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I spent the second half of my summer working for both companies: Alaska Excursions with Robert Murphy and Jewell Gardens. My room in Robert's converted meatlocker was 9'x4', with just enough space for a narrow bed, aisle, and closet. I entered and exited through a heavy freezer door, latch not always easy. The disconcerting things were 1) no hot water in the kitchen, 2) the bathrooms were communal. I often had to brush my teeth while the accountant peed into the urnial two feet away!

By day I worked the docks for Robert's dog-mushering and horseback riding tours and toured people through the garden. By night I popped over to the garden--IF Nick left me a beer propped atop that freezer door latch. I don't drink beer but it was his signal I should come over. He remains one of the most influential people in my life, a man I grew to adore and deeply love.

And thus the Summer in Skagway passed and extraordinary friendships forged.

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