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At the end of this book every one of the characters is in trouble, and I have no idea how I’m going to get any of them out of it. You’d have to be a writer to know just how wonderful that feels.
About the Dedication
Gary and Jeanne Porter
with thanks for the summer lease
so I could finish this book
Gary’s dad and my dad were best friends; they served together in the Merchant Marine in World War II, and jumped ship together in Adak. When asked why Adak of all places, all they would say is they hated the captain.
shysterguy: Hey, gorgeous, how you?
parkdick: Life is good, handsome. Whattup?
shysterguy: Right to business, that’s what I love about you. The Smiths.
parkdick: I had a feeling. What about them?
shysterguy: They’re driving the feds crazy.
parkdick: Great! Let’s throw a party.
shysterguy: Spoken like a true Park rat. The feds are leaning on the state to exercise a little authority in this situation. Especially since they know Niniltna now has its own trooper in residence.
parkdick: How much authority?
shysterguy: Run them off, if you can. I’m told that their title to the land is in question.
parkdick: You want me to evict them?
parkdick: Kinda sorta need a court order for that.
shysterguy: Got one.
parkdick: Which judge?
shysterguy: Don’t blame me, take it up with the Park Service.
parkdick: Why doesn’t Jim’s boss just order him to do it? Why me?
shysterguy: It may come to that. These folks seem ready to call out the National Guard.
parkdick: You want me to be your process server.
shysterguy: Did I mention the National Guard? We were thinking–
parkdick: WE were thinking?
shysterguy: Okay, I, I was thinking. I was especially thinking when the Park Service started mobilizing for Iwo Jima here. If some mild-mannered, inoffensive little Park rat–“
shysterguy: “–I heard that–“
shysterguy: “–I was thinking that if some rational person who knows everyone involved would go talk to these people and try to get them to back off before somebody brings out the assault weapons, it would be a good thing for all concerned.”
shysterguy: “You still there?”
parkdick: “How much are you paying me?”
shysterguy: “The general thinking seems to be whatever you want to get the feds off our backs.”
parkdick: “Lots. It’ll be lots.”
shysterguy; “Attagirl. I’ll fast track the court order and fly it in on George first available. And …”
parkdick: “And what?”
shysterguy: “You never heard me say this, but tell the Smiths to get themselves a smart lawyer. I’ve seen the paperwork the Park Service used to get this writ and it’s totally based on technicalities. The current administration is coming down heavy on the side of the rights of the property owner, not to mention easier public access to parks and wildlife refuges in the public domain. Most Alaskan judges are already there, and it’s a toss-up which Alaskan juries hate more, technicalities or the federal government.”