Alaskan Sourdough Starter: The Mother Sponge (1)
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                                     Sourdough Starter:The Mother Sponge


                                                      Edward M. May

                               contributing audio interviews: Milinda A. May



I’d like to thank my wife, Milinda, first and foremost for everything she has done to contribute to the completion of this book. She has been a wonderful interviewer, creative cover designer, supportive, patient and tolerant wife and an awesome mother. Thanks to Isaiah, Elijah and Jeremiah, my three sons, who have inspired me to be a doer (not a talker) and to finish the race.

Thanks to my brother-in-law, Chris, who encouraged me to begin and finish this project. To my mother-in-law, Sweetie-Pie, (Lola) who also fed the vision of this book and nudged me to take the chance. Also thanks to Jill Powers for editing, proofreading, and sharing her input.

Heartfelt praises and thanks go out to everyone who invited Milinda and myself into your lives and worlds sharing the intimate details of your Alaskan experiences; without you there would be no book: MARGE WARD, GEORGE BENNETT, NORA KRAKE, JAN HILL, ERWIN HERTZ, RICHARD WOODS, JIM SHOOK, JOE HOTCH, GENE CLARK, RUTH DICK, JOHN SCHNABEL, GARNER BUCHANNAN, DUCK HESS, HARRIETT JURGELEIT, BONNIE POTTER, FRED STRONG, DON POLING, RICHARD AUKERMAN, ROBERT BECKER, BOB HENDERSON, PAUL DYBDAHL, ROY LAWRENCE, EVELYN HOTCH, ED WARREN, PAUL WILSON, JUNE HAAS, HELEN FENN  and all of your families, friends and loved ones.

Final and ultimate thanks go to YHWH, my creator and Yeshua His son. Without their existence, guiding hands, love, and presence life would be totally meaningless, without purpose or reason. They have showed me the way of compassion, curiosity, celebration, and reality, leaving behind confusion, doubt and a meaningless life.

I dedicate this book to my loving wife, Milinda, and three sons Isaiah, Elijah, and Jeremiah for teaching me inspiration comes out of perspiration and that lo


I simply love Alaska. I fell in love as a youngster reading Jack London stories and watching Marty Stouffers Wild America. Many childhood days were whittled away day dreaming about the Last Frontier. National Geographic provided stunning pictures. Days spent in the library hiking through reference books fired my imagination. I grew up in the sixties and my peers dreamt about one of the two great explorations of the time, traveling in outer space to distant planets, or underwater adventure as pioneered by the stunning underwater photography of Jacques Cousteau. I was trekking through the Ohio woods, searching for land based adventure with an eye toward the Last Frontier.

Those were pre-personal computer days. The amount of visual information, pictures and video were limited compared to today’s interactive media. The stories I read sparked my imagination and our family Midwest camping trips and weekend end barbeques at state and local parks were morsels that barely satisfied my hunger for adventure in a truly wild place. I learned and practiced outdoor living and survival. I tried as much as possible to mimic living in the wilderness in the tame manicured landscape I was born into. I peered inside of movies, documentaries and pictures that featured the Last Frontier, as if, I could become transported into the scene.

  When I was 14, I wrote to the Department of the Interior to inquire about homesteading in Alaska. Weeks and weeks of searching the mailbox went by until, I just let it go, figuring I wasn’t going to get a response. A few days later I receive a letter. I was so excited, but I didn’t read it immediately.

 I hiked to my favorite place and sat on the woodland floor. It was sunny, birds were chirping and the squirrels were barking at my presence. I read and re-read the return address; Department of the Interior, Rogers Morton, Secretary.

The anticipation I felt was overwhelming. The envelope was thin. I opened it and it contained only one page. I honestly was expecting pictures, information, or congratulations for taking this first step toward great adventure. Instead, the letter politely explained that the homesteading act was no longer in effect and that the days of pioneering and homesteading were over and that it would be more productive to set my sights on getting a good education and concentrate on fitting into the 21st century.

I sat there stunned, sucker punched. My dreams were shattered with one simple letter. I missed it. I was born too late, and the Last Frontier had vanished. I moved on as 14 year olds do, but there was sadness, an empty feeling that lingered for many, many years.

Then one day I woke up, sifted through the wreckage of my life and, at 38 years of age, I finally realized the Last Frontier hadn’t vanished. I made my plans and after many false starts, 4 years later, I was headed to Bellingham Washington to sail on the Alaska Marine Highway to the Last Frontier. I was finally going conquers all.

                                Sourdough Starter:The Mother Sponge


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