It’s only been three short weeks since my visit to Fairbanks, compliments of the Tanana Valley League of Women Voters. But the pre-coronavirus world seems like ages ago.

Featured Speaker at Noel Wien Library and Fairbanks’ Schools

Monday evening, Feb. 24th, I was the featured speaker at the beautiful Noel Wien Library in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the perfect venue to share my book, Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich. The enthusiasm and warmth of the audience contrasted with the impressively chilly temperatures outside. I also spoke at the Effie Kochrane Middle School and the Anne Wien Elementary School.

My experience with Fairbanks was beautiful, if a tad chilly

Though I have lived in Alaska for more than half a century, this was my first visit to Fairbanks. It made me sorry I waited so long. Every day was hung with postcard images. White snow skirted graceful birches reaching their speckled arms toward a pure blue sky. They seemed to be beckoning to a sun that barely managed to push the mercury past 3 degrees by midday.

Highlights included a visit to the ice carnival, filled with miraculous sculptures that would not even have been attempted in soggy Juneau.

A visit from a local… Moose!

A moose visiting a house is fairly common in Fairbanks. This fearless visitor, just outside the Guthrie’s window, provided a rare experience for me.  (Watch all the way through for a surprise at the very end.)

Recording the audio version of Fighter in Velvet Gloves

I also took advantage of this visit to check in with my publisher, University of Alaska Press. Director Nate Bauer set me up with Joseph Jackson, media production designer at the University of Alaska Studio, to finish recording the audio version of Fighter in Velvet Gloves. Thanks to Diane Benson, the primary narrator, the new audio book should be available soon.

Thank you, Fairbanks! As I look back from this healthcare house arrest, I’m so glad I was able to go when I did. And I will always remember the kindness and generosity of my artistic hosts, Mary Lee Guthrie, her husband Dale, daughter Mareca, granddaughter, dear little Maple, and the League’s co-president, Sue Sherif.

Dale Guthrie and me.

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