Alvia “Matt” Mattox was born in 1879 in Buffalo, Wyo., and died in Homer in 1969, after a long history in Kachemak Bay and Alaska. A photo recently surfaced of Mattox with his dog, sitting on a buckboard wagon that appears to be constructed with some help from beach driftwood. It is part of the Anchorage Museum collection of photos by Steven McCutcheon, who made a trip to Homer and captured Mattox among many other photos now considered rare, in 1945.
Mike Dunham, who was raised in Homer in the 1960s and is an Anchorage Daily News columnist, discovered Mattox in the 1940 U.S. Census for Homer listed as a cattle farmer. His grandson, Ron Weaver lives in Homer by the Pioneer Cemetery where Mattox is buried.
In researching Mattox after the photo surfaced in the McCutcheon exhibit, Dunham had a lot of help from Homer people. Grandson Ron Weaver wrote: “He came to Alaska to work in the gold fields in Nome and accumulated enough of a stake to fund his ranching efforts in the Homer area. That would not have been during the first Nome gold rush, however, since the 1910 census shows him still living in Wyoming and the 1930 census has him living in Unalaska — herding sheep.”
A five-part series at the United Methodist Church starts Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room to be moderated by Will Files. The first conversation focuses on Random Acts of Violence: Guns vs Attitudes. Part II is Jan. 29, “What is it like to go to War?” featuring Karl Marlantes. Part III is Feb 5, Death Panels: End of life issues, including abortion. Part IV is Feb 28, Destroying our Planet: What is sacred? The final conversation is March 7, Personal Violence: Suicide, Abuse, Sex Trafficking.
Each session will begin with presentations from people familiar with the issues, followed by open, respectful discussion leading to greater understanding. Those wanting more information may call Files at 235-2443.
The next Thriving Thursday presentation is “Taming the Sugar Beast” with Jenifer Dickson. Dickson is a Certified Nutritional Therapist. This is part of a three-and-a-half week series exploring blood sugar regulation and sugar detoxification.
This week, Dickson will look at practical meal planning and food prep for the detox beginning this week. The discussion starts at 5:30 and goes until 7 p.m.
The Homer United Methodist Church will be serving White Bean Chili with bread and fruit 5:30 – 7 p.m Thursday. The church is located on East End Road by the turnoff to Homer High School. The community is invited for good friendship and good food. No need to bring anything but yourself.
The Kachemak Bay Birders’ next regular meeting will be Monday 4:30 p.m at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Following the meeting, Betty Siegel will present: “Birding India.”
Siegel will share photos and tales of birding in remote Northeast India’s Himalayan foothills, around Bharatpur, and even the Taj Mahal. Hear about “birding by elephant,” being charged by a rhino, and many other unique birding adventures. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. All ages are welcome.
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