Monday, February 13, 2012
While much of the world is mourning the loss of Whitney Houston, Hoonah is mourning the loss of one of our long time residents, Windy Skaflestad. I attended a memorial service for him yesterday in the old school gym. The fact that the gym was filled pretty much to capacity is evidence of the impact that Windy had on so many people, not just here in Hoonah, but around the state. He worked throughout the state as a construction supervisor for the U.S. Public Health Service and after his retirement, put in several terms as mayor of Hoonah. He was as tenacious as a bulldog when it came to pursuing funding for various projects that would benefit the citizens of Hoonah. I always enjoyed talking to Windy- he'd take time out to speak to you no matter what he had going on. His family has an intimate knowledge of Port Frederick and the surrounding area, and periodically he'd share some of his fishing secrets with me. I did an interview with him a few years ago for an upcoming book on the local fishermen, and I'm so glad that I have his story to share with those who might want to get a glimpse into how Hoonah used to be. He started working in his father's logging camp when he was eleven, running Caterpillar equipment and later left high school to run the camp after his father was injured. He lived a full life, though it ended much too soon. According to his obituary, he died less than 100 feet from the home where he was born. His final words were "This was fun." He'll surely be missed by all of his friends and family. It's hard to say goodbye but the sun has set on his life here and he's left for his next adventure. Good fishing Windy.