Eagle River Valley searched for Big Foot

A hoax in which this writer was involved back in the mid-1970s turned out to be widely believed—despite “facts” that were intended to be too far-fetched to be believed. It started with a conversation at Bill Higdon’s barber shop in Eagle River. Accountant Gerry O’Connor was in one chair, chatting with barber Don Golden. Golden had been on duty there two years earlier when Don Young, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, stopped by to seek votes. Young lost to Rep. Nick Begich but won the special election held to replace the incumbent who disappeared a couple of days later on a flight to Juneau. Young now is the longest-serving current member in the House. O’Connor was to become a member of the Anchorage Assembly from 1979-85. Just so you know, all that otherwise mostly-useless information is intended to give you a little background for what follows. O’Connor on that day announced to those being treated to, or awaiting treatment in, the tonsorial arts that he received a computer print-out listing all federal grants as provided by the state’s new congressman. It filled a large box of continuous-feed printed pages, O’Connor said while offering to let anyone stop by his office to review it. That, of course, led to a discussion of possible grants that might be sought by the discussion’s participants. One of the suggestions was to seek federal funds to pay for a search for Big Foot. After all, that was as logical and legitimate a use of our tax money as some of the items the accountant described in the seemingly unending list of approved grants.

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