Homer’s Best Bets

“A screaming comes across the sky,” starts Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow.” Pynchon wrote about V-2 rockets in London during World War II, but here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change, that scream you hear is the collective shout of 5,000 winter hardened citizens facing the prospect of yet another day of sunshine.

Clear skies. Warmth on your face. Full-on ultraviolet rays roaring down from the sun at 186,000 miles per second and slamming into your body. The Betster understands that some of you may not have grown up in Sunbelt states and don’t understand the concept. 

No, we’re not done with sunshine. It could go on like this for another decade, and what with the winter we just went through, would anyone grow tired of sunshine? Of course not. All around town people have smiles so big their ears might snap off. Working drones have been calling in well, as in, “Well, boss, we’ll see how this stomach flu plays out.” Even die-hard workaholics have been known to sneak out of the office an hour early. Carpe diem? This town isn’t just seizing the day. We’re seizing the month.

For those of you who might be getting a bit sun bleary, here are some ideas and tips from the Betster:

• Put on a little sunscreen, just because you can;

• Also, wear a hat, maybe a snappy Panama hat, because how often can you do that?

• Do not wear black T-shirts, even if it looks cool and nihilistic;

• If you leave your sunglasses on the dashboard, when you go to put them on, it might burn a bit;

• And, don’t forget the rain jacket.

Yes, we all know this sun cannot last, but it might last long enough to ease those poor, creaky damp bones of ours, which means it’s time to celebrate, perhaps with these Best Bets:


BEST BRING IT ON BET: Don’t forget the bug dope this Friday for the annual Facing the Elements outdoor art show at the Pratt Museum. It opens with a reception 5-7 p.m., perhaps the last chance for a while to see the show while the Pratt starts its big new building project.


BEST WRITE ON BET: Some of the best writers and poets in Alaska and the United States visit Homer this weekend for the annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. You can hear them read, including the keynote speaker, Naomi Shihab-Nye, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. Other literary artists read at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Alice’s Champagne Palace and 7:30 p.m. Monday at Land’s End Resort. See list, page 18.


BEST HOLE-Y DAY BET: We’re not talking holy but holes here, as in golf, the great Scottish invention of taking a long walk while whacking small white balls. It’s the annual Holes for Hospice Golf Tournament, a chance to play golf and raise some money for Hospice of Homer. The tournament runs 9 a.m-3 p.m. at Shoreline Golf Course on East End Road. 


BEST GOOD EATS BET: Bring a dish to share and enjoy the trails and natural beauty up at the Wynn Nature Center, Mile 2 East Skyline Drive, with its opening and community potluck at 5 p.m. Saturday. Check out the new gate by Moose Run Metalsmiths.


BEST YOU DID IT BET: What? Haven’t heard Hobo Jim perform? It’s one of the essential Alaska experiences. Listen to the guy who wrote the official Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at A.J.’s OldTown Steakhouse.


BEST CLEAN SWEEP BET: The Pier One Theatre summer season continues with Sarah Ruhl’s “The Clean House,” opening 7:30 p.m. Friday at the little theater on the Spit. Peter Sheppard directs the comedy about the daughter of two comedians who comes to America and cleans house for a married couple. The play also shows at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and next weekend. Tickets are $14 general admission at the Homer Bookstore or the door.