If you missed volume one, it’s right here. Enjoy.
I met Leon my first night in Nome. I was leaving the B.O.T. (Board of Trade Saloon, for those who don’t know) and about to head down Front St. There was a dude standing in front of the pull-tab place next door. He stepped in front of me and blocked my path.
Leon: “Hi! Who are you?”
Me: “Who are YOU?”
Leon: “I’m Leon! Who are you?”
I was in love.
We talked until the wee hours of the morning. Leon works at the pull-tab place. He’s also the daytime bartender at the B.O.T. Go in there and tell him I said hi! This is Leon:
Leon is the best. We still keep in touch. Got an email from him last week.
The next night was open mike night at the Bering Sea saloon. These guys sounded great!
I met Frosty that night. He’s a great musician, just like I wish I was! We became friends. I would say we talked until the sun came up, but the sun never went down. Frosty is a sweetie. And a cutie!
We still keep in touch. Frosty and I had lots of fun together up in Nome!
I met lots of people that night. I met Rose, bad-ass bartender lady. I met Tabitha. Tabitha’s pretty hot. And she’s lots of fun! I met lots of nice people whose names I can’t remember. A sweet girl wanted me to get up and dance with her, but I was shy. Me, shy?!?! I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was all those cute boys up on stage.
Best of all, I met RoseAnn that night. My girl! We met while I was talking to Rose at the bar. We bonded over a beer, then we watched the band together. We talked and talked. I love RoseAnn. RoseAnn’s daughter lives in Nome too. Her son lives in Anchorage. He has a dog named Rufus. Rufus kicks ass.
RoseAnn and her whole family migrated down to San Francisco for ten days not too long ago. Even Rufus. I got to go pie-rootin around the Bay Area with them. We had a wonderful time! I miss Rufus.
The following day, while wandering down Front St., I came upon an adorable little Eskimo woman, sitting and staring at the sea. It was a compelling scene, so I asked her if I could take her picture. She blushed and said she didn’t have any make-up on. I assured her she looked fine.
I sat next to her and asked her name. Joyce. I told Joyce I would mail the pictures to her if she gave me her address. We got to talking while she was writing it down, and we just couldn’t stop. This was sometime in the early afternoon. Joyce and I wound up closing down the bar together.
I write letters to Joyce all the time. I send her postcards too. I got a card from her not too long ago. It had a picture of a musk ox on it. She knows that they’re my favorite.
You see, the reason there’s no sleeping in Nome is because there’s always someone to talk to. Someone is always saying hello. Or you’re trying to go home after you leave the bar and then you wind up sitting on the rocks by the beach and talking and the sun never goes down and then you realize holy shit it’s five in the morning and I need to fucking sleep. But why sleep? There’s someone else who wants to talk to you…
Of course, it’s a whole different story in winter.
Leaving Nome nearly broke my heart. I took the last flight out. I waited at the B.O.T. as long as I could. I met even more wonderful people. I met Rodney. At first I couldn’t remember his name. Joyce helped me out, “It’s like Rodney Dangerfield!” Got it! Leon was behind the bar, and I got to spend some more time with my favorite girls…
What happened to my Qiviut nachaq, you ask? Well, nothing, fortunately. In the midst of mayhem I left it on a table in the hall at the Nugget Inn one evening. Lucky for me it was still there the next day. Those things aren’t cheap!
In volume three of Nome Sweet Nome… Why the hell did she come to Nome, anyway?