Gregory Andrew was interviewed on November 2, 1999 by Don Callaway and Bill Schneider in Kokhanok, Alaska. In this interview, Gregory talks about his life as a subsistence hunter and trapper in the Lake Iliamna area. He discusses the trail system and how changes in transporation from dog team to snowmachine and All-Terrain Vehicle have affected hunting activities. He also mentions changes in the animal populations from climate change, and the importance of sharing knowledge with the next generation and providing training for things like equipment operation and maintenance.
Digital Asset Information
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
His parents and growing up in the Kokhanok and Newhalen areas
The house in Kokhanok and the yearly cycle
Traveling and the yearly cycle
Various types of work that his father engaged in, and Art Lee's trading post
Growing up in Newhalen and Kokhanok, and the year he married his wife
His first dog team
Learning how to trap and run dogs from the old-timers
Old trails going to various locations, and the dogs' ability to find the trail
More about the old trails and the transition from dog teams to snowmachines
The first Hondas that arrived in Kokhanok
Putting wheels on his first snowmachines until the arrival of three-wheelers
Hunting, trapping, and hauling meat with the early snowmachines
Packing meat and using all of it to feed everyone and the dogs
Using three-wheelers and snowmachines
Four-wheelers and how they changed hunting
Four-wheelers and how they changed the subsistence lifestyle
Lodge owners and the changes in game population and climate
The Katmai eruption and how the animals left the country before the eruption
Buying a Honda for himself and a motorcycle (mini bike) for Gilbert Andrew
Four-wheelers and the changes they brought
Sharing knowledge with the next generation
Skills that can be brought back to the community
The importance of training and maintaining equipment
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
BS: OK...Today is November 2nd, 1999 and uh we have the pleasure of talking today with Gregory Andrew and uh I'm Bill Schneider and Don Callaway is here and uh your wife is here. What's her name? GA: Francine BS: Francine, yeah. and uh we appreciated meeting your daughter the other night at the council meeting...and uh...so we're here to do a interview talking about some of the history of this area and then getting into some of the uh issues that you see emerging and some of the background on the development of technology and subsistence, those issues. So first, um...tell us, give us a little history of the area here and uh your parents and in-laws and the investment in this area that they've made. GA: Oh, my parents? As I know my parents came from uh down Levelock way and when they were young they moved up and settled in Newhalen put up fish over there. Subsistence mostly and they went commercial fishing in the summertime and remember doing a lot of camping. Yeah, they were trappers and fishermen and hunters...and uh...well, they were kind of... They did things the old folks did back home, back then. I can't tell you too much about it because...it was just their natural way of living and they traveled around with dog team mostly, or just walked...and uh...they were lucky if they got a boat ride somewhere.
GA: What was the other question? BS: When did they come up to this area, Kokhanok? GA: Well, Kokhanok? BS: mmm hmm GA: Well they live quite a few different places, they move around a lot. There were no schools back then that I know of...and ah...they went where it was easier to hunt, for the fish, and trap. Where it was easier living, mostly. And, you know, the main thing was just get the flour and sugar and rice and beans and after you get them you go over and get the meat and fish. That was, that must have been 1935 I think they moved around in here. Around this area. BS: mmm hmm GA: I remember we already had a house, they already had a house built in 1941 when I remember it. BS: When were you born? GA: 1941 BS: mmm hmm GA: But its around '41, '42, '43 I was only conscious of that house. BS: yeah GA: and it lasted a long time. BS: Can you describe what the yearly cycle was when you were a young boy? GA: Yearly cycle...you mean like for... BS: What you did in falltime...winter.. GA: Well uh...you know, in wintertime we kind of found a good warm... like a house to stay in...and uh...there was no school back then so we didn't go to school...and uh...when my dad felt like it, he had a big enough tent that the whole family went down to Pete Andrew's Creek on the Newhalen side over there and uh we would spend a month and a half, two months in a beaver camp...and uh...stayed with him while he was trapping.
