This week we have had the joy of welcoming my 'separated in the womb twin' Craig to Homer! Craig has been my friend since middle school. This can be verified by my mother, who, after eighth grade graduation, drove up and down the road from the middle school looking for me panicked while Craig and I sat huddled on the lawn of my friends house crying over the separation we were going to have to endure over the summer. I did not notice my mother looking for me, shouting my name, through my tears. Oops! Can you imagine that she was unimpressed at our feeling as though we would die if separated? I was grounded for a long time after that. Craig was going to move up here with me in '94 and then changed his mind at the last minute. (There is a book written on this topic but that is a different subject.)
Activity number one on the list of activities to do with Craig during his stay was the premier of "Alaska: The Last Frontier" which features my good friends Charlotte and Otto Kilcher. Friends and family congregated at Alice's Champagne Palace to watch the event on one of the bars nine TV screens. We don't have television at our house and neither do most of our family or friends. Neither, of course, do the stars of the show, the Kilchers.
About 50 of us congregated at the long thin log tables, drinks in hands, as the reality show announcer did a voice over of a panoramic shot of our neighborhood. Immediately, the assembled crowd shouted at the bar tender: "TURN IT UP!"
Atz, Atz Lee, Otto and Eivan were all right up there on the big screen! The photography was beautiful. Of course, there were plot points that needed to be heckled by the crowd. For instance, when the editors panned across a map of the Kenai Peninsula, the point of interest that the map was identifying did not say Homer, Fritz Creek, or Kachemak Selo but instead said 'Head of the Bay'. We all howled! I wonder if 'Head of the Bay' shows up on Google Earth? Could I tag myself on Facebook as having my current location 'Head of the Bay'?
I may be biased, but my favorite character on the show is Otto. Of all the characters, Otto was the most genuine. He is full of hilarious stories and this was lightly touched on during the show. Hopefully we will get to see more of that in the next episodes. On this first episode the producers spent a great deal of time focusing on Otto and his milk cow. I will say that this was indeed a sad moment for Otto. I was sad about it too as this is the cow that my Brownie troop milked last year. That moment in Otto's life, however, was just a blip on the radar of one of our neighborhoods most colorful people.
For instance, the last time I was at the Kilcher Homestead for a visit with Charlotte, Otto rushed up and told us that he had just gotten a call from a friend in town that the troopers were on the way out with a subpoena for him. Seems the last people who hired out his landing craft were inadvertently being accused of stealing an aircraft and so his landing craft was being held by the troopers and if he wanted to be available for the cattle drive this weekend he needed to lay low, "Love you hon, I've gotta go..."
Toward the end of the show, as Atz Lee didn't 'get his bear', one of the friends in the crowd suggested that there would need to be a benefit auction for poor Atz Lee. "Hopefully we will be able to raise enough money to get him a Safeway Gift Card!" The crowd howled!
If you tweet, follow Charlotte and Otto at @kilcherfrontier