I guess my sense of Alaskan history isn't what I
thought it was. But with Reagan's death, there has
been some discussion here lately of... well, let me
set the scene.
You may have heard of Fairbanks, AK. It's the
state's #2 city, sits 400 miles into the interior of
the state from Anchorage, and is renowned for it's
crushing, relentless winter cold. Temps at or below -40 are
not unusual (that's when the Air Force base there,
Eielson, shuts down) and entire months come and go
with it never getting above -20.
Fairbanks isn't the coldest spot in the state, but
only indians and oil workers live where it's any
It is also far enough north that it can claim to
have months when the sun never sets and, alternately,
never rises (here in Anchorage, the longest day of the
year is about 20 hours).
Hunting in the area is the state's best, but as you
might imagine, Fairbanks, as a city, is not much to
see. A beat up downtown, some surrounding
neighborhoods and even one or two 'bedroom communties'
that sort of qualify as suburbs (including North
But not exactly Rome.
And speaking of Rome, i hope you can all recall
where our current President was when he got The News
about The Gipper. He was in Rome, meeting with the
(and how funny was that? The Prez, mid-war, shows
up and gives the pope the "Medal of Freedom" and the
Pope promptly spends the hour yelling at him like a
grade school principle, and spends the rest of the
week doing a Triumph The Insult Dog routine on Dubya,
the war and the whole country in general. Hilarious).
So that meeting - Most Powerful Man on
Earth-meets-the Pope - took place at the Vatican,
which we can all agree, seems an appropriate setting.
I'm not sure I'd say the same about Fairbanks. But
apparently, His Holiness and The Gipper would.