GA: My oldest brother would trap and when I was ready to come back, go back out again we'd go back to the village and get ready to go put up fish...cause then they, after they got ready to put up fish they took of for Bristol Bay to go fishin', commercial fishin'. And they were gone quite a while, they didn't have too fast a way to travel around in them days. And then the cycle would start again. Springtime would come, put up fish. Stay there 'till the fish was all put up and then falltime come, go five or six different places that I can remember that we went to now. All different places, all good places...I can remember. BS: What were some of those places? GA: Well Knutson Bay up towards Peter Bay was one. And sometimes we come here, to a different spot and then those old folks stay there so many times they even had creeks named after 'em. My dad was Pete Andrew's creek...well are uh..little above upper Talarik Creek and then his relative Zachar Andrew had another creek named after him and I think its still on the map...and then uh...not too far from Newhalen we'd move to another...under the mountains over there where we'd trap, where they trap...kind of sheltered, lot of trees. But we'd live in a tent all winter...warm, no complaint. Always had lots of wood, lots of food...ah well, not lots of food, but what he could get . I never knew of any shortage. BS: Let's see how he sounds.
BS: So your dad did commercial fishing? GA: Yeah, he went sailboat fishin' uh...but then after he reached about 55, 52 he quit then not long after, he died of tuberculosis. But mostly, he was a trapper and a hunter...and a lot of work. He used to work for Iliamna Trade all the time. BS: What sort of work was that? GA: restocking, rolling up barrels for the wintertime. He did quite a lot of work over there, for the only big trading post around. BS: yeah GA: Back then it was mostly we live on credit. We didn't have any kind of money, very seldom saw cash. and you gotta go to the store and make a credit account and come summertime you pay that thing off. BS: start over. GA: Yeah and uh when you think back the old trading post, Art Lee was patient if he had to wait a whole year for his money and still make money on top of that...you know. we think back to those things we lucky we had ol' Art Lee back then. We would have went without. Shoes, hats, coveralls, boots, gloves, that was important. BS: yeah GA: We didn't have no way to have no Wal-Mart, no Sears-Roebuck to go to. Had to get to Anchorage. BS: Yeah, guess so.
BS: So you grew up here in the village area and is that pretty accurate? After '41, '43, '44? GA: Well, I had...my mother died of T.B. when I was pretty young. I think I was eight years old. And we went to a children's home for five, four of five years...and uh...when we reached 16 we started rebuilding over there. Wanted to get back home. I was lucky they listened to me. When I told them I wanted to go home, they sent me home. That's where I belong. I got home before I got into any kind of trouble. BS: uh huh GA: yeah. My dad was still alive he... BS: Was he here in Kokhanok? GA: No, he was, we were in Newhalen. BS: uh huh. GA: I'm not originally from Kokhanok. I'm from Newhalen. BS: uh huh. GA: I moved here when we first got married cause I liked it...quite and a lot easier to hunt and fish and people were nicer. They still are, they're still nice around here. BS: So why don't you describe for us what you did during the year when you first got married. GA: Well, we didn't have much of anything. I went beaver trapping. We didn't own nothing. We didn't have a place to live. We had to borrow a tent and a camp. The first year to go trapping I only caught enough beaver to uh sell my beaver and buy a $75 Quonset hut. That's where we lived. I didn't have a dog team, I had to get most my wood by hand, and go fishing. People were nice enough to...the ones who had a dog team, you know. Back then, they used to pack around meat. When they got a moose, everybody ate. Sometimes when they caught a fish or two or maybe a little bit more than they could use, they shared that. We're lucky that we didn't have any more competition with the to go fishing. After a while, it didn't take long, I got my dog team. Do my own hunting and...
