflicts of Morningside when they tried to build a state hospital and this sort of thing. And he's very articulate at ‑‑ and would be glad to talk to you by telephone. BILL SCHNEIDER: Okay.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, anything else? Otherwise I'll turn it off. DICK BRANTON: Well, I ‑‑ you know, I have lots of stories, but they are anecdotal stories and probably not too much historical significance. So I'd say that's probably what we need to record anyway. BILL SCHNEIDER: Thank you very much. KAREN BREWSTER: Thank you very much.