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Letter to the Editor

The lost American dream

To the editor: Ed Linkous’ Community Perspective column in the Sept. 7 Daily News-Miner really struck a chord with me. I was nervous as hell after graduating high school in 1971 because I had no idea what I was going to do. I ended up working as a delivery boy for a few months, then was offered a job as deckhand on a tug boat. I did that for nine months, then quit and went to work at the pulp mill in Ketchikan. That job lasted for about three years until I was fired for being drunk on the job. It seems to me I was making $8.37 an hour as a boat operator when I got fired. That was damn good money when a gallon of gasoline cost 35 cents, rent $80 to $300 a month, groceries $50 a week, and a new vehicle $3,000 to $6,000.

Back then we were too focused on living the American dream to even think about shooting up a school or department store (since shopping malls didn’t exist back then). Why, I’m so old I remember when the NRA was totally focused on gun safety instead of the right of every citizen to own and bear high-capacity military weapons.

I believe a great number of American citizens feel alienated and that the “American dream” is totally beyond reach, so why even try.


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Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email ( Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email ( Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

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