Ouzinkie Photo Album KIDS
A Ouzinkie Photo Album 1960 to 1974
PART THREE: Kids Around Town!
Introduction to Parts Two, Three and Four :
In part one of my Ouzinkie Photo Album: Daily Life in Ouzinkie 1965 to 1974, the focus was on the rebuilding of Ouzinkie. The next three parts focus on people, the many good folks of Ouzinkie who found themselves on the other end of my camera (and I never went anywhere without my camera). On a recent visit home, someone mistook me for my brother Kelly. I pointed to the new Nikon SLR around my neck and said, "Which Smith always walked around with a camera?" "Oh, hi, Timmy!" he laughed. I was in grade school in Ouzinkie during the mid-to-late 60s, and I also took up darkroom photography during that time, so I have a ton of photos to use to chronicle the major events and milestones.
(The author) Tim Smith and camera, and brother Kelly (in the back) with Joan, Betty Jo and Dee Dee Panamarioff, in the Mission chapel around 1967.
I had to move away from Ouzinkie to go to high school in the fall of 1968 (as all secondary students did in those days) but I was home for many weekends, holidays and part of the summer until the mid-1970s, taking pictures almost daily! I really wish I had more “people shots,” but here are some of the ones I have hanging around after all these years. You never know what you might find here, and of course there is no official story line here, so a lot of the story is missing, but I’m glad to share what I do have. Like part one, these are photo albums with commentary, arranged by topic, so skip around to what interests you. Most all of the black and white photos are mine, which I developed in the little darkroom in the Mission's basement. I have scanned and restored them as best I could for inclusion in these articles. The color photos come from slides taken by Rev. Norman Smith (my Dad).
Kids Around Town
This section featuring the young people I grew up with will be amusing to most of us now, because there are quite a few grandparents represented here. This is the way we were, at least the way the Smith family cameras captured it. I am pleased that I found so many people photos, because as a kid I was mostly into scenic shots.
The Kids I Looked Up To: This photo is actually from 1960, a couple of years after we moved to Ouzinkie. It was taken in Jerry and Betty Gugel’s house, which later became Johnny and Verna’s place. It was a birthday party for Patty, which is why she’s in the center. I am standing to the left, wearing suspenders, between Nancy (blue dress) and Linda. My presence there was probably one of those “take your little brother along” moments, because I am almost certainly the youngest one there. The tallest two, in the back, are Jerry Jr. and my sister Robin (in the yellow top). Also in the back are Bill and Beryl Torsen’s twins, with a young Chernikoff in-between. Who else can you recognize?
Howie, Andy and Dean take a rest on a skiff outside the store after a strenuous bike ride. (From 1966) In the years I was growing up, bicycles dominated the village. Bicycles worked perfectly on the boardwalks, and they did ok on the trails, too (except when it got too muddy).
Kelly Smith (my brother) on his bike in the summer of 1967, still dressed up for his big sister Jerilynn’s wedding. Technically, this is a “girl’s” bike, but it was given to him, and it sported the thicker tires favored by village kids (the better to get through the mud with!) Two years later, he was riding his bike on the dock, paused to look at a plane taxiing up to the sandy beach, and lost his balance. He fell to the sand below, barely missing an exposed rock, breaking his leg. (If you’ve seen that dock, it’s a wonder he survived!) Our dog, Oscar, stood guard over him until help arrived. He was in the hospital and in home studies for most of that school year. (Photo by Jerilynn Prior)
The schoolyard of Ouzinkie School as it looked in 1966. The platform in the foreground was built as a way to provide students with a place to play, because the schoolyard was mostly a swamp for most of the year. The platform was a fun place to play, even after a snowfall, because kids would dive off of it into the snowbanks. Its uneven planks made it a challenge to dribble a basketball on its surface, however. The two swing sets in the photo were purchased with money raised from showing 16mm movies every Friday night in the front classroom (where the mayor’s desk sits today). This photo was taken from what is now the road near the intersection of the street that goes past the post office.
George Katelnikoff and Gary Boskovsky pose for me in front of the “platform” in the playground of Ouzinkie School, probably taken in the fall of 1965. The platform was built as a way to provide students with a place to play, because the schoolyard was mostly a swamp for most of the year. Behind George and Gary, students play basketball on uneven planks, many with exposed nail heads. I still have a scar on my knee from tripping and falling during a game.