BS: Tell us about your first dog team. GA: Well, it was kinda hard I had to learn all by myself about how to take care of a dog team and you'd see these guys with a happy dog team and that's the kind you want...that's the kind you wanted. Everyone wanted a happy dog team. Keep 'em well fed and run 'em all the time. Take good care of 'em. ...OK? Just after when you see somebody with a happy dog team, that's what you want...and most of my dogs were happy dogs. Yeah, good dog team. And we finally started gettin' boats and three-wheelers and went training with heavy equipment...and went to work for the State here. I had a contract for almost 30 years over here at the airport...and I got on every major project in Kokhanok...building the airport, building the new school, and most of the time I did the airport work here. And that's what did all my life, I learned commercial fishin' and...after awhile we started..uh..oh I started a little store...and it almost got big. I made some buck, big buck. Back then it was big bucks . And uh...quit that, couldn't handle it no more, gotta work hard all the time. I did that for almost 15 years...but work same time, go fishin' and uh...raise a bunch of kids. They're all pretty nice kids too. I got a whole bunch of grandchildren. They're all nice too.
BS: How did..uh..getting your first dog team...how did that increase your ability to get out on the land? GA: Well, mostly it was fun...fun. Everybody had a dog team and uh...you could go for the...the game was plentiful around close by. But you could for...sometimes spend the night out in the uh...where those old-timers had a camp and uh spend the night with them or even trap with them in the wintertime. And those were the good years for me. BS: Who were some of those old-timers? GA: Well, most of the time it was Gregory ..and uh...Gregory was silly. He died a few years back of a heart attack. Little short man. But, I spent what three years trapping with him, hunting with him. And those were good years to me. BS: Where abouts did you trap? GA: Well, we went down behind Big Mountain...in the trees down there. A lot of moose, beaver, rabbits, everything...lots of everything. BS: What do you remember him teaching you in particular? GA: Well, back then they didn't teach you nothing. You watch and then you learn. They didn't tell you too much. BS: mmm hmm GA: If you make a mistake you didn't catch you have to go there and see how they did it and you catch 'em. Yeah, when we do it on our own we don't have too much luck to know how. Well, they'd show you a little, they'd tell you a little, but they don't hide what they're doing. That's the way I learned...uh...I watched 'em. They didn't have too much of communication. They showed you. uh...I guess it was my business to watch and learn...
BS: Well, tell me about those old trails that go back there. GA: Well, in the wintertime, the old trails like the cottonwoods up in behind the Gibraltar up there. Those were good moose hunting places and good trapping places. And the trails up to Gibraltar we have certain times of the year we could whitefish and uh...there's trapping and the moose. There was no caribou around. And the summertime...um well you know in the wintertime we there wasn't too much trail on Iliamna Lake...but the dogs know where to go. The old leaders know where to go. The leader...dog leaders that been around a long time, they just naturally went on the trail even if it was covered. BS: Even a big lake like Iliamna? GA: Yeah, they just...those old dogs, the ones that been around a while, the knew where a guy wanted to go seemed liked...except when he said "gee" and "haw" to stop somewhere or "gee" and "haw" to go make a little detour. But then they take off...I'd watch how they do it. And they go right back to the same old trail. You can't change an old dog's way . Y'know one time me and my cousin we felt we were lost going up and we kept ballin', he kept ballin' out his leader. He'd go up and lead off to another trail somewhere, but the dog kept on going up to that portage. So he finally said "I'm gonna let this dog go." He took us right to the old portage, we never been there before. We went to a dog team trail...that old lead knew where the trail was, we thought he didn't know...we thought he wanted to go somewhere else where he didn't wanna go. But he knew the best route already in his mind, the dogs.
BS: Getting back to those old trails. Do you wanna say more about that? GA: Well...you mean like for uh future... BS: No, just in terms of which...give us some more description of the old trails. You mentioned up to Girbraltar and over to Cottonwoods and um... GA: Those trails still exist today. Like I said, most of the time the old-timers just took off with the same old dogs and the dogs knew where they were going. And they already had a place picked out and even if it got covered, the dog know, with snow, the dogs know where it was all the time... BS: But then how did that change when uh snowmachines came in? GA: Well, we knew the trail was there, but it wasn't good enough for the new ATVs and snowmachines we had so we had to kinda change it little bit. BS: Why's that? GA: Well, easier to go through like a creek or somewhere not too deep or to go across a clearing where its pretty clear where a dog team can go right through the trees, most of the time. And then uh they climb a hill where a snowmachine or a Honda couldn't go. They went out so they had to find a place where it wasn't too hilly or like coming out of a creek in a big bank. The dog teams would go almost straight up, but a snowmachine and a Honda can't do that. So, we had to kinda change it around, the best we know how. But, like I say, those Honda trails still exist today, the ones we made when the first Hondas came in. They haven't gone off...they've gone off the trail a few time that you can see. Even I do that. But the original trail still sticks, they're still there yet.
