Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #13: Wednesday, Part 1

Randy Brubaker got off the plane at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and looked around. He was sent to a resort city in Alaska by his publisher to get a break from being a sudden celebrity for his novel "Stroke Girl" and he chose to go to remote Wednesday, Alaska. We went to the area where cars were waiting to pick people up but no one was waiting for him. After waiting, for several minutes, he went up to a information desk.

"I'm waiting to be picked up and my car's not here."

"Where are you heading, sir?" the woman working the desk asked.

"Wednesday, Alaska."

"You need to go out to runway 17," she pointed to the northeast.

"Runway? Am I going on another plane?"

"Yeah, that's the quickest way to get to Wednesday. By car, it's a nearly three day drive. By plane, only a couple of hours."

Randy's shoulders slumped and he began walking in the direction that the woman pointed. "I should've gone to Bermuda."

It was a small bush plane that flew Randy from Anchorage to Wednesday. It was piloted by Tracey Votaw who had lived in Wednesday for the last eight years. "Why is it called Wednesday?" Randy asked, feeling more at ease in the tiny plane.

"It was founded on a Wednesday," Tracey answered.

"Ah. Well, ask a silly question..." Randy chuckled to himself. "So you do this everyday? Travel four hours both ways from Wednesday to Anchorage?"

"It's not everyday. It's only when people need to get in or out of Wednesday. And it's not always Anchorage. Sometimes it's to Fairbanks, or Nome, or Sitka, or Juneau. Sitka and Juneau are all day flights. I take a day to fly out there, you have to spend the night, and we leave the next day."

"That sounds terrible," Randy said.

"So you wrote a book?" Tracey asked.

"Yeah. 'Stroke Girl'. My publisher wanted me to get away for a bit. I'm also hoping that this vacation inspires me to get some writing done."

"Well, it's very quiet in Wednesday so you should be able to get something done."

"Welcome to Wednesday," Holton Crenshaw spread his arms wide as he walked to Tracey's plane that had just landed. Randy was deboarding and was ready to get to a hotel and lay down.

"Hi. Hey. You must be Mr. Crenshaw," Randy said.

"Please, call me Holton. My car is waiting, come with me and I'll show you around Wednesday."

"I'd rather just go to the hotel and get into bed. Watch some TV, you know."

"Nonsense, it will be a quick tour then I'll drop you off at Rosie's," Holton said. The small, one-strip airport was two miles from Wednesday but downtown was even smaller. Holton pulled into the intersection of 3rd and Main and began pointing. "We have your typical small town amenities like a grocery store, bar, bookstore, doctor's office. There's the courthouse and our radio station."

"This is Wednesday?" Randy shrieked. "I thought I was going to a resort town on the edge of the Alaskan frontier."

"You are. It's not your typical resort but you still get the laid back atmosphere without the heat or the crowds."

Randy pinched his eyes shut and shook his head. "I'll deal with this in the morning. Just take me to the hotel."

"We don't have a hotel. You'll be staying at Rosie's."

"What's Rosie's?" Randy asked, nervous about what it might be.

"It's a boarding house."

"Of course it is," Randy slouched into the car seat.

Rosie's was a large house south of downtown on Main Street. It was a huge blue frame house, probably one of the first houses built in the town. Randy and Holton went up to the door and Holton rang the bell. A sturdy older woman opened the door and smiled at Holton.

"How you doing, Holt?" she asked.

"I'm doing great. I've got your border here. The author," Holton said. "Rosie McAtee, this is Randy Brubaker. Randy, you are in good hands."

"That's great," Randy said, walking into the house. "I just want to get to my room and lie down. You know?"

"Well, let me show you to your room," as they walked through the house, Rosie told about the history of the house. "This house was possibly the first house built in Wednesday and was initially used to house miners that were brought up here before World War II, which is why it is so big. After the war, mining was banned and it looked as if Wednesday wasn't going to stay on the map. After the Korean War, Holton Crenshaw came up here and has spent every day promoting and modernizing Wednesday but still keeping it's small town charm. Here's your room, if you need anything just push this button. I'll be open for another two hours. Please help yourself to whatever is in the fridge."

"Thank you," Randy said, now excited to see a bed. The bedroom door closed and Randy flopped down on the bed wondering what else would surprise him on this vacation.