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Synopsis

Between filing for our homestead on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in 1957 and the government granting of the patent in 1962, we spent five years on the homestead on Point MacKenzie in Southcentral Alaska. This point is across four and a half miles of water from Anchorage, yet the area is still remote and without road access. A boat made getting back and forth a possible commute.... We walked everywhere. We tied our kids to a packboard because no one had yet come out with a baby pack. The trail was too rough for wheels, so a stroller or wagon didn't work. Disposable diapers were not available, and with a baby less than a year old, we washed cloth diapers on a scrub board. Our grandparents worried about Indians; we worried about bears... It was when I was eight months pregnant and helping to dynamite a drainage ditch across a swamp that I decided to write a book and call it To Hell With Togetherness. I lived in a totally male environment. Games were wrestling or fighting with socks in the toe of other socks. Always lots of hungry males around. Fleshing a moose hide for tanning was free-time activity. This is a journal-like essay of those five years that Jack and I have written together and it is what we believe to be true. We thought we knew a lot about living, as most young people do, but, gad, did we have a lot to learn. I can't tell you why we did what we did, except once we got started, we were too stubborn to quit.

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