BS: You gotta talk a little bit about those first Hondas that came in. I assume those were three-wheelers? GA: Yeah, those three-wheelers. They were the best thing that hit this place, I think. We didn't have no trucks or nothing...and like I said when I had my store I used to use a wheelbarrow from the airport and push a wheelbarrow and have some of my kids tie a rope on their front and help me pull along. Or whole bunch of us would take it box by box and go up to my store. Uh...three-wheeler I could put a board up and make shift a little cart and pile a whole bunch of stuff up and...easy. BS: What was the first Honda you had? GA: I had a 110, Honda 110 three-wheeler. I bought it for my kids, but I got the most use out of it . BS: And how did you use it? GA: huh? BS: How did you use it? GA: Well, I used it, we used it mostly for hunting, hauling groceries, and making a quick trip...I had my own store so I didn't have to go to the trading post too often. But we go fishin' and boy it made it easy for huntin' when we could go through the snow. But we already had snowmachines for that. BS: Gotta ask you about that... DC: But uh, Hondas were mostly for the summertime. But I even made wheels for the front of my snow-go to use in the summertime for that before the Hondas came up DC: uh huh...When was that? GA: uhh...gee whiz..uh that was around 1962, '63, '65...somewhere around there..and uh... BS: Hang on just a sec.
BS: You were talking about how you modified your snow-go? GA: Well, I kinda modified it cause I got tired of pushing a wheelbarrow down to airport to haul my groceries so uh there was some old tire around that nobody was using...little some kind uh..little...I forgot what kind tires they were but I put a long bolt through...I took the skis off in and uh I put a long bolt through the...took the skis off in the spring and I put a long bolt through the ski legs. Boy, it worked good, except for a lot of noise on the track. If you did, if you did that and you ran on a rock you didn't want to ruin your skis all the time, so I just put tires. DC: You didn't wear out the track? GA: Well, we had to buy a track every year anyway. They were cheap then, they were only two hundred bucks a track. We went through a track a season. We almost went through a snowmachine per season anyway. They were very cheap. They were only eight hundred dollars for a brand new snow-go. BS: yeah DC: How much? GA: eight hundred DC: eight hundred BS: So we gotta back up here. Did we get the year when you got your first Honda? GA: ...first Honda, what 1970 ah? When they first came out? Gilbert was a little guy. Oh, somewhere gotta be uh...yeah...'64 go up six years after '64. What is that? 70? BS: 70, yeah. GA: yeah...yeah BS: And how 'bout your first snowmachine? GA: Well, my first snowmachine was so long ago I can't remember now. BS: GA: '62 maybe...'61 BS: Do you remember what it was? GA: A ten horse Ski-Doo BS: yeah GA: Bombardier...good machine BS: yeah...
