February 28, 2009

My Anchorage trip - Friday

Friday: At breakfast I had a nice conversation with a couple from Fort Worth, Texas. They already knew of Soapy and had seen the play here in Anchorage, but did not know Soapy had his start in their hometown. They do now.

I knew that there would be a dog sled race during the Rondy event here in town but I had no idea the dog team hookup would be directly in front of my hotel! The manager is so nice here, that she opened up an unused bedroom so that guests could view the event from the third floor windows. Imagine about 50 dogs all howling and ready to go. I got some great pictures that I will post after I get back home.

In the afternoon I had an appointment with curator Walter Vanhorn and Christine Smith of the Anchorage Museum. The museum is in the process of being enlarged dramatically so many of the artifacts were not on view. Walter took me into the back rooms where priceless artifacts were everywhere, being prepared for the new expansion. He took me to a vault that held many wonderful and very valuable objects, including the largest gold nugget watch chain known. I was honored to be able to hold the chain and be photographed with it. I'm telling you this this must have weighed 5 pounds!

At 6:15 p.m. I walked into the theater in order to perform for the ticket holders waiting for the nights performance. Mind you I came into the theater like I owned the joint, cigar in mouth, and when enough eyes were upon me I muttered, "I smell success!" I then setup my tripe and keister and brought out the shell game and three-card Monte to play gamble with the crowd. They loved it ... and so did I.

I was able to watch the play and let me tell you this small theater lived up to their great reputation. It was a wonderful experience. After the show I went up to the stage and held a Q and A session after talking a little bit about myself and how I became interested in Soapy Smith. The questions from the audience were insightful and fun to answer. I think it was even filmed.

It is Saturday morning as I write this and it is snowing outside! Hey, I was raised in southern California so snow is a big deal to me, lol.

To be continued...

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