Shipwrecks and plane crashes on isolated Alaska islands, bear hunts not for sport, but to protect herds of cattle and sheep, hauling cattle by ship, barge, and skiff, snowshoeing across snow-filled mountain passes to feed cattle and rescue calves, the 1912 Katmai Volcano, fox farming, the 1964 earthquake and tidal wave (tsunami), and the oil spill of 1989. All of this and more is woven by Wanda Fields into the fabric of her tales about pioneer Alaskan ranchers on and around Kodiak Island over the past two hundred years. She has combined extensive interviews with many of these ranchers, stories passed down and lived personally, and the ranching experiences she and her husband De Witt have shared during their 50 years in Kodiak. Only now, that most of the participants in these events have passed on, can some of these stories be told.
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Wanda Marie Fields was born on her grandfather's ranch near Brownwood, Texas in 1921. She was reared in the small Southern California farming community of Brawley, where she met her husband De Witt. They were married in 1942, and she graduated from the University of Redlands in 1943. De Witt and Wanda arrived in Kodiak during June 1949 to become houseparents at the Kodiak Baptist Mission. In 1957 De Witt and Wanda bought their cattle ranch at Anton Larsen Bay where they maintained a herd of cattle for thirty years. Their remaining cattle and horses are now at Narrow Cape, Harvester Island, and Bear Island. Wanda began teaching in the Kodiak Public Schools in 1952, received her M.A. from the University of Alaska in 1976, and retired from teaching in 1977. She and De Witt continue to live in Kodiak, and in the summer, at the family commercial salmon fishing (setnetting) site on Bear Island in Uyak Bay. They have three sons, Weston, Duncan, and Wallace.Review:
Wanda Marie Fields’ book will be an important piece of Alaskana and Western history on the day it is published. -- Walter J. Hickel Governor of Alaska 1966 -1969 and 1990 -1994
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Book Description Publication Consultants, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111888125446