BS: So uh that gave you a certain amount of mobility into the... GA: yeah gotta..we had a lot of meat...lot of beaver. I caught a lot of beaver and a lot of wolverine and a lot of lynx with that thing. I could go out more. BS: mmm hmm GA: set more traps BS: mmm hmm...and you said... GA: Well, I had a partner too...and uh him and I would go out and uh we caught a lot of moose but we shared it. 'Cause I was the only one with the snow-go then and the meat went kind of fast. But then... BS: You were the only one in the community? GA: Yeah, for a little while I...yeah I was the only one with a snow-go. Everybody else had dog team. Me and John Nielson had one. BS: yeah GA: mmm hmm BS: How did that change the hunting pattern? GA: Well it made it more fun. We could get it more quick and bring it home quick...and uh...lot easier to get one. BS: yeah GA: I won't tell you why...after we go out in the trees. Easier to see 'em, spot 'em, catch 'em and shoot 'em. BS: uh...John was talking about how um in the old days when they were packing that uh...that you had to come back and get a group of people to go in to help pack your meat. GA: yeah...when that...that was when we had dog teams we had most of the time had to get another two or three dog teams to get the moose back. The other wild game was plentiful then...like the wolverine. If you left one out overnight, then when you go back and find no more wolverine..uh I mean moose. BS: mmm hmm GA: They come and get it right now. They clean out the whole thing.
GA: One time me and my friend we got two cow moose over here on Lookout Point. I just broke down for one day. I broke a shaft and uh the one came next day I put it on and we went back to get the meat and it was all gone. The wolverines come and took off with it. Best meat you ever saw too. Good fat meat. BS: I was just wondering if that wasn't a problem in the old days when people you know were out with dog teams and had to come back to get people to help pack moose in. GA: Well, they plan things different back then I think. They knew what they were going to do already...so uh...you know even after I went hunting with my snow-go I go to a certain place up here bout four miles up and I'd have a moose down. There was one old-time who was still alive today, Nick , and here he come with his dog team and he knew where to go too. I'd be about half way done skinning and that happened three or four times and I don't think it was no accident when I got the moose. Here he'd come over the hill with his dog team. That happened..that three our four times like I say ...and it don't happen...no, not like that. But he knew where it was . BS: So you think he just was following you out there or... GA: Well, I think he'd go some place and then hear the shot. BS: Oh, I see GA: and he kinda guess where it was. He told me what he liked, the best part...uh one rib. And if you were nice enough to an old man like that and you'd give what he want . And on top of that, his dog ate their gut and uhh...bad meat or whatever that was left out there. So you didn't have nothing left after he got done. Dogs ate the scraps and we all got the meat home. BS: hmm GA: but...most of the time we enjoy giving the best parts to the old folks anyway. Most of the time they didn't have to ask for it.
BS: hmm...Now, on the three-wheeler when those came in um when did you use those uh you had snowmachine and when did you use snowmachine and when did you use three-wheelers? GA: Well, we'd have to uh kind of go with the seasons. Three-wheeler when we could go when there wasn't too much snow, like on the glare ice and stuff we go use the three-wheeler when it get started. But back then we didn't know nothin' about light weight oil sometime when it got cold the three wheeler didn't run or start up when the oil got too thick..and uh...snowmachine time or walk time after that. And a three-wheeler was for the summertime...or the boat. sometime we'd have to haul...when didn't have a three-wheeler or a snowmachine, we'd haul the stuff by boat up to the beach over but... BS: Where there um...where there places that you could uh you could go with a three-wheeler that you couldn't go with a snowmachine? GA: There was...you wouldn't want to go where we went with a three-wheeler. Three-wheelers were hard and tricky to ride on the tundra. Tip over and flip so easy. But snowmachines are stable, they don't tip over as much. BS: And then came in the four-wheelers huh? GA: The four wheelers got real...almost like...you could almost knock a four inch tree down and not hurt the four-wheeler. You could run into a...go over small brush four feet high. If you were excited want to get to or if you afraid a moose gonna get away and uh...I'll see my boy...uh I shouldn't say that..go where a guy wouldn't go... go through brush...I wouldn't go he almost stays on top of the brush with a four-wheeler. BS: hmm GA: but you gotta have a certain knack for doing that...gotta know how or you'll hurt yourself. BS: yeah...
