A start on a photo album:
Hi Niilo and family,
I am sending this mail from Finland. I was studying in UAF for a short period in 1995. When I was there I found Niilo’s sauna through Carl and Erika Cowans. They were students who had rented your cabin at your home. They told me about you and your sauna, when after I told them that as a Finn I was missing sauna. One dark winter evening on Sunday, I skied to your home ( as poor student), hesitatingly knocked the door, without knowing who will open and is this the right house. You Niilo opened the door and I introduce myself in poor English and after also in Finnish and you answered we in Finnish and welcommed me to your home. I never forget that hospitality. After that I visited your sauna there every Sunday unless I left back to Finland. I really enjoyded my discussions with you Niilo and other people I met there. I never forget those evenings I spent at you home. As a Finn I really respected that hospitality you have at your home.
It is saturday night here and I was again after long time watching an internet and I found this blog. I hope from all my heart that you and your family are doing well.
Kaikkea hyvää Niilo sinulle ja perheelle toivoo Tapio Suomesta.
I was honored to become a Home Start Visitor 1971-72? The Home Start office was at Alaskaland in one of the old log cabins. Niilo was the Director. One of my fondest memories was when we were invited to Niilo & Joans home for a meeting. We all had a wonderful time of snacks and great fellowship
I have to add one more delight…they had a horse in a barn that was attached to their kitchen. The half door allowed the horse to walk up to the kitchen and poke his head into the room. Fond memory!
Niilo thanks for the opportunity of me becoming one of the first Home Start Visitor.
Kansas City, MO
Thanks for the memories, Margaret! I was just looking at some Home Start paperwork Dad has. Home Start and Head Start is a bit confusing for me. But I’ll tell you what, Dad was enormously interested in education. The boxes and boxes of material he has includes generic literature on educating young people, magazines galore, plus work he and many others did to improve the opportunities for people in Fairbanks, village Alaska, New England (all that work at Harvard), and beyond. The archival value of Home Start and Head Start days will surely be more if people like you report about those times.
Dad has bunches of photos and slides from around Alaska when he was traveling for Head Start, and we hope to give those a good home for all to see.
Thanks much, Chena
Chena, thanks for replying. I have fond memories of the Head Start Home Start program. From my recollection to become a Home Start Visitors you had to be approved by the Head Start parents.
My girls were new in Head Start and also attending Eneput Childrens Center. At that time I was a new Fairbanks resident and working at Suds Laundromat. I enjoyed taking care of our customers by helping them with their laundry.
I was introduced to Home Start by a nice young couple who were Suds regulars. They told me about the new program and asked me to apply for the position to become one of the first 11 Home Start Visitors.
The office was in a log cabin at Alaskaland. the log cabin did not have runniing water. We were driven 2x daily to the main building to use the facilities.
Each Visitor was given a car to drive for home visits. Our first cars had been donated and not in good condition. The car assigned to me had clutch problems that I learned to deal with. A grant finally arrived and we all received new economy Ford Station Wagons, mine was “Yellow”. We were Happy Home Start Visitors..
I enjoyed meeting with the parents and their children in their home. There was always a “delite” as I learned to taste a variety of game food they wanted to share with me.