SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Cruisers tax out
By Gabreal A. Easterly


September 15, 2006

Five generations ago great, great Grandpa Harry James Diamond was running a very successful fish trap on Annette Island with great Uncle Joe Diamond as his helping hand. Great Grandpa and Grandpa Harry James Diamond the third have worked in logging camps, ran heavy equipment, and ran the finest tug boats in Alaska. My father was a bush pilot for 30 years and strongly advised me not to become one because soon that would be gone too. So I looked for something that would keep me going no matter what decision were made against the will of real Alaskans. Okay so maybe carpentry wasn't the best choice either but I have always had work even through the hardest of winters, even when it meant chain-sawing down some of the most rotten houses on Deermount. But never-the-less between deer meat, salmon, and halibut we have always had enough to get through the winter.

At the age of 71 after having both knees replaced, a shoulder, metal plate in his head, and several back surgeries Grandpa Diamond,{A.k.A} the Alaska Diamond was forced into the tourist industry also. Forgive me if I make this sound like a bad thing my entire my family is very grateful for the tourist after all if we didn't have that we would probably have nothing. After 3 years with Grey Line, he is now enjoying taking tourists out for bear tours around S.E. At the age of 75 a would say he has around 25 years before he is ready for retirement and like Joe Johnson, I am also willing to hang up my bags and do whatever it takes to raise my kids in my home and still live above the poverty level. My point is if all we have left is tourism can we please all do our best to keep them coming. At this point anything that brings in employment to are beloved little town is helping, if my children are to have any chance of not being forced to leave the summer after graduation let's give it to them.

Gabreal A. Easterly
Ketchikan, AK - USA

PS: Just like most of us, all I want is to be able to die here. If that means dressing up like somebody I'm not and selling t-shirts with Alaska written on it so I can go fishing and hunting on my weekend then that's what I'll do. Keep them coming here or they'll go some where else.

About: "5th generation Alaskan, born and raised in Ketchikan."




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Ketchikan, Alaska