Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving at Game Creek 2012

My wife Jan speaking with our friend Bob Pinard

Ninety one year old Jim Carey

Not quite ninety one year old, Tim Banaszak
Heading back home
Animals and farm equipment

  This past Sunday Jan and I grabbed up our daughter Jen, our  granddaughter Kaylahni and our friend Bob Pinard and we joined the exodus from town. We were going out to what has become an annual event, the Thanksgiving day celebration at Game Creek.  For a few hours our "family" expanded as we joined members and ex-members of the community at Mt.Bether Bible Center, as well as various and assorted Hoonah residents and visitors to Hoonah. If you were in town on that day, you were welcome to come join in the celebration. I'm not sure how long the farm  has been doing this- seven or eight or ten years. However long it's been, it's fun. Along with a lot of really good food you get a chance to visit people that you don't normally see. Several folks came in from Juneau- Tim and Victor Banaszak and some of their family members and Jane Steiner and her son. When we lived at the farm, so many years ago, they were just kids themselves and now they have families of their own. A cold rain had been falling for several days and had turned the roads to solid mud and the swollen streams were moving at a pretty good clip. I was a little afraid that maybe there wouldn't be a very good turn out, but when we got to the parking area we saw that most of the spaces were filled with cars and trucks. Usually I bring along a rifle for bear protection; the area is close to a salmon stream and is surrounded by muskegs and woods and every year it seems that one or two bears find their way into the farm, but this time I left it behind. I figured with all the noise of multiple travelers, bears wouldn't be a problem. It's a bit of a challenge to get out to the farm. You have to drive six or eight miles over some gravel logging roads, some of which are littered with pot holes, across a couple wooden bridges which are starting to show signs of pretty serious wear, and then walk a trail through the muskegs which are getting overgrown with spruce and hemlock trees on either side, which really limits your visibility. Then down through a small patch of woods,across a couple small streams, through the fields and into the camp. Back when I was living on the farm there was no road to travel. We had to walk the mud flats out to the point, pack a canoe down to the water's edge, paddle out to our skiffs, which were anchored in deep enough water that they wouldn't go dry on low tide, and run into town across four miles of water in all kinds of weather- wind, snow, rain, whatever. I'm not sure which was easier. In any event, the fact that so many people are willing to go the distance is a testimony of how enjoyable the celebration at Game Creek is. The pictures that show the inside of the tabernacle were taken before everyone arrived. By the time dinner was served every table was full and the place was buzzing with the conversation of multitudes of people having a good time. It's good to remember that in an era when our differences seem so profound, we can come together over a good meal and some great conversation and just enjoy each others company. My sincere thanks to the folks at Game Creek who provide us with the opportunity to be neighbors to each other.


  1. Glad you guys had a good time!

  2. HI Autumn- too bad you couldn't have come, I know you would have enjoyed it.

    1. I think so. It was a trip going back there after having been gone for 24 years, was neat to see! I hope that eventually I'll be home for your Christmas party. I vote you do it on moms birthday this year, then I CAN be there. Will liven things up a bit! I'll do the head bob for everyone! ;)

  3. So many thanks for the pictures and writeup!

  4. I missed it this year:( I really enjoyed myself last year, kind of like going into a time warp. Good people out there...Liz

  5. Hi Jeremy- you're welcome. I had a great time as always.

    Hi Liz- yeah it would have been nice if you could have made it. Maybe next year it will work out.

  6. Enjoyed reading this, Tom. Glad people are getting together...Bonnie Palmer

  7. HI Bonnie! How nice to hear from you! Too bad you and David couldn't have been there. Most years there are more people who show from Juneau. I'm not sure why they didn't this year- I guess everyone is busy, plus the weather was less than ideal. Drop us a line sometime and let us know how you're doing. My email address is tbotts52@yahoo.com