BS: So did four-wheelers change hunting? GA: They made it a lot easier. We could go a lot faster. It made it a lot easier. We could almost haul a moose out in two trips on one snow-go, I mean one four-wheeler. BS: And then I guess there was a change from two wheel drive to four wheel drive...four-wheelers. GA: yeah but that didn't..that just made it so we could go in deeper snow. They're no any better than old two wheel drive, they just made where we didn't get stuck. When we got stuck with a four wheel drive...we got stuck good . BS: I guess just like the four wheel drive cars. GA: yeah...yeah...but those two wheel drives were lighter. We almost get mad at it and throw it out after you get stuck, but these new ones you can't get mad at it...not gonna budge. They come out with winches and stuff for that now. BS: Winches yeah. GA: yeah BS: Several people talk about the Gibralatar River and uh the difficulty of getting across it..uh you wanna talk about that some? GA: Well, it's not too difficult now with a four-wheeler. Couple of guys made place, three places to cross...the hard part was going up on the other side where these guys took a little work to make a trail for you to go up and down. The high banks and thick timber...and now that there's a trail..well, the high water...it's good we can't get over there, there won't be too much game left over that way. All the time, its a good thing we can't get over there all the time. Only the airplane can get in there. BS: So it depends on the water level. GA: yeah, water level...but, I think its been preserved because we can't get there sometimes...most of the time. you know, we can't get in there any ol' time we want unless we walk across..with a...we could walk across by foot, but we can't get the machine over there and we can't get too far on foot. BS: yeah
GA: But these four-wheelers made it a lot easier for us and the women we're still subsistence out here. We still pick berries...and lots of 'em. And we eat a lot of salmon berries and they only grow in certain places, certain time of the year. They don't last very long. Gotta get 'em while they're there. I'll tell you something while I'm on tape...I used to go fishin' down in Girbraltar Creek and a bunch of white man come in their airplane go fishin'. "Hey what you doin' here!", they'd ask. "I'm gatherin' my herbs and medicines for the winter." He says "really, you are?!"...says "he's not doing that!". They half way believe me. I wish I knew what the herbs and medicines were. But we got to know some of that from the old-timers that live out there...they still use those BS: huh...Well what about the lodges that came in? When was the first lodges that came into the area? GA: Oh man that's quite a while back. The original lodges we didn't even know they were lodges. We thought they were just fishin' camps. We didn't even know they existed most of the time. We didn't even know who owned 'em. And then there's too many lodges. Everybody and their uncle is a lodge owner now. But those old-timers they took out a lot of game...the ones that knew what they were doing.
BS: You mean the lodge owners? GA: Yeah, the lodge owners. The old-timers, the ones that originally built 'em. They're the ones that caught the game or made the money...heh...I don't know if they made the money but they caught the most. I know because they used to hire my boat to haul their moose horns over to their big airport to get 'em out. Sometimes I made two made trips in moose horn...antlers and caribou antlers... BS: hmm...That's pretty interesting. GA: Well, there must have been a lot of game around here but they had Widgeons, you know, Super Widgeons...them amphibious airplane...and they could go a lot further. They could a lot different places and get the big game. But they died off, them old guys. There's only one guy left that of the early old-timers...his son. I think he's the way the heck over on Nanvianuk now. BS: Have you seen some changes in game populations over the years here? GA: Well, except for the moose, they're not...can't get...can't get one the day you got out there anymore. Takes a while, takes a little work, takes a little planning...takes a lookin'. When we used to go not far from here, not even an hour it'd be time to come back already. Got the moose, maybe even two. But the airplanes and lodges, I think they made a big difference...it harder... BS: How 'bout changes in climate? Temperature..snowfall? GA: Well, that don't effect nobody around here...they're used to that I think. Except for the fish maybe, they say that does bother 'em. I don't think it effects the fish much. I think its the way they're caught outside somewhere...out in the ocean. BS: mmm hmm
