meal I remember the most and appreciated very much. The pilot who finally picked us up, I think, was Ron Connelly.”
What’s one thing about the Yukon that more of us should take advantage of?
“Visit remote spots in the territory, like Old Crow, Rampart House, 60 Mile country, Glacier Creek, Herschel Island, Miller Creek, etcetera.”
What’s your favourite piece of little known Yukon trivia?
“People don’t believe me, but I have pet spiders in my bathtub. No matter how often I take a bath--like two or three times a year, no matter if I need a bath or not--I take the spiders out and put them back after my bath. I don’t like to disturb the little critters too much. My favourite spider is the one I call ‘Lady Gaga.’”
What do you wish more Canadians knew about life here?
“Although life is changing here, it’s still not as fast paced and hectic as life outside the territory. We have some of the most beautiful countryside in North America and wonderful people. Also, an incredible, unique history.”
Where is your favourite place in the territory?
“My favourite places in the Yukon are the Teslin River, Dawson City, and Carcross.”
What’s the best up-close-and-personal encounter you’ve had with the local wildlife?
“While sketching and photographing one of the Klondike roadhouses with another photographer, Rhonda Snary, a moose came wandering by, very close. It took us by surprise--a pleasant surprise.”
You’re on the phone to a friend from the Outside. No one from the government is listening. Do you say “Yukon” or “The Yukon”?
“Definitely ‘The Yukon.’”
When the cold and dark gets to you, where do you go to recharge?
“Just a warm Yukon cabin to listen to the blues and do some artwork. I feel that’s my way to recharge.”
Dog mushing or snowmobiling?
“Neither. Like the previous answer, I like working in my cabin, listening to the blues and good country and western.”
How cold is too cold?
“If you have to go, you go!”
What author, musician, band, or artist from the territory do you think should be more famous?
“I like Ed White, a great drummer in Whitehorse. He has a great, smoky barroom blues voice.… Brandon Isaak (good stage performer, sort of swing bluesman), Ryan McNally (good blues-pop style), [and] the Yukon Jack Band, for their Yukon style of a country band. Also, some of our visual artists like Halin de Repentigny, Heather Hyatt, Richard Shorty, Chris Caldwell, Lillian Loponen, Nathalie Parenteau, Emma Barr, Ukjese Van Kampen, and carvers Keith Wolfe Smarch, Eugene Alfred, Dennis Shorty, and Willie Atkinson. I believe all these artists mentioned have great potential and some produce world-class work.”
You’ve just won a huge jackpot at Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino, and you have 24 hours to spend it in the Yukon. Where are you headed?
“To buy an additional large house. To pay five years advance to a person to help catalogue my collection. Also to hire two professional researchers and writers.”
Finally, what does “The Spell of the Yukon” mean to you personally?
It means to me that it’s the only place that I want to live and work, that I love the place--the countryside and the people. And I want to be buried here. But please give me a few years more--I’m not ready yet!” Y