I dedicate this poem to you, Don Sheldon, Noel Wein,
Dick Reeve, Bruce Kennedy, Ron Cosgrave, charters of Alaska skies,
and to Nick Begich, Ernest Gruening, Bob Bartlett, and Tony Knowles,
a few Alaska leaders who shaped Alaska’s future.
I dedicate this poem to Dean Keim, and Everad and Helga Horton,
who helped my rhymes in my college times,
and to John Garruto, Ed Hase, August Dells, and Rancher Gordon,
father figures in my mind.
I dedicate this poem to Brother Bill,
uncles and aunts John, Haynie, Luette and Hart,
Frances and Lester, Henry and Frances,
and to Ruby Joyce and Jean, first cousins, too.
More first cousins, do I have a few?
Bobby, Ronnie, Barry, David, Lester,
Janet Gay Haines and Sue Ellen Russo,
also Judy Lynn and Lisa Hatchett.
And, of course, I pay tribute to my mother
who gave me the spirit,
but then again, not my freedom.
However, does any mother?
To Venable School and Lane High in Charlottesville, Va.,
Saint Frances School for Boys in Asheville, N.C.,
Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Va.,
U of A Fairbanks, U of A Anchorage, and Alaska Pacific University.
Also, all my rifle coaches, how did they go?
Sgt. Gentry, Sgt. Raison, Sgt. Carter, Sgt. Horton,
most of all Sgt. Everad Horton, All American Maker.
All rifle shooters respect their coaches, and I do.
To those who amplified life, Langston Hughes,
the Joyce Brothers in Charlottesville, Virginia,
Boy Scout and Explorer Scout Leaders,
and the list goes on, and on, and on …