For any who have ever faced the daunting task of planning a move without wanting to pay a company for its assistance, you probably have a special fondness for a certain “Seinfeld” episode featuring former New York Mets baseball player Keith Hernandez.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a two-part episode in season three called “The Boyfriend,” available soon on Netflix.
In it, Jerry Seinfeld gets to meet Hernandez, whom he idolizes. They start hanging out until Hernandez, played by himself, asks Jerry to help him move. Seinfeld decides the request to be too large a favor given that they hadn’t known each other that long. As a result, the ask kills their relationship.
I realize that Seinfeld is a 1990s sitcom, but I’m not going to lie: That scene crossed my mind recently when I faced an unexpected move after my landlord decided he wanted to take advantage of Kodiak’s strong housing market and sell the house he had been leasing to my wife and me.
Instead of paying for another move, we decided to do much of the work ourselves. And, yet, we have some bigger and more precious pieces of furniture that we knew we couldn’t handle by ourselves.
So, I got the courage and asked a new friend — I just moved here so all my friends are new, right? — to help with the move. I knew it was a risk, as visions of Keith Hernandez raced through my mind. But my friend — let’s call him Leon — said he’d be glad to help and even had access to a trailer that would help get the job done more quickly.
The final proof that my life is better than a Seinfeld episode came that Friday afternoon — the scheduled time for the move — when Leon showed up not only with the trailer, but also with another friend. Let’s call him Mark.
I’ll take Leon and Mark over Jerry and Keith any day.
While on the topic of Kodiak life: Last week I told readers that, after attending my first Crab Fest, May 27-31 became my five best days in Kodiak so far. I then asked for your thoughts about The Rock’s premier community event.
Special thanks to those of you who took the time to share your perspectives. As I mentioned in last week’s column, I was not soliciting your comments on behalf of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, even though I serve on the board of directors. No, this conversation was intended to be between Kodiak Daily Mirror readers and a publisher who wanted a broader perspective.
With that caveat out of the way, here’s what a sampling of KDM readers shared about Crab Fest.
The annual Saturday morning parade was the consensus favorite, and typical was the tone and tenor of this comment:
“I always love the parade. It’s a true community event. Every kid playing softball, everyone with a motorcycle, every Jeep, every fire truck, every Brechan truck, most of the social service agencies, representation from every ethnic group.”
I had asked about parade routes, to which the same person said: “The current route is best because it prevents a traffic jam downtown. Plus you can get coffee while you wait.”
That seems like a win-win in my book.
One writer, who said she has been attending Crab Fest since 1976, said the chamber’s official spirit wear selection has been a stopping point — I mean a shopping point — where she has bought T-shirts and hoodies for her grandson over the years.
No doubt many Crab Fest goers shared her sentiments, based on the crowds who flocked to the chamber’s booth during the times I was volunteering there.
Kids’ events were another big hit with those who responded. The Kodiak Baptist Mission’s petting zoo got high marks, but so did the simple pleasure of watching kids draw on the pavement with sidewalk chalk.
I did not make it to any of the kids’ events, since mine are out of the house and haven’t yet blessed me with grands. What I can attest to is that the kids I saw walking the food vendor area seemed to be having a great time. Special shoutout to the Boy Scouts I saw cleaning and sanitizing the public eating areas.
Music also got high marks from those responding, with one person saying, “My daughter, who lives in western Washington, was jealous because they don’t have live music yet.”
Respondents didn’t always single out the names of the acts they listened to, but one gave special praise to the St. John’s Choir from the Monk’s Rock crew: “They are always so uplifting.”
Of all the things readers commented on, food vendors got the most mixed reviews.
One respondent said, “I loved the fish and chips and Kettle Corn,” and then added: “The pickings were slim this year. But the old standbys were there.”
Evidently, back in the day, there was a cheese steak vendor who used to show, and Young Life used to sell what I am told was excellent beef barbecue and sauce.
Another reader also said she was “disappointed with the food booths,” in part because she thought no one was paying enough attention to safety regulations.
One reader complained that the Kodiak Daily Mirror didn’t get a Crab Fest publication delivered to her address this year, and I let her know I appreciated her feedback.
Even those with critical opinions were quick to point out their loyalty to Kodiak’s biggest event.
“I love this community and Crab Fest. You asked for opinions so I took a chance to give you mine. I will always attend, and I still get to see my friends having fun and spending time together because that is what Crab Fest is really all about.”
Most of those who responded used the words “love” and “Crab Fest” in the same sentence somewhere in their remarks. And one reader made a connection to better days ahead, saying, “It almost seemed like the celebration of the end of COVID.”
I took part in a meeting this week with Jena Lowmaster, the chamber’s new executive director, on a topic that had nothing to do with Crab Fest. Afterward, I asked if she had anything she wanted to say Crab Fest-wise, and I loved her response.
Instead of talking about weather, the missing carnival rides or other things that might have been, she said: “I would like to thank the community for supporting us, and Kodiak Baptist Mission for the petting zoo. I also want to say thanks to the vendors who were there, and the volunteers who made everything possible.”
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Crab Fest!
Kevin Bumgarner is publisher of the Kodiak Daily Mirror print edition and kodiakdailymirror.com. He and his wife, Melanie, have three grown kids and a beagle named Sadie. They moved from Florida to Kodiak during the summer of the 2020 COVID pandemic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.