Asher Wertheimer Interview

Interviewee: Dora Miller

Location: Talkeetna, AK

After departing our first stop of Palmer, the group drives up to Denali National Park and stays at the Grizzly Bear campground. However, it is a long drive from Palmer to Denali, and a group of our magnitude gets hungry. So, we stop at the small town of Talkeetna, a quirky little village complete with cat mayors, homemade ice cream, lovely rivers, a old fashioned nostalgic feel, and plenty of tourist traps for your children to spend your hard earned cash. At this stop, a group of Junior Leaders and I entered a small hut. The dimly lit one room cottage contained a fairly obvious theme. They Aurora Borealis. Magnets, postcards, small photos, big photos, and posters, littered walls, shelves and racks Our entire clique was in awe, and how could we not be? We don’t see this type of stuff in Michigan, just snow. I knew I had to interview this wonderful artist, so I asked her if she would mind if we could chat for a bit. She agreed, but on one condition, that she could ask us some questions first. After giving her the information about our group and our mission, I began my interview. She told me that her name was Dora Miller, and said, “I came before Dora the Explorer.” Dora has lived in Talkeetna for 13 years now, and moved from Brazil. At first I was surprised why she would ditch a nice warm place for one not known for it’s nice weather. Then I realized that I was a little biased, living in Michigan and all, plus Alaska is very beautiful. With some help from my fellow Junior Leaders, we found out that she moved to Alaska for the Aurora, and moved to Talkeetna because she knew people here, and that it was easier to go somewhere where you know people. Dora has a 16 year old son whose name she knew I would not be able to spell, so she did it for me. Henrique, pronounced en he key, is 16. His name is the Portuguese version of Henry. When Dora first moved to Talkeetna, she loved the winter, and particularly enjoyed shoveling snow out of her driveway, which makes sense, seeing as how she has not seen a lot of snow in Brazil. However, reality stung her more than the frigid Alaskan air. Combined with the cold an the constant darkness, Dora realized that she just might go nuts in the winter if she couldn’t find something to do. So, she took advantage of the wonderful spectacle of the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. Before this Dora shot only normal landscape shots, such as: mountains, lakes, and glaciers. Now, she is very passionate about her work, which is very evident when one strolls into her little shop of wonders. My assisting Junior Leaders and I thanked Dora, pucrchaced a few small knick knacks and left, continuing our adventure into the state that Dora loves so much.

Asher Wertheimer.