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So what have you heard about the land up north, the state of Alaska?
Are the stories real? Of the gold? Of the bears? Of the people? Or of how the sun never goes down?
Some of them are, some of them are not. But I'm here to tell you about some of my own experiences and tall tales from up there, maybe to shed some light on, and demystify, that incredible state we call Alaska.
Tales From The Alaskan Side...
Thirty one stories and essays about the biggest, prettiest, most diverse state in the nation...
(First Edition published in the fall of 2017)
From the actual Prologue in the book itself...
Each of the following tales is a true story or factoid, believe it or not, because they either happened to myself, or to good friends of mine. There are several exceptions that came to me by way of the internet, but I saw the pictures on one of them, so I can attest to its validity as well. Also, some names have been changed to protect the innocent, while some have not, but again, the stories and facts themselves are real.
The essays that are interspersed among the stories, are my own thoughts and observations of what make the great state of Alaska tick, in all of its many diverse facets.
I gathered these tales over the last three or four years while working at various jobs all across Alaska, all the way from Nome in the Northwest, to Bethel in the Southwest, Yakutat in the Southeast, and all parts in between. I never made it up as far north as Barrow, or down south past Juneau, but I saw enough that I think I’ve captured the essence of what makes Alaska, Alaska, in all of its many contrasts, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Many of these stories have already been told around campfires, at a local youth ranch for troubled kids where I also work part time, and even just while chatting with friends over tea or coffee.
Some of these Alaskan tales will make you laugh. Some of them will break your heart. Some of them will make you so mad you’ll want to spit. Some will give you the heeby-jeebies and just plain gross you out (don’t say I didn’t warn you). Some of them will make you ponder, and some of them will just plain warm up your insides with all sorts of warm little fuzzies.
I was having a conversation with a friend one time, and he was asking if I ever watched any of the Alaskan Reality shows on TV. I said “No,” because I didn’t like their “over dramatization.” But then after listening to some of my own tales, he just started laughing and told me that the reality shows don’t have nuthin on what I was telling him, that somehow the drama in my own tales and stories was better than any reality show he had ever watched. I just had to shrug.
But here they are. I’ve included a “Moral of the Story” with most of them along with some of my own thoughts, because I figure that if you can’t learn something from each story, then why tell it? Yes, some of them are distinctly spiritual thoughts, while some of them are just plain “good morals” to live by, but all of them bear remembering. At the end, I’ve thrown in a little bit of my own unique view of life in this universe, and how it has shaped me as well, and thus, why all of these stories mean something to me.
I’ve also included a bunch of my own “Tips for Surviving Alaska,” thoughts along the way, for anyone wanting to visit Alaska and truly understand what they are experiencing.
With that said, read on! Enjoy! And hopefully, if you ever get to Alaska yourself someday, you’ll be a little better prepared for what you are getting yourself into.
If nothing else, you’ll have a few new tales under your belt that you can pass along yourself around the camp fire some evening out in the wilderness, where ever you might be.
By the way, if we ever bump into each other someday, tell me what you thought, what you learned, and what your favorite story was out of the batch. I’d truly be interested to know.
Timothy Russell Benedict
In short, you will laugh, and you will hurt.
You will cry and you will rage.
And when you get done, you will wonder what just hit you.
But Alaska is like that.
Nowhere else will you ever find a brutally honest snapshot of Alaska quite like this one, in all of its humor, sadness, weirdness, and comedy.
You'll have to read it, to believe it :-)
Still not convinced? See what
other customers are saying!
I found myself actually basing decisions on what I read in your "Moral of the Story" moments!
Reality TV's got nothing on this kind of drama!
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Pssst: If you go over to www.TalesFromAlaska.net, you can read other people's stories from all over the nation, those stories that you just have to scratch your head and say "Only in....", or even submit your own tall tale about something that is just plain crazy about the state YOU live in!
If you have intelligent constructive criticism for me, or critical information about Alaska that I have neglected to mention in the book (but that should be included), I would be happy to hear from you, and converse with you.
If you, on the other hand, want to debate with me, tell me how ignorant I am, or conversely, get me to hold your hand and teach you everything I know, your email WILL end up in my trash bin. I work for a living and don't have the time.
OR... If you or your group is willing to pay for my time and/or travel expenses, and want me to speak/teach on some issue related to something on this page/site or the book, I would probably be happy to oblige. Just email with your details, payment offer, and ask politely.
Translation? I can occasionally be talked into speaking engagements...