Interviewee: Holly Hawk-Jordan and Gale Horton
Place: Tanana Valley Farmers Market
I was wandering through the the Tanana Valley Farmers Market around lunchtime, searching the crowds for an eye-catching person to interview when I was approached by two friendly women. They struck up a conversation about our project and explained that they too were from Michigan.
Holly and Gale happened to be visiting Fairbanks all the way from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Both women were born, raised, and worked in Michigan for their entire life. Gale and Holly were in Fairbanks paying a visit to Gale’s daughter, who had recently moved to Alaska in order to escape Michigan and find adventure. According to Gale, her daughter now works in a coffee shop and is enjoying her new life.
For 35 years, Holly taught all ages, ranging from elementary to middle and high school and even adults. High school was Holly’s absolute favorite grade to teach because she felt she could reason and communicate with them the best. Holly described elementary students as her least favorite because she didn’t enjoy the tying shoes, zipping coats, and wiping snotty noses. She stressed the importance of working hard and maintaining good grades in order to succeed at life. “If you bother to do something, you better give it your best shot,” she explained. After teaching, Holly became involved with Girl Scouts and was a camp directer at Camp Merri-Wood, a Girl Scout camp that I attended when I was younger. Through Girl Scouts, Holly and Gale were able to meet and immediately become the best of friends.
Gale described her life by saying “Every new day is an adventure.” Mostly, she had worked in the real-estate business, but joked, “I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!” She mentioned that she had worked on a project with the Enbridge oil spill in Marshall. Overall, Gale said she was fortunate for the many great opportunities she had been given in her lifetime.
The pair compared Alaska to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, and that they love being in Alaska. They were even planning their next trip to the 49th state, however next time they will be coming in late February, a more daring time to visit the last frontier. Before I was able to ask more questions, Gale and Holly explained that they were off to North Pole, the town, and that they enjoyed our long and exciting interview.
By: Josie Croce