This Weekend in Tok Alaska

What an exciting weekend we’re going to have! First, Friday night is the CANnes Film Festival. And on Sunday, we’re hosting two incredible singer/songwriters at our home and the concert is open to everyone (just bring a folding chair just in case we need extra seating). Details below:

5th Annual CANnes Film Festival Series FAMILY NIGHT for “Kids” of ALL ages
Friday, Nov.19, 2010 @ 6:00pm
Fast Eddy’s

Banquet Room opens at 5:30pm
Films begin at 6:00pm

6:00pm – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – The wise words of the Once-ler are worth
listening to as he spins a fanciful tale with a serious theme: Clean up the
environment before it’s too late! “I am the Lorax; I speak for the trees.
Until someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not!”

6:55 – Forever Wild – This film captures the glory of undeveloped, wild places and renews our understanding of the majesty of wild lands, the ecological necessity of protecting them, and the important role individual Americans continue to play in preserving a legacy of wilderness for all to enjoy.

A fun-filled evening for the ENTIRE family. This is a family activity…PLEASE – NO unsupervised children. Admission: 1 can or package of food for the Helping Hands Food Bank.

Marian Call and 907Britt Perform

Sunday, Nov.21, 2010 @ corner of West C and West Willow

(driveway is on West C across the street from former Coast Guard housing)

5:00pm – Family Singalong with 907Britt.

6:00pm – 907Britt performs. Check out her music here.

7:30pm – Marian Call performs. Check out her music here.

Suggestion Donation: $10 to be split equally between both artists.

Light refreshments will be served. Children are welcome, particularly for the early show at 5pm. Music CDs will also be on sale for both artists.

Note: Marian Call will be driving up the Alaska Highway from the Lower 48. If weather is uncooperative, Britt will carry the show for us!

You can also RSVP informally on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125260140864660

Hope to see you at one or both events!

Trick or Treat Street and PTSA Carnival in Tok

From Shannon Geese:

Coming up for Halloween: Trick or Treat Street & PTSA Carnival

WHEN: Sunday, October 31st

3:30-5:00pm Trick or Treat Streeet

4-6:30pm Carnival

The events do overlap. Everything takes place at Tok School.

The Trick or Treat Street is totally free.

The Carnival is a fundraiser for the PTSA. Tickets will be sold at the event.

Hope to have everyone come out and show their community support.

Per Shannon: They also need oa few more bodies to help operate the 23 booths. Contract Shannon Geese if you can help.

What are YOU going to be for Halloween this year?

Gordie Tentrees and Sarah MacDougall in Tok

Thanks to Bud Johnson of Acoustic Accents who hosted Canadian musicians Gordie Tentrees and Sarah MacDougall in Tok last weekend and put on a very enjoyable house concert literally in his living room. Sarah kept every entertained with her quirky style, gorgeous voice, and even had us howling (like wolves as part of a sing-a-long).

Yes, she’s in her socks!

Gordie offered up rambling, bluesy tales and storytelling banter in between.

Matt King on slide guitar and backup vocals.

Check them out on Facebook!

Sarah MacDougall Facebook Page

Gordie Tentrees Facebook Profile

Up for a concert in town featuring talented and lovely Alaskan singer/songwriters Marian Call and Britt Arnesen? Prefect winter-time event with great music to warm the soul! Working to make that happen. Stay tuned here or to our Facebook Page for updates.

If you’re into the arts in Tok, don’t forget to check out Duct Tape Radio and Humanities Forum on Facebook as well.

Getting More Concerts In Tok

Well, we did it. This summer, we hosted a House Concert in front of our house and hosted a musician in our home. This is not anything I’d ever planned on doing and only first heard about House Concerts a few months ago from the lovely and talented Marian Call of Anchorage. But then I received an email from Vanessa Boyd asking for help finding a venue in Tok where she could play on her way out of Alaska.

The first thing I did was turn to Bud Johnson of Acoustic Accents who is the Go To Guy for music in Tok, however, he was too swamped to help. Then I got the wild idea of hosting Vanessa at our place. It sounded like a fun thing to do, and it really was. Lucia of Duct Tape Radio stopped by at my urging to help me think through where the stage should be, and she came up with a great idea of using our covered porch to protect the musical and electronic equipment. My husband did most of the heavy lifting, hanging two large tarps over the driveway to protect the seats from the never-ending rain.

We had a modest turnout but everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Vanessa’s music was so creative and beautiful. I had no idea what to expect, but the layering of electric guitar and her voice through effects was mesmerizing. The whole event was really a positive experience. Our family kicked in some extra money for Vanessa to cover her expenses above and beyond what folks put into her tip jar, and it was well worth it. You can see additional photos from this event on Vanessa’s Facebook Page.

This event should not be an anomaly.

