Charlie recently returned from Alaska, a place he doesn’t often visit. His mission there was a sad one, although not a surprise to anyone in the cat world. Stubbs, the cat, died peacefully in his sleep in Talkeetna, his hometown, which is about two hours north of Anchorage, and Charlie, of course, went to attend his funeral. Stubbs had served as the mayor of Talkeetna for 20 years.
Stubbs may well have been the best-loved politician in the United States. He was elected mayor in 1998, at a time when no one approved of any of the human candidates. Actually, the town of about 900 citizens has never had a human mayor. Stubbs the cat was born in 1997, just a year before he won the write-in mayoral election in 1998. He received bipartisan support from his constituents, was re-elected regularly, and served faithfully until his death.
Although always respected and beloved, Mayor Stubbs’ life was not without conflict, the same as any other politician. In 2013 he survived a very bad dog attack, and only last year he had to deal with a false report of his death (fake news). He always used Nagley’s General Store as his office, but for the past months he has been working from home. Stubbs was known for drinking water spiked with catnip out of a wine glass while he worked.
The residents of Talkeetna still seem to think they will be better off without a human politician. A kitten named Denali who strangely “has the same personality as Stubbs” will probably succeed the late mayor. It remains to be seen if he also has the political acumen of Mayor Stubbs. May he rest in peace.
I was born near the end of WWII and raised in a small town in New Jersey, just a little more than a 30-minute drive from NYC. It was a wonderful place to be brought up, feeding ducks and canoeing on the river that meandered through the town in the summer, and ice-skating on that same river in the winter.
My two brothers and I were privileged to be raised in a lovely town that was safe to explore on foot, but close enough to NYC to be taken there on day trips to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily B & B circus, museums, Chinatown, street fairs in the spring and Broadway shows as we grew older. But we thought nothing of it.
Later as teens, we would go into NYC to buy a couple of beers (the drinking age in New York State was 18, and 21 in New Jersey) and hang out in Greenwich Village where we saw singers such as Bob Dylan who were on the first rung of the ladder on their way to fame.
The sixties were a time of speaking out and creating change. I decided to do my part by joining the Peace Corps, an innovative cold war program established by John F. Kennedy in 1961. I arrived in Brazil at the end of 1966, and after an adaptation period, was sent to serve in Porto Nacional, in what was Goias at that time. I can’t say I changed the course of the country, especially as I was immediately called upon to teach English in the local high school.
I have been teaching ever since; high schools, college literature, college language pedagogy, financial English and everything in-between. I married a wonderful Brazilian from Rio and we had 3 boys and moved around some, as he was an engineer who worked on hydro dams. Nowadays I am a widow and live in BH with 3 cats, one of which has extraordinary powers, and I have 4 wonderful and uniquely different grandchildren nearby. Thus far, I have had an interesting life, and this new endeavor called a blog should make it even more interesting.