There's an old proverb that states "Times change and we change with them," and it is well demonstrated by the changes that have taken place in Alaska in less then fifty years, Some doubt that these changes are for the better. To the old man, whose life work is accomplished, and whose thoughts dwell on the past, where his treasures are, there are no days like the old days … The skies above his gray head seem less blue, the woods less green and inviting then when he was twenty and courted their cool depths. He compares the changes that are very visible.
It is natural for people to look back and wish for the return of the past. It is a difficult task to convince some people that with these changes, an improvement in social life, a progress in education, advancement in morality, and a higher and better standard of life have resulted.
However we may learn by leaving the bow of the speedboat from which we may perceive a future rich in promises and bright with hope, and take our place upon the stern of the cruiser, and gaze backwards into the land of the past.
No doubt we will envy some of the virtues of the early pioneers of the past. The fee-hearted hospitality, which made every homesteaders cabin, a haven, where a person could find a meal or a place to spend the night, if the need be. That community of sentiment, which made neighbors, indeed neighbors, that era of kindly feeling that was marked by the almost total absence of litigation. There was a strong, simple, upright, honest integrity of the people of that era.
While a majority of these people were poor, that poverty carried with it no sense of degradation like that felt by the poor of today. Many homesteaders lived in one or two room cabins, but it was their own which most had built with their own hands. Their homes, while inconvenient to some, would compare favorably with the homes of their neighbors. They had warm clothes and an abundance of wholesome food. The meat from moose, caribou, sheep, goat, trout, and salmon, as well as waterfowl was considered a necessity rather than a luxury; and was superior too much of our diets today.
These pioneers and their vigorous sons walked the green carpet of our forest hunting for game, not with the air of a beggar, but with the springy gait of a self respected free man.
Nature contributed her fruits …. This was the Alaska of the past ...