How can we all support Bud Johnson and Duct Tape Radio and Humanities Forum and others to get more music events to Tok?

Interview: Musician, artist, writer Vanessa Boyd in Tok Sunday

I got an email from NYC-based singer/songwriter Vanessa Boyd who found this blog and got in touch to ask about opportunities to perform in Tok. She – like several other talented musicians including Marian Call and Britt Arnessen – are amenable to doing House Concerts where people literally host them at their homes and invite friends and people in the community.

Vanessa will be performing THIS SUNDAY June 27 from 7pm-9pm at the corner of West Willow and West C Street (on West C) across from Coast Guard housing. Just follow the music or look for the balloons!

This is an all-ages event (FAMILY FRIENDLY song set), we’ll have a fire pit going, and I have a bunch of rhubarb ready to cut if you’re in need. Also any artist who would like to show or sell their wares – let me know. I’ll have tables set up to display.

Here’s a brief interview with her that we did via email.

1. How would you describe your music to someone who isn’t familiar with your work?

IN TERMS OF THIS SET, AGNOSTIC ELECTRIC GOSPEL, MY MELODIES TEND TO REFLECT MY SOUTHERN ROOTS, GOSPEL AND AMERICANA. THE MUSIC IS BASED MORE ON MY TRAVELS, ESPECIALLY THE GNOUA, SUFI AND CHANTING OF DIFFERENT SPIRITUAL TRANCE MOVEMENTS IN MOROCCO, SPAIN, FRANCE, ETC. I BELIEVE IN THE SUBJECTIVITY OF THE WRITER, THAT WE ALL SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE.

2. What instruments do you play and which is your favorite?

SINCE I’VE BEEN WRITING MUSIC, I HAVE SPENT THE MOST TIME WITH THE GUITAR, BOTH ACOUSTIC AND NOW ELECTRIC. I ALSO PLAY THE BARITONE UKELELE, SYNTHESIZER, AND THE MOROCCAN HAJHUJ. EACH INSTRUMENT TENDS TO BRING OUT DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL BASES.

3. Who inspires you musically?

IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THE BIGGEST INFLUENCES HAVE BEEN FUSION ARTISTS JUANA MOLINA AND MAJID BEKKHAS.

4. You are also an artist and describe your work as “reactionary art and art appropriation” – can you define what that means?

MY VISUAL ART FOCUSES ON MY REACTION TO DOMINATOR CULTURE AND IS OFTEN FEMINIST. WHEN I MOVED TO NEW YORK I STARTED WORKING IN MIXED MEDIA AND REALLY FELL FOR ART THAT USES NON-TRADITIONAL MATERIALS OR CONTEXTS.

4. And you’re a writer. What do you like to write about and why?

MY PUBLISHED WORK HAS MOSTLY BEEN FOR NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, ALTHOUGH I’VE ALSO PUBLISHED POETRY ON OCCASION. I LIKE RECOGNIZING GOOD WORK BY GOOD PEOPLE.

5. Which came first – Writing, Art or Music? When and what did you first create?

I DON’T REALLY SEE A SEPARATION BETWEEN WRITING, ART OR MUSIC. THEY’RE JUST DIFFERENT MEDIUMS FOR A MESSAGE. I’D DONE ALL OF THEM SINCE CHILDHOOD, BUT THE MUSIC BECAME A STRONG PASSION THAT GUIDED MY DECISIONS AS AN ADULT.

6. What is V2K Experience?

V2K IS THE NAME OF MY COMPANY, AND IT’S A PLATFORM FOR EXPANDING THE WAYS I WORK IN THE ARTS. EXPERIENCE IS A RESUME OF SORTS, A RUN DOWN OF WHAT I’VE DONE IN THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD IN CORPORATE AND MEDIA FIELDS.

Enjoy some artsy and eclectic sounds from the very talented Vanessa Boyd THIS SUNDAY June 27 from 7pm-9pm at the corner of West Willow and West C Street (on West C) across from Coast Guard housing.

And stay tuned for the date & time of Britt Arnessen’s House Concert.


Building New Playground Equipment at Tok School

While I wish we’d get a nice new playground at the Tok Memorial Park (down to a handful of swings), it was exciting to see some ground being broken for new equipment at the school. Not sure what they are putting up, but the components looked colorful! (Tents in background: firefighters in town to help with the fire).

Do you know what they’re building on the Tok school playground? Inquiring minds want to know! 😉

The Holy Spirit Rider Comes to Tok – Today…?

Pastor, cyclist and recreation coach Lowell White, is passing through Tok as part of a 6,000 mile, cross-country cycling mission to build community and inspire hope.

