Thank you Ketchikan

Between our RVsThink Ketchikan, and your mind should overflow with images of eagles, mink, bears, humpback whales, fishing, and eating seafood, all set amongst glorious mountain and ocean vistas. (See the Clover Pass album for a small sampling.) To that, I’ve now added a note of awe for the cheerful, generous, helpful nature of Ketchikanites (Ketchikaners? Ketchikanians? Others wonder too.) in response to these three incidents.

The gum where my tooth was extracted in March was feeling a bit tender. Not really painful, but after ten days of soreness, I thought it should be evaluated before we move on more remote towns. Dr. Terry Thompson graciously agreed to see me at 1:30 the same day I called. After ten minutes to complete the obligatory new-patient paperwork, he ushered me in between two of his regular patients. A quick exam elicited a “no pathology there” comment, and his assurance that it’s all part of the normal healing process after a tooth removal. We chatted a bit about traveling in RVs and he sent me on my way—with no charge! What a pleasant surprise, for which I am most grateful.

As we prepared to load the RV on the ferry last Saturday, I noticed the tailpipe hanging precariously where a bolt had fallen out. Nothing in my parts box fit, so I secured it with wire for the short drive. I called NAPA Auto Parts on Monday morning  for a truck service station recommendation, and received a list of five from the cheerful person who answered. The first shop felt that our rig is too big, but hastened to suggest Shaub Ellison Tire, even telling me to speak with “Roy” and to have “Clint” do the work. Sure enough, Roy agreed to see me at 9:00 the next morning, and when I arrived Clint went right to work. He came to the waiting room forty five minutes later and said, “Do you have the motorhome? It’s all set to go,” and turned to walk away. I asked how it looked, and he told me he put in two missing hanger bolts and the rest is perfect. “How much do I owe you?” I asked. “Nothing. It’s all good,” he said. More great service for no charge!

This afternoon I rode my bike to the post office to pick up the mail Ben had forwarded to us. The round trip was about 16 miles, and halfway back I couldn’t help but stop at The Green Coffee Bean Company. When the barista asked what I’d like, I ordered coffee, preferably a Central American brew if she had it available. She looked at her pots, and asked if perhaps I’d prefer an “Americano”. When I said I don’t need anything so fancy, she replied that she was about out of drip coffee so late in the day. Then she offered to make me the Americano—for free. It tasted great, and Renee and I chatted amicably for a while before I went my way on the bike.

So, in two short days, 3 Ketchikanites have had the opportunity to make a bit of profit by providing me their goods or services. Instead, they all graciously and cheerfully sent me on my way without charging a thing. Thank you Ketchikan!

2 comments on Thank you Ketchikan

  1. By jeff michael

    I find it interesting that in alaska you have had so much service, including the work on the RV for free. I find these situations similar to those that I encountered in brazil when talking with businessmen. It seems they were more conscious about the relationship with others than the profit. I think that as Americans, we sometimes are so greed / profit oriented, that we sometimes forget about treating people as friends, neighbors, and humans. I think that being in Brazil opened my eyes to this, but feel as though the further away from big cities and economic driven cultures you travel, you tend to find more of this neighbor type generosity.

    1. By Dave Post author

      Good observations, Jeff. I’m just glad that we all are getting the chances to travel and see things from such vastly different vantage points. It certainly helps us have broader perspectives overall!

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