Skagway Cricketers


I’m in Skagway, a town eighty miles up the Lynn Canal fjord from Juneau. Having no need of writer’s school, Aki is back home. During a break between classes I am riding my bicycle on the road to the old gold rush town of Dyea. On my right a red-breasted sapsucker hammers a tin mail box, repeatedly striking the words, “U.S. Male” with its beak. I wonder about the bird’s politics.1

It’s a relief to escape class and the town of Skagway, now filled with 13,000 cruise ship visitors. Later on the ride I will pass a group of cruise ship workers playing cricket on a baseball field. They are short one bat so they have to make due with a section of alder. I think of the cricket game I once watched never Devon, England on a perfect pitch where the batters wore pads and the bowlers a wooden ball. The rubber one used by the cruise ship crickets didn’t yield that satisfying “crack” when hit that a wooden ball produces. But today’s game brought the guys joy. 3

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