Lawrence of Alaska

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Lawrence of Alaska – This retired gentleman is now 86 and worked for many years for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). He held many interesting posts but my feature regarding him is his assignment to northern Alaska during the construction of the pipeline. This was perhaps forty years ago. He was sent to Alaska because of the concern by the CDC for the Eskimos and their exposure to diseases introduced by the workers on the pipeline. Lawrence indicated that this was a valid prediction since numerous Native Alaskans contracted diseases for  which they had never built an immunity. These included chicken pox and measles most notably. He was also surprised by the existence of a Native American tribe in the northernmost points of Alaska. He never learned the name of their tribe but was informed their language closely resembled the Navaho in Oklahoma! The two tribes had several words that were a perfect match for each other. I wonder how this occurs. The ancestors must have met at some time, or perhaps explorers from the southwest United States of the barren lands of Alaska met one of these tribes and learned the language, then somehow traversed to the other lands and communicated at length with that tribe in their homeland. Interesting. I could have talked with Lawrence for a much longer time, but how many times can I circle his block before he would catch on? Seriously, I wouldn’t do that. Well, I might. But I didn’t.

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