Given all the traveling and hospital stays I have had since, I dropped the story of Marty's efforts to blend in. Eventually, she moved into the whole house. I kept hearing rumors that she and Jim had become great friends, that they often played tag and chased each other all through the house, that they would wrestle and roll around and have a blast, but I never witnessed this for myself.
Now, finally, they got together to have fun right in front of me. I wondered what they would do.
Wow! Left jab, right jab! Then they took off scurrying all about the house, but in my debilitated state, I could not follow the action.
Okay! Ever since my accident June 12, I have been promising to soon tell the story of the Barrow cats that I had met the night before, and of the accident and jet ambulance ride that followed. Finally, I am ready to tell that story. I have created a large pool of blog-ready photos to draw from and tomorrow I will post a selection.
First, I need to set the stage, just a little bit. When I took my fall, two cameras fell with me. A Canon 5D digital with a 16-35 mm lens on it, and a Canon 1Ds Mk III, with a 24-105 mm lens. You can see what happened to the 5d an the 16-35. All the pictures that I have taken since have been on the 1ds Mk III with the 24-105, both of which seem to have survived the fall that so damaged me.
I miss that 16-35 terribly. I will get it repaired and I will put it back in action.
There is going to be a big hole in my post-accident pictures. They will not show this boy, Kungasuk, a high school student who had been visiting Barrow from the Arctic Slope village of Point Lay. After I fell, he appeared at my side almost immediately. He helped to gather up my cameras, both broken and whole, and to get them packed up and in safe hands.
He then accompanied me to the emergency room and he alone stayed there with me. He protected me from all the good-intentioned well-wishers who sought to encourage me with a pat to my shattered shoulder. He spoke soothing and encouraging words and he always kept a cheering smile upon his face. He stayed with me until I was X-rayed, well sedated and safely stored in a holding room to await my jet ambulance. I did not get my good camera back until I had been in the emergency room for about three hours. By then, he had had to leave and so I was unable to photograph him in the act of helping me.
Still, I want thank him and recognize him. I had taken this picture of him on April 27, at Point Lay whale camp on the ice of the Chukchi Sea, 31 miles from the village. He was part of the Thomas Nukapigak crew. I was very impressed with him then, and am even more so, now.
Thank you, Kungasuk! You're not a boy; you're a man - a good man - the kind of man I am so proud and thankful to know.