Lowell, who is 68 years of age, is riding from Fairbanks Alaska to the Florida Keys to proclaim the message that the Lord placed on his heart, that “the Holy Spirit is here.” Lowell is operating by faith that his message of encouragement will resonate with communities across the country, touching folks of all faith backgrounds.

Lowell is expected ride into Tok sometime this evening or tomorrow. Word of his mission precedes him, as a church in Fairbanks contacted the Tok Assembly of God which we understand will be helping to arrange accommodations. That is exactly how this ride is designed to unfold, virally from community to community. That’s how the Gospel was spread in early times.

Today, the word is spread with the assistance of technology and community is built with Facebook and twitter. Lowell is fully wired and makes daily blog posts, tweets and video updates from the road. He is able to share the local story from each town he visits along the way, the lives he touches and the lives that touch him.

Share Lowell’s journey online at http://www.holyspiritrider.com for video updates, uplifting blog posts and breaking news. Join Lowell’s support team and be part of something great that is happening now! Follow the Spirit Rider online at holyspiritrider.com.

For more information and to reach Lowell’s Spirit Rider Support Team, please call David 661-341-6569.

Hey Tok-ites! Let’s give this gentleman a warm Tok welcome plus a warm meal and shelter for the night.

Firefighter Camp at Tok School

Took my little one to the school playground. Covered with tents housing the firefighters who are in town to help with the fire outside of Tok/Tanacross.

Anyone out there experience fighting this fire? Feel free to share your stories and pics here.


Post Fire Scenes from Highway 2 Near Tok, Tanacross

Drove to Fairbanks yesterday, and took a few photos of the aftermath of the fire that was a wee bit too close to all of our back yards here in Tok, not to mention right up against Tanacross.

You can see photos of the actual fire and smoke on the Tok Alaska Facebook Page.

Hit My Head One Night

I hit my head Monday night. It was an accident, of course. My husband and I were teaching our 3 year old daughter to pick up trash around our house. I bent over to pick up some trash, stood up and WHAM! It took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Then the right side of my face felt numb and talking seemed a struggle. I called out to my husband who was down the road using a voice from my chest. He came running. I was stunned but finally was able to say that I hit my head.

There was very little blood. It was more of a contusion and abrasion and barely scraped my scalp. I felt weird but the pain was manageable. I went inside and called it a day.

The next day, as I was working, my right arm and hand went tingly then numb. I had trouble typing. I was feeling sharp, intermittent pain in my right temple, the side of my face, the other side of my head than where the pole hit. I got worried.

So I told my husband that I thought I should go to Fairbanks to the hospital. He had something at work that he didn’t think he could easily move so I told him I felt good enough to drive myself. Wednesday morning I started on a careful drive to Fairbanks.

Seven miles outside of Delta Junction, I felt a rush of blood to the top of my head and began to feel faint. I pulled into the Visitor’s Center and asked about a medical clinic. I went there and told them I had hit my head and was feeling strange. A doctor checked me out and said she couldn’t find anything but felt strongly that I should get a CT scan.

“We should Medevac you,” she said.

I refused. I just couldn’t see getting into a helicopter willingly. Fear of flying.

“Don’t you have something with wheels? On the ground?” I asked.

I had to wait two hours for an ambulance to return from Fairbanks to pick me up.

When the EMT looked in on me, I was relieved to see a familiar face – Timothy Langdon from the Tok Clinic. The drive to Fairbanks was bumpy but uneventful as Timothy tested me for neurological responses.

The wait in the ER room in Fairbanks was typical. The CT scan was quick and efficient and the doctor said it was clear.

He explained that the pain I felt was from muscles spasms because of the trauma to the connective tissue between my skin and skull. There was no damage beneath the skull. There was no visible damage to my neck, however, the tingly numbness in my arms could have been a pinched nerve from the force pushing my head down into my neck.

Peace of mind.

Before I got to Fairbanks, I used Twitter to ask for help once I was there. One woman generously picked up some Thai food for me, picked me up from the hospital, then brought me to the home of another woman who let me stay in her guest room. The next morning, the first woman picked me up, took me shopping for a few things in town, then drove me back to Delta Junction to my car. I would have been stranded if it weren’t for Twitter. Thank you to everyone who offered to help and to the awesome women who did.

Got home Thursday night after a careful drive in beautiful weather. Not exactly the kind of road trip I’d want to repeat.

And it was so good to be home.

Loving Some Migratory Bird Festival

It was cold. Yes, it is Alaska, but the days prior we were pushing 60+ degrees Farenheit. Suddenly, the temperatures plummeted, the sky turned gray, and the wind whipped. But we braved the weather and hung out at the park for the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Migratory Bird Festival. Here are some photos from the day, and a slideshow with even more can be found here.






Were you at the Festival? Got pics you can share?

Tok Ablaze This Month (With the Fire of God)!

Got this in the mail last week…

Are you going?