June 19, 2103

June 18

I am finally learning how to travel. When I am in these little towns (like here in Delta Junction), I can actually just flow with whatever is going on and still do my own thing. I can pretty much ignore everyone around me (that’s what you have to do when you are constantly moving and being around lots and lots of new people all the time).

This is excellent because then I can TOTALLY FOCUS on what really interests me (instead of focusing on what interests other people and on social manners). When you live in a little town like this one (Delta Junction), you HAVE TO be polite and have social behavior that doesn’t harm or bother others.

It’s what we learn when we are mothering: we can never behave in ways that would threaten our kids. We have to constantly placate others unless we want to make our paths harder and endanger our kids. I no longer have to do that.

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My days now include singing. Every morning (usually, it’s in the morning), I practice singing  songs that I love and that I have on my iPod. They are (for now):

Pledging My Love (Creole Zydeco Farmers)

You Know That I Love You (same  as above)–I have to get Cajun words to this song.

Daddy, Won’t You Please Come Home (Annette Hanshaw [Katie Tait in Whitehorse turned me on to this])

Frank Mills (from Hair [my original a cappella song])

Mirame (in Spanish) and Girlie Girlie (Blondie)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Rodney Crowell song; I like The Highwaymen’s version: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings)

Better Man (KebMo)

Other songs I sing, but just for fun:

Johnny Be Good (Chuck Berry: the master)

Give Me a Reason (Pink–she’s too good for me to imitate now; song’s hard for me to sing)

Stand By Me (Prince Royce version; I’d like to learn more of his songs in Spanish)

Want to learn:

I Want a Cowboy Sweetheart (any version for now)

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Sherlock (BBC): “Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!”

What is a LOVER? Someone who lets people fall in love with them (and, in fact, encourages/helps people fall in love with them). I did this for many years. It may also be called “flirting,” a rather unfamiliar concept to Aspies. Yet, I think I have been doing this for a long time, but I saw it as loving and being loved by others.

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In Alaska, men-following-their-own-interests (which often means their independent projects and their fantasies of  being  tough guys: hunters, woodsmen, independent and self-sufficient men, etc.) apparently, from what my informants (!) have told me, does not benefit of their families (i.e., wife and kids). These men are living for themselves, and their wives have to pick up the slack. If they don’t, the families fall apart.

Only social outsiders (like me) are truly accepted and trusted by Native People. I hear that the Caucasian majority and the Natives mostly live harmoniously “side by side.” When subsistence issues (hunting, fishing, and Native rights) come up, the communities become divided and fighting occurs.

Katie John who just died in Anchorage was an Ahtna. That’s a branch of the Athabascans. Lucia told me a lot of this on our drive from Tok to Delta yesterday. She used to teach (and live, part time) in Dot Lake, which is one of the many little Native villages around here.

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My story is The Ugly Duckling. I finally discovered that I am a swan and not an ugly duckling at all. I see wild swans on ponds up here. Unbelievably beautiful.

Still taking cold showers. My new CS host, Sondra, lives on her 40 acres in Delta Junction. She’s a construction worker and is (also) building her own house (half of the house was there when she bought the property). Fortunately, no one around here cares how others look. It is decidedly NOT a fashion show up here.

Delta Junction’s army base is some kind of missile defense thing and its population is small. Delta was settled in the 1940s and people here do farming and raise cows. You can see horses here (but not in Tok).

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My favorite CS hosts are often unique people (people who have chosen or been forced into [and come to accept] unusual paths) or artists or social outsiders (or all 3). The Native People (like most minorities everywhere) don’t trust members of the Caucasian majority. Mainstreamers (of any group) are not really accepted by Native People. I am so glad I recognized myself long ago as NOT PART OF THE MAINSTREAM (both by temperament and by the conditions of my birth/childhood).

I am glad to be a social outsider, an American Traveller-Gypsy. This social position has both “good and “bad” consequences (all of which I accept). Opposing any majority always has SOME negative consequences. The benefits (to me and, formerly, to my children and, presently, to my grandchildren) offset any problems and disadvantages.

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Delta Junction, Alaska

  • White alone – 824 (86.0%)
  • Hispanic – 45 (4.7%)
  • Two or more races – 35 (3.7%)
  • American Indian alone – 26 (2.7%)
  • Black alone – 13 (1.4%)
  • Asian alone – 11 (1.1%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone – 4 (0.4%)
Some Wikipedia facts about Delta Junction:

The median income for a household in the city was $43,500, and the median income for a family was $58,250. Males had a median income of $50,469 versus $25,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,171. About 12.3% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

17.3 square miles: area of Delta Junction

Population:  958 (2013)

The army base has a population of about 100.

Delta Junction has the highest percentage of Ukrainian people in the United States, with 16.4% being Ukrainian or of Ukrainian descent.

Economy of Delta Junction:

Construction and maintenance of the military facilities, mining, agriculture, tourism and their support industries form the backbone of the area economy.

A railroad spur from Fairbanks to Delta Junction has been proposed to transport material to the missile defense site. This should spur other types of industry in Delta Junction, as the railroad could transport agricultural products out of the area as well as promote tourist travel into the area by rail.

Many people in Delta Junction supplement their food supply by hunting the moose, caribou, Dall sheep and bison in the area, as well as fishing. A few operate small gold mines or hunt or trap fur-bearing animals for extra income.

Delta Junction, like most Alaska communities, has a small airstrip where charter flights are available for sightseeing, hunting and fishing.

Due to limited shopping availability, many residents travel to Fairbanks via the Richardson Highway to purchase goods and services. Though Delta has a clinic, primary medical care is also in Fairbanks.

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More on Delta Junction’s military base (Wikipedia):

Shortly after BRAC was complete, the United States government announced plans to build a missile defense installation at Ft. Greely. The installation was then divided into two parts operated by two different commands — U.S. Army Garrison Alaska and Space and Missile Defense Command. The main post retained the name Fort Greely and is operated by the Space and Missile Defense Command. Outlying range, training and impact areas were absorbed by Fort Wainwright and were renamed Donnelly Training Area.

From 2002 to 2005, Delta Junction experienced an economic boom similar to the pipeline days as Fort Greely became fully operational again and the missile test bed was constructed. National firms such as Boeing, Bechtel, and Brown and Root, as well as regional firms including Chugach opened up offices on the installation, under contract to the government. Construction of the Pogo Gold Mine just north of Delta Junction, near the Goodpaster River, also contributed significantly to the economic fortune of the city. Mineral deposits near Tangle Lakes, south of Delta Junction, will likely result in additional development of mining in the area.

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Definitions of ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Traveller’

The term ‘travelling people’ is one often used in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It can include:

~‘Gypsies’ who may be of English, Welsh or Scottish descent, and who (may or may not: see Judith Okely’s The Traveller-Gypsies) have Romany ancestry. ‘Gypsies’ have a specific meaning for the purposes of planning and local authority law, which is considered below.

~‘Irish Travellers’ who are a nomadic Irish ethnic group with a separate identity, culture, language and history. There are many Irish Travellers resident in Britain for all or part of the year.

~‘Scottish Travellers’ who like Irish Travellers have musical traditions, language and other histories that date back at least to the twelfth century.

~The Roma people who have moved to Britain from Central and Eastern Europe (of which Britain’s Romany Gypsies are members [other British Gypsies are not members of this group: see Judith Okely]).

~People with a long family history of travelling because they work with fairgrounds and circuses (also known as ‘Travelling Show people’).

~So-called ‘New Travellers’. Some of whom may be second or third generation Travellers and/or may have Gypsy ancestry.

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