GA: I don't think...I think that animals and fish know what they're doing a lot better than we know what they're doing . BS: One of the people interviewed talked about how uh during...before the Katmai eruption the animals left the country. GA: Oh, I barely remember that. I didn't even remember Katmai blowing up but uh I was conscious of people still being afraid, when I was a little kid, of what would happen. Not only Katmai, but Iliamna too. BS: mmm hmm GA: Iliamna Mountain...but I remember my folks saying, "you gotta pack water, you might not be able to get water in the morning" on account of the Katmai. BS: The night before? GA: Ash falling down...and they couldn't get any water. So pack your water in the evening before...you never know what's going to happen in the nightime or.... BS: I've heard stories of people covering the water, you know when the eruption started...covering the water. GA: But they were real careful for a long...they still are today, the old-timers. If you gotta pack water, do it now...or if you're gonna get wood or get meat or something, don't wait, do it now...and...there might be something come up and you won't be able to do it. But they don't tell their tell their kids that no more, like the old-timers told us. Those things were important cause they'd survive. Back then it was survival that counted. Not how rich you were or how much money we had...we didn't have much of that. People were a lot happier. There was no booze. No drugs. There was tobacco...maybe a little homebrew somewhere.... BS: OK
DC: uh..yeah Greg, I wanted to uh talk a little about that first time that you had uh you said uh it was a Honda 110. GA: Yeah...well, it was ...the first one was a 90 Honda. DC: And you think that was around the beginning of the 70's or was that mid '70s? GA: That was almost at the beginning. I won't tell you that's the first one, cause uh I bought my boy, Gilbert a '75 and I tried to use that...that's what they used to call a mini bike. DC: uh huh GA: It was only about four feet long. I used to try to use that for a...... BS: OK... DC: um..you were telling us that originally the first one you bought out...we're talking about a three-wheeler now...the 75.. GA: mmm hmm DC: uh was uh for Gilbert, but it was too small for you. GA: Well, I was just little bike it was uh barely four feet long and it had two little uh eight inch wheels on it... DC: On the back... GA: No, it was like a motorcycle, except it was a mini...little mini bike. real small, made for a kid. DC: OK..so we're talking...motorcycles uh the 110 was a motorcycle...wasn't a three-wheeler? GA: Well...the 110 was a motorcycle. I had a big Yamaha...a big one. DC: OK...but those were motorcycles that you had in the early 70's and then about mid 70's is when the three-wheelers started coming in.. GA: yeah..uh huh DC: I that right? GA: uh huh DC: OK, I just wanted to clarify that point...OK GA: DC: maybe turn off lights... GA: Boy, you got good mics huh? DC: yeah GA: If you can pick up that...right over there right outside to your right...going out...gotta go out first... BS: oh OK...here? GA: gonna be kinda dark...there's a bulb one over there...turn that one on Fran. BS: OK, now we're on. GA: Gee whiz you gonna hurt yourself! GA: You alright? BS: yeah fine yeah...I got another foot. GA:
DC: ah...um so the four-wheelers uh especially when they moved from chain to axle..well, the four-wheelers were always axle...weren't they? they were never chain. GA: yeah well...yeah, they were always axle. You're right. DC: uh..they allow a lot of access...when did people start going back and using the Preserve...the northern part of the Preserve? GA: Well, might be...I hope I don't hurt nobody by saying this, except it was when the four-wheelers started coming up, and before then it was mostly dog team and you couldn't tell if somebody was in there...in and out with a dog team.. DC: yeah..yeah...but the technology of the four-wheelers allowed people to go over the mountain and come down into the Preserve and pack whatever they could get whether it was caribou...it was normally caribou. Was much moose taken out of the... GA: No, mostly caribou...cause they don't hardly ever come down here. DC: uh huh GA: But, I guess its the same as the airplane was, they're using the airplane now.. DC: yeah GA: we see the airplanes up there parked in the park or they get out going there and get out real quick. DC: Could...could you tell me where you see a lot of the airplane activity, the outfitters dropping... GA: Well, we can only, I can only say from our mode of transportation going on the same trail going on that way, we go over the same mountain 'cause we usin' the same trail. There wasn't no any other way. That was the best pick. Well, the only airplane we could see was on the trail. There must be somewhere else.. DC: DC: Can I turn a light on, Bill to look at the maps quickly? BS: OK.. DC: I've asked a lot of people this but, what do you think about uh how...how difficult for kids to stay in the community or find things to do, find work. Is that a problem that you see for the community now? GA: The problem is training. Nobody trains 'em. And we discussed that in my household just not long ago...two weeks ago...that uh...you don't, people don't tell their kids to get the training, and where.
