11 Comments
Jul 17, 2023Liked by Michael R Dougherty

I grew up a block away from their 8th Avenue home. Nice family and the house was always so well kept. The house is no longer there, a day care building is on the property and it has a nice display of the history of the family on the sidewalk. Jesse Bell

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Jesse – Thank you for answering the question about the home of Bert and Violet. Sorry to learn that it was torn down. It's great to know that they created a historic display on the sidewalk.

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Jul 16, 2023Liked by Michael R Dougherty

Did not know about this couple but what a great story. I do remember the Sporting Arena though. We lived on ,23rd st just below fireweed lane so went there skating. Also went to school for a short time close to spanard near the arena. And then when the fireweed lane theater was put in that was the spot for us kids. What a great memory. Thank you.

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Samuel – Yes, great memories of the old Sports Arena… And the Fireweed Theatre. Glad you enjoyed the memories.

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Jul 16, 2023Liked by Michael R Dougherty

Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed reading their history. Is the house still standing today?

Michael D. Lefner

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Michael – another member tells us the following: “The house is no longer there, a day care building is on the property, and now there is a nice display of the history of the family on the sidewalk.”

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Michael – so happy to learn that you enjoyed learning about Bert and Violet. Good question about their house. Maybe one of our members knows.

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As usual, your use of "personal history" adds just what we who were born and raised in Anchorage just what we need beyond the "do you remember the X stores", etc. Thank you.

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Randall – Mary and I enjoy discovering the personal stories and the history behind the people and events here in every edition of Anchorage Memories. We are glad it makes for enjoyable reading. Thank you for your kind words.

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Michael R Dougherty

I didn't know Bert's and Violet's history, so that was all fascinating. I DO remember the Sports Arena, and have great memories of events there. One of my very favorite memories of all time, is when Andre Crouch and his sister did a concert there. I think it was in 1975, because I'm pretty sure it was 1976 when Mom, my four kids, and I moved back to Valdez.

The previous year was when the church we were attending, and one other church, got invitations from Andre to be their combined backup choir. Our two choirs had sung together before, and evidently someone had submitted the joint group, as a possibility, to Andre. We had a month to practice all the parts, and that was almost as much fun as getting to actually BE there, on the risers, singing along with him, as his sister directed us.

That very special event, which was the last one I ever attended there, put the Sports Arena into my memory forever and ever. I've sung in many other places, since way back then, with a lot of other groups, in several states, but THAT one was absolutely the BEST! :-D

Thank you for yet another reminder of how wonderful Anchorage was, and still is, I suspect. I miss Alaska a LOT. I may have mentioned it before--can't remember--but my brother Gary Minish (still living in Valdez) takes beautiful photos of places all over the state--wherever he's been on business, or just out hiking or walking his dogs, etc. They are gorgeous, hugely-detailed shots, which can be found on several websites, but right now the best place is at: https://garyminishphotogallery.com/

I get to use his photos any way I like, which I do, a lot, on my own website, which contains the story I wrote about Alaska (that you published years ago, now). That story with updated internet links (which I've also made into a video), is at: https://lindawing.net/writing/nonfiction/alaska-all-the-colors-of-white/ . At the top, it contains a special link to the video on my Grandma's Got Grace YouTube channel.

Again--thanks for the memories!!! :-D

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Linda – thank you for sharing your very special memory of singing with Andre Crouch at a concert at the Sports Arena.

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