My Autobiography

Book Cover

My book is now available at the link at the bottom of this post.
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
302 pages
R.E. Stowell
ISBN-13: 978-0692260326 (Custom Universal)
ISBN-10: 0692260323
LCCN: 2014914191
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

I was born 9 months, 2 weeks after Pearl Harbor, so it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what brought me about. My father wanted to leave behind a male heir when he went off to fight. I didn’t turn out to be male and he didn’t get to go fight. He never quite forgave Uncle Sam or me.
I didn’t know it, but my childhood would give me the skills I would need to survive and to thrive in Alaska, many years later.
If you want to read about the perfect Alaskan woman, you have the wrong book. This book is about me.
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4910851

My Favorite Uncle

Successful Hunters 1948

Dad’s oldest brother went to Nome during the gold rush, then crossed the ice to Siberia because Nome was all staked already
He stayed in Siberia 2 years, dodging the Cossacks and mining
came home with enough that he never worked a regular job again the rest of his life.
He used to babysit us once in a while and would put fur seal pelts on his bed for us to be on and dump a jar of nuggets for us to play ‘marbles’ with. We occasionally dropped one on the floor and it would drop between the planks never to be seen again.
He lived a couple of houses away from his sister and we were supposed to be staying with her, but he was so much nicer. If the weather was good, he would have a small pack ready when we barreled through his door and we would just keep going right on out the back and up the huge sand dune behind his house. That area is now part of the Dunes National Park. We would ignore the voice screeching in the background for us to come back and all of us would dive over the top of the dune and out of sight. We would spend the day exploring the dunes and he would build a fire to roast some of the potatoes from his pack. Those potatoes would be charred black on the outside and raw on the inside and tasted wonderful. All of us, him included, would get bawled out when we dragged in at dark. Then we would do it all over again the next good day.
He never spent much, lived alone in what most would consider a shack, but he was happy he hunted, trapped a little bit, panned creeks along the Oregon coast and harvested wild plants to sell to nurseries and drug companies fern &, salal to florists, chitum bark, and fox glove to drug companies.
He didn’t have a clue about kids, but we loved him. He gave me eyeballs out of a cow we were butchering because I was curious. I kept them in my pocket, they were neat. Later that night while I was sleeping, his sister, my Aunt snooped in my pocket and about broke my eardrums screaming when she found them. That was a bonus.

Roll Barrel, Roll

House we were building

Having the five extra kids around all the time gave us someone to play with, if nothing else. Since they were around all day every day, Mom claimed she raised them but they did go home at night. The oldest boy considered himself too adult to play with us, and the next oldest thought he should be Boss as he was older than the rest of us
. We found an old barrel with the top cut out so decided to use it as a toy. We would roll it up the long slope of the hill the grave was on, near the house, then take turns getting in it and the rest pushing it off the hill and we would ride it down. The bossy kid decided he wanted to try it, so we stepped back and let him, after we had pushed it back up the hill. He rode it down and walked off. We pushed it back up, he ran up, pushing us out of the way and took another turn. Uh-huh, we saw how this was going to work out. We pushed the barrel up the hill yet again and again he ran over, pushing everyone out of the way. This time when he started rolling, we were all on the other end, nudging the barrel to go to a certain spot, then stopped it and upended it open end down into a huge green grass cow pie. Then we all took off to get out of sight before he managed to get turned back and out of there. He spent the afternoon taking potshots at us with his .22 rifle, so we took the barrel to the large creek, cleaned it up and took it up the hill across the creek beyond the sawmill.
The donkey wasn’t running to bring logs down from farther up and drop them over the edge of the large hill down onto the log deck for the mill, so we decided that would be the perfect hill to ride the barrel over. We were trying to decide who would get to go first when the two youngest boys said they should get to as both of them would fit in the barrel together. We finally agreed and they climbed in and we all donated our coats for padding as the day was warm and it was hard work getting that barrel up there.
We didn’t even have to push the barrel, it took off on its own and dropped a bit over 10 feet before it hit the first time, then bounced and hit much farther down the hill and so on until it bounced completely over the log deck. Someone at the mill had noticed the barrel coming and they were all watching when it rolled to a stop out in the middle of the mill yard and two extremely dizzy little boys flopped out.
The rest of us disappeared during the barrel’s trip down the hill as we finally figured out the boys might actually get hurt. The men had never seen the rest of us and the boys tried to say it was their idea and they took it over there, but they were only about 7 years old at the time and no one believed them. The rest of us were over at the house apologizing for killing the boys when the mill boss brought them home. We were all in some major trouble and the barrel disappeared, never to be seen by us again and the older boy got his rifle confiscated.