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Jones family tours Alaska

Friona resident Tommy Jones was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, for two years back in the 1950s. He had always wanted to go back but never had the chance until this year.

Tommy and his “kids” spent a couple of weeks in Alaska in July. Because of a canceled flight from Amarillo to Denver on July 3 they rented a vehicle and drove to Denver to catch their July 4 flight to Vancouver, British Columbia.

The first seven days they sailed on the Crown Princess through the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Along the way they took a float plane trip in Ketchikan (where the above photo was taken). The cruise ended in Whittier. John Jones flew back home but the rest of the family took a motor coach and train excursion into the Alaskan interior, visiting Denali National Park, Talkeetna, and Mt. McKinley. Joe Jones said they never did see the top of Mt. McKinley because it was too cloudy.

The land excursion ended in Anchorage where they spent two days before flying home July 20. Tommy said Anchorage was not like he remembered it since a huge earthquake in 1964 changed much of the terrain. One thing that was still there was the 4th Avenue movie theater where he saw his first Marilyn Monroe movie.

Joe said, “It must have made a big impression on him because he and my mom named my sister Marilyn.” He said they were really glad to get back to a part of the country where the sun actually goes down at a decent hour.

courtesy photo

The Jones family in Alaska. Standing, l-r, Joe and Christy Jones, Deon and Marilyn Harkey, and John Jones; seated, Tommy Jones, left, and the float plane pilot, Randy. Tommy returned to Alaska for the first time since being stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage in the 1950s.