For the Anchorage Daily News:
My dad and stepmom threw a St. Patrick’s Day party a couple weeks ago and half the neighborhood showed up. I found Jack Roderick, who lives across the street from them, at the kitchen table with a plate of corned beef. Jack was once the borough mayor of Anchorage, back when we had both city and borough governments. It was his 93rd birthday. I asked what he was up to.
You know how, when you live in the town where you grew up, there’s this cast of characters you have been floating along with forever? They aren’t part of your inner circle, but you just know them and they know you. There’s a kind of intimacy that comes with time passed together, showing up in all the same places. Anyway, that day, Jack was my oracle.
“Staying alive mostly,” he told me, in answer to my question. “We’re all going to die, but you always think, ‘Oh no, not me.’”
I laughed, but it was one of those comments that leads your mind down a path. Driving home, I kept thinking about this haircut appointment I’d been to earlier in the week.
Geneva is the kind of hairdresser who is as valuable to the world as a doctor or a priest. She always knows what to do. I joke that she’s my primary-care provider.
Read the rest here.