To the editor: There is a resurgence of interest in Star Trek memorabilia on the TV show’s 40th anniversary. Millions love the adventures of Captain Kirk and crew on the USS Enterprise.
How many are aware that here in Fairbanks is a ship that experienced adventure like the Enterprise? Unlike the Enterprise, the close calls and drama on this ship were not the imagination of Hollywood screenwriters. Everything that occurred was real, happened in Alaska and there are witnesses alive to tell her story.
This ship navigated in areas unknown to modern civilization. She endured the worst weather conditions. Her crew encountered much danger. Her guests were some of the wealthiest and most influential people on Earth. Without her, much of modern Fairbanks could not have been built.
All of this happened right here. The ship is real. There is nothing else like her in the entire world. She is a treasure meant for generations to enjoy and learn from. She is our own SS Nenana, and currently she is being left to rot in our own backyard.
There are those who think she is not worth the money to fix. There are also those who see the SS Nenana as a revenue-generating opportunity. She can become a way to show the pride we as Alaskans take in our history, our rivers, and in those brave and determined pioneers of modern Fairbanks. Instead of costing money, she can build revenue for our community once again. With a public-private partnership, she will no longer be a drain on borough resources.
To learn more or help:
1. Email or call Borough Assembly members and Mayor Ward to say the SS Nenana should remain whole and not chopped up for salvage.
2. Attend the Borough Assembly meeting on Jan. 16 and speak about the SS Nenana in public comment.
3. Contact Friends of the SS Nenana through their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Read about the SS Nenana in the September-October 2019 edition of Alaska history magazine (issuu.com/alaskanhistorymagazine).