Bonding Over Alaska

Fishing Boats, June 1963

Tonight was a great event in gear head history.

The History Channel ran the first new episode of Top Gear USA, which is an American version of the hit British show that has been on the air for some time. David and I watched it together, taking an opportunity to hang out with me while his little brother Jack was zonked out on Grandma’s bed upstairs.

Great show, if you love cars (and we all do in The Clark House).

About halfway through, an advert came on for the show coming up the next hour – IRT Deadliest Roads. Since David is a longtime fan of Ice Road Truckers and the newer Deadliest Roads series, I was surprised when he said that he didn’t want to watch that tonight.

“I’m going to switch it over to Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

So at 8:00pm we switched to TLC for the show. I don’t watch a lot of TV, usually movies on DVD or VHS. But this show hooked me from the start because of the colors and the camera work. I sat back in the big chair and got more comfy.

David sat between my legs. “Do you know why I wanted this on?”

“No mister,” I said. “Why?”

“Because of you.”

I started to tear up.

David knows I love Alaska. I was born in Anchorage in 1964. My Mom’s family history there predates its 1959 statehood. For the first five years of my life I lived on a windswept island in the Aleutians. While my time in Alaska was brief in terms of my overall life, I carry memories from those years that have never ever faded. To this day, if I close my eyes on a Washington beach, I can transport myself back to Sand Point AK with a smile.

It was a wonderful moment, not only because my son wanted me to enjoy and reminisce about my time there, but because with every passing minute of the show I could remember more and more of those days. The colors in the show were suddenly brighter. The trees, the constant wind and overcast conditions, and even the color of the water brought me back to the days when our family would head out to “The Spit” for some beach time – at 40 degrees. By the end of the show I could even smell the island. David drifted off and curled up next to me.

Best TV Time. Ever.

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