Off the Beat

Pay it forward: Kindness always pays

On one of those wet rainy days after Nov. 8, 2016, in the dark evening, I walked up to the Post Office feeling personally beaten. At the door, a young man stood holding the door for me and then went inside and opened the second door.

I was surprised. I thanked him and walked to my mailbox. It so happened his mailbox was a few boxes adjacent to mine. As I turned to leave, mail in hand, he greeted me with a smile and said that he had had a good day and needed a break from Facebook. We both did.

Love makes overcoming medical adversity easier

On May 25, my marimba band Shamwari played for the opening day of the Homer Farmers’ Market. One of the tunes I play is Warigamukono, a traditional Zimbabwean song. The title means “pulling the bull to the ground” and is about overcoming adversity. As I played, I thought of my mother, who had been medevaced from Summit Lake Lodge in July 2012 and almost died from respiratory arrest. Mom’s doing much better, but she faces continual challenges. She’s in my thoughts constantly.

'To Russia With Love' Good reminder to all Alaskans about how one person can choose to change things

Vic Fischer had me at hello. From the moment he stepped to the microphone at a classroom on the Kachemak Bay Campus, the 88-year-old Alaska icon awed his audience with unscripted stories of a life that took him from his boyhood in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia to a seat at the table in Fairbanks, where Alaska's Constitution was written during the brutal winter of 1955-56.

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