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dicklaxt

Peggy From Ophir,,,,,,,,a Follow Up Story

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I just read the long thread of Geowizard's about his past and ongoing adventure's in Ophir. A very interesting story.

 

Geo mention's that his quarter's in Ophir are in a two story cabin where he uncovered mention of Peggy's Place. I was stationed at Tatalina Air Force Station close by in 1955-56 and again in 1962-63.

 

Here's a little history and insight on Peggy and her life that I know of personally. This is straight from the horse's mouth as I spent several cold winter nights drinking a beer or two with Peggy at her later Peggy's Place located between Takotna and the AFS. I might qualify the time line a bit by saying bear in mind this was nearly 60 years ago and things do become sketchy at best.

 

I don't remember all of the exact details but it starts this way. Peggy had originally had earlier business interests in the Barbary Coast District  in San Francisco. She had two son's who she raised and put through college,  A short time after their graduation from college they both disowned her and she moved away from SF and eventually made her way to Ophir. She had her place in Ophir prior to my arrival in 1955 and if I recall a few years earlier than that. There was a second lady named Marie who also set up shop in Ophir for a short duration but there wasn't room for both so Marie made her way down the road to Takotna. The mining activities later slowed in Ophir so Peggy also moved to Takotna and the feud started again. One of their places mysteriously burned to the ground at Takotna, It must have been Peggy's as Marie was up and running in Takotna and Peggy was up and running down the road towards the AFS when I arrived. Peggy always ran a special for the guys at Tatalina AFS of giving free beer for the night on your birthday . I aged quickly while I was there as I had a birthday every month.

 

A little about Marie's Place, she was going to bring in some ladies and it was to be a Gala Event. The AFS went on skeleton crew manning and everyone who could was there for the arrival. Well the plane was late, most everyone was drunk and there was only one new arrival. She was a knockdown beautiful redhead and the fight's broke out to be first in line .( rotten GI's ya'know). The Gala finally ended, troops returned to the AFS but things were in a turmoil for days at the radar site because 3 or 4 of the troops thought they were in love with that redhead and fight's were breaking out often at the site. The commander called in a Territorial Marshal  (I think that was what they were called...Alaska was yet to be a State) and had the redhead runoff.

 

I returned in 1962 to find things still status quo at both places. I found out many year's later from one of the local's that Peggy had married a Civilian Contractor working at Tatalina and moved to Anchorage where she later passed after running a legit on the up & up business for years.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

dick

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Tad,,,,,no, I was never at Peggy's place in Ophir,as I said she was already established at her new place near Takotna when I arrived. BTW, Peggy was really a nice lady, tho lonely, and I enjoyed the many talks we had even tho I was only 19. If I remember she had another lady ( a native) residing there with her. 

 

dick

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Hi Dick, OK I got ya now.  Great stories and thanks for sharing.  Recently heard some stories about airmen back in the 70's skiing/sledding from up near the radar site all the way down to the Airfield, not sure if they were true but it sounded like fun...must of been a long ride.  Thanks for your years of service.

 

T

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I have made an attempt at that run on a 4 man Bobsled(homemade BTW). We would start out about 1/2 mile above lower camp but only made it about halfway  to the airstrip because the terrain flattened out. That run was about 1 1/2 miles I'd guesstimate. Our return tow vehicle driver claimed he reached speeds of 50MPH to stay with of us when headed down the road.We had many crashes but only one broken bone but lots of bumps and bruises. We stopped/slowed that homemade sled by putting it into an intentional skid and steered by team body leaning. Yes it was a kick.

 

dick

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Dick, sounds like lots of fun!! 

 

Geo, got it.  Couple years ago found over 100 photos from the 1970's to 90's.  They were listed in ARLIS.  Covers from north of Dikeman all the way to Moore creek and beyond.  Plus has photos of the old cabins and roadhouse ruins that could still be located.  Have you ventured south on the Hunters trail towards Iditarod ? Condition?

 

T

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