I don’t read as many hard back books as I used to since I bought an Amazon Kindle. I got tired of packing a bunch of heavy books when I travel and I ended up giving them away on the road after ALASKA reading them anyway. I am still, however, plugging away on my remaining library of books and have just finished Looking for Alaska by Peter Jenkins. Jenkins spent eighteen months with his wife and eight year old daughter living in Seward, Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula. I enjoyed reading about Alaska because of my many summers of traveling there to work on purse seine boats back when there were no areas to which you were restricted while fishing for salmon. We would head for Alaska in May and we fished everywhere from Bristol Bay in the Bering Sea to Kodiak Island and on down to South East Alaska. We went where we hoped to find fish and then made the long trip back to Puget Sound to fish here as well. I loved Alaska and time we spent there so I enjoyedthe book. One line I laughed at was when Jenkins was talking about the small number of women compared to males living in Alaska. He said the common expression about the good chances for women to find men in Alaska was always with the comment: "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

I also finished Maxims & Reflections by Colin Coote which was a collection of quotes from Winston CHURCHILL Churchill. I have always admired Churchill’s wonderful vocabulary and his quotes, jabs and comments which were often scathing. His verbal training came from the rough and tumble of the British Parliament, but his skill as a wordsmith was best illustrated by my favorite books, his six volume set The Second World War. His skill with word pictures is unsurpassed in these volumes. Even the titles of the books as well as the chapters titles captured the idea of the contents. For example, "The Gathering Storm" described the situation just before the second world war began. The book I just finished has many of his great quotes. Look at some of these from the book

  • The Honorable gentleman is trying to win distinction by rudeness (during a debate)
  • I remember, when I was a child, going taken to the celebrated Barnum’s circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as "the boneless wonder." ….I have waited fifty years to see the boneless wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench. (He was critical of the lack of action)
  • Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma
  • He had all the canine virtues in a remarkable degree – courage, fidelity, vigilance, love of the chase
  • It is very much better sometimes to have a panic feeling beforehand, and then to be quite calm when things happen, than to be extremely calm beforehand and to get into a panic when things happen.
  • The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go
  • The proud German army by its sudden collapse, sudden crumbling and breaking up, has once again proved the truth of the saying "the Hun is always either at your throat or at your fee."
  • In those days Mr Baldwin was wiser then he is now; he used frequently to take my advice
  • This truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is
  • I cannot expect to be impartial between the fire-brigade and the fire


  1. Paul,
    I read your wonderful story about your grandmother. I remember her so well. I can still picture her, with her long white hair piled high on top of her head. We called her “Tata Marija.”

    And, of course, “Uncle John” was the same “Uncle John” who helped bring my grandparents from Splitska to Anacortes.

    Thank you for the story.
    Pat Francin Opia

  2. My mother’s grandmother, Mary Giddey, was the daughter of Antonio Babarovich who was naturalized in Australia in 1877. His previous nationality was Austrian. He built houses in Sydney, calling one row of three houses Dalmatia Terrace, Underwood Street Paddington.
    I have no information about his parents or his birth, or any siblings. He had two wives, Margaret Andrews (from Scotland), and Henrietta Wyatt. His children were Mary Ann, Margaret, Antonio Prospero and Arnestina, Francesco and another daughter.
    I would be happy to know any more information if you have any.
    Perhaps there is some distant link.

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