Davy and Cliffy Panamarioff look out from their house, 1965.
The Panamarioff house and pond as it looked the morning after a rare snowstorm on May 1, 1968. The house is gone now, but the fine slate rock walls built to hold in the yard still remain. The little pond is the first place I ever went ice skating.
Joan, John and Dee Dee Pan (missing some teeth!) around 1966.
Dee Dee Pan posed for a portrait at Otherside, 1968.
A group of kids relax at Otherside in the summertime, 1967. Rosemary Squartsoff has her hands on her head.
Rhonda Squartsoff with Joyce Smith (Jeannette Chernikoff and Thelma Anderson are in the background) on an outing to Pineapple Cove, summer of 1966.
Kelly (my brother) and Ada’s son Teddy play on the sandy beach below the Church, 1966. The planes would taxi up on this beach. Ada Panamaroff served as the village postmaster for many years, and the post office was located just below the church hill, near this beach.
These kids find an instant jungle gym in the crab pots stored near the center of town.
Some fun in the snow!
Two Shanagan brothers (here in front of the store) look for some snow for sledding.
Peter Zack plays on his neighbor's porch, 1965.
On a hike to Mahoona Lake in October 1966, I took this picture of George Katelnikoff making use of a makeshift bridge.
Here are two of his younger Katelnikoff siblings outside their home, also taken in 1966.
A threesome of cute kids, whom I photographed around 1971. (Love Chichenoff is in the center; help me identify the other two!)
The Delgado kids relax at home in 1971. Vicki (with glasses) stayed with us at the Mission for awhile when her family was out of town, and we loved having her as a temporary part of our family.
Betty Jo and Vicki Panamarioff help my brother Kelly celebrate his birthday, July 1967.
Andy Boskofsky brings his family’s star to the Mission in January, 1968. For a further discussion of the tradition of “starring” at Russian Christmas, see the photo essay called “Ouzinkie Photo Album: PEOPLE.”
Gerald John Pestrikoff and Kenneth Anderson sit in the famous little red chairs of the Mission kindergarten, enjoying graham crackers and juice served in little Dixie cups. This is from December, 1967. For more on the Mission kindergarten (I was in the very first class in 1958) see the article called “Ouzinkie 1958 to Now at the Mission” Part One.
Timmy, Joyce and Kelly Smith celebrate Halloween at one of the big blue tables in the Mission with “Stormy” and Patty Anderson, 1965. The big blue tables are still there in the Baker Cottage dining room! The Andersons were our neighbors, just down the hill, until their house burned down.
Epilogue to Parts Two, Three and Four:
A Home Village to Be Proud Of!
Each time I return to Ouzinkie, I am overwhelmed at how nice the people are there, and how much they feel like family. There is definitely something to be said for a close-knit community. In a small village, everybody knows everybody, and that has its up sides and down sides. Ouzinkie is the place where I am not a Californian high school English teacher, but I am Timmy, the kid they’ve known since I was “yay high,” the place where I am Norman and Joyce Smith’s son.
Some families in Ouzinkie still have forty-year old photos I made for them up on the walls. I can’t really claim to be an Alaskan anymore, and I certainly wouldn’t do very well trying to keep an oil stove going in mid-February, or to navigate a “kicker and dory” through choppy water, but when I am in Ouzinkie, I have a strong sense of “home,” and that is a very good feeling indeed. Congratulations to good old Zip Code 99644 for coming through the storms of life so gracefully. I hope these photos bring back a lot of pleasant memories!
The author in the darkroom of Baker Cottage in Ouzinkie, around 1966. All of the black and white photos in this collection were developed and printed there. The boxes of photo paper in the “Blazo” box shelves were actually World War II surplus, and long out of date. Later I bought some new paper and was surprised at how much better my darkroom results were!
Written by Timothy Smith, web author. See the About Me page for more information. Always feel free to send me comments, suggestions or corrected information about this article or any of the articles on this site. (Write to: Tanignak@aol.com) This article and website is © 2005 Timothy L. Smith, Tanignak Productions, 14282 Tuolumne Court, Fontana, California, 92336 (909) 428 3472. Images unless otherwise listed are from the collection of Rev. Norman L. Smith or the Timothy L. Smith collection. This material may be used for non-commercial purposes, with attribution. Please email me with any specific requests. You are welcome to link to this site.
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