Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Megahuge Great Alaska Earthquake. Monday marked the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Pop quiz, Betsteroids: What do both events have in common?
That’s right, they both happened on Good Friday, or what in 1964 and 1989 was Good Friday, the Christian Easter holidays being a complicated lunar calendar thing. And what day is this Friday? Trick question. OK, it’s not Good Friday as the Betster first thought, so whew. Not so whew is that you have another three weeks to obsess about potential disasters that could happen on this year’s Good Friday, April 18.
Yup. Cue the “Jaws” shark music. Alaskans who lived through either or both not-so-good Good Fridays can be excused if they go through a little post-traumatic stress these next few weeks. Don’t mind us if we keep looking over our shoulders and jump at loud noises. This might be a good idea to review your disaster plans.
Next Monday, of course, is Seward’s Day. Seward’s Day might be the only holiday honoring a Secretary of State, William H. Seward, the guy who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Should President Vladimir Putin have seller’s remorse and want to annex Alaska, fair warning. This ain’t Crimea, Vlad. It might take more than a few divisions of Russian soldiers to get back Alaska. First you have to get through the Eskimo Scouts and then all those Bush Rats, all of them well armed and crack shots.
As long as we’re planning our holiday schedule, don’t forget April 1, or as we call it in the journo business, The Day One Does Not Make Jokes. It’s tempting, sure, but a big no-no. If you’re going to pull a prank, though, the bar was set by Porky Bikar in 1974 when he hauled a pile of old tires up to Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano, and lit them on fire, scaring the heck out of Sitka residents.
But considering the Exxon Valdez and Great Alaska Earthquake anniversaries, here’s a thought: don’t pull any pranks involving oil or shaking. That guy last year who put a gas hose hanging out of his truck tank? That trick rocked, dude, but we’re on to you.
If you’re looking for good old fashioned fun, though, there’s nothing that beats these Best Bets:
BEST YOU WERE THERE BET: At 5:36 p.m. today, KBBI Public Radio AM 890 airs a special documentary on the 1964 earthquake. Listen to it on your car radio as you head over to the Homer Public Library at 6 p.m. for “Tales of the Good Friday Earthquake.” People who were there will share experiences and you can pick up a free copy of “Alaska Earthquake 1964: Where Were You?”
BEST THE HILLS ARE ALIVE BET: Bringing a high school glee club out of limbo after a horrible accident 50 years ago so they can put on a show? Yeah, it’s a really goofy concept, but hey, it works. That’s the idea of “The Sound of Plaid,” this spring’s big Mariner musical. With a cast of dozens, it opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre, with shows also at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The directors encourage everyone to wear plaid or, even cooler, tartan.
BEST THEY CARIBOU YOU BET: All week actors have been practicing for their big role where they wander around in a large group looking for love and redemption. Huh — that also sounds like the plot of “The Sound of Plaid.” Nope, that’s “Let Glow,” visiting artist Allison Warden’s performance about caribou, love, community and all that stuff. It shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Admission is a suggested $10 to $20.
BEST BIG UP BET: Would it hurt to start this race at the top? Nope — that’s the challenge of the annual Sea to Ski Triathlon, a 5km run, 7km bike and 5km ski event on Sunday. If you know Homer geography, that means racers gain a little elevation. Race registration starts at 11 a.m. and the race begins at 1 p.m. It ends at the Baycrest Ski Trails trailhead next to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities shop.