BS: OK... GA: But it's mostly you telling your kids where to go...the best way to get there and uh...telling you what we know to get what they wanna do or learn. uh...I'll just give you little example of my two boys...or three boys now. They wanted, one wanted...both 'em wanted be all diesel mechanic and we tried to find the best way to get there, the way to get the loan, and use our resources to get him out to Colorado and one went to Oregon...and uh...the got their training that way, but they completed. Most kids go, and then they don't complete. They just get there, have a good time and screw up and its time to come back. But the kids have to be told that job don't come automatically, you gotta train for it....if you wanna leave the village and learn. But if you wanna come back and do the job that you're needed for here... I've been very lucky with my kids. They all found somethin' that is useful to do in the he village. They had good training and the did a good job while they're doing it... and they're still doing it. I've been very fortunate. And I'm not saying this because...I believe...I believe it, but I've been told that by my worst enemies here. They said I must have goofed up somewhere..done something right. Look at your boys. And their not lazy, you can't be lazy, you gotta make an effort.
DC: What kind of skills do you think would be good to bring back to the community? GA: Well mostly right now oh I can only see what my boys are doing. I mean uh like me, it was manual labor, heavy equipment operation. Things that keep things runnin' like the airport and generators and the furnaces and..it's stuff we pick up here, and mostly learn ourselves 'cause nobody comes in and trains us. But then I see stuff comin' in like computers, that might help. And the two or three guys...Gilbert Andrew, my son, he just got a computer and the household certainly use computer. They get their weather, the go shoppin', they do their taxes...holy smoke...you can do a lot with a computer. I'm gonna have to learn it. I don't know how...I don't know nothing about that. But since you asked that question, I'm gonna' tell you...When you wanna do something, you gotta go out and do it, do it hard and get it. The main thing is get you ides in your head of what you want and then make it work from there. Might take a little while but, just like my son, he told me, "Dad, I'm gonna go buy an airplane". "OK" he worked all summer... "I'm going to Anchorage to go and get my license"...he worked a little harder and got ten thousand dollars down and he bought a thirty thousand dollar airplane, and he stuck it out htere until he got his private license...and he's still flying it today. That was six, eight years ago he got that airplane. But the he maintains it well, he gives it an annual every year and he's still flying it today, still in good shape. DC: Does he fly it out in Kokhanok or... GA: Well, he lives in Levelock, but he was just here a couple days ago visiting with his whole family..but, he enjoys that kind of stuff. but he does work for he's uh...sometimes he's foreman, sometimes he's maintenance man...mostly building, but he got into computers. He just bought a new one and traded off his old one to his other brother Gilbert up there for a thousand dollar gun her wanted that Gilbert had. DC: uh huh
GA: So every body going computer now, kinda interesting. Too bad we didn't get some kind of training for that, but we had training in something else that was important, I mean to me, that was important, like learning how to run a grater or a CAT. Not everybody can do that. BS: That's for sure. GA: And fix the darn thing after it breaks down...and then keep it runnin'. That's the way to go! But like I say, the parents don't tell their kids, that kinda stuff don't come automatically, you gotta work for it, or you gotta make plans to get it. It won't happen just like that. You gotta wanna work. That the way my idea...that's the way I got it, That's the only way it's gonna work. There's nobody that 's gonna give it to ya...right? DC: ...works for me. GA: But we were just talkin' about that the other day. Funny you ask that question. I was telling my son, Gerald well, you guys are lucky you guys went out and tog some kind of training that you liked or what you thought you were good at and then go out and get some more training if you want to...get to do it a little bit better. But, you don't see that with a bunch of kids now days. They graduated, they can't even read yet, the ones that graduated already. Boy is that funny that you asked that question...we were just talking 'bout that. BS: Well, thanks for taking the time... GA: All right!