My wife is a reseller on Amazon and eBay. She was sitting at the table when she told me she got an order from Golovin, Alaska.
She had heard me talk about Golovin a lot over the years. I spent a week there in the summers of 1981 and 1982 teaching Vacation Bible School. I have great memories from there.
Back then, Golovin was a small Eskimo village of about 120 people. They have 160 people now. It’s about 65 miles east of Nome and is only accessible by boat or plane — and dog sled when the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race comes through there once a year.
I asked my wife if the person’s last name was Amaktoolik. She looked up the order and sure enough, the woman’s last name was Amaktoolik.
I asked Lori to email her and ask her if she’s related to Frankie or Melvin Amaktoolik. They were brothers who had been in my Vacation Bible School both summers and had a lot of fun with them.
Lori got a quick response from her and said she was Frankie’s daughter and niece of Melvin. Frankie still lives there in Golovin.
I was able to connect with Frankie through Facebook and eventually a lot of the other kids (now adults) when I tagged Frankie in a bunch of pictures I’d posted.
It’s amazing to make this connection 37 years after the last time that I saw them.
(BTW, in the picture above, I’m the one in the plaid shirt. Frankie is the guy with his face poking out and Melvin is next to me with the purple vest.)